Instant analysis: USC spring game

April, 13, 2013
4/13/13
6:07
PM PT
Player of the day: Junior All-America wide receiver and 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner Marqise Lee dazzled the 15,284 in attendance with eight receptions for 148 yards and two touchdowns, showing no ill effects of a knee injury suffered earlier in the spring.

Standout performers: Looking every bit a suitable replacement for departed wide receiver Robert Woods, sophomore wide receiver Nelson Agholor hauled in seven receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns of 1 and 44 yards, respectively. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Cody Kessler passed for three touchdowns and a game-high 242 yards, completing 15 of 22 pass attempts. Defensively, senior free safety Demetrius Wright had two interceptions while sophomore defensive tackle Leonard Williams had a team-high six tackles.

Biggest play: Early in the first quarter, Kessler, who has battled redshirt sophomore Max Wittek all spring for the starting quarterback position, connected with Lee on a 70-yard touchdown strike.

Biggest surprise: Former Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei wide receiver Victor Blackwell, a redshirt sophomore, accounted for seven receptions for 155 yards and a 29-yard touchdown. Blackwell made a case for himself as the No. 3 receiver, especially after another candidate, junior George Farmer, suffered a season-ending ACL/MCL injury late in the spring.

Spring game final analysis: The heralded receiving duo of Lee and Agholor lived up to the type, accounting for a combined 264 yards and four touchdowns. USC coach Lane Kiffin has said he won’t name a starting quarterback until fall camp, but Kessler had the edge over Wittek on Saturday in passing yardage (242-145) and touchdown passes (3-2). Kessler did not thrown an interception while Wittek tossed two picks. Defensively, the Trojans' secondary looked vulnerable to the pass while the front seven applied good pressure and was stout against the running game. Senior defensive end Morgan Breslin was a force off the edge.

Greg Katz | email

Columnist, WeAreSC.com

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