Spring Game Preview
With spring practice coming to an end today, the USC football team is gearing up for the official Spring Game this Saturday. Riddled with injuries this offseason, the game will most likely not offer a clear picture of what the championship-caliber Trojan squad will look like this fall.
The battle for the back-up QB spot will continue between redshirt freshmen Cody Kessler and Max Wittek. With Matt Barkley designated as the starter for next season, both Kessler and Wittek have alternated taking snaps with the starters throughout the spring. Kessler threw his first pick of the spring last week right into the hands of linebacker Tony Burnett. Coach Kiffin has expressed his confidence in both players, stating that while there is not a clear number two yet, "Both are playing really well."
Already burdened with injuries, USC is expected to continue providing playing time to second and third-string players. The recent season-ending injury to Tre Madden has caused questions to resurface regarding the lack of depth at running back. Redshirt freshman Buck Allen will get another chance to display his abilities at the position on Saturday.
The heavy amount of hype surrounding the 2012 Trojans is attributed to the return of Heisman-hopeful Barkley, newly regained postseason potential, and the significant number of returning starters. With 21 starters coming back, this veteran group has much less to prove early on than in years past. While spring games often present the opportunity to have important questions answered, SC will head into the fall with many question marks still remaining.
The game will be no-tackle, and Coach Kiffin said that Barkley will likely see the field for a couple of plays. However, most of the focus will be on working with Wittek and Kessler. Kiffin stated that the main goals of Saturday's game are to stay healthy and allow second and third-string players to get more snaps. The coaches will not be in the huddles, but rather will be calling plays from the sidelines, allowing for a more realistic game setting.
The Spring Game kicks off at 1:30 p.m. at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. Tickets can be bought at the gate for $10. Children 12 and under are free, as are USC students with a valid USC ID. Parking will be $15 at the Coliseum. There will be on-field, postgame autographs with some of the USC players and coaches.