The Trojans held a scrimmage today to mark the end of spring ball and the 1st team defeated the 2nd team by a score of 10-7. The 1st team offense was matched against the 1st team defense and the 2nd team was matched against the 2nd team.
All 3 quarterbacks had their moments but all 3 also threw interceptions. Carson led the 1st team to a David Davis field goal to open the scoring on their 2nd drive of the day, a drive which saw him complete passes to Alex Holmes for 12 yards and to Keary Colbert for 15 yards. Carson later had a short touchdown pass to D. Hale after a drive that saw good running by Justin Fargas and 15 yard completion to Sunny Byrd. Cassel had some troubles as he had 3 passes knocked down at the line but on his 2nd drive he completed a beautiful pass to Devin Pitts when Matt settled himself in the pocket and fired an absolute strike down the middle of the field. Matt Leinart led an impressive touchdown drive that saw him complete big gains to Sandy Fletcher and Devin Pitts and he also had the benefit of a nice 30 yard run from Fargas. The drive was stalled by two big penalties but ended with a short TD run by Fargas.
All 3 running backs had their moments as well with Fargas breaking off the longest runs but Sultan McCullough showed some good toughness as well with his hard running in the secondary. Sultan has a reputation for dancing around the line but this is still a guy who gained over 1,100 yard two years ago with Kennedy Pola as his coach and he should team with the other RB's to provide a major boost to our running attack. Darryl Poston hits the hole as fast as anybody not named Fargas and had one particularly nice 22 yard run late in the day. Fargas had the block of the day on a reception by Sunny Byrd when Justin yelled to Sunny to wait for his block on Melvin Simmons and Justin just clocked him although the play was called back due to holding on Eric Torres.
Marcell Allmond had a nice play after Fargas had broken free on a run and was headed for the end zone but Marcell had the angle and forced a fumble as he made the tackle. The ball was recovered by DeShaun Hill who had one of his better performances of the spring. Hill was all over the field and showed a real nose for the ball. Kenechi Udeze had a sack. Melvin Simmons was also extremely active with an interception on pass that was thrown right to him by Carson Palmer and he also recovered a fumble when Carson lost the ball on the center exchange. Austin Jackson had a sack and several solid plays as he looks as if he will push for playing time at end in the fall. A pair of walk-ons had interceptions; Colin Ashton made a good read of a Cassel pass and Alex Gomez made the pick off a Leinart pass that floated a little too long in the air. Lee Webb was also solid on the day as the reserve MLB.
Pete Carroll had some comments after the scrimmage: "I liked a lot of what we saw. Our depth is a problem and it's not the situation we want but that's where we are at. We are progressing and are farther along that we were last year and that's what you want to see. I thought Sultan played well, Justin was special just like last week and Poston is no longer a freshman, he got knocked around a few times out there and came right back. Melvin Simmons played real well again today and is playing like a starter. We wanted to avoid negative plays today and we did a much better job of protecting the quarterback than we did last week."
Among the notables in attendance were Paul McDonald, Van Brown, Ronald Nunn, Winston Justice, Manuel Wright, Brandon Hance and LB recruit John Nichols from Bellflower HS.
Among the players who did not participate were Norm Katnik (had surgery on his thumb this week for the ligament damage but is expected to be fine for fall camp), Malaefou MacKenzie, Brandon Hancock (minor stinger but held out as precaution), Billy Hart and Jacob Rogers.
The first team starters were as follows: (offense) Palmer, McCullough, Pierson, Colbert, Hale, Holmes, Eaves, Torres, Vandermade, Wilson, Steinbacher; (defense) Udeze, Cody, Patterson, Nazel, Simmons, Pollard, Graham, Rideaux, Polamalu, Hill, Arbet.
End of spring scrimmage
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