Quarterbacks Combine for Seven Touchdowns, Tailbacks Run for Two
LOS ANGELES–Sophomore wide receiver Travon Patterson caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from redshirt freshman quarterback Aaron Corp in the second overtime to give the White team a 39-36 victory over the Cardinal squad in the USC football team's annual Trojan Huddle end-of-spring practice intrasquad game before 22,000 fans in the Coliseum on Saturday (April 19).
With the score tied at 27-27 at the end of regulation, the White team scored on its first overtime play as sophomore quarterback Mitch Mustain hit junior wide receiver Garrett Green for a 25-yard score. The Cardinal team responded with a 6-yard TD toss from junior quarterback Mark Sanchez to redshirt freshman tight end Rhett Ellison.
The Cardinal team got the ball first in the second overtime, but its drive stalled and senior placekicker David Buehler came in to hit a 25-yard field goal, setting up Patterson's game winner (which also came on the White team's first play).
The Cardinal team opened the day's scoring on its second possession as soph tailback C.J. Gable took a Sanchez pass 8 yards into the end zone to cap a 12-play drive.
But the White team scored on its next 3 possessions to go up 13-7: Corp hit sophomore wide receiver Damian Williams on a 16-yard TD followed by a pair of field goals, the first a 20-yarder by junior placekicker Jordan Congdon at the end of the first half and the second a 33-yarder by sophomore placekicker Joe Houston after the Cardinal team fumbled away the second half's opening kickoff.
Later in the half, the squads scored 4 quick touchdowns. After the White team fumbled away the ball on its own 3-yard line, junior tailback Stafon Johnson ran in for a 1-yard TD for the Cardinal team. But 2 plays later, redshirt freshman wide receiver Brandon Carswell hauled in a 55-yard Mustain bomb to put the White team ahead again, 20-14. However, the Cardinal team struck again on its next play, a 37-yard Sanchez scoring aerial to soph wide receiver Ronald Johnson. The White team fumbled on its next play and Cardinal redshirt freshman linebacker Chris Galippo scooped it up and went 34 yards for a TD (however, Buehler's extra point try was wide).
The White team tied the score on its following possession, a 11-play drive that ended with a 4-yard Gable scoring run (Gable played for both teams). Buehler had a chance to win it at the end of regulation, but his 46-yard field goal attempt was blocked by walk-on redshirt freshman cornerback Daniel Harper.
All 3 quarterbacks posted impressive numbers in the scrimmage. Sanchez was 16-of-24 for 203 yards and 3 touchdowns (he also had an interception on a flea-flicker play). Mustain was 6-of-10 for 111 yards and 2 scores, while Corp was 13-of-16 for 158 yards and 2 TDs.
Patterson caught a game-high 6 passes for 100 yards, while senior wide receiver Patrick Turner (49 yards), junior wide receiver Vidal Hazelton (40 yards) and senior tight end Jimmy Miller (29 yards) each had 4 receptions. Williams added 3 catches for 56 yards.
Stafon Johnson was the leading rusher, with 58 yards on 13 carries.
Galippo had a game-best 9 tackles, including 6 for losses (with 3 sacks), and he also recovered 2 fumbles. Senior linebacker Rey Maualuga added 7 stops, while junior cornerback Shareece Wright had 6 tackles (2 for losses), junior safety Taylor Mays also had 6 tackles and senior defensive end Gerald Washington had 5 tackles, including 3 for losses, and a deflection.
"What a day it was for the quarterbacks," said eighth-year USC head coach Pete Carroll. "We have a very exciting team. They play with a lot of energy, toughness and speed. If we keep working, we're going to have a nice team. I like where we are right now."
Six-time defending Pac-10 champion USC opens its 2008 season on Aug. 30 at Virginia.
- From Trojan Athletics