Most of Notre Dame’s 2013 opponents have already completed spring practices, with a number of spring games having been played this past Saturday. Temple and Michigan State will wrap things up on April 20, and Air Force, which concluded practices March 20, did not play a spring game this season.
USC has experienced numerous injuries this spring, which led to a no-tackling scrimmage last Saturday.
Here’s a look at how things shook out elsewhere:
The race is on in Los Angeles to replace outgoing quarterback Matt Barkley, and the picture isn’t much clearer after Saturday’s spring game at USC. Head coach Lane Kiffin didn’t allow tackling in the scrimmage because of 20 injuries this spring. The offense technically won the game, 42-36, in front of 15,000 spectators.
Cody Kessler passed for 242 yards and three touchdowns, while Max Wittek — who started in place of the injured Barkley in the Trojans’ loss to Notre Dame at The Coliseum last November and appeared in eight games — threw for two scores. Wittek was 12-of-17passing, but threw two interceptions — both by safety Demetrius Wright. Freshman Max Browne threw on TD pass.
Kessler hit 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner Marqise Lee (three touchdown grabs) for two scores. Lee finished with eight catches for 148 yards.
The defensive seven reportedly bested the offensive line and recorded 10 total sacks, with three credited to defensive end Morgan Breslin.
New Muscle At Navy
The Midshipmen wrapped up spring practices with their annual Blue-Gold game Saturday. Whereas quarterback changes dominate headlines around other programs, fullback is the marquis position for the Naval Academy.
Noah Copeland appears to have snagged that job after running for 66 yards on nine carries and catching one pass for 21 yards to boost the Blue squad to a 21-0 victory at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Copeland rushed for 738 yards and five touchdowns last season, finishing second behind graduated Gee Gee Greene’s 877 yards and three scores.
Pittsburgh Feeling Things Out
Pittsburgh ended the spring with an offense versus defense clash Friday night at Bethel Park High School Stadium. The abbreviated scrimmage featured six completions for 80 yards by starting quarterback Tom Savage, a fifth-year senior who played sparingly.
Head coach Paul Chryst wanted to see more of sophomore backup Chad Voytik, who received most of the snaps Friday, and completed 27 of 33 passing attempts for 358 yards with three touchdowns, including a 65-yard scoring strike to redshirt junior wideout Kevin Weatherspoon (11 catches for 175 yards).
Freshman tight end Scott Orndoff (two touchdowns) and Wisconsin transfer Manesseh Garner (10 catches for 100 yards), a tight end with senior eligibility, shined for the Panthers. Starting running back Isaac Bennett fumbled once and ended the night with 20 carries for 114 yards, including a 48-yard TD. Malcolm Crockett fumbled twice on 11 carries, which produced 45 yards and a touchdown, and Desmond Brown rushed 18 times for 90 yards and a score. Middle linebacker Mike Capara led the defense with 12 tackles.
Scare At BYU
Brigham Young’s spring game was on March 30. Starting quarterback Taysom Hill did not participate as a precautionary measure. The sophomore suffered a left knee injury last October and missed the remainder of the 2012 season.
Sophomore Ammon Olsen took reps with the first team in the spring scrimmage, completing 6 of 11 passes for 96 yards before going down with a partially torn PCL. Olsen is expected to miss four to six weeks, but won’t need surgery.
Stanford Reloading On Offense
The Cardinal defense topped the offense 40-34 in a modified scoring system Saturday in Palo Alto, Calif. Quarterback Kevin Hogan completed 14 of 23 pass attempts for 170 yards with two touchdowns for an offense that lost five big-time players from last year’s team — tight ends Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo, wide receivers Drew Terrell and Jamal-Rashad Patterson, and running back Stepfan Taylor. That group accounted for 83 percent of Stanford’s receiving yardage last season.
Receivers Ty Montgomery (junior) and Michael Rector (sophomore) both finished with touchdown grabs, and senior Jeff Trojan collected six catches for 41 yards. Junior Jordan Pratt, who had one reception in 2012, caught five balls for 78 yards and a TD.
Fifth-year senior linebacker Jarek Lancaster led the defense with seven tackles (one for loss). Senior safety Kyle Olugbode (two tackles for loss) and sophomore cornerback Alex Carter had six tackles each.