<
>

As the Trojans Turn: Lots of stuff going on at USC

10/7/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Things are never simple at USC, and that's particularly the case this week with Arizona State set to visit the Coliseum on Saturday.

Hope we're not leaving anything out...

  • Who's the quarterback? Starter Mark Sanchez sat out practice (bruised knee) while Mitch Mustain, now the backup after sinking to No. 4 on the depth chart just two weeks ago, appears ready to start against the Sun Devils.

  • Running back Allen Bradford asked for the ball, now he's hurt? Yep. And he may redshirt. That seems to narrow the logjam at tailback to Stafon Johnson, C.J. Gable and Joe McKnight.

  • What about McKnight's struggles returning punts? Johnson may take over for McKnight on punt returns, too.

  • What's up with receiver Vidal Hazelton? He's apparently having ankle trouble and wants to redshirt. The coaches don't want that. Hazelton has slipped behind Patrick Turner, Damian Williams, Ronald Johnson and probably David Ausberry in the pecking order. The LA Daily News suggests in the linked story that he might be a candidate to transfer.

  • Will linebacker Rey Maualuga be back in the lineup? Still up in the air. But if he can't go, it looks like Brian Cushing will again move from outside to Maualuga's inside spot.

  • Hey, is USC's defense moving guys around up front? With all this other stuff going on, it seems a fairly dramatic experiment with the Trojans defense slipped mostly toward the bottom of a notebook. Per the LA Daily News: "USC juggled its defensive line Monday, with Kyle Moore moving inside to tackle while Clay Matthews and Everson Griffen played defensive end. Fili Moala played nose tackle. Moore's played defensive end most of his career." This seems to mean the coaches aren't terribly happy with the performance of nose tackles Averell Spicer and Christian Tupou.