There have been times this fall when the USC defense was simply dominant in scrimmage situations where they stifled the Trojan offense. Tonight was not one of those nights although we never saw the first offense go against the first defense. It was enough to see Leinart throwing the ball so well after recent soreness in his arm. After the scrimmage Matt said that he didn't really air his arm out tonight since it was only a scrimmage and that has to be good news for Trojan fans because he looked great.
The team stayed at a local hotel last night and went through the usual game day activities before arriving Thursday night at the Coliseum for the scrimmage in front of a small gathering made up primarily of player families.
It was a vocal Trojan team that left the locker room and came down the tunnel. As they prepared to make their way onto the field it was Shaun Cody who led the cheers to get his team fired up.
The opening series featured the first defense against the 2nd offense led by quarterback Brandon Hance. Matt Grootegoed had a terrific tackle on the first play when he put his helmet into the chest of the running back and drove him flat on his back. It was a textbook tackle by Groots.
The first series for the #1 offense got off to a good start as Leinart marched them quickly down the field with the help of a nice LenDale White run and Matt eventually threw a short pass to LenDale who ran into the end zone for the opening score.
Mike Patterson had a sack on the next series. It was hard to watch some of the reserve linemen trying to block Mike because he's not as easy defender to handle.
The 2nd drive for the first offense featured another long run from LenDale but the drive stalled after Manuel Wright had a sack.
When the first defense came on the field for their next series Cody made a big gesture to the crowd while waving his arms trying to get them to make some noise. With approximately 100 people in the stands there wasn't much noise to be made in the vast Coliseum.
The next drive for the first offense was another impressive one as Leinart was on fire. He hit Dwayne Jarrett for 17 yards and then dumped a pass to Bush for 15 more. Reggie got a nice downfield block from Steve Smith to pick up extra yards. Matt then hit Chris McFoy for 15 yards and finally he hit Desmond Reed for a 17 yard touchdown. It was good to see the offense pick up big chunks of yardage like that.
The next time the #1 offense got the ball there was less than a minute to go before halftime. From deep in his own end Leinart hit McFoy with two completions in a row and another completion to Smith had the ball at the 45 yard line. Matt hit Jarrett for his fourth completion in a row but then he missed on a throw to Smith. Matt hit two more passes on the drive, to Jarrett and Nick Vanderboom, before having to settle for a 49 yard field goal attempt with 5 seconds left. Ryan Killeen had plenty of leg but the kick was wide right.
Ryan Powdrell had an interception of a Matt Leinart pass on the opening drive of the 2nd half.
Rocky Hinds threw a great looking ball to Greig Carlson for a 45 yard touchdown. There have been times in camp when Rocky has struggled but he has also made some big plays including this one where he hit Greig in stride down the sidelines.
Leinart had two more touchdown drives for the offense. The first one was helped by a 32 yard run from LenDale White who followed a block from Kyle Williams before getting into the secondary and pulling away. Leinart followed that a couple plays later with a 30 yard touchdown to Jarrett. On the final scoring drive it was Jarrett who made a leaping catch to keep the drive alive before Leinart hit Fred Davis for a 45 yard score to end the scrimmage.
There were several players who didn't take part in the scrimmage including; Alex Holmes, Fred Matua, John Walker, Scott Ware, John David Booty, Lee Webb, La Juan Ramsey, Drew Radovich and Darnell Bing. Darnell was dressed but he did not participate.
Mark Sanchez was in attendance.