USC Football Fall Notebook - August 8 Scrimmage
BARKLEY WATCH: QB Matt Barkley had an underwhelming night in comparison to expectations regularly placed on him. The junior quarterback was 10-of-20, with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Head coach Lane Kiffin said he felt at times that Barkley was frustrated but the junior was quick to dispel that perception. "I don't let frustration, or any player or outside source, get into my head," Barkley said following the scrimmage.
GROWING PAINS: A number of true freshman players who have stood out so far during camp struggled under the Coliseum lights, Kiffin said that is to be expected. "You get a lot of hyped freshman that come in here, they're excited for their first time coming down the tunnel. And then can't line up," Kiffin said. The hope is that these "preseason games," as Kiffin likes to call them, will eliminate the the butterflies the younger players feel. One exception to the freshman nerves? RB Amir Carlisle, who continues to have an impressive camp.
BAILEY THRIVING: Redshirt Freshman Dion Bailey was moved from safety to linebacker this spring, and it is a move that looks to be paying off. Bailey had a solid spring, and is also off to a great start in fall camp. Bailey had two interceptions in the scrimmage, including one for a touchdown, and looks to be solidifying a place for himself on the defense.
KESSLER'S BIG NIGHT: True freshman Cody Kessler didn't experience the same youthful struggles his fellow classmates did. Kessler showed great command of the offense, going 15-of-18 with 3 touchdowns and an interception. If Monday night is any indication, Kessler has a comfortable lead for the No. 2 QB spot behind Barkley - and clearly looked deserving of the role.
TAILBACK U: The young stable of running backs all had solid nights. Both Dillon Baxter and D.J. Morgan each topped 100 yards. Baxter also added both a rushing touchdown and receiving touchdown. True freshman Amir Carlisle had 82 yards on just 10 carries, averaging a healthy 8.2 yards per carry, and managed to score a touchdown as well.
BY THE NUMBERS: The scrimmage was 122 plays long. There were three turnovers (2 INT's, 1 fumble). Seven penalties were committed (5 on offense, 2 on defense). Two redshirt freshman were the leading tacklers (Anthony Brown and Hayes Pullard each had 6). Fourteen different receivers caught passes from four different QB's, with redshirt freshman Kyle Prater's six receptions tops for the scrimmage.
WHAT'S AHEAD: The next practice for the Trojans is Tuesday, 3 p.m. at Howard Jones Field.