Practice Report: Saturday Scrimmage

The USC Trojans did not look like the USC Trojans at Saturday's scrimmage in the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, the first team event open to the public since fall.

The USC Trojans did not look like the USC Trojans at Saturday's scrimmage in the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, the first team event open to the public since fall.

Just a few of the day's oddities include the following: A walk-on wideout was named the day's Most Valuable Player. Not a single scholarship tight end was healthy. By the end of the session, only one scholarship receiver was playing. Coach Kiffin did not do any playcalling. And star quarterback Matt Barkley did not play a single snap.

Cody Skene, a walk-on sophomore receiver from Moorpark (Calif.) Junior College earned MVP honors because of two solid catches totaling roughly 30 yards (no official statistics were taken). The 5'9, 165-pounder was heavily utilized because of a lack of healthy bodies but No. 38 showed up on a good day to show up. Whether this will lead to playing time Kiffin didn't say.

De'Von Flournoy caught the most passes of the day and he's continuing to solidify himself as a solid go-to. Without Woods (ankle), Lee (track meet), Farmer (hamstring) and Blackwell coming out early (knee, hand), Flournoy is seizing the most of his opportunities.

Saturday's rain did not help the Trojans' tight end drought. Junior Pomee (foot), Xavier Grimble (toe) and Randall Telfer (hamstring) were all out nursing injuries. No walk on tight end flashed in the scrimmage and Christian Thomas (hip) has not yet been cleared to play.

The football team under Lane Kiffin has been without an offensive coordinator. Except on Saturday that changed as Kiffin hosted a slew of top recruits and let coaches Kennedy Polamalu and Clay Helton do the playcalling.

"I had a feeling what the stats would be like so I didn't want them on my resume," the head coach joked. "No. It's just good at times to let other guys get involved, let Kennedy [Polamalu] and Clay [Helton] call some things today. We had a lot of recruits today here as well so got a chance to spend some time with them."

Those recruits included Max Browne, Tahaan Goodman, Chris Hawkins, Joe Mathis, Su'a Cravens and Priest Willis, according to Scout's Kevin Carden.

Finally, Barkley did not have a stat line Saturday as the series were split up among Max Wittek and Cody Kessler. There was no word from the head coach why Jesse Scroggins did not throw, but neither Wittek or Kessler have been named the No. 2 just yet.

"I thought they did a good job, same thing running the huddle. They seemed very mature when you're around the huddle with them and with the offense so it's good to see."

Kiffin added that he would be comfortable with either of them starting a game if it was necessary. For the first half of the scrimmage, Wittek played with the ones versus ones while Kessler played on the twos versus twos. The two switched groups at the half.

"Yeah I'd be very comfortable with both of them [playing now]. I think they're both doing a great job. Neither of them has gone beyond the other one to know who the number two is yet but I think both of them would play really well."

Final Thoughts

Kiffin elaborated on the development of Tre Madden at tailback, who scored one of the team's two touchdowns Saturday.

"He continues to look good. All the skills are there, he dropped a couple balls but he has really good hands and we're excited about him."

Some news concerning cornerback Torin Harris proved positive. First, Lane Kiffin said the competition opposite Nickell Robey will be wide open once fall camp begins and two, Harris' shoulder has seen improvement. According to the coach, the nerves are firing and the team trainers are "seeing more movement in that shoulder."

Interestingly, Ed Orgeron was quite candid about the lack of depth at defensive tackle. Since moving Greg Townsend permanently back to end, Coach 'O' said there is George Uko, J.R. Tavai and Antwaun Woods there but really no fourth tackle. He jokingly suggested a reporter come and play the position. He added that Cody Temple was doing some good things, before he got hurt and had to miss the remainder of the spring after undergoing ankle surgery.

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