USC vs. Idaho: Vandal WR Dezmon Epps Suspended for Stealing


Idaho was already facing a tall task against USC on Saturday, but they’ll now have to play without their best player. Vandals wide receiver Dezmon Epps has been identified as one of ‘several players’ who were caught on video stealing merchandise from a campus store, leading to a suspension vs. the Trojans.

RELATED: 5 Things to Watch For in USC vs. Idaho

“The video allegedly clarifies an Aug. 16 incident in which $285 worth of merchandise was stolen from the campus store during a time when the store was open only to members of the football team,” reported Jacob Thorpe of the Spokesman-Review on Friday.

According to a university statement, Epps and cornerback Isaiah Taylor had their identities concealed until the school deemed they would not be in violation of FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. While Epps has been suspended for Saturday’s game, Taylor has been dismissed.

Epps was kicked off the team prior to last season, only to be reinstated this past offseason by head coach Paul Petrino. In his first game back last week against Ohio, he had 15 catches for 160 yards as the Vandals lost to the Bobcats 45-28.

Without Epps, the Vandals passing game will likely go through quarterback Matt Linehan’s second-favorite target, tight end Deon Watson. At receiver, Callen Hightower, Rueben Mwehla and Jacon Sannon will have to pick up the slack.

Idaho had the nation’s 31st most prolific passing offense a year ago, averaging 275 yards per game during Linehan’s true freshman season.

What’s it mean for USC? For starters, the defensive game plan got that much simpler, as the Trojans will no longer have to scheme for stopping Epps in the slot.

Would they have pulled a cornerback inside to play as a nickel on him? Would they have put Su’a Cravens on him? We’ll never know.

In response to the suspension, the spread in Las Vegas is now up to 44 points after opening with USC as a 43-point favorite.

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