Sunday scrimmage recap

The Trojans held a scrimmage today that featured a little something for everybody; there were three touchdown passes for the offense along with three short touchdown runs while the defense had a pick and was in the backfield all day with nine tackles for loss and four sacks. There was also plenty for the coaches to review with the players such as a few botched snaps and moments of sloppy play.

Mark Sanchez led the way by going 8 of 16 for 160 yards as a pair of long scoring passes while John David Booty went 7 of 13 for 84 yards with a pick. Mike McDonald was three of six for 36 yards and a score and Garrett Green went 2 for 4 for 13 yards.

Tailbacks C.J. Gable (1 yard), Allen Bradford (2 yards) and Chauncey Washington (3 yards) each ran for a short touchdown. Bradford rushed for 48 yards on 13 carries in the scrimmage, Washington had 30 yards on 5 tries and Gable had 26 yards on 6 attempts.

Vidal Hazelton, Patrick Turner and Jamere Holland each had three catches while David Ausberry added two. Turner, Ausberry and Holland each had touchdown receptions.

Kaluka Maiava led the way on defense with six tackles, Luthur Brown had four. Averell Spicer had a pair of sacks and a pair of tackles for loss in addition to a fumble recovery. Keith Rivers also added a fumble recovery and Thomas Williams had an interception.

2-deep line-ups for scrimmage:

Offense

QB – Booty, Sanchez TB Gable, Bradford FB Havili WR Turner & Hazelton, Walker, Ausberry and Patterson TE Davis, Miller LT Baker, Lewis LG Byers, Malu C Howell, Spanos RG Rachal, Herring RT Radovich, Brown

Defense

DE Jackson, Morrow DT Moala, Parsons, NG Ellis, Spicer DE Moore, Washington SLB Williams, Garratt MLB Maualuga, Brown WLB Rivers, Maiava CB C Harris, Abbott CB Wright, Joseph FS Mays, McWhorter SS McCurtis, Rowe

Highlights from each series

The first play was a short pass from Booty to Hazelton that was held to a short gain by Rivers. A fumbled snap set up a 3rd and long but Gable was able to get into the secondary on a nice run for 23 yards before a Mays tackle. Booty to Turner on an out pattern for six yards. Mozique McCurtis came up nicely to stop a Chauncey run for no gain. C.J. Gable was met at the line by Moala but he fell forward and gained enough yards for a first down on a questionable spot of the ball. Booty kept the drive going with an 11 yard completion to Ausberry and then he tried a short pass over the middle to Gable but Luthur Brown read the play well and held it to a short gain. With the ball inside the ten, Gable tried to run inside but Taylor Mays came up and made a terrific attacking hit that was followed up by Rey Maualuga joining the pile. It was the type of "enforcer" hit that you like to see from your safeties and it was good to see Taylor make the play. C.J. wasn't deterred, however, as he ran untouched into the end zone on the next play to finish off the solid drive for the offense.

Sanchez also got things started well by rolling right and hitting Brad Walker along the sidelines for 12 yards on the opening play. That was about it for that drive though. A short Bradford run was stopped by Spicer, Vincent Joseph knocked away a deep pass attempt to Travon Patterson and then a sack for the defense.

The next two series were one play and out due to fumbles.

Booty couldn't get much going on the next drive either. A short screen to Gable didn't go for much and then John David wanted to hit a wide open Fred Davis in the flat but Lawrence Jackson made a nice play to tip the ball away.

Michael McDonald came in for the next series and for anybody who has followed Trojan spring ball scrimmages in recent years, you can almost predict what happened on the drive. Bradford tried to get outside on the first play but Gerald Washington made a terrific arm tackle to drag down the powerful Bradford. McDonald then hit Holland for an 18 yard gain and then Desmond Reed took a handoff for eight yards before an Alex Morrow tackle. McDonald scrambled on the next play and dove for a few yards with Morrow in pursuit. Michael rolled to his left a little and dumped a short pass to Cooper Stephenson but the grass blades reached up and tripped him up in the open field to prevent a longer gain. Bradford had a short run. McDonald dropped back from his 22 and lofted a pass toward the left corner of the end zone for a touchdown to Holland. Once again, Michael McDonald comes in and leads his offensive unit to a score, good work Michael.

The team worked on some punt drills and Holland was rotating in at the return spot when he took one of the hardest hits of the day from gunner Shareece Wright. To his credit, Holland was staggered but he stayed on his feet and moved forward for extra yardage after absorbing the hit.

Garrett Green came in at quarterback and showed his mobility in a limited series. Reed took a handoff on the first play for a short gain and then Garrett had to scramble on the next two plays while gaining enough yardage for the first down. Bradford ran through the tackle attempt of walk-on Omari Crittenden (welcome to USC football Omari) before gaining nine yards. An overthrown pass was followed by Parsons knocking down a pass at the line.

Chauncey had a short run to start the next series and then Sanchez tried a short pass to Chauncey but that didn't really work as Fili Moala was right there to slow the play down before Rey came in for the hit. Sanchez tried to throw a pass but LJ was there to bat it down.

McDonald missed Havili with a screen pass. Nick Garratt knocked down a pass while coming on a blitz.

Sanchez then started his most impressive drive of the day by hitting Turner on a deep post for 25 yards in a soft spot between Cary Harris and McCurtis. A short Gable run went nowhere thanks to Chris Barrett. Sanchez dumped a short pass to Gable who weaved his way for 21 yards and then Mark dropped back and threw high down the middle to Turner who was able to reach above Rey Maualuga to make the grab as he crossed the goal line for a 31 yard touchdown.

The team broke for halftime. The offense had moved the ball on the first and last drives of the half and when they did it was due to the passing game. The running backs were getting their opportunities but the defense was simply swarming to the ball well so far.

Vincent Joseph had a 51 yard kickoff return to start the second half.

Bradford took the opening handoff of the second half and tried to get around the edge by putting a stiff arm on Garratt, the play went for six yards. Bradford did some tough running through the middle of the line on the next play and got three. Garrett Green got sacked.

Booty tried to throw over the middle to Davis but it was Rivers in good coverage to knock the ball away. Booty threw a slant to Vidal who hung on despite a solid pop from Maualuga. Booty threw incomplete to Havili.

Sanchez tried to hit Holland on a fade but PI was called on Brent Yoshida. Bradford had a 15 yard run thanks to another beautiful stiff-arm and it's good to see him add that form of punishment to his game. Thomas Williams came in on the next play with a hard tackle on Bradford, a reminder that the defense can hit hard too. Sanchez was back in the shotgun on the next play but Alex Morrow came in quickly for the sack.

Thomas Williams had an interception where he had to go to the ground to get the ball, nice play.

Sanchez hit a wide open David Ausberry for a 37 yard touchdown.

Sanchez went to Jimmy Miller over the middle for 10 yards. Holland got the ball on the next play and got into the open field for a 30 yard gain, it was impressive to see Jamere kick it into that extra gear. Bradford was met at the line with a terrific heads up tackle by Yoshida. Allen got another carry on the next play and used a stiff-arm to get past Kaluka for an eight yard gain. With a blitz rush coming, Sanchez did a good job to get rid of the ball quickly to Holland inside the five yard line. Bradford carried the ball in for a short touchdown run.

We saw the hit of the day from Mozique McCurtis when Sanchez tried to throw deep down the middle to Davis, Mozique came over and timed his hit perfectly to break the play up with some hard contact. To his credit, Fred popped right up and jogged immediately back to the huddle. David Buehler came on to try a pair of field goals, a 42 yard attempt was blocked by McCurtis and a 45 yard attempt fell short. His next attempt, a 32 yarder, was good.

On the final drive, Booty hit Vidal with a deep pass down the seam before Chauncey Washington popped it into the end zone with a short run to end the day.

The Trojans will resume practice this week on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday before holding their annual Trojan Huddle spring scrimmage on Saturday, April 7th at the Coliseum.

Among the guests at the scrimmage on Sunday were New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan.

As a roster FYI, Emmanuel Moody has changed his jersey number to #28.


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