USC Football Spring Notebook - Practice 10
I WILL CALL YOU NUMBER 2: This spring's battle to backup potential Heisman candidate Matt Barkley at quarterback has been well documented. For the first time coach Lane Kiffin indicated there's a frontrunner for the job.
"I would say [redshirt freshman] Jesse [Scroggins] is in the lead. Jesse has played well, his numbers have been good and he's getting better command of the offense," Kiffin said. "Jesse's been one of the most improved guys through camp."
UPDATE FROM THE INFIRMARY: USC was down it's top two running backs today, as Dillon Baxter sat out with a high ankle sprain he sustained last Saturday and Marc Tyler was out for the second time this spring, this time with a concussion. It is unclear when either player will return, but Baxter said he hopes to return by Saturday.
Also, Xavier Grimble was admitted to the hospital over the weekend with what Lane Kiffin described as "chest and shoulder pains", however test results were negative and Grimble is expected back later this week. Additionally, safety T.J. McDonald was out with a mouth injury that required stitches after he continued to practice despite losing a tooth during Saturday's scrimmage.
"He made a mistake, he's a freshman, and we hope that he continues to grow and learn from his mistakes," Kiffin said of Ambles. "Hopefully he'll mature, he's still in his first year of college."
GOING DEEP: Tuesday's practice featured a number of long touchdown completions by the various quarterbacks. On the receiving end of some of the more notable completions were wideout Robert Woods, tight end Christian Thomas and fullback Soma Vainuku.
This was the first time the Trojans have had consistent success attacking deep downfield this spring. While it is a noteworthy accomplishment for the offense, it speaks volumes about what McDonald brings to the defense, and how much his absence makes the unit vulnerable.
HOLES TO FILL: While Saturday's scrimmage featured many bright spots, Kiffin is keeping his enthusiasm tempered.
"We got a really good receiver, a good quarterback, a good left tackle, a good tight end and a lot of holes to fill," Kiffin said when asked about what stood out to him.
WHAT'S AHEAD: USC will back at it Thursday morning bright and early at 7:45 a.m. The Spring Game is scheduled for April 23 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at 1:00 p.m. and is open to the public.
Be sure to check out all of Neon Tommy's coverage of 2011 Spring Practice.