What to watch for when you go

USC will hold its annual spring game Saturday in the Coliseum. It is expected to be offense vs. defense, so what should you watch for when you go? We've got you covered...

The new defense
Breathe a sigh of relief, there is no sign left of Monty Kiffin's defense that led to a 7-6 season in 2012.

Clancy Pendergast has installed his 3-4 defense which really looks more like a 5-2 to the eye. Be sure to check out those defensive ends – really outside linebackers now – and their stance and ability to rush the passer. Defensive line coach Ed Orgeron says the new system best fits redshirt senior Devon Kennard -- so maybe that injury to Kennard that caused him to stick around a fifth year was really meant to be.

Be sure to keep an eye on Hayes Pullard -- the second leading tackler in 2012 looks even better this spring.

The secondary is a tough one. Anthony Brown has started almost the entire spring on one side of the field but opposite him has been a revolving door. No predictions here as to who will get the start on that side Saturday.

The quarterbacks
If someone is leading the race to replace Matt Barkley, USC head coach Lane Kiffin sure hasn't revealed who it is all spring.

Expect to see all three quarterbacks in action and you can judge for yourself who you think the starter should be in 2013.

My observations throughout the spring? It's very close call. If I had to make it today, I'd go with Cody Kessler. Just seems a little bit more accurate and more of a playmaker at the moment than Max Wittek.

But don't rule out Max Browne. He came in as a five-star and the way he commands the huddle he practically looks like an upperclassman.

Early enrollees
As just mentioned, Max Browne will be taking snaps on Saturday. Scout.com's No. 1 rated quarterback has an arm and is not afraid to heave the ball downfield. With any luck you'll see some of the potential that I've seen at the previous scrimmages in the Coliseum.

It will be impossible to miss the tailback Browne and the other QBs will be handing off too. If I made the call after practice No. 14, I'd say freshman Justin Davis would be the MVP of the spring. He trades carries with Buck Allen and Tre Madden. Look for Davis to be running with the first team and don't blink, he may just take off for the end zone.

Don't automatically assume the biggest body you see running around on defense anymore is Leonard Williams. Freshman Kenny Bigelow is nearly just as big. Bigelow will be with the second team at defensive tackle. Keep your ears open or maybe bring earplugs, Orgeron loves yelling "KENNY" throughout practice.

Chris Hawkins will be playing in the secondary. He saw time over the spring with the first team so it will be interesting when the depth chart shakes out Monday exactly where Hawkins will land. He's broken up a number of plays over the spring, now it's just about the freshman being able to do it on a consistent basis.

Leon McQuay will most likely be with the two's at safety. McQuay hasn't necesarrily been a standout this spring, but you know the drill by now when it comes to those recruits out of Florida (i.e. Nickell Robey and Leonard Williams), they always end up being some of the best players.

Receiver Darreus Rogers and safety Su'a Cravens will not be participating due to injury.

Offensive line
The offensive line shuffle looks to be over. Marcus Martin will be the center and Max Tuerk will be at left guard.

Don't be too alarmed if you see a couple of fumbled snaps. Martin's never played center and it's still a work in progress -- but the progress is certainly noticeable and by fall the snap will be smooth as ever if they continue to improve at this pace.

It's going to be physical
Noticeably different all spring was the physical nature in which the Trojans practiced. They took it easy during the fall afraid to lose bodies. It cost them dearly and Kiffin said it won't happen again.

The tackling is improved. The physical play in the trenches is tougher.

Going going gone
Marqise Lee hasn't even been back to practice for a week and he hasn't missed a beat. In fact, he's still a few faster than everyone else. Expect Lee to steal the show on Saturday. They've been working on the deep ball and a few slant routes. Each time Lee has won -- whether it's going up high or turning on the afterburners and running away from the defense.

Opposite Lee will be Nelson Agholor. Kiffin says Agholor was every bit as good as a freshman as both Lee and Robert Woods were, the only problem is that he had to play behind those two. Now is Agholor's time to shine -- see what you think. Is he as good as the two ahead of him?

Keep an eye on Kiffin
And the final notable to keep an eye on is your head coach. Kiffin last year spent so much time buried in his play card and huddling with the offense. Will that change in 2013?

It might be too early to say. But if practice is any indication, the head coach is playing more the role of CEO of the football program and less the role of a unit manager.

The list of guys you won't see, so don't be surprised
The injured list is long and distinguished, here are the guys who won't be in action.

cornerback Torin Harris, receiver George Farmer who is expected to undergo surgery to repair his torn ACL & MCL this week, safety Gerald Bowman, linebacker Dion Bailey, safety Su'a Cravens who is recovering from meniscus surgery, tailback D.J. Morgan, fullback Soma Vainuku, tailback John Akiba, defensive end Jabari Ruffin started practice but later left, linebacker Scott Starr, tailback Taylor Ross, offensive tackle Chad Wheeler, tailback Silas Redd, defensive end Jeff Miller, receiver De'Von Flournoy was wearing a sling on his right shoulder, tight end Randall Telfer who had surgery Thursday to repair a torn meniscus, receiver George Katrib, receiver Darreus Rogers, tight end Xavier Grimble, defensive end Greg Townsend, and defensive tackle Antwaun Woods.

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