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Five things to watch in USC's spring game

USC's final pracitce of the spring will be Saturday's 1 p.m. scrimmage at the Coliseum -- and it is the first and only opportunity for fans to check out the Trojans before the 2011 preseason begins.

So here are five things to watch during the spring game:

• Barkley-to-Woods: Coach Lane Kiffin says you can build an offense around a great quarterback and receiver. USC appears to have both in Matt Barkley and Robert Woods. It'll be interesting to see how they deal with double-team coverage akin to what they'll face during the season.

• The other receivers: Besides rebuilding the offensive line, finding a reliable No. 2 receiver is atop USC's offensive to-do list. The spring game is the last chance for Brandon Carswell, De'Von Flournoy and Markeith Ambles to make a favorable impression before Kyle Prater and George Farmer enter the mix in fall.

• The other quarterbacks: Redshirt freshman Jesse Scroggins seems to have established himself as the No. 2 quarterback. He can cement that spot with a strong spring-game performance. Talented freshmen Cody Kessler and Max Wittek also will get a chance to run the offense.

• Tackle football: The offensive-minded Kiffin undoubtedly would like to put on a dazzling show for the fans. But hardcore USC followers know improved defense is critical to the Trojans' overall success. The better the T.J. McDonald-led unit tackles Saturday, the more hope there is for 2011.

• Kick-start: Fans frustrated with USC's so-so placekicking the past two seasons will get their first look at freshman kicker Andre Heidari, who displayed range beyond 50 yards this spring. How will John Baxter's star pupil handle his first public outing at the Coliseum?

 

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