When Lane Kiffin put out his media-mandated depth chart on Saturday afternoon, he made it known that there’s little separation in the defensive backfield. Six co-starters were listed at safety, with two at each position. Following Sunday’s practice, USC defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast echoed those sentiments.
The first-year coordinator and secondary coach told Jacob Freedman of Neon Tommy exactly what Kiffin put to paper. Due to that, Pendergast said he expects that the Trojans will rotate players in and out of the secondary on Thursday night.
Both Dion Bailey and Su’a Cravens have fought injuries of late, giving hope for Gerald Bowman, Leon McQuay III, Demetrius Wright and Josh Shaw at safety.
Combine that with four cornerbacks battling for two corner spots, and it’s a cluster of competition for Pendergast to try and manage come Thursday night.
All signs point to Bailey’s health improving, while Cravens was adamant to Freedman that he’s not at 100 percent. Bailey had offseason shoulder surgery to repair damage suffered back in 2011 as a freshman, but suffered a leg injury early in fall camp. Cravens was shut down in the spring with a torn meniscus.
USC and Hawaii kicks off at 8:00 PM Pacific on Thursday night, live and in color on the CBS Sports Network.