Fall Scrimmage: Barkley Rebounds, Johnson Out

USC freshman quarterback Matt Barkley had arguably his best scrimmage of the fall, just days after being named the Trojans' starting quarterback, but lost one of his best offensive weapons in the process.

USC freshman quarterback Matt Barkley had arguably his best scrimmage of the fall, just days after being named the Trojans' starting quarterback, but lost one of his best offensive weapons in the process.

The Trojans will be without Ronald Johnson for 6-8 weeks after the junior wide receiver cracked his clavicle while pulling in a 34-yard pass from Barkley on the second drive of the day.

"The hit of the weekend is Ronald Johnson getting hurt," Carroll said. "That is just a crusher for ROJO and for us as well."

Johnson caught a deep pass sandwiched between two defenders and got hit by the safety.

With Johnson sidelined, 6-foot-4, 235-pound junior, David Ausberry will move into the starting lineup.

"The very first thing that happens is David Ausberry becomes the starting X and Damian (Williams) goes back to playing Z, which Damian has done that throughout , so that's not a big deal for us," Carroll said.

Ausberry has had a terrific fall camp and looks ready to take on a bigger role in the offense.

In his first action since being named the starter, Barkley stumbled at the start, literally, tripping on the feet of an offensive lineman while trying to hand the ball off to Joe McKnight on the first snap of the day.

Five plays later Barkley had a pass tipped by defensive end Devon Kennard and intercepted by freshman Byron Moore.

The freshman quarterback then settled down and put together a good overall performance, completing 10-of-17 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown, to go along with the early interception.

"There were a couple plays that you wish you could have back but overall I think the offense did a great job of moving the ball and getting first-downs," Barkley said. "Overall I think it was an awesome day."

In total, Barkley led the first-team offense to four touchdown scoring drives in the six drives that he was under center. Every drive was against the scout team defense.

Aaron Corp entered the game near the end of the third quarter and led the Trojans on a 75-yard scoring drive that was capped off with a 1-yard touchdown run by Marc Tyler.

The touchdown drive included a 23-yard pass to Rhett Ellison, a 16-yard pass to De'Von Flournoy and a 10-yard scramble by the sophomore signal caller.

"I said to him a couple of days ago, ‘When you finally take off and hook side then I will know that you are ready,' and he did," Carroll explained. "He looked at me and kind of gave me a little look.

"He's ready to play."

Corp showed good command of the offense and better mobility on Saturday.

"I think to me that really was an indicator," Carroll said of Corp's willingness to run with the ball. "He took off a couple of times and I didn't blow the whistle, I wanted to make sure that he got out there and ran a little bit."

While only leading two drives, Corp connected on 5-of-7 pass attempts for 89 yards and made strides in his recovery from a cracked fibula.

Carroll felt that Corp's performance proved that he could play in the season opener next Saturday against San Jose State, if needed.

"I don't think he was 100% full-speed but he looked good moving, and showed that he was ready to play football for us," Carroll said.

Another player that showed he was ready to play some football this season was tailback Allen Bradford.

Bradford continued to make a case for playing time by breaking off a couple of long runs and displayed a tremendous combination of power and speed.

The junior tailback rushed five times for 37 yards.

Senior tailback Stafon Johnson only received two carries but made the most of his touches by scoring on both plays. Johnson ended the day with 5 yards and two scores.

Joe McKnight got the start at tailback and gained 13 yards on 3 attempts.

While the offense bounced back from their poor performance a week ago, the defense continued to impress by shutting out the scout team offense and coming up with a safety for the second straight scrimmage.

Linebacker Jordan Campbell dropped Curtis McNeal in the end zone for a safety. The secondary came up big as well intercepting scout team quarterback Garrett Green three times on the day.

Drew McAllister, T.J. Bryant and Kevin Thomas all picked off Green.

The Trojans open the season next Saturday, Sept. 5th against the San Jose State Spartans.

Stat Sheet


Matt Barkley - 10-of-17, 159 yds TD, INT
Aaron Corp - 5-of-7, 89 yds
Garrett Greene - 3-of-14, 55 yds, 3 INTS


Marc Tyler - 10 carries for 39 yds
Allen Bradford - 5 carries for 37 yds
Joe McKnight - 3 carries for 13 yds
Stafon Johnson - 2 carries for 5 yds, 2 TDS
Aaron Corp - 5 carries for 10 yds


Brice Butler - 4 catches for 66 yds
De'Von Flournoy - 3 catches for 38 yds
Ronald Johnson - 2 catches for 54 yds
Damian Williams - 2 catches for 36 yds


Byron Moore – INT of Barkley
Drew McAllister – INT of Green
Kevin Thomas – INT of Green
T.J. Bryant – INT of Green


2-yard TD run by Stafon Johnson
Safety - Jordan Campbell tackles Curtis McNeal in the end zone.
1-yard TD run by Matt Barkley
3-yard TD run by Stafon Johnson
4-yard TD pass, Matt Barkley to Blake Ayles
1-yard TD run By Marc Tyler

Hot Reads

- Shareece Wright, Averell Spicer, Armond Armstead, Mitch Mustain, T.J. McDonald, Nick Howell and Kris O'Dowd were among the players that didn't participate on Saturday.

- Recruit Watch: Ronald Powell, Josh Shirley, Joshua Shaw, Anthony Brown and Dion Bailey were in attendance for Saturday's scrimmage at the Coliseum.

- With Ronald Johnson sidelined 6-8 weeks after suffering a cracked clavicle during Saturday's scrimmage, David Ausberry will slide into the starting lineup. Carroll also said that Brice Butler and De'Von Flournoy could see increased playing time.

"Those guys are going to have to step up," Carroll said. "Brice has really had a great camp. He can really catch the football and he runs terrific routes. He's made good statements all the way along about what he can add.

"Flournoy has been special at times, and you can see it when he gets the ball in his hands. He has really good quickness and explosiveness, and he has no problem catching the football. He's behind though in the learning process but we are going to have to accelerate that and fill that void there."

- Shareece Wright didn't participate on Saturday because of soreness in his knee. With Wright out, Josh Pinkard moved from safety to cornerback and Will Harris started at safety.

"His knee is bothering him," Carroll said. "He has been in and out all camp with his knee and his eligibility thing is still up in the air."

Carroll expects to find out about Wright's academic status in the next few days.

- Carroll continued to speak highly of the play of safety Will Harris, who has been a big factor in the Trojans' run defense.

"Will had the best fall camp of any of the safeties I thought, making plays and doing things, so he deserves to get that playing time," he said.

- Defensive end Nick Perry was around the ball often on Saturday. Perry recorded 5 tackles, four tackles for loss, two of which were quarterback sacks while splitting time on the first-team and scout team defenses.

USC wide receiver Ronald Johnson will be out 6-8 weeks with a cracked clavicle.

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