The Coliseum was packed with nearly 20,000 fans, over 150 recruits were out and about on the field and plenty of excitement brewed over the first chance to watch Steve Sarkisian's high-powered offense in motion.
While the defense ended up winning the battle, beating Team Cardinal 16-15 in untraditional spring football scoring, the conversation after the game was focused around tempo, physicality and the amount of injured bodies not playing.
After Jahleel Pinner and Ty Isaac were pulled early from the action, the injury list topped out at 25 total players heading into players-only summer workouts. Coach Sarkisian built upon that message, noting that his biggest priority moving forward is to "get players back healthy on the field" to avoid all the "sideline sit-ups during practice."
The first and second team units went back and forth from great field position but USC's offense really struggled in the red zone (including a goal line stand by Hayes Pullard from the one), settling for four Andre Heidari made field goals.
While a young 10-year-old Trojan fan and a life-long supporter of the Cardinal and Gold scored the only offensive touchdowns, coach Sarkisian was pleased with the effort put forth from his players during the 15-practice spring football season that ended up installing over 2,000 offensive plays from beginning to end.
"I was pleased with with the day and how hard we played," said Sarkisian. "It was great to be in the Coliseum in front of our fans on such a nice spring day. We had a couple big pass plays, but the defense played really well and tackled well."
FINAL SPRING GAME STATS
Cody Kessler 5-10 86 Yards 0 TD
Max Browne 6-17 76 Yards 0 TD
Jalen Greene 4-11 61 Yards 0 TD
Tre Madden 3 for -3 Yards
Buck Allen 2 for 4 Yards
Ty Isaac 7 for 23 Yards
James Toland 8 for 36 Yards
Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick 3 for 56 Yards
Victor Blackwell 2 for 51 Yards
Darreus Rogers 2 for 40 Yards
Nelson Agholor 1 for 13 Yards
Scott Starr 6 tackles, J.R. Tavai 5 tackles, Nick Schlossberg 5 tackles, Jabari Ruffin 5 tackles
Claude Pelon 3 TFL, 2 Sacks (13 Yards), Scott Starr 3 TFL, 1 Sack (9 Yards), Ryan Dillard 2 Pass Deflections
Andre Heidari 4-5 FG (24, 38, 44, 36)
SPRING GAME VIDEOS FROM SHOTGUN SPRATLING
MLB Hayes Pullard --Defense Has The Bragging Rights For The Entire Summer
DT Antwaun Woods --Defense won the day from beginning to end
DL Leonard Williams --I'll be 100% in the Fall
LB Anthony Sarao --Do What We Supposed To Do, And It Just Worked