Spring Practice: Back at the Coliseum

Return of right tackle Jeremy Galten helps first-team offense get on track.

Back at the Coliseum
With new turf on the field, new Pac-12 officials to work with and the early outline for where a massive new video board will be installed this season overlooking the closed end of the Coliseum, the Trojans returned to their home on Saturday morning for the most extensive scrimmage of the spring, 86 plays over nearly three hours.

It was, as expected, a showcase for quarterback Matt Barkley and wide receiver Robert Woods.

But the biggest surprise came on the struggling offensive line, from a player that looked like he was unlikely to suit up, let alone play, after being injured Thursday.

Jeremy Galten, who suffered a grade-2 left knee sprain two days earlier when he was hit on the kneecap, returned to practice and saw every first-team snap at right tackle.

"It felt fine. I just wrapped it up pretty tight," Galten said. "At the time, right when it happened I was really scared."

"The guy came out and played the whole day today. Says a lot about him," coach Lane Kiffin said.

A junior college transfer who arrived on campus in January, Galten admitted it has been a tough transition to major college football.

"It's definitely more than I expected," he said. "Day one install was bigger than my entire offense at College of San Mateo. I think that's the biggest difference, the mental game."

Still, Galten's presence and the continued maturation among the front five helped the offense to one of its better performances so far.

"The communication was there today. Everybody on the o-line felt like they were on the same page," he said.

Barkley completed 22 of 33 passes for 152 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Woods caught 10 passes for 65 yards. He also ran the ball three times for 18 yards.

Asked to identify the stars of the day, Kiffin said, "Robert and Robert. It's good to see him do so many things. He was bleeding there and he puts himself back in. Matt obviously played well and we'll look at the rest of the guys.

"At the end of the day, we've got a really good quarterback and a really good receiver. That's encouraging. Now we've got to develop everyone around them."

Running backs D.J. Morgan (16 carries for 51 yards) and Curtis McNeal (8 carries for 42 yards) were also sharp.

Ambles Absent
Wide receiver Markeith Ambles did not attend practice Saturday.

"We'll figure it out," Kiffin said, declining to elaborate further.

Ambles was held out of practice Thursday after missing a weightlifting session earlier in the week.

He was also suspended last season and announced his intention to transfer before returning to the team last January.

Hot Reads
-Running back Dillon Baxter suffered a right high ankle sprain during the scrimmage.

-Tight end Christian Thomas did not practice because of academics after dropping a class this week. He is expected to rejoin the team by Tuesday.

-Defensive tackle George Uko had a team-high seven tackles, three for loss. Cornerback Anthony Brown, who started in place of Tony Burnett (track), had five tackles, one sack and one deflection.

-Barkley wore a camera on top of his helmet for an upcoming Fox Sports West feature.

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