USC’s spring game is this Saturday and while many don’t put much stock into intersquad scrimmages, they do allow for us to get a certain look at key areas. USC has some holes to fill from last season’s Rose Bowl winning team. Here are some things to watch during the upcoming Spring Game at the Coliseum.
Wide Receiver Position: USC has to find replacements for JuJu Smith Schuster, Darius Rodgers, and De’Quan Hampton. Deontay Burnett’s status for the spring game is up in the air, but given how he has performed during the spring and his chemistry with Sam Darnold, it’s safe to say he’ll be a starter next season. The other slots however are all open. Michael Pittman has had a pretty impressive spring which has caught a few eyes. Tyler Vaughns and Velvus Jones have also received some high praise with their play making ability during the spring. Without a doubt it’ll be interesting to see what the current crop of receivers can do to help Sam Darnold.
Offensive line: The offensive line can’t seem to shake the injury bug. They’ll be without Toa Lobendahn, Viane Talamaivao, and Nathan Smith until training camp. The coaching staff has had to move players around on the line all spring to make somewhat of a make shift offensive line. It’s never easy to replace three key starters on the offensive line. We’ll see who steps up and places themselves in good position for training camp.
Matt Fink: While Sam Darnold will have everyone’s attention, and deservedly so, quarterback Matt Fink has shown some significant improvement as he looks to hold on to the backup position. He’s currently in a battle with freshman Jack Sears, but Fink has really impressed the coaching staff with his play during the spring. Eyes will be on Fink as he displays his skills during the game.
Jamel Cook: The redshirt freshman defensive back has made headlines during the spring. With the departure of Leon McQuay III, Cook has instantly become the favorite to fill that safety role after flying all over the field. Both head coach Clay Helton and defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast see the potential in Cook, but they’re looking for more consistency out of him. Cook is a key player to watch during the spring game and he’ll be a key guy to keep your eye on come this fall.