USC suffered a frustrating, lopsided beating at the hands of Alabama and former coach Lane Kiffin over the weekend. ‘Bama won 52-6. Juju Smith-Schuster, the Trojans’ leading receiver last season, was held to one catch for 9 yards. Smith-Schuster still had a chip on his shoulder at practice on Tuesday as Smith-Schuster threw punches at taunting teammates. Via the LA Times:
A gratuitous celebration after a pass breakup had angered Smith-Schuster, USC’s No. 1 receiver. Words were exchanged. Frustration boiled. Smith-Schuster and safety Ykili Ross began to scuffle, and much of the defense joined.
After taking a few swings, Smith-Schuster and another player locked and hurled themselves at the turf. A third player was tossed nearby.
Smith-Schuster got up, separated himself and then kicked the football toward the simmering scrum. Then he began walking off the field.
Schuster sat against the wall for a while as Adoree’ Jackson, Clay Helton and Tee Martin took turns trying to calm him. He eventually got up, but didn’t participate the rest of the session.
Last season Smith-Schuster was a bit more amused by fisticuffs in practice. From the LA Times:
Juju Smith-Schuster caught a pass, heard a whistle and then dropped the ball and put up his fists as if to fight.
Smith-Schuster was joking, his humor providing a needed dose of levity to USC’s practice Sunday after scout team linebacker Don Hill tackled and then punched tailback Aca’Cedric Ware, which set off a few moments of pushing, shoving and hollering.
“That was so fun — I love it,” Smith-Schuster said. “I love when our boys go at it because they’re so competitive.”
That practice fight took place after a win over Arizona State and before two straight losses to unranked Washington and #14 Notre Dame. This year’s USC team plays unranked Utah State on Saturday.