The Trojans' quarterbacks got off to a slow start again at Saturday's scrimmage in front 1,500 fans at the Coliseum.
Mitch Mustain came out with the first-team offense and had his first pass attempt intercepted by Shareece Wright and returned for a 23-yard touchdown.
"You're not supposed to throw that ball into the coverage," Coach Carroll said. "He just kind of blindly threw the football and you pay big. You pay in a big way."
Aaron Corp had his own struggles early on, as he had a pass tipped by Clay Matthews and land in the hands of linebacker Rey Maualuga on his second series under center.
"We weren't as sharp as we would like to be," Coach Carroll said after the scrimmage. "We got a lot of work to do still."
The night wasn't all bad as both Mustain and Corp rebounded and led the Trojans on two scoring drives before the end of the first half of play.
"As an offense I think we did some better things tonight," said Aaron Corp, who finished the night 12 for 16 for 64 yards with an interception.
Corp led the offense on the first scoring drive of the night, which was capped off by a 3-yard touchdown run by Stafon Johnson.
Mustain immediately responded by leading the Trojans' on a scoring drive right before the end of the half that took just four plays.
"I had the big mistake at the beginning but was able to get back into it," Mustain said. "I finally got my shot and was kind of able to pick it up a little bit and makeup for it."
While neither quarterback made enough plays to create any separation in competition for the starting job, they both looked more comfortable under center on Saturday and showed real progress.
"Hopefully we can build on tonight," said Corp.
Cary Harris Injures Shoulder
Cornerback Cary Harris suffered a sprained shoulder in tonight's scrimmage that was the result of a collision between Harris and Allen Bradford.
Harris, who dislocated his right shoulder last season against Washington State that forced him to miss the Washington game, came up to try and stop Bradford but got the worst of the collision with the physical tailback.
"He hurt his shoulder. He got knocked pretty good," Coach Carroll said of the play. "He's so tough, he's an unbelievably tough guy."
Clay Matthews, who has been working with the defensive line this fall, played outside linebacker on Saturday because of the injuries at the linebacker position.
Matthews looked very comfortable in his old position ending the night with 4 tackles, a sack and a pass deflection.
Linebacker Jordan Campbell led the team with 7 tackles. Campbell continues to show great instincts and a nose for the football. The young linebacker has been one of the top defensive performers this fall.
Mitch Mustain and Aaron Corp both got off to slow starts but picked up their play and showed some progress Saturday night. Mustain completed 6 of his 12 pass attempts for 118 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Aaron Corp completed 12 of 16 passes for 64 yards and an interception.
Neither quarterback played well enough to take an edge in the competition to start if Sanchez doesn't return for the Virginia game.
Joe McKnight only rushed for 19 yards on 6 carries but the explosive tailback made up for it with his play on special teams. McKnight had a 56-yard punt return and a 63-yard kickoff return.
Turnovers: The Trojans offense had five turnovers on the night. Armond Armstead and Will Harris each had a fumble recovery while Shareece Wright, Rey Maualuga and Drew McAllister all had interceptions.
Stafon Johnson had the longest play of the night when he broke free of the defense and raced 46 yards before finally being brought down. Johnson finished with 58 yards rushing including a 3-yard touchdown run.
USC commits Kevin Graf and James Boyd were both spotted in the crowd at the Coliseum.
S. Wright 23-yard interception return (Buehler kick)
S. Johnson 3-yard run (Buehler kick)
Patterson 26-yard pass from Mustain (Buehler kick)
Congdon 41-yard field goal
Butler 7-yard pass from G. Green (Houston kick)
Congdon 42-yard field goal
Houston 42-yard field goal
Michael Reardon, Blake Ayles, Mark Sanchez, Matt Meyer, Trey Henderson, Brian Baucham, Alex Parsons, Michael Morgan and Chris Galippo were among the players that didn't participate in Saturday's scrimmage.
If you have any questions, comments or suugestions you can reach Kevin Carden