Fall scrimmage recap

The Trojans held their first scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday in front of a large group of Trojan Football Alumni who had been invited to watch practice and join the team in a BBQ afterwards. Click below for a recap.

What a great idea to have all the Trojan Football Alumni at the practice. Several current players commented afterwards about how pumped up they were to have such a good crowd and so many former football players in attendance. The list was a who's who of USC football greats but some of the names spotted early included Pat Howell, Vik Rakshani, Bob McCaffrey, Brent McCaffrey, CR Roberts, John Papadakis, Rob Hertel, Gordon Adams, Alan Graf, Anthony Davis, Shane Foley, David Newbury, Ryan Kaiser, Jason Grain, Matt McShane, Eric Reese, etc.

The alumni were treated to a punting drill by Tom Malone and many were shocked at their first look at the hang time of the freshman's punts. The mood of the day quickly took a turn during warm-ups, however, when the offense was doing a walk-through and Justin Fargas went down without being tackled and stayed on the ground holding his right hamstring. There is no update as of yet with his condition. Many in the crowd were excited to see Fargas in action and the silence on the field while Justin lay on the ground was defeaning. The offense was already without running backs Sultan McCullough and Chad Pierson who were also out with hamstring injuries. Troy Polamalu did not dress for the scrimmage.

The scrimmage featured 1st offense against 1st defense with the starters as follows:

Offense - Palmer, MacKenzie, Byrd, Kelly, Colbert, Holmes, Torres, Vandermade, Katnik, Matua, Rogers (note the change of Rogers to RT and Torres to LT).

Defense - Nazel, Riley, Cody, Udeze, Simmons, Pollard, Grootegoed, Arbet, Rideaux, Leach, Hill.

Malaefou took a pitch and was stopped for a one yard loss by Riley and Pollard. Mal then went behind a good block from Lenny Vandermade for 6 yards before another tackle by Riley. Bernard was moving well early. Malaefou went off left tackle but Pollard and Rideaux stopped after 3 yards to force a change of possession.

The 2nd units were as follows:

Offense - Cassel, Poston, Hancock, Buchanan, Mitchell, Guenther, Justice, Vandermade, Graf, Watkins, Eaves.

Defense - Brown, Patterson, Torgan, Bottom, Sartz, Webb, Graham, Nunn, Walker, Ross, Wyatt.

Poston took a handoff behind Vandermade for 5 yards with Graham and Webb combining on the stop. Cassel went on a bootleg for 10 yards with a real good block from Hancock on Webb to allow Matt to get outside for the 1st down. Cassel tried to go over the middle but Patterson tipped the ball for an incompletion. Poston took a pitch, put a shake move to lose Webb and got 3 yards before a Patterson tackle. Cassel missed Buchanan on a pass to force change of possession. Matt was hit on the back of the leg on that play by Van Brown who had been on a pass rush, Matt limped off the field and the early thought is damage to his right kneecap and he will have an MRI done.

Carson hit Mattos for 22 yards thanks in part to a nice downfield block by Kareem before Arbet was able to make the tackle. Malaefou ran right up the middle into a pile of defenders, there was nowhere to go and he got one yard before a Riley tackle. The snap was fumbled and Katnik recovered. Carson rolled right with good protection from Rogers on Cody but his pass to Colbert was knocked down by Nunn. David David came on and had plenty of leg for a 45 yard field goal.

Leinart got his first action and immediately went to a wide open David Kirtman, somebody on defense missed an assignment, and he ran for 23 yards before Mike Ross drove him out of bounds. Hershel Dennis then made Graham miss at the line of scrimmage on his way to 8 yards before a Wyatt tackle. Leinart went to Mattos quickly but Buchanan missed his block on Nunn who was able to stop the play immediately. Leinart scrambled around but missed D Hale with a deep pass. Leinart tried to hit Buchanan on a slant but the ball bounced right off his hands and then Matt went over the middle to Dom Byrd but once again a good pass was dropped. David Davis made a 41 yard field goal with plenty to spare.

Billy Hart came in and his first pass was a strike to Scott huber but the pass was dropped and at this point the passing game was struggling a little. Sunny Byrd then brought back good memories with a 22 yard run off right tackle. Hart threw an incomplete pass behind Chris McFoy and then a Poston run went for 4 yards before an Otani tackle. Hart dropped back but was sandwiched on a sack by the Bottom brothers, Jay and Alex, for a 6 yard loss and change of possession.

Carson tried to hit Kareem Kelly but Darrell Rideaux had terrific position and tipped the ball in the air and it came down in the arms of Jason Leach with a short runback and change of possession.

Malaefou MacKenzie took a handoff from Leinart and got two yards before Patterson and Travis Tofi combined on the stop. Leinart dropped back and hit Colbert on a crossing route, Sandy Fletcher came in for a big hit but Colbert bounced right off and headed into the end zone for a 30 yard touchdown. The extra point was good by Davis.

Poston took a short pitch for no gain as he was basically gang tackled by the entire defensive line. Carson threw a screen to Poston who got 8 yards before a Nunn tackle. Carson continued his sharp passing by hitting Colbert for 7 yards with a Pollard tackle. Poston took a handoff and as he crossed the line he was met with a perfect tackle by Omar Nazel for 2 yards. Carson then utilized his new tall weapon as he tossed a fade to Mike Williams over Nunn for 20 down near the goal line. Poston made John Walker miss on a run off RT and went in for the score. David Davis made the extra point.

Hershel Dennis got no gain thanks to a stuff at the line by Oscar Lua. Dennis followed that with a 2 yard run. Billy Hart then threw to Chris McFoy on a slant with a wicked hit from #17 (a walk-on) but McFoy was able to hang on to the ball. Hart threw a strike to Dom Byrd but the freshman had another drop. Dennis got six yards thanks to a nice stiff arm on Collin Ashton but holding on David Kirtman brought the play back. Hart had his best play of the day when he rolled right and was under intense pressure from Patterson but right before he went out of bounds Billy found Greig Carlson along the sidelines for a 28 yard pick-up. Dennis got no gain with Ashton and Lua on the stop. Brandon Hancock took a quick handoff and broke two tackles at the line before Kyle Matthews stopped him after a 13 yard gain. Dennis was thrown for a 2 yard loss by Brown and Bottom. Hart rolled and this time threw a pass way behind his receiver and #28 (walk-on) was able to get the pick.

Carson dropped back with a perfect fake to hold the line and he threw a strike to Colbert that hit him between the 8 and the 3 but the ball was dropped. Not to worry, though, as Carson went right back to Keary across the middle for a 35 yard touchdown pass. The extra point was good.

Poston was tackled immediately on a run by Van Brown but the problem was that Brown tackled him by grabbing him down by the facemask which resulted in a penalty and Brown being sent to the sidelines by Ed Orgeron. Leinart went to Mike Williams in the corner of the end zone, Mike made the catch and it looked like he was in bounds but the refs ruled him out. Hancock ran for 3 yards before a Ross tackle. Leinart then rolled and rolled and finally was able to hit Mattos for 8 yards. Leinart made the most of his opportunity for extended snaps in this scrimmage with his best performance by far this fall. Poston went on a sweep with Graham and Gomez forcing him out. Leinart fumbled the center exchange but Hancock alertly fell on the ball. Leinart decided to take no chances so he kept the ball himself and dove in for the touchdown. The extra point was good by Davis.

Dennis got two yards before being tackled by Lua. Sunny Byrd took a handoff and was stopped immediately by Torgan. An incomplete pass forced a Davis 32 yard field goal which was good.

Malaefou took a handoff but was met in the backfield by Matt Grootegoed for a 3 yard loss. Carson tried to hit Mattos but the ball was knocked away. Nazel and Riley combined for a sack on Palmer. Davis missed a 45 yard field goal wide right.

Leinart rolled out to the left and hit Jason Mitchell for a 20 yard touchdown. The extra point by Davis was good.

Leinart pump faked left and threw right for a 20 yard touchdown pass to Grant Mattos. The XP by Davis was good to end the day.

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