Johnson, Baxter shine in opening scrimmage

The Trojans first scrimmage of the spring became a story of two halves. The offense lit up the skies before the break, only to be shut down in the latter part of the event. Remember, contact with the quarterback was disallowed, and special teams were a non factor, as each offensive possession began from their own 30-yard line.

One thing most evident in the early going was the chemistry between Matt Barkley and Ronald Johnson. Johnson finished with 4 catches for 167 yards, including a 70-yard reception for a score. Barkley ended his day completing 9 of 17 for 173 yards and 3 touchdowns. Mitch Mustain also appeared to be in rhythm, connecting on 10 of 21 passes for 144 yards and a score. Freshman Kyler Prater led all Trojans with five catches, but appears to have reaggravated a hamstring injury during the day. Neither quarterback threw an interception.

Allen Bradford slammed his way for 24 yards, but Dillon Baxter stood out among the tailbacks. The freshman ran for 94 yards on 9 carries, which included a spectacular 50 yard burst that led Lane Kiffin to continue his comparison, saying Baxters performance resembled “Reggie Bush against Fresno State”.

The defense stepped it up, after surrendering 5 scores in the first half. DaJohn Harris, the surprise of the Spring, tied the team high with 5 tackles. Shareece Wright may not have gotten into the first half groove, but boasted his lockdown skills in the second half, as the defense recorded a shutout. As anticipated, Devon Kennard played the middle, finishing with 2 tackles.

It’s only the first scrimmage, so starters and second-team players have not been identified. Barkley was protected by Kalil, Holmes, Graf, Markowitz, and O’Dowd. The tight end position was thinned by injuries to Shoemate and Ausberry. Cameron and Serrano received the bulk of the reps.

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~ by Anthony on April 10, 2010.

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