USC Scrimmage Report

The No. 1 USC Trojans were back under the lights of the Coliseum for the first this year, and several players took turns making big plays, including a pair of touchdowns from John David Booty and an electrifying punt return from freshman Joe McKnight.

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Senior quarterback John David Booty had a pair of touchdown passes while going 7/14 for 53 yards, and freshman Joe McKnight piled up 120 all purpose yards on just six touches including a 74 yard punt return for a touchdown.

As can be expected for the first game simulation of the season, there were some mistakes, but there were also some standout plays.

"Overall, it was a ragged scrimmage," said head coach Pete Carrol to the media after the scrimmagel. "We weren't as sharp as we wanted to be. But we worked hard, got in some good work and everyone got to play. Some of our young players looked real good."

Chauncey Washington was one of the older players that looked real good as he got the fireworks started with a 78 yard run from scrimmage during the third series on his only carry of the night.

Patrick Turner and Fred Davis were on a receiving end of Booty's two touchdown passes with short catches of four and two yards respectively.

True Freshman quarterback Aaron Corp was sharp when he got his chance late in the scrimmage. He was 4/4 for 49 yards and a touchdown to Ronald Johnson on the last play of the night.

Johnson had a big night returning kickoffs. He was credited with two kick off returns for a total of 105 yards.

Defensively it was freshmen Marshall Jones that had the big play on the night with an interception of an ill advised Mark Sanchez throw. Sanchez had a perfect pass dropped the previous play that would have been roughly a 40 yard gain.

Freshmen linebackers Malcolm Smith and Kaluka Maiava led the team in tackles with five each, and freshman walk on Jim Abbott blocked two consecutive punts when the Trojans opened up the second half of the scrimmage in punt formation.

Junior place kicker David Buehler was true from 49 yards out with plenty to spare in his only field goal attempt of the night.

Some Observations from the Trojans first scrimmage:

*Offense got off to a rough start with an incompletion and Booty getting hid foot stepped on for a sack on the first two plays of the Knight.

*Freshman Joe McKnight was on the field on second down during the Trojans first series.

*C.J. Gable, Desmond Reed, Stafon Johnson, Ronald Johnson and Joe McKnight took turns returning kickoffs.

*RoJo (Robert Johnson) is a weapon on kickoff returns.

*Josh Pinkard came out at cornerback after Patrick Turner's touchdown catch. His first play at corner was a nice open field stop of McKnight.

*Taylor Mays had a beautiful play to snuff out a reverse and he chased the play down from the back side and limited it to only a gain of one.

*Freshman Chris Galipo showed the moxy of a veteran as he disguised a blitz and came through untouched for a sack in the first half.

*The evening's longest pass play came on a rollout by senior quarterback Michael McDonald to redshirt freshman fullback Cooper Stephenson. Stephenson absorbed the initial hit from the cornerback, then accelerated down the sideline for a 50 yard catch and run for a touchdown.

*Booty and sophomore wide receiver Vidal Hazelton hooked up for a pretty pitch and catch in which Booty showed tremendous touch to the sideline.

*Redshirt freshman receiver David Ausberry continues to impress as he made a nice grab falling out of bounds on the sideline.

*Freshman safety Marshall Jones was solid at safety all evening including his interception.

*Sedrick Ellis got a good push on the interior defensive line all night.

*Aaron Corp was 4/4, but it was more than just hitting receivers, as he showed good mobility in the pocket, buying himself time and having good field vision on more than one occasion.

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