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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Game Recaps

USC Offense Shines in Annual Spring Game

Despite a strong performance by the defense, the Trojans explosive offense shined winning 42-36.

Hundreds of fans made their way to the L.A. Coliseum to get a sneak peak of USC's upcoming season. The annual spring game also marked then end of spring football practice. As players took to the field offense wore cardinal and defense wore white.

Unfortunatelty not all Trojans were able to play on Saturday. Kiffin sat out 20 players who couldn't play due to injury. Still they were on the sideline cheering. Despite a hard fought battle by the defense, the offense is what really shined winning 42-36. 

The race for starting quarterback got even closer as red-shirt sophomores Max Wittek and Cody Kessler, and true freshman Max Browne put up great numbers. Wittek, who started in two games last season, was 12 for 17, throwing for 145 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Kessler had three touchdowns for 242 yards, while Browne threw for 80-yards, one touchdown and one interception.

However, despite their strong performances Coach Lane Kiffin says he is not quite ready to make a decision about who next season's starter will be. 

"I would not imagine a decision coming out of today", said Kiffin.

Returning Biletnikoff winner Marqise Lee scored two touchdowns, and had 148 yards receiving. Returning to his old ways Lee received most of his yards thanks to big plays, which included a 70-yard pass by Kessler, and a 30-yard pass from Wittek. Fans were also excited to see a new dynamic duo' arising between Lee and wide receiver Nelson Agholor.

Although the Trojans lost Robert Woods to the NFL, Agholor seems to be the best candidate to fill that void. He ended the day with 116 yards and two touchdowns, including a 44-yard touchdown pass from Browne. When asked how this relationship will develop, Lee described Agholor as the "New Rob".

"Me and Nelson, it's basically the new Rob, the new me and Rob," said Lee, "I think we're going to be on the same page, just like me and Rob were."

To put even more pressure on the defense new up-and-comer WR Victor Blackwell turned heads as well. Blackwell ended the day with 155 yards and a 29-yard touchdown pass from Wittek.

Still, it wasn't an easy match-up for the offense as Leonard Williams led the team in tackles with six. Another star performer was safety Demetrius Wright. Despite being told he needs surgery to fix a partially torn ligament in his hip, Wright had two huge interceptions on the day, both at the expense of Wittek.

"With the rehab I'm doing with the trainers I should be 100 percent...I didn't even feel it today, so that's a good sign," said Wright. 

After seeing the performances today Kiffin will access each player and release the spring depth chart on Monday. USC will open the 2013 season in August versus Hawaii. 

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