Despite the mounting injuries, interim head coach Ed Orgeron has maintained throughout the week that the team has been practicing well. On Wednesday night, he even delivered a bit of good news to Trojan fans: wide receiver Marqise Lee is listed as probable for Friday night’s clash with the Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis, according to the OC Register’s Rich Hammond. Hammond also reported that Oregon said tight end Xavier Grimble, wide receiver Victor Blackwell and safety Dion Bailey will likely be available for the game as well.
While the Trojans will regain some top talent, offensive lineman Kevin Graf and budding safety Su’a Cravens will not be available on Friday.
In practice on Wednesday, the Trojans prepared for this challenging road game with loud, raucous music and sounds of buzzing chainsaws to simulate crowd noise. Lee participated in the no-contact aspects of practice, and showed no signs of a lingering injury.
With Lee back in the rotation, USC won’t have to lean on the running game so heavily, which could allow for more play diversity and could help the Trojans maintain a strong footing in this game. Having Bailey back in the secondary would be huge as well. The Beavers tout the best passing offense in the nation, racking up 420.8 yards on average against opponents. With USC’s mediocre secondary, the Trojans could be in for a long night in Corvallis; having Bailey back adds a little more of a competitive edge to the defense.
USC has not faired well in Reser Stadium much over the last decade, and the more able bodies the Trojans have, the better.