2013 Scrimmage #1: Notes

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Exactly three weeks from kickoff, the Trojans executed a 102-play scrimmage at the Coliseum...
  • After a week filled with interceptions, both veteran quarterbacks were clean and efficient on the bigger stage today.  Max Wittek (pictured) finished an impressive 13/20 for 193 yards and 2 TDs, while Cody Kessler was 12/16 for 121 yards and 1 TD.  Kessler and Wittek evenly split the six first half series as Kessler played with the first team and Wittek ran the second team, although Lane Kiffin explained that it was simply Kessler's turn in the rotation to start the scrimmage.
  • Wittek-Scrimmage1-McG.jpgFreshman QB Max Browne started the second half, and went 7/11 for 54 yards. 
  • Wittek made the play of the day launching a 70-yard rainbow to Nelson Agholor, about 50-60 yards in the air, for the longest touchdown of the game.  "It was awesome," said Wittek about the play.  "Once I saw him make that move on the corner and break free, I was like, 'Here we go!'"
  • Kessler distinguished himself most on the first drive.  Going against the first team defense, he came out sharp and engineered a methodical touchdown march capped by Justin Davis' rushing score from the two.  "The best part about it was not that I went first, but I went first and we drove down and scored," said Kessler.  "It was pretty cool to come out in the first scrimmage of fall camp and go down and have a drive like that. It was a big confidence builder for the offense."
  • Before leaving the scrimmage, Davis was exceptional.  He ran for 32 yards on 6 carries and a touchdown.  "He is a really natural runner," said Kiffin.  "You saw him in the first two series make guys miss, some good players miss."
  • Despite all the depth at running back, Buck Allen was the only fully healthy scholarship runner in the second half.  He finished with 18 carries for 49 yards.
  • On the outside, Agholor was the standout catching 8 passes for 161 yards and 2 TDs.  Darreus Rogers continued a strong camp with 5 receptions for 62 yards.  Marqise Lee played a limited role grabbing 4 balls for 27 yards.
  • Under the radar, Jahleel Pinner made a push at fullback with 2 catches, one for a TD and another to pick up a 4th down.
  • The offensive line had a strong first half with Chad Wheeler taking the injured Aundrey Walker's spot in the first team.
  • Defensively, the Trojans did not make many plays, but they forced several three-and-outs.  LB Lamar Dawson posted a team-high 7 tackles, including 2 for a loss.  On the second team, Scott Starr totaled 7 tackles as well with 2 for a loss, including a sack.  
  • Kiffin was disappointed with some "missed tackles early" in the secondary.  However, he acknowledged that this was the first real day of tackling, so the defense needed to shake off some rust. 
  • Andre Heidari got some live work in making two out of three field goal attempts.  He hit the left upright from 44 yards, but he was good from 41 and 22. 
  • After Lane Kiffin emphasized focusing on the details today, the Trojans only committed one penalty.
  • Here is the head coach's complete recap of the first preseason game...

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