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1st & 10:
First Take… Clay Helton updated the injury status of several USC players during his Sunday evening conference call, including a surprise update on freshman linebacker Cameron Smith who injured his shoulder against Arizona.
Smith, who leads the Trojans in tackles from the middle linebacker spot this season, will have to sit out of practice for the time being with an MRI scheduled for Monday. He had struggled with a hamstring problem against Cal and in the lead up to Arizona.
It is not known the extent of the injury, or even when exactly it was suffered, as nothing was reported on his status after USC’s 38-30 victory.
If Smith is held out for an extended period, redshirt senior Lamar Dawson would take over the starting job in the middle. He had his greatest involvement for the Trojans against the Wildcats, with seven tackles, a joint tackle for loss and a pass break up.
And Ten USC Football News Links…
- Reign of Troy: We examined the stud and dud performances from USC vs. Arizona. Considering the Trojans’ lackluster start, there were a lot of studs.
- LA Times: Gary Klein takes a look at how Helton has put himself in a position to challenge for the permanent USC job, even though he has deflected questions regarding his candidacy as of late.
- LA Times: Recruits Keyshon Camp and Antwaun Jackson were on official visits to USC as the Trojans beat Arizona. Camp is a current commit while Jackson has the Trojans in his top five.
- OC Register: Helton says he is focused on making sure USC sorts out their habit of starting slow since he took over this season. Under Steve Sarkisian, the Trojans were often quick off the blocks but fell off at the end.
- ESPN: Steve Bisheff says it is time to make it official: “Ronald Jones II has to be anointed as the new No. 1 tailback at USC.”
- Reign of Troy: Our Michael Castillo makes the case that Jones is USC’s Manny Ramirez — a quirky home run hitter who needs still to up his all-around game.
- ESPN: Jones got a helmet sticker for his performance against Arizona, alongside Utah’s Gionni Paul and UCLA’s Thomas Duarte.
- Bleacher Report: Antwaun Woods made Justin Ferguson’s All-Week 10 First Team at defensive tackle. Jones and Su’a Crabens were second-team selections at running back and linebacker.
- Bleacher Report: Ben Kercheval named JuJu Smith-Schuster one of his winners from Week 10 for playing so quickly and so successfully after breaking his hand.
- Associated Press: USC did not leap back into the rankings with their win over Arizona, but they are the top vote getter just outside the Top 25.
Stat of the Day:
Cameron Smith’s 72 tackles are the most by a USC freshman in a season since Dion Bailey and Hayes Pullard led the Trojans in tackles with 81 each in 2011.