Vaughns, Peters Score TDs To Highlight USC Spring Football Game

    Sam Darnold
    April 15, 2017

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    Wide receiver Tyler Vaughns caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Fink and fullback Reuben Peters ran for a 6-yard score to highlight the defending Rose Bowl champion USC football team’s 62-play Spring Game on Saturday (April 15) before 14,781 fans in the Coliseum that concluded the Trojans’ 15-session spring practice.

    Because of nagging injuries throughout the Trojan roster, the 2-hour game was conducted as a situational scrimmage, with periods featuring runs from the 35-yard line, the ball backed up against the goal line, midfield run and pass plays and redzone plays.

    The scrimmage ended with a period of field goals, in which placekicker Michael Brown hit 5-of-7 field goals, including a 50-yarder. His last field goal, a 33-yarder, was successfully snapped by blind long snapper Jake Olson.

    Quarterback Sam Darnold completed 4-of-6 passes for 58 yards in limited action. Matt Fink was 5-of-9 for 47 yards, including the scoring toss to Vaughns. Jack Sears, who enrolled at USC in January as a freshman, was 3-of-7 for 32 yards.

    Vaughns caught 3 passes for 48 yards, while fellow wide receivers Michael Pittman Jr. (30 yards) and Jalen Greene (27 yards) also had 3 receptions.

    Tailback Vavae Malepeai ran for 36 yards on 8 carries.

    Inside linebacker Cameron Smith, safety Matt Lopes and defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu, another freshman who enrolled in January, each had 4 tackles. Cornerback Jalen Jones broke up 3 passes.

    “It was a great day,” said USC head coach Clay Helton, whose team went 10-3 last year and finished with a No. 3 ranking in the final AP poll after its thrilling 52-49 win over Penn State in the Rose Bowl. “We saw the defensive consistency that showed up all spring. And offensively, our playmakers made some plays. It’s good to now move on to our summer conditioning and then fall practice.”

    During the scrimmage, USC’s 2016 seniors and other draft-eligible players were presented their Rose Bowl rings. Troy’s incoming class of freshmen football players also was introduced to the crowd and the USC men’s basketball team was honored for its 2017 season that included a run into the NCAA Tournament.

    USC opens its 2017 season with a 3-game homestand, hosting Western Michigan on Sept. 2, Stanford on Sept. 9 and Texas on Sept. 16. Also visiting the Coliseum in 2017 will be Oregon State (Oct. 7), Utah (Oct. 14), Arizona (Nov. 4) and UCLA (Nov. 18). For USC football season tickets, call 213-740-GOSC or visit For priority seating, fans can join the Trojan Athletic Fund by calling 213-740-4155 or visiting