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Markowitz could start at center for USC against Cal

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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.

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6 Responses to “Markowitz could start at center for USC against Cal”
  1. coachroy says: Sep 19, 2012 11:32 PM

    I am not surprised by the move. Cyrus Hobbi has to realize that no matter how much pity support he gets from his teammates. he and others on the O line had a terrible game! I have been watching USC football for 51 years and have seldom seen such a brake down
    in line play. When you get a shot, you have to make the best of it! He did not! All you can do is work harder in practice to make sure if he gets another shot he does not blow it again. I am surprised they did not tighten the line splits to help him? Big coaching error! Let’s see the team responds versus a very good Cal team.

  2. going4iton4th says: Sep 20, 2012 12:13 AM

    Such a terrible thing for Lame Kiffin and the USC Trojans that were as paper thin as Charmin! I guess being highly overrated and a favorite of ESPN gets you no where nowadays! Barkley is a great guy and will be a first round pick—SC can either man up and finish strong or absorb another loss or two. I think the latter will come to pass!

  3. xtremesportsmaniac says: Sep 20, 2012 9:26 AM

    Coachroy,
    I agree with you 100%. I have also been disappointed in the play calling this year. USC has two 1000 yard backs but refuses to run the ball with any regularity. I would like to see a little more balance in the offense and maybe some play action and roll outs.

    Going4iton4th,
    Most USC fans think ESPN hates the Trojans. A lot of people refer to is as eSECpn. I do agree USC was overrated this year and should not been ahead of Alabama. Every year there are SEC teams who are also overrated to begin the year. I also don’t think they should have ranking until midway through the season.

  4. coachroy says: Sep 20, 2012 11:45 AM

    It is interesting whenever a USC team loses a game, we get bumped out of of the top 10, but when a SEC favorite loses they usually get to stay in the Top 10, but the way USC lost and the fact that they have less than 400 yards of rushing yards after 3 games is deplorable and that unbalanced O will not win against the good teams here or anywhere else. This must be changed. On the kicking situation, give the walk-on a chance. You may find a rose!

  5. trojan33sc says: Sep 20, 2012 12:31 PM

    The irony of that game was that Stanford was playing “slobber-knocker” old school USC football. Whereas USC has become soft by concentrating on that “high octane” passing game. When that is your focus your o-line becomes soft. I played for USC in the 80’s and i can tell you that we had TWO plays, “student body right” and “student body left”, that’s it and DAILY all we did in practice was knock the living Shyte out of each other. I recall Bo Schembeckler the former head coach at Michigan saying after one of our practices that “No wonder you guys are so tough, you just pound each other !!” Harbaugh brought in hardnose football to Stanford and Kiffen needs to do the same thing !

  6. coachroy says: Sep 20, 2012 1:07 PM

    I was a walk-on kicker in 1965 and I know what you mean about practice! I don’t think Coach McKay liked kickers much and told us in so many words! Anyway, we had to play Corners on the scout team not like today where they have their own coach and just kick all day until special teams play. They ran that damn SBR or Left at me all the time and one time they forgot to block me and I folded in behind them and de-cleated Mike Garrett. I should not have celebrated! The next play they ran it again and they pulled the entire line plus the FB and kicked my butt from Bovard Field to Figueroa! I came up with my helmet turned sideways some how? Lane Kiffin has no patience for the running game and desperately needs an offensive coordinator who can ground him more. I saw the aborted post game comments yesterday and he acted like a little kid running away from his Mommy. He has a long way to go to be a mature college coach.

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