The USC Trojans met for a short scrimmage in the Coliseum on Friday afternoon, and as they have been for the majority of camp, the defense was the star of the occasion. The first team only gave up one scoring drive to its offensive counterparts, and head coach Lane Kiffin felt that each side performed extremely well. The second team defense did not fair as well, however: it gave up two touchdowns and still has some work to do with so many young players in positions of import.
Offensively, Cody Kessler did much to distance himself from Max Wittek in the quarterback race. Kessler went 19 for 28 for 231 yds and three touchdowns, while Wittek completed 2 of 7 passes for 15 yards. Max Browne–though he has been eliminated from the race–saw some time in the scrimmage as well: he went 2 for 2 for 42 yds and 1 TD. None of the quarterbacks threw any interceptions.
Kessler found Darreus Rogers near the endzone for an incredible play over the top of cornerback Kevon Seymour that resulted in a touchdown, and he generally outperformed Wittek, who did not pick up any first downs on Friday. To be fair, two of Kessler’s touchdowns did come against the second team defense. However, when the first team offense went up against the defensive starters, Kessler scored in two drives while Wittek went three-and-out.
Kiffin said he felt like both QBs took care of the ball, something he really wanted to watch for in this scrimmage. Though he told the media that he is no closer to making a decision, it stands to reason that after this scrimmage, Kessler’s name will be called in the end.
Because of his aforementioned incredible catch, the young freshman Rogers was the standout player of the day. He climbed his way to the No. 3 spot in the wide receivers corps, and it looks as if he will stay there. It’s almost hard to say whether Kessler performed so well because of his own talent or because Rogers really, really made him look good. With him in the rotation, USC has a particularly deadly trio of receivers that will surely give opposing secondaries all kinds of fits.
S Gerald Bowman led the impressive showing of the defense, having six tackles and one sack on the day. Freshman DB Su’a Cravens also had an impressive showing, crashing the line for three tackles-for-loss and two sacks.
The Trojans enter their third week of camp on Saturday at 3 p.m., the last week before they start actual game prep for their tilt with Hawaii on Aug. 29.
Quick hits from the scrimmage: