USC Concludes Spring Football Practice

April 21, 2001


Redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Cassel threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to senior tailback Malaefou MacKenzie and then scored on a 1-yard keeper to lead the White team to a 17-0 victory over the Cardinal team in an 80-play intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday (April 21) at USC that concluded the Trojans' spring football practice.

The White's other points came on a 26-yard field goal by senior kicker David Newbury, 4 plays after a 37-yard interception return by senior cornerback Kris Richard. The White squad intercepted 4 passes, including a pair by senior cornerback Chris Cash.

Cassel was 7-of-13 for 75 yards passing and ran for 18 yards on 5 carries while directing the White, which consisted of the second team offense and first team defense. The Cardinal squad included the first team offense and second team defense.

MacKenzie caught 3 passes for 43 yards for the White team, while senior Frank Strong-who started twice at free safety last year-rushed for 18 yards on 10 carries while playing tailback (he was a tailback his first 2 seasons at Troy).

For the Cardinal team, junior quarterback Carson Palmer was 14-of-21 for 95 yards, but threw 3 interceptions. Junior tailback Sultan McCullough ran for 30 yards on 8 carries, but lost a fumble. A trio of Cardinal players caught 3 passes each: sophomore wide receiver Keary Colbert (for 25 yards), soph tight end Alex Holmes (20 yards) and junior wide receiver Marcell Allmond (20 yards).

Cash led the White team with 6 tackles, while senior defensive end Lonnie Ford had 5 stops (including 2 sacks for minus 12 yards) and junior linebacker Aaron Graham and junior safety Troy Polamalu each also added 5 tackles. Graham also forced McCullough's fumble, which junior defensive tackle Bernard Riley recovered. Senior defensive tackle Ryan Nielsen had 4 tackles (2 were sacks for minus 11 yards).

For the Cardinal squad, a pair of redshirt freshmen-defensive tackle Malcolm Wooldridge and linebacker Lee Webb-each had 4 tackles. Senior linebacker Darryl Knight had 3 tackles, 2 pass deflections and a fumble recovery.

'I was please with how our first team defense played and forced turnovers,' said Carroll, 'but I was disappointed with the number of turnovers by our first team offense. We had held onto the football all spring until today.

'All in all, it was a good, spirited game and a good way to end a very successful spring. I was pleased with the progress we made.'

USC opens its 2001 season on Sept. 1 at home against San Jose State.

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