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USC Football: Trojans Playing With A New Swagger On Defense

Ryan Nunez |
August 21, 2011 | 8:34 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Marcus Allen talks shop with Nick Perry and Chris Galippo at Sunday's scrimmage. (Ryan Nunez)
Marcus Allen talks shop with Nick Perry and Chris Galippo at Sunday's scrimmage. (Ryan Nunez)
The Trojans played their final fall scrimmage today, leading into the 2011 season.

Bottom line: This is not your 2010 Trojans team on defense.

That side of the ball is playing with a swagger that hasn't been seen at USC since 2009.

"We're not the Steel Curtain yet, but I will say this...We're getting better and better," said Assistant Head Coach Monte Kiffin.

(All videos from Ryan Nunez.)

While the offense did connect for some big plays, it was due mainly to the fact that the first-team offense was going against the second-team defense most of the day. That being said, the defense had their share of big plays as well.

The biggest play of the day was turned in by the defense. Cornerback Nickell Robey returned a fumble and took it back for a touchdown.

"I just have a feel for the ball, I just know when the ball is coming my way," Robey said after the scrimmage.

Robey's nose for the ball and calmness during big plays is truly uncanny. He picked up the fumble and, quicker than you can say "Robey," took it back to the house for six.

As if the grab-and-dash wasn't enough, Robey also had a sack, and despite muffing a punt, was the big-play champ for the day.

Violent collisions could be heard all day at the Coliseum, but with minimal injuries.

Safety Demetrius Wright left the field in the second half, but it did not appear to be anything serious, just a result of playing hardnosed football.

Lastly, Hayes Pullard was a man-bear-pig all over the field on Sunday, and looks to be the most dynamic linebacker on the team.

The Trojans are going to need the entire linebacking core to step up, if 2011 is going to be a special season.


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