Perry, Defense Shine in Spring Finale

The USC Trojans capped off a very productive spring with a 110-play scrimmage in front of 22, 565 fans on a perfect Saturday afternoon at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Look inside for all the details.

The USC Trojans capped off a very productive spring with a 110-play scrimmage in front of 22, 565 fans on a perfect Saturday afternoon at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The Trojan Huddle featured some big plays by the offense, but was largely controlled by the defense and the play of Nick Perry, Marshall Jones and T.J. Bryant.

Redshirt freshman Nick Perry was the most outstanding player on the day, harassing the quarterbacks and making plays all over the field.

"Nick Perry had a ton of plays. He was in the backfield a couple of times," Pete Carroll said. "That's a great emergence for him and I love that it happened today because Nick has been coming on.

"He had a good second half of the spring."

Defensive line coach Jethro Franklin certainly agreed with Carroll's assessment: "He had a heck of day. I kept hearing his name, Nick Perry, Nick Perry, Nick Perry."

The young defensive end came out with a little extra motivation after taking a look at the end-of-spring depth chart.

"I'm an underdog," he said. "I think that I do need to improve a lot, so I am a little down (depth chart) right now but I am working my way up.

"I'm just keeping my head focused on coming out here to improve myself everyday at practice, and coming out here at the Coliseum and giving it everything that I got. This was our last practice, I thought I should leave it all out here on the field, and that's what I did."

In total, Perry racked up 7 tackles and four quarterback sacks.

He also had plenty of help from his teammates on the defensive line, who were responsible for all 11 of the quarterback sacks on Saturday.

Wes Horton and Averell Spicer both recorded two quarterback sacks, while Malik Jackson, Derek Simmons and Everson Griffen each added one.

"All in all we were a little sloppy with the throws today, in that the defense had a couple more chances at picking things off than they have had the rest of the spring, and that has to do with the pass rush," Carroll said.

Cornerbacks Marshall Jones and T.J. Bryant were on the receiving end of two of the quarterback's three interceptions, linebacker Nick Garratt also had a pick.

Jones has really caught the eye of the coaching staff since making the move from safety to cornerback.

"The one he caught today was a really nice pick," Carroll said. "He read the route, got underneath it and took it home."

The junior defensive back had 7 tackles to go along with his interception.

"Marshall has been making plays here the second half of spring," Carroll said. "He missed some time early but when he has been out here he has been very productive. That's huge for us."

T.J. Bryant capped off his strong spring with two more turnovers. He intercepted a Matt Barkley pass early and later recovered a fumble.

"I thought it was a very good day for T.J.," Carroll said. "He was all over the football today."

The emergence of Jones and Bryant gives the Trojans very good depth at the cornerback position and the versatility to play Josh Pinkard at safety.

For the offense, Aaron Corp had a solid but not spectacular performance in his first action as the Trojans' starting quarterback.

The redshirt sophomore completed 14-of-23 passes for 157 yards and was the only quarterback with a touchdown pass, which came on an 8-yard completion to Jordan Cameron.

Corp was also the only quarterback without an interception on the day.

"I did some good things but you got to eliminate those sacks in the redzone," he said. "I felt comfortable out there."

Matt Barkley completed 12-of-20 passes for 124 yards but also tossed a pair of interceptions. Mitch Mustain connected on 7-of-12 pass attempts for 85 yards and an interception.

Jordan Cameron hauled in the lone touchdown reception, Travon Patterson had a team-high 7 catches and tight end Rhett Ellison finished with a game-high 64 receiving yards on 3 catches.

Marc Tyler and C.J. Gable provided the punch on the ground. Tyler showed great vision and toughness running inside and finished the day with 44 yards and a touchdown on 7 carries.

Gable added some excitement when he burst through the line and into the open field for a 45-yard gain. He finished with 53 rushing yards on just five carries.

After being called the MVP of spring by Pete Carroll on Friday, Curtis McNeal never got on track during the spring game and rushed for just 7 yards on 8 touches.

"For whatever reason he couldn't get going today," Carroll said.

After a very positive spring, the Trojans will look to build on their momentum when Fall Camp kicks off on August 8th.

Recruits in Attendance

Sean Parker, Anthony Jefferson, Tony Jefferson, Tevin McDonald, Jesse Scroggins, Anthony Brown, Pete Thomas, Marquel Carter and Brice Schwab were among the recruits in attendance as well as 2009 commits James Boyd, Hebron Fangupo, Marquis Simmons, Kevin Graf, T.J. McDonald, Byron Moore and DeVon Flournoy.

T.J. Bryant had an interception an a fumble recovery on Saturday. (Getty Images/Harry How)

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