Spring Ball Day 4

The Trojans put on the full pads for the first time this spring and also held a scrimmage in front of 400 high school coaches in attendance for the USC Coaches Clinic. Matt Leinart led the first team offense in a good performance while the defense stiffened and overall turned in a solid effort. Click below for a recap:

The Trojans put on the full pads for the first time this spring and also held a scrimmage in front of 400 high school coaches in attendance for the USC Coaches Clinic. Matt Leinart led the first team offense in a good performance while the defense stiffened and overall turned in a solid effort.

The offense was unable to establish any consistent running game and there were several fumbles and miscues that the defense took advantage of with Matt Grootegoed providing the only score of the day.

Before scrimmaging the Trojans ran through several practice drills in front of the large assembled group of high school coaches. There was a lot of special teams work, particularly on kickoff coverage, and some spirited one-on-one tackling drills between the wide receivers/defensive backs and also between the running backs/linebackers.

The starting line-ups for the scrimmage were as follows:

Offense - QB Leinart, RB Dennis, WR Smith, Lewis, Davis, TE Holmes, LT Baker, LG Watkins, C Kalil, RG Matua, RT Williams
Defense - DE Barrett, NG Patterson, DT Cody, DE Brown, LB Grootegoed, LB Tatupu, LB Sartz, CB Walker, FS Leach, SS Bing, CB Wyatt

The second team line-ups were as follows:
QB Booty, RB Bush, WR McFoy, WR Mitchell, WR Davis, TE Vanderboom, LT Radovich, LG Malu, C Burruel, RG Draper, RT Spanos
DE Tofi, NG Ellis, DT Wright, DE Morrow, LB Williams, LB Chavez, CB Wright, S Farr, S B Ting, CB Thomas

Projected starters missing due to injury include Ronald Nunn (minor hamstring), Frostee Rucker (toe), Brandon Hancock (knee, chest).

Here are some of the highlights from the scrimmage:

Things got started with Leinart hitting Whitney Lewis for 12 yards before a tackle by Grootegoed. Leinart rolled left under pressure from Cody and lofted a completion to Jason Mitchell for a 15 yard gain. Leinart tried to hit Lewis on a slant but Walker stepped in nicely to break the play up.

There was a mix-up on the handoff exchage between Booty and Bush and the resulting fumble was recovered by Ellis. Booty completed a short pass over the middle to Kurt Katnik who was immediately dropped with a crushing hit by Bing. Another bad exchange resulted in no gain.

LenDale White had a carry only to met in the backfield by Tofi for a short loss. Leinart dropped a pass in to Lewis for nine yards. White had a very nice run up the middle where he broke a couple tackles past the line of scrimmage and ended up with 11 yards, Matua opened the hole. Dennis showed some good zigzag moves on a six yard run up the middle. Leinart threw a quick pass to Smith, the ball was a little ahead of Steve but he simply reached out with one hand and brought it in before sprinting untouched down the sideline for 35 yards. Leinart threw a screen to Bush with Matua out front and the play went for 15 yards. Leinart saw Lewis in single coverage from Wyatt and threw the fade for a nine yard completion. White took a handoff but saw no hole, he tried to make a cut move at the line of scrimmage but Brown quickly hit him for a one yard loss. Leinart scrambled and threw the ball away after the secondary had solid coverage.

Hance scrambled and tried to turn up field but Thomas made a good play to stay at home and make the stop for no gain. Ellis had a sack on Hance. A screen pass to Bush was held to a short gain on a strong tackle from Thomas. Booty tried to hit Lewis with a pass but Thomas knocked the ball away and at that point it was hard not to notice that Terrell Thomas was having a good day. Booty tried to hit Lewis on the opposite side, the ball was thrown high and Whitney caught it in the air but by the time he hit the ground Wyatt had taken the ball away for the interception.

Leinart came right back to the fade to Lewis and the pass was complete for 15 yards despite good coverage from Thomas. One line-up change we saw from the defense in this series was Dallas Sartz at free safety with Thomas Williams replacing him at linebacker. Leinart saw Groots getting ready to come on a blitz and he hit Mitchell for an eight yard gain in the open spot. Leinart threw it to Lewis who was quickly popped by Thomas and the ball fell incomplete.

White carried the ball and was hit by a blitzing Farr for a two yard loss. Booty hit Mitchell for a nice gain. A fumble is recovered by the offense. Another fumble is recovered by Grootegoed who returns it for 25 yards before being tackled by Bush. Reggie had not been in the play but he was one of several offensive guys who came from the sidelines to prevent the touchdown. Booty rolled right and hit Mitchell again for a 22 yard gain inside the five yard line. Booty tried to run it in but came up short. Another fumble was recovered by the defense.

Bush got the ball and was hit quickly by Patterson for a loss. Leinart had a nice completion when the line gave him time and he waited for Buchanan to cross the field, William makes for a good target with his long frame and the pass went for 17 yards. A field goal attempt from Killeen was blocked and returned for a 68 yard touchdown by Matt Grootegoed despite a solid effort by Malone to try and run him down.

Among those in attendance were Monte Kiffin, Thomas Herring, Eugene Germany, Marlon Lucky and Michael Shelton.


USCFootball.com Top Stories