USC Spring Football Game: 5 Things That Matter
What do you need to know about what happened in the USC spring football game?
1. It Wasn’t Your Normal Spring Game
It wasn’t really a game at all. Statistics were kept, and there were some nice plays, but it was really a practice more than a scrimmage with several key players not seeing the field and the coaching staff mostly making sure no one got hurt.
There wasn’t any real tackling and there wasn’t much chance to show off anything other than guys in USC uniforms doing football things.
2. And Velus Jones?
Expected to be the team’s new star playmaker, Jones dominated at times in spring practices with his blazing wheels. For a passing game that needs a few new parts for Darnold to play with, the 6-0, 180-pounder should turn into a devastating home run-hitter with a gaudy average.
While he only made two plays, they were big ones – get used to it – coming up with a 21-yard catch and showing off the speed on a reverse for a 34-yard play.
3. The Running Back Situation
Ronald Jones is almost certainly going to be the No. 1 guy, and junior Aca’Cedric Ware will see more than his share of work, but redshirt freshman Vavae Malepeai – along with Velus Jones – was the buzz of spring ball. The 6-0, 190-pounder from Hawaii did what he was supposed to do.
There might not have been a ton of popping, but he still managed to look good with 36 yards on 14 carries, including an interesting 14-yarder – by far the game’s longest run. Meanwhile, Jones had no room to move – he ran for just eight yards on four carries – and Ware ran for 12 yards on three carries.
4. Sam Darnold Didn’t Get Hurt
He didn’t open it up, but he completed 4-of-6 passes for 58 yards, and he even ran a little bit with a four-yard carry. Of course, The Franchise wasn’t going to get popped, but he was able to make a few decent throws to look the part in the glorified practice.
Matt Fink – deep in the hunt for the No. 2 job – had a good day among the quarterbacks, completing 5-of-9 passes for 47 yards with a touchdown pass to Tyler Vaughns. However Jack Sears looks the part, even though he only completed 3-of-9 passes for 32 yards.
Jalen Greene missed his only throw, and Thomas Fitts missed his two passes.
5. Okay, Yippee. The USC Spring Game Was Meh. Really, Was There ANYTHING That Mattered?
With PK Matt Boermeester suspended, what happened with the kicking game?
Boermeester connected on 18-of-25 field goal tries last year – including a bit of a big 46-yards to win the Rose Bowl – and he hit 53-of-54 extra points. But his status is up in the air after an alleged issue with a female student.
Enter Matt Brown, a redshirt freshman who might have the spotlight on in a hurry depending on how the Boermeester situation turns out. Brown hit five of his seven field goal attempts including a 50-yarder and one from 43, but he missed on a 41-yarder and a 32-yard shot.