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1st & 10:
Resting Su’a Cravens… Last week Steve Sarkisian revealed the good news that Su’a Cravens knee injury against Washington State did not include any structural damage. As it turns out, the bye week did him well as the sophomore safety was a full participant in this weekend’s practices and looks ready to play against Cal on Thursday.
Of course that does not mean that Cravens will play, or that he should.
Not that Cal should be taken lightly. They have challenged nearly every team they have faced.
Still, they have conceded more than 30 points to every team they have faced and last year the Trojans dominated them in Berkeley.
There’s no guarantee that they will dominate again, but there is no question that the importance of the game pales in comparison to the two that follow.
Should Steve Sarkisian elect to hold Cravens out in order to get him fully healthy for UCLA and Notre Dame in the coming weeks?
The argument can certainly be made.
Matt Lopes, despite being a freshman and a walk on, proved capable of filling in when Cravens went down. The Cal offense USC will face this week is similar enough to that Washington State team, which the Trojans limited to 17 points. Moreover, USC has not struggled with teams in the bottom half of the standings this year, especially at the Coliseum where they have outscored opponents 177-89.
In Other News…
- Freshman safety John Plattenburg was carted off the field during practice Sunday with an injury Sarkisian described as a deep thigh bruise. (Reign Of Troy)
- The Trojans opened the week as 12-point favorites over Cal. As it turns out, that’s the second biggest spread the Bears will have faced this season. (Reign Of Troy)
- The big story of the weekend was Bill Plaschke’s piece on Ed Orgeron and his willingness to return to USC as an assistant. No movement on that possibility would come until after the season but it is interesting that Orgeron is now actively campaigning for a spot on USC’s coaching roster. (LA Times)
- Scott Wolf has some thoughts on a potential Orgeron return, including questions of salary and pride getting in the way. (Daily News)
- Michael Lev discusses Cody Kessler’s national status this season, especially in light of the three remaining games and the potential to make himself a household name in the two rivalry games. (OC Register)
- For a fun comparison in his mailbag, Ted Miller takes a stab at putting the 2012 USC team and this year’s UCLA team side-by-side in terms of expectations and disappointments. (ESPN)
- While we wait for news on Josh Shaw’s reinstatement, Rahshaun Haylock looks at how his suspension has opened the door for Adoree’ Jackson to shine as a true freshman. (Fox Sports)
- USC returned 4,000 tickets from it’s original allotment of 15,000 for the game against UCLA at the Rose bowl, which Wolf points out isn’t unusual. Still, it’s clear the buzz around that game has fallen off some. (Daily News)
- For an indepth look at Sunday’s practice, which took the form of a Tuesday practice given the short game week, Caroline Deisley and Sarah Bergstrom recapped the day, including some tidbits on the offensive line’s preparation for Cal. (RipsIt Blog)
- Aching for basketball season? Evan Budrovich has some observations from Saturday’s scrimmage as the season approaches. (Conquest Chronicles)
Stat of the Day:
With the 101st meeting upcoming, USC has played Cal more times than any other opponent in history. The Trojans carry a ten-game winning streak against the Golden Bears and an even longer one in the Coliseum, where they have not lost to Cal since 2000.