Preseason All-American center Max Tuerk has played his final game as a USC football player. The senior tore his ACL during Thursday night’s loss to the Washington Huskies and will miss the rest of the season. The school announced the news on Sunday night.
In his absence, Toa Lobendahn –who’s widely considered a natural center– took over against Washington and will be the Trojans’ center for the foreseeable future.
Without Tuerk, the offensive line struggled mightily on Thursday. They gave up five sacks while quarterback Cody Kessler was under duress throughout the game.
That led to poor decisions in the passing game and ultimately helped steer the Huskies towards forcing a pair of interceptions on poorly thrown balls.
Oct 11, 2014; Tucson, AZ, USA; Southern California Trojans center Max Tuerk (75) against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Now Lobendahn will get practice time as a first team center however, something he hasn’t had much of to date. It also paves the way for sophomore Viane Talamaivao to once again become a starter at right guard.
For Max Tuerk however, the knee injury is a disappointing end to what was a successful career as one of the Trojans’ most valuable players. His versatility was a major boon for the three coaching staffs he played for, as he started at three different positions in four years.
Hcame to USC as a member of the 2012 recruiting class and didn’t take long to make the starting lineup in Lane Kiffin’s offense.
Tuerk became the first true freshman to start at left tackle for the Trojans since 1972.
Since then, he started in 36 of 37 games across two different positions, with the 2012 Sun Bowl being the lone exception.
Tuerk was an All-Pac-12 first teamer at center as a junior in 2014 and had several honors as a preseason All-American first teamer going into 2015.
More from Reign of Troy
- Markese Stepp enters transfer portal intending to leave USC football
- USC football’s Alijah Vera-Tucker declares for NFL Draft
- USC football adds Xavion Alford as transfer from Texas
- USC Podcast: RoT Radio Ep. 396 on the Football Season’s Fallout
- Talanoa Hufanga named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, USC football with five first-teamers