Kessler, Baxter, Butler Shine In Scrimmage

    Brice Butler

    Aug. 8, 2011


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    Freshman quarterback Cody Kessler threw 3 touchdowns while completing 15-of-18 passes and tailback Dillon Baxter and wide receiver Brice Butler both scored twice on Monday evening (Aug. 8) in the Coliseum to highlight USC's first intrasquad football scrimmage of fall 2011 practice.

    The Trojans, in their first day in full pads, piled up 721 yards of offense in the 122-play scrimmage, but turned the ball over 3 times and had 5 offensive penalties.

    Kessler's scoring tosses were 16 yards to Baxter, 35 yards to Butler and 24 yards to freshman wide receiver Marqise Lee. Baxter (12 yards) and Butler (1 yard on a reverse) both also ran for touchdowns.

    Kessler, however, was intercepted by redshirt freshman linebacker Dion Bailey, who returned it 25 yards for a TD. Bailey also picked off quarterback Matt Barkley on the previous play.

    Barkley was 10-of-20 for 82 yards overall, including a 15-yard touchdown to wide receiver Brandon Carswell.

    Redshirt freshman wide receiver Kyle Prater had a game-best 6 catches for 38 yards, while Butler added 5 grabs for 90 yards and Carswell had 4 for 35.

    Redshirt freshman tailback D.J. Morgan led the rushers with 160 yards on 24 carries, while Baxter added 103 yards on 12 tries. Freshman tailback Amir Carlisle, who had the game's other score (a 20-yard run on the final play), gained 82 yards on 10 carries.

    Linebacker Hayes Pullard and cornerback Anthony Brown, both redshirt freshmen, each had a game-high 6 tackles (Brown also had 2 deflections). Five other players added 5 stops apiece: safeties Demetrius Wright, Jawanza Starling and Marshall Jones, cornerback Tony Burnett and freshman linebacker Lamar Dawson. Defensive end Wes Horton had 3 tackles for losses, including 2 sacks. Freshman linebacker Tre Madden recovered a fumble.

    "In general, it was a very up-and-down scrimmage," said second-year USC head coach Lane Kiffin. "The offense played well on the first drive, then the defense played extremely well after that the rest of the first half. We took a lot of starters out in the second half. It's early and we have a lot of work to do."

    The Trojans open their 2011 season at home against Minnesota on Sept. 3, with tickets available online at or by calling the USC Ticket Office at (213) 740-4672.