A new backfield won’t be the only distinct difference featured this year at the USC spring game. With the Coliseum under construction, USC will conduct its spring game at a different venue.
Locker Stadium is set to host the Trojans’ spring game, which in actuality is a glorified practice culminating into a scrimmage. The on-campus stadium is the primary home for USC’s track and field team. This spring, Trojans’ football team is the guest tenants.
Spring football provides coaches an initial blueprint about their football team. The spring game will give coach Clay Helton and his staff a solid early evaluation on the team’s strengths, weaknesses and unsettle positions.
USC spring game details
Date: Saturday, April 14
Location: Locker Stadium
Time: Noon PT
Which TV channel is the USC spring game on?
The USC spring game will broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.
How can I watch USC spring game online?
How can I listen to the USC spring game on the radio?
You can listen to the USC spring game on the USC Trojans Radio Network.
USC spring game preview
USC will have a different format this year for the spring game. The Trojans won’t have a traditional spring game because of ongoing stadium renovations at the Coliseum. Helton and the Trojans will have an open practice in addition to a scrimmage as a spring game alternative.
The non-traditional format doesn’t take away from the many storylines that will be highlighted during the spring scrimmage.
At the forefront is USC’s quarterback competition. The Trojans are in the midst of finding Sam Darnold’s successor. Sophomore quarterback Matt Fink has done a solid job thus far and has outplayed redshirt freshman Jack Sears. Fink’s built some breathing room ahead of freshman JT Daniels arrival on campus.
USC’s quarterback competition figures to be a three-horse race between Fink, Sears and Daniels. Helton said he might not name a starting quarterback until the week of the team’s first game.
The Trojans backfield will also feature a new running back. Stephen Carr is slated to start this year, although he is sidelined this spring after having back surgery. The team expects him to be healthy by training camp. Aca’Cedric Ware has received the bulk of the first-team reps with Carr out. The senior wants to prove that he’s a reliable running back in his last season.
“I look forward to watching the competition develop at this position,” Helton said of the running back position, per the USC Athletic Department.
On the outside, USC is going to have to replace productive receivers Deontay Burnett and Steven Mitchell. Coaches will get a good look at wideouts Tyler Vaughns and Michael Pittman.
The offensive line and tight end are arguably USC’s strongest positions on offense heading into the spring scrimmage. USC returns four starters on the O-line and the tight end position has good depth behind Tyler Petite.
On the defensive side of the football, USC returns seven starters. Linebackers Cameron Smith, John Houston and Jordan Iosefa, safety Marvell Tell III, cornerbacks Iman Marshall and Jack Jones and defensive lineman Christian Rector all set up what should be a stout Trojans defense.
USC will play a 5-2 defense that at times will convert into a 3-4 or 4-3 defense.
There are less questions about the Trojans’ defense heading into the 2018 season. Helton is excited about the defense’s potential and believes the unit will help lead the way this year.
“Our defense can carry our team this year,” said Helton, via USC’s Athletic Department. “Defense wins championships and this is a group that can accomplish that. We have a lot of defensive players who have played a lot of football.”
As for the special teams, there shouldn’t be any changes. Trojans punter Reid Budrovich, kicker Chase McGrath, snapper Damon Johnson, holder Wyatt Schmidt, kickoff returner Velus Jones and punt returner Ajene Harris are all back for more this season.