Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pac-12 Football: USC Trojans Spring Game Report Card

Spring Game Type: Offense (Cardinal) vs. Defense (White)

Final Score:  White 42, Cardinal 19 (White earned points by forcing punts and turnovers)

Tailbacks shine for the offense, while the White squad dispels several demons that haunted them time after time last year.   

It is a common notion that USC’s offense leans heavily on Matt Barkley.   However, after the Trojans spring game, USC might have a few concerns about their fearless leader.

In front of a defense that was not allowed to blitz, Barkley completed only 22 of 42 passes, and threw two reckless interceptions.  While Barkley’s receiving corps was a little thin, this does not do much to ease the minor case of worries that his performance reverberated with the Trojan fans. 

To make things slightly better, USC’s running game sparkled in the spring game, with both Curtis McNeal and Dillon Baxter rushing over 100 yards. Redshirt freshman D.J. Morgan also pulled in 89 more.

Grade: B

USC’s secondary was mocked throughout the 2010 season for its inferiority, but early signs this spring indicate that this will not be the case in 2011.

Cornerbacks Anthony Brown and Brian Baucham each intercepted passes during the spring game, while Safety Jawanza Starling collected a game-high nine tackles with a pass deflection.

The Trojans also showed decent strength with their men up front.  Defensive end Zack Kusnir pushed through the line to record two sacks and three TFLs, and defensive tackle DaJohn Harris tallied five tackles with two TFLs. 

Grade: A-