Five things to watch for during USC football vs. Washington State

Dec 2, 2020, 8:48 AM EST
USC football center Brett Neilon. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
USC football center Brett Neilon. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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usc football brett neilon
USC football center Brett Neilon. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

USC football will be back with questions to answer vs. Washington State

USC football didn’t get to play one of their most important games in the Pac-12 South, but a Pac-12 North opponent is on the horizon with plenty of intrigue to unravel.

The Trojans will take on Washington State on Sunday night as both teams return from a coronavirus-induced layoff.

What are the major things USC fans should be on the lookout for?

USC football’s offensive line

USC’s top concern going into the Washington State game has to be the offensive line. It’s simply not clear what the state of the unit will be.

It was widely reported when USC was struck with their first positive COVID-19 test that the unit hit by quarantine and contact tracing was the offensive line. Ultimately, the Trojans were unable to play Colorado because they lacked the requisite number of players for one unit.

If USC is able to go ahead and play the Cougars, it will be because enough of those players have cleared isolation. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be in their best condition.

Trainers worked with medical professionals to put together a conditioning plan for the players in quarantine, Clay Helton said on Tuesday. Still, their practice time over the past week will have been zero. They will get a few days to get back in the swing of things at most.

The Trojan line hasn’t played particularly well to begin with, excepting the outstanding performances of Alijah Vera-Tucker. They’ll be taking on a defensive front capable of creating havoc in the trenches.