1) Leonard Williams and the Injury Report
The big man in the middle, sophomore Leonard Williams, has been a huge part of USC’s success on the defensive line. Second on the team in tackles and sacks, Williams also ranks eighth in the conference in tackles for loss. His 6-5, 295 pound frame has done more than the stat lines can tell.
Unfortunately, he’s also injured.
The same can be said of three of the Trojans’ four leading rushers — Tre Madden, Justin Davis, and Silas Redd — as well as right tackle Kevin Graf, tight ends Xavier Grimble and Randall Telfer, and to a lesser extent Marqise Lee.
The Trojans may not have the dire injury concerns of a couple weeks ago, but key players are still carrying knocks.
Officially listed as likely to play by Ed Orgeron, Williams’ health and effectiveness will have big implications when it comes to slowing down the Cardinal rushing attack.
When it comes to the running backs, Davis is out of the season, but Madden and Redd both have injury statuses that remain up in the air. Graf is banged up but likely to play, as are Grimble and Lee, while Telfer remains a question.