The USC Trojans held a full live scrimmage on Monday night at the Coliseum and came away with the kind of positive impressions you want from the final scrimmage of fall camp.
The opening part of the session featured the first-team offense against the second-team defense and the first-team defense against the second-team offense. The first-team offense scored touchdowns on its first two possessions, one each by Tre Madden and Buck Allen, who had help from a long Randall Telfer run after a catch on a pass from Cody Kessler. Allen added a second touchdown on a pass reception from Kessler and Jalen Greene also ran for a score.
The first-team defense did a good job to force a couple of short drives, J.R. Tavai had a nice tackle for loss on Justin Davis. Matt Lopes had an interception. There were also a pair of special-team returns for touchdowns from Adoree' Jackson (punt) and JuJu Smith (kickoff).
“I was really pleased with the way we executed today,” USC coach Steve Sarkisian said. “The entire scrimmage was live and we tried to treat it like a preseason game. I thought our ones really dominated our twos. We were really efficient on offense and we got off the field on defense. I was encouraged by what we saw in the return game too. We put some quality guys on the scout team because we wanted to get a good look and we had two nice returns. Adoree's in particular was impressive. JuJu got a nice block from Victor Blackwell to help spring him.
“The guys deserve a day off tomorrow and then we’ll get back at it on Wednesday to crank into game-day mode.”
• Khaliel Rodgers, Tre Madden, Michael Hutchings and Anthony Sarao all headed to the sideline with apparent injuries during the scrimmage and did not return. Madden jammed his toe, Hutchings had ice on his shoulder, Sarao had ice on his ankle, and Rodgers suffered an injury to his left knee that Sarkisian said needed to be looked at more closely.
“I don’t think we came away with anything real serious,” Sarkisian said. “We are going to check on Khaliel Rodgers’ knee, but outside of that we feel pretty comfortable from a health standpoint.”
Sarkisian also added that Madden wanted to come back into the scrimmage, and that if it was an actual game, he would have, but that he was held out for precautionary reasons. The injuries to Hutchings and Sarao were not addressed.
• With Rodgers sidelined, Damien Mama ran extensively with the No. 1 group at right guard. Sarkisian said that Aundrey Walker, who was out of a yellow jersey for the first time, was also a viable option at the position, although on Monday he was actually going at right tackle with the No. 2 unit, with Nathan Guertler at right guard.
“We saw the most of Aundrey Walker that we have all of training camp,” Sarkisian said. “Obviously, he played right tackle tonight, and that was to see him at right tackle. We just haven’t had a chance to see that.”
• Defensive linemen Leonard Williams and Antwaun Woods both participated in the scrimmage and lined up with the No. 1 unit. Tailback Justin Davis (ankle) also took part after sitting out the majority of Sunday’s workout.