Trojans in CA-FL Bowl

The California team lost yesterday in the annual CaliFlorida Bowl but there were a few noteworthy performances by future Trojans on the offensive side of the ball.

The California team lost yesterday in the annual CaliFlorida Bowl but there were a few noteworthy performances by future Trojans on the offensive side of the ball.

Quarterback Matt Leinart showed why he was considered one of the most accurate throwers in the country last season as the majority of his throws were right on the money to receivers coming out of their breaks. Many of those throws were soft tosses that required excellent timing and with his left handed delivery he reminded one onlooker of former BYU QB Kevin Feterik but the big difference between those two players is that Leinart is bigger and stronger and Matt did throw a few line drives on out routes that showcased his arm strength when he needed it. The success of Feterik under Chow with the Cougars was his ability to make good decisions and deliver the ball to the right spot and Leinart showed that he can be effective with that kind of approach as well. Matt completed a 13 yard curl to future teammate William Buchanan and also hit walk-on Greg Carlson for two passes, one that went for 25 yards on a corner pattern and one completion on a hook and ladder trick play, but his best throw of the day was a corner timing route in the end zone to Charles Ealy for a touchdown. Buchanan did not see the ball much after that early pass but Carlson was all over the field with several catches, an open field tackle after an interception by David Koral and he also served as holder for the placekicks. Carlson has a knack for finding the open spot in the spread offense that Chow uses and will contribute at some point in his Trojan career.

John Walker was in on several tackles and provided solid zone coverage for the majority of the day as a starter at corner although he did give up one touchdown when he slipped coming out of his break on a nice post corner route from Jawarski Pollack. Walker plays with a lot of energy and said after the game that he can't wait for fall practice because he is so ready to get to USC. Mike Patterson played a lot during the game but David Boler did not get much action.

There were plenty of recruits at the game since a passing tournament was being held in conjunction with the all-star game and some of the names in attendance included QB Matt Gutierrez from De La Salle, WR Steve Smith from Taft, QB Matt Moore from Hart, QB Ben Olson from Thousand Oaks, RB Lorenzo Booker from St. Bonaventure and QB Jordan Palmer from Mission Viejo. Gutierrez was excited after the game when talking to former Trojan WR John Jackson to tell him he had watched JJ in the 1990 Rose Bowl broadcast on ESPN Classic recently although JJ did say that made him feel old to know his college games are now shown as Classic TV.

USCFootball.com Top Stories