Notes, quotes and video from today's scrimmage:
USC coach Lane Kiffin's main takeaway from Saturday's scrimmage, he said, was a willingness from the defense to compete — and compete they did. Despite an impressive performance from sophomore quarterback Matt Barkley, both sides of the defense stayed lively and intense all practice long.
The play of the day had to be linebacker Chris Galippo's hit on receiver Kyle Prater, in which Galippo dramatically took the helmet off the young Prater to oohs and aahs from the crowd. Prater answered back later on with a one-handed 40-yard touchdown grab near the sideline.
Injury updates: receiver Ronald Johnson hurt his elbow early on and missed most of practice. Afterward, he said he'd be fine to suit up for the Trojans' next practice Tuesday. Freshman running back Dillon Baxter hurt his knee Saturday but said it was minor; running back Curtis McNeal came down with a back injury. Cornerback Torin Harris continues to miss time with a hamstring injury.
Junior cornerback T.J. Bryant made the only interception of the day when he dove to grab a pass from Mitch Mustain that had been intended for — and tipped by, it appeared — running back Marc Tyler.
Running back stats: senior Allen Bradford carried seven times for a team-high 45 yards, C.J. Gable ran 11 times for 41 yards, Tyler had eight carries for 26 yards, and Baxter rushed 11 times but gained just 15 yards. Kiffin said he wasn't pleased with the performance of the run game, and Baxter agreed. "We'll pick it up next week," he said. 'To me, the running backs could've hit their holes a little bit harder today — maybe one cut and up. We were taking two many steps today."
The quarterback race appears to be nearing an end. Barkley completed 21-of-30 passes for 291 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions; Mustain attemped fewer than half the passes, going 7-of-14 for 104 yards and an interception. The two split 15 drives on the day, with Barkley leading eight of them.
Some receiving statistics: Brice Butler had six catches for 77 yards and a touchdown, tight end Jordan Cameron caught five balls for 72 yards and a touchdown, fullback Stanley Havili had 44 yards and a touchdown on four catches and senior receiver Travon Patterson caught four passes for 54 yards. Prater caught only two balls but scored touchdowns on both of them, totaling 53 yards. As the only healthy scholarship tight end, Cameron has impressed coaches in recent practices.
Defensive leaders: T.J. McDonald had a scrimmage-high seven tackles. Defensive ends Wes Horton, Malik Jackson and Nick Perry each had at least five tackles, with Perry notching three sacks. Redshirt junior DaJohn Harris added a sack.
Word comes from USCRipsIt that a four-man relay team of Barkley, receiver Robbie Boyer, linebacker Marquis Simmons and cornerback Boomer Roepke won today's Swim with Mike event, held concurrently with today's practice. Many football players raced over to the McDonald's Swim Stadium pool after practice let out.
Here's more from Kiffin during his post-practice meeting with the media: