Under the Lights - Scrimmage 2

Kickoff at the Historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum felt more game-like. The offense was crisp, and the energy was high as the USC Trojans took the field for the 11th straight day.

Not Suited Up

This being the 11th day of Fall Camp, and injuries taking its toll, those on the sideline and not playing included: Vidal Hazelton, Trey Henderson, Michael Reardon, Sam Baker, Martin Coleman, Drew Radovich, Luther Brown, Scott Stephens, Sean Calcagnie, Hershel Dennis, Marc Tyler, Jamere Holland, Travon Patterson and Joe McKnight.

On a positive note, the Trojans made it through Thursday's scrimmage without any major injuries. "I think we made it out healthy, and it was a successful night," said Head Coach Pete Carroll at the conclusion of the scrimmage.

On to the Scrimmage

Thursday night's 78-play scrimmage was a vast improvement over the first one last Sunday night, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. John David Booty (11-17 passing, 173 yards) had three touchdown passes, two to wide receiver Patrick Turner and one to tight end Fred Davis.

Booty was accurate Thursday night, as Trojan fans became accustomed to seeing last season. 

Aaron Corp was four for nine and had 42 passing yards. The surprise at quarterback was Mitch Mustain. Mustain did not figure to get much scrimmage time, as he will be sitting out this year as a redshirt (per NCAA transfer rules). Mustain was three for three and had a 12 yard touchdown pass to freshman fullback, Jordan Campbell.

"It was good to get out there in the Coliseum and get some snaps," said Mustain.

Patrick Turner had a solid evening with five catches for 62 yards and two touchdowns. Fred Davis had two grabs for 51 yards and a touchdown. Garret Green continues to look good as a receiver with three catches for 34 yards. Broderick Green had an impressive scrimmage with seven carries for 60 yards and a touchdown. Allen Bradford had five carries for 27 yards. To round out the scoring, David Buehler kicked a 34 yard field goal.

On the defensive side of the ball, freshmen Chris Galippo and Malcolm Smith impressed with six and five tackles respectively. Rey Maualuga, Shareece Wright, Vincent Joseph and freshman Marshall Jones each had four tackles. Will Harris continues his quality play with an intercepted pass.

Special Teams

The special teams looked much improved from the first scrimmage. Greg Woidneck got good hang time on his punts again and David Buehler connected on a 34-yard field goal. But Vincent Joseph supplied the big play of the night, returning a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown.

Vincent Joseph's return play has caught the eye of Carroll. "Vincent Joseph is doing a heck of a job. He's making a real pitch for himself as the starting kick-off returner."

Carroll Praises the Running Backs

Throughout fall camp, the running back position has been the most scrutinized area of the Trojan's team. After Thursday's scrimmage we caught up with Carroll to get his thoughts on the running back situation,

"The position just seems a lot more solidified than it was a year ago. And it feels like these guys are gonna make some plays." With so many capable backs available it will be a challenge for Coach Carroll to decide who gets playing time. "We got some tough decisions, but we still have a few weeks to figure it out,"

Who Impressed

Booty had a great night, which exemplifies why he is a candidate for the Heisman Trophy this year. Broderick Green is a powerful running back who has the "Thunder" qualities Trojan fans came to enjoy from Lendale White. Patrick Turner continues his quiet, but consistent pass catching. Surprise of the night-Vincent Joseph impresses with his kickoff return skills, and may break the line-up as a kick returner. Joseph had a 92 yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

Head Coach Pete Carroll was really pleased with the passing game. "John David was real sharp, the protection was really good for him. Patrick Turner was on the money and Fred Davis looked real good."

After the scrimmage, Head Coach Pete Carroll assessed Green's performance, "He was hard to tackle, he did well in the open field and he ran over a couple guys. That was really a plus to see him tonight."

President and First Lady

USC President Steven B. Sample and his wife, Kathryn attended the scrimmage and seemed to enjoy themselves. Sample (an electrical engineer, a musician, an outdoorsman, an author, and an inventor), was seen drumming his hands to the beat of the music piped-in through the Coliseum sound system.

A Message from the Press Box

In addition to the spectators , there was an additional 100 or so on-lookers in the Press Box this evening. The reason? There was a "Patron Party," for the underwriters of USC's Annual "Salute to Troy" Football Kickoff Dinner/BBQ scheduled for Friday, August 16, the last day of Fall Camp.

So Long and Good Night

Overall, this was an impressive intra-squad scrimmage by the preseason #1 USC Trojans. The first team offense was crisp, led by John David Booty and Patrick Turner. Much of the evening consisted of the first team offense against the second team defense and the second team offense against the first team defense. This made for a more game-like setting as most of the defenses the Trojans will face this season will not be as formidable as their own.


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