Some notes from today's scrimmage, the first of the spring:
Quarterback Matt Barkley was on his game – at least in the first half. Barkley managed three touchdown passes early on, including a 70-yard bomb to Ronald Johnson. Barkley also connected on 10-yard scores with Johnson and tight end Jordan Cameron and finished nine for 17. His competitor at signal-caller, Mitch Mustain, completed 10 of 21 passes, including a touchdown to true freshman receiver Kyle Prater but also fumbled the ball once for the day's only turnover.
Speaking of the fumble, it was forced and recovered (for a 52-yard gain) by redshirt junior defensive tackle DaJohn Harris, who was the undisputed star of the scrimmage. Harris, a big recruit out of Gardena Serra in the class of 2007, has struggled to make a mark in three years at USC but has an opportunity to earn significant playing time this season. Harris also had a sack, three tackles for a loss and a deflection Saturday.
The comparisons to ex-USC running back Reggie Bush will continue for Dillon Baxter as the true freshman early enrollee broke off a big play in Saturday's scrimmage to add a little fuel to the fire. In the first half, Baxter went untouched on a 50-yard touchdown run that invoked images of Bush's famed run against Fresno State in 2005. Baxter, a San Diego native like Bush, totaled 94 yards in nine carries for the day and had two receptions.
Only four scholarship defensive backs recorded statistics for the Trojans on Saturday — safeties Byron Moore and T.J. McDonald and cornerbacks Shareece Wright and T.J. Bryant. Wright had four, Moore had three (including one for a loss), McDonald had two and Bryant had one. Redshirt freshman corner Torin Harris sat out because of a hamstring injury. None of the scholarship players who logged statistics had interceptions or deflections — contributing to the offensive success on the day.
On the running back front, Marc Tyler had the second-most yards on the day, with seven carries for 31 yards. Allen Bradford ran 10 times for 27 yards and Curtis McNeal carried the ball six times for only two yards. Redshirt senior C.J. Gable, who tweeted Saturday he was undergoing an X-ray on his neck, lost four yards in his only rush.