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April 7, 2007

Trojans Huddle

Wide receiver Travon Patterson scored three touchdowns and tailback Hershel Dennis added two more scores, while quarterback John David Booty completed 15-of-17 passes with two touchdowns, to highlight USC's annual Trojan Huddle spring football scrimmage on Saturday (April 7) before 15,000 fans at the Coliseum.

Patterson, who had 4 receptions for 76 yards overall, caught a 16-yard scoring pass from quarterback Mark Sanchez and a 33-yarder from quarterback Michael McDonald, and he also returned a punt 78 yards for a TD.

Dennis, who missed the past two seasons with injuries after starting in 2003, scored on a 2-yard run and a 43-yard Sanchez pass. Overall, he rushed for 39 yards on 8 carries and had 2 catches for 49 yards.

Booty, whose only two incomplete passes were interceptions, threw touchdown tosses of 3 yards to wide receiver Patrick Turner and 34 yards to wide receiver Vidal Hazelton. He passed for 146 yards on the day. McDonald also threw a second TD, a 1-yarder to fullback Stanley Havili.

The Trojans had 2 other punt returns for touchdowns, a 20-yarder by safety Chase McWhorter following a blocked punt and a 76-yarder by tailback Desmond Reed.

Reed, one of USC's three senior tailbacks who looked impressive in the scrimmage, ran for 33 yards on 11 carries and caught 3 passes for another 29 yards, while Chauncey Washington had 45 rushing yards on 6 attempts.

Sanchez was 11-of-23 passing for 194 yards, but had 2 passes picked off. McDonald was 5-of-7 for 64 yards.

Hazelton (75 yards), Turner (26 yards), Havili (30 yards) and tight end Fred Davis (42 yards) each had 4 receptions.

The Trojan defense came up with 8 turnovers in the 94-play scrimmage, including 5 interceptions (by linebacker Keith Rivers, defensive end Kyle Moore, defensive tackle Alex Parsons, linebacker Kaluka Maiava and cornerback Matthew Jordan).

Linebacker Rey Maualuga had 7 tackles, cornerback Cary Harris added 6 stops and Rivers and safety Alfred Rowe each had 5. Parsons also had a fumble recovery and a sack.

"This felt like a good scrimmage," said seventh-year head coach Pete Carroll. "We did a lot of good things today. A lot of players showed up. Booty was really sharp.

"With Hershel, Desmond and Chauncey, it was like a step back to yesteryear. The defense did lots of good things, as well. I think we are ahead of where we were last year at this point."

USC, which concludes spring drills on April 14, opens its 2007 season against Idaho on Sept. 1 in the Coliseum.

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