Saturday’s game against Cal will be an opportunity to rebound for USC, one of the handful of preseason favorites to compete for a BCS championship this season. The Trojans fell to previously No. 21 Stanford last weekend, 21-14. The Cardinal were far more physical in the trenches and never allowed Matt Barkley to get in a rhythm.
That led to lots of criticism for USC’s O-line, and especially Cyrus Hobbi, who was replacing starting center Khaled Holmes. Holmes’ absence was notable to be sure, but the lack of a running game and pass protection was result of a total failure up front. Holmes (pictured, center) took to his Twitter account Tuesday to defend his teammate:
“Cyrus was put in the most difficult situation imaginable, and did a commendable job. People attacking him are out of place and incorrect.
“He is a great young man and is going to be a great player for USC. That’s all I’ll say about the subject.”
Be that as it may, Hobbi may not get another chance to start. Coach Lane Kiffin — when not walking away from questions — said this week that Abe Markowitz would be choice to start at center against Cal if Holmes isn’t ready to go. Markowitz is a veteran guy along USC’s O-line, but he’s had an oft-injured career. In fact, Markowitz was reportedly healthy enough to start last week against the Cardinal — he sustained another injury in Week 2 against Syracuse — but because he wasn’t able to practice leading up to the game, Hobbi got the nod.