USC Spring Game Comparisons

How much less did fans see yesterday from a year ago during the final spring scrimmage? There were 33 running plays Saturday. Last year there were 49 running plays. There were 29 passes yesterday. There were 35 last year.

There were 84 plays last year. There were 62 yesterday. There were also eight touchdown plays last year and only one yesterday. What’s it mean? You’re $25 ($10 for a ticket, $15 to park) didn’t go as far as a year ago.

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Morning Buzz: USC Is A Good Team But Can It Be Great?

In my analysis from the Coliseum, I look at what USC needs to do to go from a top Pac-12 team to a truly elite team that goes to the College Football Playoff.

Excerpt: For the 14,000 who attended Saturday’s non-scrimmage, cornerback should be a concern. There were two healthy cornerbacks at the scrimmage (Iman Marshall, Jack Jones). If the Rose Bowl was a revelation for Burnett, it was a learning experience for Jones. He is not going to be Adoree’ Jackson in Game 1 next season.

Full column here

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Where Were The Fans?

So why were there 10,000 less fans at the Coliseum today? Clay Helton ruin expectations with his non-scrimmage? Or did fans lose interest because of the lack of a quarterback competition? Safety Chris Hawkins said maybe everyone went to Coachella.

Whatever the reason, there were a lot less people. And who can blame them when the “scrimmage” barely lasted 90 minutes, including the hostage videos of Clay Helton describing each practice period.

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USC Non-Scrimmage Stats

Passing

Sam Darnold 4-6, 58 yards

Matt Fink 5-9, 47 yards

Jack Sears 3-7, 32 yards

Rushing

Ronald Jones 4-8

Aca’Cedric Ware 4-12

Vavae Malepeai 7-37

Reuben Peters 4-12, 1 TD

Receiving

Jalen Greene 3 receptions, 27 yards

Tyler Vaughns 3-48

Michael Pittman 3-30

Defense

Marlon Tuipulotu 4 tackles, 1 for loss; Matt Lopes 4 tackles, Cameron Smith 4 tackles, Oluwole Betiku 3 tackles, 1 loss

Field goals

Michael Brown field goals: 28 yd FG good; 32-yard FG no good; 32-yard FG good; 41-yard FG no good; 43-yard good; 50-yard good; 33-yard good.

Attendance: 14,781.

Last year’s attendance was 23,000.

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Non-Scrimmage Thoughts

It’s not a scrimmage but there is a some scrimmage-like plays, which you might be watching on Pac-12 Network (if you get it). Sam Darnold looks like Sam Darnold. There’s been some sloppy play with dropped passes and dropped interceptions. There’s no real flow like in a game or scrimmage. The offense is clearly a work-in-progress, but I always feel that way during the spring.

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No Game But Introductions Galore

The spring game, uh, practice Saturday at the Coliseum will feature no less than three groups being introduced: The senior football players from last season will receive their Rose Bowl rings; the 2017 recruiting class will be introduced along with the men’s basketball team will be honored, presumanly for making the Round of 32 at the NCAA Tournament.

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No Depth Chart

This is usually the day USC produces a depth chart as spring practice comes to a conclusion. But USC says Clay Helton will not be doing a depth chart. He probably doesn’t want to offend any players. I might do one on my own instead without all the annoying “or” between two players’ names when the coaches don’t want to pick a starter.

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