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Defense Dominates USC's Scrimmage

Los Angeles, CA- Scott Starr had 2 interceptions, Tony Burnett and Jabari Ruffin added 4 tackles, and Kevon Seymour forced a fumble, as the defense, or white team, crushed the cardinal team 42-21. Lane Kiffin liked how the defense responded after getting beaten up the previous two days.

“It was a really good day by the defense. They really responded after a couple of days where the offense probably outperformed the defense.... It was very good to see. With the turnovers, the discipline, and the lack of explosive plays it was really good.”

The most surprising play of the day may have come from the banged up defensive line. The pressure they generated contributed to the quarterbacks’ 40.5% completion rate. Coach Orgeron was impressed, but not completely satisfied.

“We got some guys that are a little banged up. Morgan Breslin and Kevin Greene had good days. Those guys are formidable players. Miller and Arakelian, two walk ons, brand new in the program, played their butts off. I couldn’t ask them to do much more. We need to get healthy and we need to get some guys ready.”

In the secondary, the battle at strong safety continues. T.J. McDonald saw good things out of Demetrius Wright and Jawanza Starling today.

“We’re real deep at safety right now. Whether it’s Jawanza, Demetrius, Josh Shaw, Gerald Bowman played great today, there’s are a lot of guys who are stepping up right now and we’re going to see how it works out. Right now, Jawanza came in from last season as the starter, so until someone tells me differently, he’s the starter. I don’t know how it’s going to turn out, but all the guys are competing great right now.”

The corner spot looked a little more solid today also.

“We have a lot of guys stepping up. Guys are fighting for that spot, some guys are injured, so they can’t be in there right now. Anthony Brown and Torin Harris are going to be fighting for that spot. Brian Baucham is hurt right now, but he’s going to be fighting for that spot. Kevon Seymour’s stepping up and is willing to learn all the time. We got a lot of bodies there, we just have to figure out who’s going to be ready come game time. That’s what camp is for and that’s the direction that we’re heading in right now.”

T.J. believes that the secondary and the defense showed composure today.

“Everything’s slowing down for everybody. We’re understanding more stuff, we’re able to do more as a defense and the coaches are able to throw more stuff at us because we’re more experienced. We’re excited by where we’re at, but we still have a lot of work to do.”

While the defense was composed all day, a valuable member of the offense lost his cool and was pulled from the scrimmage. Marqise Lee later addressed the team and apologized for his frustration.

“I felt bad about. At the break I went to TJ and told him that I’d like to apologize to the defense for the way I acted and to my offense for the penalty. It’ll never happen. In a game, I wouldn’t even think about doing it.”

“Ryan did a good thing. He does it in practice and we talk about it all the time. Ryan comes to me and says ‘you know what ‘Qise, this is what I’m going to do to you because I know it’s going to happen in the game.’ Smart kid. I told him that I appreciate it because I’m sure it’s going to happen in the game and I actually forgot what he said to me at practice during the time. After I apologized, he accepted my apology and it’ll never happen again.”

It’ll be tough for Marqise to lose his composure again because this offense won’t have many days like the one they had. The defense should be ready for a battle Monday afternoon.

Also, Marqise apologized to all of his teammates fro his behavior after the scrimmage.

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