Extra Points: Takeaways from 1st Scrimmage

Some extra observations, sights and notes after the first scrimmage under the lights of the Coliseum.

First, Cody Kessler obviously played well. It's been the talk of Trojanland ever since last night. But he's still not a guy that necessarily impresses in warm ups or practice. He's a game-time player. With basketball roots, expect Kessler to standout in situations loaded with pressure. Whether or not he's secured that backup spot remains to be certain, but his performance will definitely be recognized and mentally noted by Kiffin and Co.

Second, Lamar Dawson showed flashes in his first scrimmage. It's obvious he's eating up his playbook, and five tackles equals him with some of the veteran defensive players last night. On the other hand, Kiffin said he deliberately took some of his star players out after the first half to give the freshmen some repetitions.

Third, that left-end starting spot seems like the most uncertain on the defense at this point. The tackles will be some form of Christian Tupou/Da'John Harris/Armond Armstead/George Uko, but that leftend spot could be Wes Horton, Devon Kennard or Kevin Greene. While it seems Greene is the least certain of the three, his commitment and focus in practices and the weight room is clear to anyone watching.

Fourth, that starting tailback spot looks like it will go D.J. Morgan's way, as of now. On Monday night he got the most yardage and set the offense up for a few scores, while he didn't earn any himself. That playmaking ability was commended by Kiffin when talking about the tailback race.

Fifth, cornerback Anthony Brown showed flashes of brilliance Monday night, after combining with linebacker Tre Madden on a corner blitz to sack Max Wittek and deflecting a ball earlier on in the practice. His speed and his ability to change direction quickly might bump him up in that cornerback race, as he is fighting to stay in the starting mention alongside Tony Burnett (Nickell Robey is the surefire starter at cornerback on the opposing side).


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