Because of injuries, there was no tackling in USC's spring game Saturday, which pitted the offense against the defense in a modified format. The defense had its own scoring system to allow it to compete with the offense, but the offense still prevailed, 42-36. More than 15,000 spectators were on hand to watch the exhibition.
Okay, there was some tackling, since a few players couldn't help themselves:
There's no tackling in this spring game...except when there's tackling. Some following instruction better than others.— Rich Hammond (@RegisterUSC) April 13, 2013
Max Wittek got the start at quarterback and finished the afternoon with 145 yards passing, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Despite those mistakes, Wittek may have the inside track to replace 2012 starter Matt Barkley. Wittek appeared in eight games last season and got a couple of starts after Barkley injured his shoulder. Sophomore Cody Kessler and true freshman Max Browne are also fighting for the job.
Game stats: Kessler 15-22, 242 yds, 3 TD; Wittek 12-17, 145 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT; Browne 7-11, 80 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT.— Rich Hammond (@RegisterUSC) April 13, 2013
Wide receiver Marqise Lee was one of the quarterbacks' favorite targets Saturday and finished with 148 yards on eight catches. Lee caught an FBS-leading 118 passes last season and finished second nationally in receiving yards with 1,721. Victor Blackwell and Nelson Agholor also finished the spring game with over 100 yards receiving.
Despite allowing a lot of passing yardage, the defense had its moments. The front seven generally got the best of the offensive line, and they were credited with 10 sacks. Defensive end Morgan Breslin accounted for three of those, while Leonard Williams let the team with six "tackles."