The 2012 season did not end the way the University of Southern California Trojans and their fans would have liked. Spring practice offered a new day and a fresh slate for an underachieving team that started last year ranked number one and ended up with six losses. Yet, spring practice isn’t two weeks old and already the men of Troy are without their only starting quarterback, a Heisman Trophy leading wide receiver and their best running back (source: Daily News). Thank God for spring break.
The USC Trojans take a week off for school spring break before going back to practice for two more weeks. To say the offense is a little thin right now wouldn’t truly be accurate but key losses like these are not the way a team wants to rebuild itself after the debacle of last season.
Some good news
The good news is the defense looks good and key players are stepping up – especially on the defensive line and linebacking. However, there’s some bad news for the defense too. A couple of cornerbacks and a freshman star safety are nicked up in the backfield.
Still, the big news of the spring has been the injuries to some of USC’s potential stars on offense. The losses have left play for the other players, like at quarterback, without key cogs in the system and practices have suffered somewhat. Yet, the extra snaps for other players stepping in may pay off down the road. Here’s a look of the three and their outlook.
Likely the most explosive and talented receiver – ah heck, make it of any player in college football – Lee is not someone the Trojans can replace. The junior wideout was the Biletnikoff Award winner last season as the best receiver in college and Lee will be one of the front runners for the Heisman. However, with that said, he was injured a week ago with a sprained knee during live hitting. Lee’s injury is listed as minor and he’s expected back when the team reconvenes after spring break. That sigh of relief you just heard was the many Trojan faithful.
The most serious injury of the spring goes to USC’s number one running back (source: Sports Illustrated). The senior was having good practices until he went down with a torn MCL last Thursday. Redd will have surgery Tuesday on his left knee and be out for the rest of spring. It’s expected he will be back in time for summer and fall camp. The former Penn State transfer was the Trojans leading running back in 2012 with over 900 yards gained and nine touchdowns. Redd is a vital part of the USC offensive attack.
He started the last two games of the 2012 season and although not officially, most felt the starting quarterback job was his to lose. However, the redshirt sophomore was injured in the same practice as Lee when hitting went live. Wittek suffered a sprained right knee but already the swelling has been reduced and Wittek is looking to getting back to practice after the break. Unlike the other two injuries on offense, Wittek’s injury could limit his ability to beat back the competition. Both redshirt sophomore Cody Kessler and incoming freshman Max Browne have improved in practice with the extra snaps, which will make head coach Lane Kiffin’s job that much harder when he must decide by the fall on who’ll be the starting QB.