The Defense Dominates...

Or did the offense just struggle?

I guess it depends on what you wanted to see...

USC defense was the only unit that scored yesterday when it concluded yesterdays scrimmage with a safety when Shane Horton tackled Curtis McNeil in the end zone.

Of course what everyone wants to know is how did Matt Barkley perform?

Barkley went into Saturday's scrimmage hoping to bounce back from last Monday's five-for-18 passing performance at the Coliseum.

Focusing mostly on shorter routes, the freshman was seven of 13 for 56 yards in five series against the first-team defense. Receivers, however, dropped several passes that would have kept drives going, and penalties stifled others.

Barkley, though, was responsible for throwing a long pass into the end zone that safety Josh Pinkard intercepted.

Nevertheless, Barkley said he was pleased with his progress since the last scrimmage.

"I felt really calm out there and confident," he said. "There were just a couple plays, a couple third downs that would have made a big change. . . . I really think we're just an inch away from being great."

Well, it is really hard to know when he didn't have Damian Williams on the field, but the next two weeks are really going to tell us a lot. I am not surprised that the defense went after it yesterday. They always have and they always will.

Barkley seemed happy with his performance but I would expect a competitor like him to not see the glass half full...

Barkley likes where he is positioned.

"I feel confident in where I am and feel like I did what I had to do to please the coaches and see what they wanted to see in a starting quarterback," he said.

Corp is now on the clock to return by Tuesday.

After running five plays in a full-team setting during Saturday's morning practice, he said his mobility was still somewhat limited. But Corp will spend the next two-plus days continuing to heal and rehabilitate his cracked left fibula.

"I'll be ready to go by Tuesday," he said.

It will interesting to see just how well Corp performs.

Pete Carroll seemed happy with Barkley's performance...

USC coach Pete Carroll said the defense was the main reason for the offense's woes.

"The hitting was game-like and the pursuit was excellent," he said. "I'd like to see (the offense) be sharp and clean. (The defense) kept covering us. There aren't a lot of guys getting open. It is what it is."

Carroll said he was pleased with Barkley's day and considered it a step forward from Monday night's scrimmage.

"He did what he could," Carroll said. "The one mistake he made he got a little frustrated. He played good solid football."

I really don't have much to offer on this...it will really come down to the next two weeks. I think Corp is the guy but Barkley looks like he could step in if Corp can't go and then there is of course Mitch Mustain. He has to have place in this somewhere.

- - -

Captains Named

From Ben's Blog...

Following this afternoon's players-only vote, the 2009 team captains were determined and announced tonight. They are:

  • Offensive lineman Jeff Byers
  • Safety Taylor Mays
  • Safety Josh Pinkard
  • Wideout Damian Williams

I am not surprised at all. All four of these guys have earned the right to represent the team.

- - -

Hear some other things of interest...

2009 SI Conference Report: Pac-10 - SI.com

Trojans have plenty of tailbacks to go around -- latimes.com

Pete Carroll gets his revenge
This is a great video...

Magic Johnson speaks to the team

USC-Texas national title rematch at Rose Bowl?
Doubt it...

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