USC ran its 40-play scrimmage that purposely had vanilla plays because the game was on the Pac-12 Network.
This is the third year Clay Helton has decided to do away with a regular spring game, which would be about 80-90 plays.
I’m not sure why a spring game is frowned upon at USC. The depth, if you listen to the coaches, is the best its been since NCAA sanctions. There have not been scholarship limitations for several years so there is no longer the excuse that USC is short-handed.
If Matt Fink and Jack Sears need one thing, it is game-like experience. Stanford, Utah and Arizona held spring games on Saturday and there is no way Helton would trade his roster for their roster.
Even if the plays were basic, Fink and Sears would benefit from a full scrimmage. Besides, I’ve yet to speak to a Pac-12 defensive coordinator that ever feels USC’s offense is complicated. So I don’t see a problem running another 40 plays, simple or not.
It also benefits the inexperienced defensive linemen and reserve defensive backs that often get helped the most during spring drills.
Lastly, the fans deserve a showcase. Even if it was at Cromwell Field, it was televised, albeit on the Pac-12 Network. So let the fans have one day to enjoy the team they know and love. Utah had a 57-yard FG at its spring game (see below).
Was anyone talking about one play at Cromwell Field on Saturday? Not really.
The truth is there probably will not be another traditional spring game under Helton.
“Walk it off, Matt Gay!”
The reigning Lou Groza Award winner nails a career-long 57-yard field goal to give the Red Team the win for @Utah_Football and earns the @OpusBank #12Best Moment of the game. #Pac12FB pic.twitter.com/LACYIMlNmN
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) April 14, 2018