The script was flipped in the Trojans spring game Saturday, with quarterback Mitch Mustain and the offense rebounding from a dismal start to score seven touchdowns after intermission.
Fullback Stanley Havili caught three passes for scores and wide receiver Travon Patterson added two more touchdown receptions.
Early enrollees Kyle Prater and Dillon Baxter also scored touchdowns, marking a major shift for an offense that couldn't seem to get out of its own way in the first 20 minutes because of penalties, dropped passes and missed blocking assignments.
USC Coach Lane Kiffin threatened to hurt the offense in the pocketbook if they couldn't get it turned around.
It was the senior Havili who turned the tide. After catching a 28-yard touchdown from Mustain in the first quarter, he added scores of 33 and 50 yards, finishing with five receptions for a team-high 129 yards.
"What you saw there you saw that we were getting nothing outside, so you got to manufacture some yards and he's a guy to go to because rarely does the first guy tackle him," Kiffin said.
With top receiver Ronald Johnson sidelined with an elbow injury, the Trojans struggled to get production from the wideouts for much of the last few weeks of camp. Brice Butler and David Ausberry both struggled with drops.
"It was like a 1960's scrimmage there for a while," Kiffin said. "There was nothing going on outside.
"I told them at halftime Ronald isn't coming back in the second half. Somebody better figure out a way to make some plays."
Kiffin praised Patterson, who finished with 101 yards receiving, and Prater for stepping up.
Matt Barkley completed 7 of 16 passes for 87 yards, hitting Patterson for a 41-yard score to shake the offense out of its early funk. On that play, however, Barkley was driven to the ground by defensive tackle Jurrell Casey and injured his hand.
The sophomore quarterback was held out of the remainder of the game as a precautionary measure, while Casey was ejected.
"We just sent him off," Kiffin said. "That's an example of what we're trying to get rid of here, that mentality that just because you're mad two plays before (when) something happened that you come back and (go) outside the rules that are set.
"We'll continue to try and get rid of that mentality."
Barkley, who Kiffin said would enter the fall as the starter, did not throw an interception in any scrimmage during the spring, though cornerback Shareece Wright tried his best to change that.
On one play, Wright tipped a pass into the air but it bounced inches away as he sprawled out.
"I was looking for that," Wright said. "I thought I was going to get it. Just couldn't make the play."
After dealing with waves of injuries through 14 practices, the Trojans ended the spring with relatively few new bumps and bruises. Aside from Barkley's hand, offensive guard John Martinez and safety Ryan McMahon each sprained AC joints while offensive tackle Tyron Smith and Wright sprained ankles.
Both Smith and Wright were able to return.
The injuries to Smith and Martinez taxed an offensive line that had only eight active players to start the afternoon.
Dillon Baxter finished the day with 13 carries for 129 yards and a touchdown.
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