Johnson, Baxter Long Runs Highlight Football Scrimmage

April 10, 2010

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Wide receiver Ronald Johnson caught a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Matt Barkley, including a 70-yarder, and first-year freshman tailback Dillon Baxter zig-zagged 50 yards on a scoring run to highlight new Trojan head coach Lane Kiffin's first spring intrasquad football scrimmage on Saturday (April 10) at USC.

The Trojan offense scored 5 times in the 37-play first half, but then the defense took over in the 41-play scoreless second half.

Johnson caught 4 passes for 167 yards overall (his other TD was a 10-yarder on the scrimmage's opening drive). Baxter ran for 94 yards on 9 carries; he went untouched on his scoring run in which he found a slight opening along the left sideline and then juked a number of defenders en route to the endzone.

Barkley and fellow quarterback Mitch Mustain each directed 9 drives in the scrimmage. Barkley completed 9-of-17 passes for 173 yards and 3 touchdowns. His other scoring toss was a 10-yarder to tight end Jordan Cameron. Mustain was 10-of-21 for 144 yards, including an 8-yard TD to first-year freshman Kyle Prater. Prater had 5 receptions for 41 yards.

Defensive tackle DaJohn Harris led the defense with 5 tackles, including 3 for a loss, plus a deflection. On one play, he came from the blind side to strip the ball from Mustain's hand and then he rumbled 52 yards with it to the 6-yard line.

Linebacker Jordan Campbell also had 5 tackles, while cornerbacks Shareece Wright and walk-on Taylor Ashton, defensive end Malik Jackson and linebacker Shane Horton each added 4 stops.

'It was an interesting scrimmage because of the two different halves,' said Kiffin. 'The offense relaxed in the second half, while the defense came out ready to play. That's a great lesson, that it doesn't matter what happens in the first half.

'I thought Dillon Baxter was phenomenal. His scoring run looked like Reggie Bush's against Fresno State in 2005. It didn't matter who was in front of him, nobody could tackle him. He's exciting, but we realize he's still got a ways to go.

'Ronald Johnson had a very good day. He's operating on a championship level. Matt Barkley had a very good first half (6-of-8 for 143 yards), but was just okay in the second half.

'DaJohn Harris has been the surprise of spring camp so far. That was quite a play he made today.'

USC has 3 weeks remaining of spring practice, concluding with the Spring Football Game in the Coliseum on May 1 at noon, with tickets available for $10 at the gate, online at or by calling the USC Ticket Office at (213) 740-4672. The Trojans open their 2010 season at Hawaii on Sept. 2.

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