Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
USC Spring Game 2013
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum | Los Angeles, Calif.1:00 PM Pacific | Pac-12 Network Los Angeles
The last time we saw the Trojans suit up in cardinal and gold, they were red in the face and feeling blue after what may have been the most disappointing loss in decades, a 21-7 bottoming out against a previously 6-7 Georgia Tech team in the Sun Bowl. Head coach Lane Kiffin faced a wrath of fury from fans and reports of a locker room altercation put icing on a bad-tasting cake for the Trojans’ end to an underachieving 2012.
Fast forward 103 days and plenty has gone down, including the number of players in USC’s 2013 recruiting class. Kennedy Polamalu is out, a handful of new coaches are in, and a brand new defensive scheme is being put in place. But with juicy storylines and position battles aplenty, it’s been a mounting number injuries to key players that have dominated headlines during camp.
So here the Trojans are, three and a half months removed from the bitterest of bitter tastes and USC limps into a spring game without naming a starting quarterback and 20 players scheduled to miss the game due to injury. But hey, it’s football. And for that, who can really complain?
Injuries are the Story: Going into the spring, one of the players that fans looked forward to seeing most in the spring game was Su’a Cravens. But when the game is kicked off at the Coliseum this afternoon, the 5-star defensive back won’t be on the field, as he recovers from a torn meniscus, along with starting running back Silas Redd. In addition to Cravens and Redd, the Trojans will be without several pivotal players today, including Xavier Grimble, Randall Telfer, Dion Bailey, Torin Harris and George Farmer. With Bailey and Harris out in the secondary, Lane Kiffin tested out Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor at cornerback on Thursday, signalling what could be a very creative spring game, to say the least.
Quarterback Competition is Wide Open: Kiffin won’t tip his hand as to who’s ahead of the quarterback competition, leaving the spring game as the last round of the spring’s battle to replace Matt Barkley. Alongside an injury to Max Wittek, Cody Kessler used a solid start to the spring to jump out to an early lead. Of late however, a healthy Wittek has closed the gap, including a 14 for 17, 200-yard performance in last week’s scrimmage. Freshman early enrollee Max Browne is pulling in the rear at the moment, but he’s overcome an early spring learning curve to relatively stay in striking distance.
Who Steps up at Receiver?: George Farmer’s ACL tear has been the biggest story of the spring, as you would expect. The would-be junior was hopeful of stepping up and ousting Nelson Agholor of Robert Woods’ split-end position. But with Farmer out for the year, Agholor looks to have a stranglehold on the second receiving option. As for depth, it’s a wide open race for reps. Freshman Darreus Rogers had a terrific early spring and appears to have the best hands on the team, but injuries have nagged at him and cost him much of the latter part of camp. In lieu of Rogers and Farmer, De’Von Flournoy and Victory Blackwell have stepped up as a flanker and split-end, respectively. The pair of local receivers each had one catch in 2012, a stat line they’re both likely exceed quickly today at the Coliseum.
USC’s Projected Offensive First TeamWR Marqise Lee #9TE Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick #88LT Aundrey Walker #70LG Max Tuerk #75C Marcus Martin #66RG John Martinez #59RT Kevin Graf #77WR Nelson Agholor #15QB Max Wittek #13 / Cody Kessler #6 / Max Browne #4RB Justin Davis #22FB Soma Vainuku #31
USC’s Projected Defensive First TeamDE Morgan Breslin #91DT George Uko #90NT Antwaun Woods #99DT Leonard Williams #94DE Devon Kennard #42MLB Hayes Pullard #10MLB Lamar Dawson #55CB Ryan Henderson #14S Josh Shaw #6S Leon McQuay #22CB Anthony Brown #16For full rosters, check out USCFootball.com’s printable spring game roster.
- TV Listing: The game will be shown on Pac-12 Network Los Angeles, making it one of two games to be aired on the conference network. Arizona’s spring game kicks off at the exact same time, which will be aired on Pac-12 Network Arizona.
- Live Stream: Since the spring game is being shown on Pac-12 Network Los Angeles, it is available online for those who are currently subscribed to get the regional subset of the Pac-12 Networks. To watch online, click here to access the Pac-12 Video portal and authenticate your subscription with your cable provider.