The USC Trojans will enter the Joe Roth Memorial Game against the California Golden Bears as the fifth-ranked team in college football, led by a Heisman hopeful in Sam Darnold, and riding a 12-game win streak against the Golden Bears, so we’re kind of sort of the underdogs for the game.
But one thing that could play into our advantage is a noteworthy number of injuries to the Trojans. According to Reign of Troy, eight defensive starters and six offensive players—including four receivers—missed their Tuesday practice.
Sports-reference.com lists 17 players with injuries making them Out, Doubtful, or Questionable for our game. Reign of Troy lists 18 players as either Out or Questionable and three more as Probable.
Out for season: K Michael Brown (knee), LB Tayler Katoa (knee), CB Jonathan Lockett (hip), S Isaiah Pola-Mao (shoulder)
Out: OLB Hunter Echols (hip), TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe (hip), OT Nathan Smith (knee)
Questionable: OLB Juliano Falaniko (knee), OLB Porter Gustin (toe/bicep), DB Ajene Harris (knee), LB John Houston (neck), DL Liam Jimmons (ankle), RB Ronald Jones II (quad/ankle), WR Joseph Lewis (abdominal), DL Jacob Lichtenstein (back), OLB Uchenna Nwosu (elbow/MCL), DL Marlon Tuipulotu (knee), WR Keyshawn “Pie” Young (hamstring)
Probable: OL Chuma Edoga (wrist), DL Rasheem Green (ankle), WR Michael Pittman (ankle)
You never root for injuries in sports and USC has recruited well enough that their back-ups will still be talented, but the loss of their starters and being thin as a consequence may play a role on Saturday.