Spring game notes

Notes, quotes and video from Saturday's spring game, the conclusion of USC's 15-practice schedule:

  • First-year coach Lane Kiffin wasn't pleased with his offense's first-half performance, but whatever he told them during the halftime break seemed to work, as the offensive Trojans scored six second-half touchdowns to win the game, 48-30. Here's what Kiffin had to say on that topic and a few others:

  • Some statistical notes: senior running back Allen Bradford carried the ball seven times for 48 yards; Curtis McNeal ran eight times for 44 yards and Marc Tyler had seven carries for 31 yards. Of course, freshman Dillon Baxter topped them all with 13 carries for 129 yards and a touchdown.

  • Through the air, quarterback Mitch Mustain completed 19 of 29 passes for 299 yards and five touchdowns; starter Matt Barkley struggled, completing just seven of 16 passes for 87 yards and one touchdown. Fullback Stanley Havili led all receivers with five catches for 129 yards and three touchdowns and receiver Travon Patterson had five catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman Kyle Prater added a touchdown catch and 40 yards receiving.

  • Defensively, the linebackers performed well despite a lack of depth. Michael Morgan led the Trojans with seven tackles; Malcolm Smith had six tackles and a deflection. Cornerback Shareece Wright had five tackles and three deflections, while linebacker Marquis Simmons and safety T.J. McDonald combined to force and recover a fumble.

  • Injury update: receiver Ronald Johnson didn't play, as planned, because of elbow and wrist injuries. Offensive linemen Butch Lewis and Zack Heberer continued to sit out, while guard John Martinez left the game early because of a shoulder injury. Walk-on safety Ryan McMahon also exited early because of a shoulder injury and spent the second half on the sideline with an ice pack on his shoulder. The only other injury reported during the game was a bruised right hand for Barkley, suffered when Jurrell Casey drove him into the ground on his only touchdown throw of the day. Casey was thrown off the field by Kiffin immediately after the play.

  • Mustain and Baxter were the consensus stars of the 98-play scrimmage, and both players were pleased with their performances afterward. Baxter had a dynamic 58-yard run in the third quarter that excited the Coliseum crowd and brought the USC offense within 10 yards of taking the lead; Mustain was consistently on target, even without a clear No. 1 option.

  • Reserve quarterback James Boyd took the field and did well in limited action, throwing a eight-yard score to Prater. Boyd handed the ball off most of the time he was on the field.