Thursday scrimmage recap

The Trojans held a closed scrimmage on Thursday night at the Coliseum and we saw a solid display by a defense that was flying to the ball and an offense that was led by the ground game which relied heavily on freshman legs. Click below to read more:

The scrimmage began with the first offense going against the 2nd defense.

1st offense: Booty, Gable, Powdrell, Smith, Turner, Thompson, Baker, Byers, Kalil, Rachal, K Williams

2nd defense: Morrow, Ashley, Parsons, Schweiger, Maiava, Lua, T Williams, Wright, Mays, Perez, Joseph

I came in to this scrimmage hoping to see a good night from John David Booty and he got things started right by leading his team to a touchdown on the opening drive. His first throw was a 17 yard completion to Patrick Turner, not a bad way to start. Allen Bradford had a short run and then Booty missed Fred Davis with a short pass. Booty came right back to Davis with a short pass and Fred rambled for 22 yards before Thomas Williams came over with a hard tackle (does Thomas make any other kind of tackle?). Booty then faked a handoff right and rolled left to hit Chris McFoy for seven yards. C.J. Gable added a 12 yard run. Booty threw an out pattern to Steve Smith that seemed to hang in the air but Taylor Mays was unable to reach the ball and Steve pulled it in to put the ball inside the five yard line. Booth overthrew Turner in the end zone, a Bradford run gained two with a tackle by Maiava and then Michael Coleman punched it in for the touchdown.

Sanchez led the 2nd offense on the field against the 1st defense.

2nd offense: Sanchez, Moody, Adewale, Hazelton, McFoy, McCoy, Brown, Radovich, Spanos, Malu, Draper.

1st defense: Jackson, Barrett, Ellis, Cushing, Rivers, Maualuga, Sartz, C Harris, Ellison, Pinkard, T Thomas

Emmanuel Moody took the first handoff and he made Ellison miss at the line but Cary Harris made the sure tackle after five yards. Stafon Johnson had a two yard run. Sanchez scrambled and dove for the first. Moody had nowhere to go at the line so he danced for a second and that gave Cushing a chance to come in with a head of steam to level him for a two yard loss. Gable ran for seven yards and then Sanchez threw a pass that bounced in front of Vidal Hazelton. The next Sanchez pass, this time to Travon Patterson, was dropped. Stafon took a handoff to the right side and Rivers came on quickly for a three yard loss on the play. Sanchez dropped back, rolled left and before he knew it Rivers, Maualuga and Moala were all bearing down on him so he did the best he could to throw the ball away but Rivers was able to bat it down.

Booty brought the offense on the field and Gerald Washington was lined up at tight end (he has been at defensive end in recent practices). Booty tried to throw a deep fade to Turner but Shareece Wright did an excellent job to position himself in front of Turner and the ball went sailing incomplete. Booty then rolled to his right but heavy pressure from Alex Morrow forced him to throw the ball away. Booty missed Stafon on a screen.

Sanchez had one of his best throws of the day on the opening play of the next drive when he hit Vidal with a medium range pass that went for 14 yards before Harris made the stop. Sanchez then basically threw a jump ball to David Ausberry along the sideline against coverage from Terrell Thomas and Ausberry was able to use his big body to shield Terrell and the freshman came down with the 18 yard reception. Gable tried a run to the left but Rivers came in to slow him down with Maualuga finishing him off with a punishing tackle, loss of four yards. Sanchez hit Jimmy Miller with a pass in the flat and he went for ten yards before a Cushing tackle. Mark then rolled right and had time thanks to a nice backfield block by Moody and he threw down the seam to Brad Walker to get the ball inside the ten. Bradford and Stafon each tried a run with no success so Sanchez dropped back and found Anthony McCoy in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.

Mike McDonald came on at quarterback and, as often happens when Mike is in the game, the offense scored. Stafon started the drive with a run around the right side for 14 yards. Moody came in and promptly took off on a beautiful run behind Charles Brown, he broke a tackle attempt in the secondary by Alfred Rowe and then dashed the rest of the way into the end zone for a 54 yard score. Moody is probably the flashiest of the freshman runners with his high knee kick and burst of speed.

McDonald stayed in the game and immediately threw a short pass to Ausberry who broke a tackle attempt by Justin Hart and gained 12 yards. The snap was fumbled. Stafon went around left end for 11. McDonald missed Walker with a hitch pattern.

Greg Woidneck had three punts, the last one was his best.

Booty came in and tried to hit Turner in the flat but Sartz had dropped back into pass coverage and was able to deflect the ball. Booty threw the ball away. Booty then hit Turner for 10 yards against Mozique McCurtis and Patrick did a nice job to make sure he ran his route deep enough to get the first down. Bradford ran up the middle but Cushing was there after a one yard gain. Booty completed a short pass to Smith with Wright making the stop after six yards. Booty rolled right and hit Smith again for two yards and a change of possession.

Sanchez came in with Travis Draper as his center but the first snap was fumbled. Stafon took the handoff on the next play and gained two before a Rivers tackle. Sanchez overthrew McCoy down the middle.

The next drive saw some work by Ryan Powdrell, the first play was a Booty pass that was at his feet but Ryan did a good job to go down and get the ball before making Cary Harris miss and running for 12 yards before Barrett and Maualuga combined on the stop. Powdrell took a handoff and ran hard up the middle for four yards. Booty then scrambled and dumped the ball to Powdrell for no gain with a tackle by Rivers and Harris. Rivers had a sack on Booty.

Gable went up the middle with a nifty spin move at the line to help him pick up six. Stafon patiently let his line set up their blocks on a run to the right and he went for 11 yards behind big Butch Lewis. A Sanchez throw was knocked down by Schweiger who had dropped back off the line. Mark then tried to hit Patterson with a slant pass but the ball and Kaluka Maiava arrived at the same time, the ball bounced into the hands of Oscar Lua who ran untouched for 28 yards into the end zone.

The kickoff return team got some work and Cary Harris had a couple impressive runbacks. The first went for 75 yards and it was only Buehler running him out of bounds that prevented a touchdown. The next Harris return went for 50 yards and during the play Thomas Williams absolutely crushed Jerry Williams with a block. As both players left the field, Jerry a little slower than Thomas, you saw Thomas walk over and pat him on the helmet to make sure he was OK.

With Duron Sylvester at quarterback, Stafon went off the right side and got to the corner for 17 yards. Sylvester then threw a pass in the flat to fullback Michael Coleman and he ran over Justin Hart before gaining seven. With Tyler Davis at quarterback, Moody got no gain on a carry thanks to a stop by Averell Spicer. Coleman had a short run. Derek Simmons got into the backfield quickly and nailed Bradford on a four yard loss.

Moody went up the middle for nine yards. Booty threw the ball into the ground after he couldn't find an open receiver. Booty threw an incompletion after pressure from Maiava and Lua.

Sanchez rolled right and threw the ball away. A run by Stafon gained nothing. Sanchez threw to McCoy but both Ellison and Terrell were there to knock the ball away.

Thomas Williams had a sack on Booty. John David then completed a pass over the middle to Chris McFoy who was gang tackled, Garrett Green was the first to arrive, and afterwards McFoy laid on the ground holding his shoulder. He got up and eventually walked off the field and it didn't look too bad. Booty threw the ball away. Bradford shed a tackle attempt by Alex Parsons to gain three and then Allen ran up the middle for 15 yards and a touchdown.

The punt return team got some work and Desmond Reed broke one long return.

Sanchez caught fire on a quick drive. The first play was a deep route to Hazelton who did a good job to come back to the ball before gaining 32 yards. On the next play Sanchez looked left and then came back to his right and fired a strike down the seam to a wide open Walker for a 29 yard touchdown.

McDonald hit McCoy with a short pass and then Gable had a short run. McDonald hit walk-on tight end Cooper Stephenson for 10 yards. Moody took a handoff left and cut back to the right for what looked like another of his big plays but Clay Matthews was able to drag him down before he got started and the play only went for five yards. Moody wasn't deterred, however, as he broke the next run for a 30 yard gain. Duron Sylvester came in at quarterback and tried to hit Ausberry in the end zone but the ball was dropped. Duron threw a shovel pass to Gable and then on the final play of the scrimmage he handed the ball to Moody who ran it in for a ten yard touchdown.

Here were the kickoff coverage and return team line-ups:

Kickoff coverage team: Matthews, Ellison, Mays, Lua, Brittingham, Pinkard, C Harris, Maiava, Maualuga, T Williams, Buehler

Kickoff return team: McCoy, Havili, Lua, Parsons, T Williams, Matthews, Maiava, Brittingham, Mays, Lua, C Harris

Official scrimmage recap from

USC freshman tailback Emmanuel Moody ran for 128 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while senior linebacker Oscar Lua returned an interception 28 yards for a score to highlight the No. 3-ranked Trojan football team's 86-play scrimmage on Thursday evening (Aug. 17) in the Coliseum.

Moody scored on a 54-yard burst midway through the contest, then finished the scrimmage with a 10-yard TD run. Fellow freshmen tailbacks Stafon Johnson (62 yards on 9 carries), C.J. Gable (29 yards on 6 rushes) and Allen Bradford (18 yards on 7 attempts, with a 16-yard touchdown) also contributed. Sophomore tailback Michael Coleman had a 3-yard scoring run.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Mark Sanchez was 7-of-14 passing, with a pair of touchdown throws-a four-yarder to freshman tight end Anthony McCoy and a 29-yarder to junior wide receiver Brad Walker-but Lua also picked one off and ran it back to the end zone. Junior quarterback John David Booty completed 10-of-22 passes.

Sophomore wide receiver Patrick Turner had a game-high 3 catches for 30 yards.

Junior linebacker Keith Rivers had 4 tackles, including 3 for losses (with a sack). Others with 4 stops were sophomore cornerback Cary Harris, who also averaged 56.5 yards on a pair of kickoff returns, and freshman cornerback Vincent Joseph. Junior linebacker Thomas Williams had a pair of sacks among his 3 tackles.

The Trojans will hold a free public scrimmage in the Coliseum this Sunday (Aug. 20), with kickoff at 7:45 p.m. Gates open an hour before kickoff, with the Coliseum parking lots opening at 4 p.m. (parking is $10).

The scrimmage will be conducted as a mock game, with the Trojans bused over from a local hotel. They'll arrive at the Coliseum at 6 p.m. and do their traditional "Trojan Walk" through the crowd outside the east end of the Coliseum, marching down the peristyle and into the locker room. They'll go through pre-games warmups on the field and then conduct a full contact scrimmage. Top Stories