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One RB returns for, two exit from USC’s win over Utah

It was a series of comings and goings for No. 13 USC’s backfield in the 38-28 win over Utah Thursday night.

On the brighter side of the running back ledger, D.J. Morgan returned to the playing field for the first time since undergoing minor knee surgery early last month.  And it was a solid return for the sophomore, who rushed for 46 yards in five carries as the primary backup to Silas Redd.

Redd himself, though, was knocked out of the game with an undisclosed injury.  The Penn State transfer, who led the Trojans in rushing with 77 yards and a touchdown, declared after the game that he is “fine,” although there’s been no official word on that front from the school.

Additionally, Curtis McNeal was knocked out in the first quarter of a game that was actually 14-0 in favor of the Utes at the time.  Second on the team in rushing entering the conference game, McNeal reportedly suffered a concussion and did not return.

The comings and goings at the RB position, though, didn’t really matter on a night that was all about the aerial attack for the Trojans.  A two-game slump for Matt Barkley — just 446 yards passing total, with two touchdowns vs. four interceptions — became a thing of the past as the senior quarterback threw for 303 yards, three touchdowns and, most importantly, no interceptions.

Marquise Lee was the biggest beneficiary of Barkley shaking off the mini-slump, with the sophomore catching 12 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown.  The scoring play covered 83 yards, the longest of his career.

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5 Responses to “One RB returns for, two exit from USC’s win over Utah”
  1. manchestermiracle says: Oct 5, 2012 8:58 AM

    If Lane Kiffin doesn’t soon learn how to prepare his team to play from the opening kickoff, instead of waking up near the end of the first half, the Trojans won’t even win their division let alone the conference.

    How is it possible for the team to have eleven days off and yet the center to quarterback exchange looks like the first day of spring practice, resulting in two early Ute TDs? Khaled Holmes might be considered a high NFL draft pick, but Star Lotulelei made him look like a fat, slow freshman at the start of this game. Cool fact: Star’s full first name is Starlite.

    Barkley wasn’t the missing-in-action horror of the Stanford loss, but he wasn’t back to the level of his performance at the end of last year. For some reason he’s been pretty inaccurate through five games this season. Even his 83-yard TD to Lee was underthrown. Oh, and he tried to pick up Holmes poor shotgun snap instead of falling on it (something taught at the Pop Warner level) which gave Utah its first TD.

    For a team trying to deal with the very real handicap of scholarship reductions, the Trojans have no room for error. A few more concussions (or leg injuries, like Holmes’) and they could very well lose a couple more games. On the road at Washington next week won’t be at all easy, to say nothing of home games against Oregon and Notre Dame. Good luck, boys, you’ll need it.

  2. addict2sport says: Oct 5, 2012 10:15 AM

    Nice essay manchester. Seems you really care about USC. I do agree with you. If they spot the 3 teams you mentioned 14 points like they did last night, that will be 3 losses.

  3. dudeacow says: Oct 5, 2012 1:52 PM

    I agree manchester. At the beginning of the season (I’m an ND fan) I wasn’t even excited for the USC game because I thought we were gonna get creamed. Now it will be a little more interesting… Roll Irish!

  4. ninjasports says: Oct 5, 2012 3:48 PM

    Barkley can clearly carry the Trojans if Kiffin can get his shi* together. So far this season he seems like he is forgetting every minor detail that gel together wins.

  5. trojanron says: Oct 7, 2012 4:33 PM

    You may recall DJ Morgan was the starter last year until he fumbled a couple of times. Kennedy rightly doesn’t tolerate that and DJ doesn’t fumble anymore.

    The reason he started was he is a very good TB and is the fastest of the bunch, perhaps the only one with true breakaway speed. Here’s hoping all 3 are okay, that they can share the load such that none get injured because they are tired.

    I’m waiting for that metamorphosis that followed the horrific loss to ASU last year to kick in. It better be soon. That trip to Seattle will be a disaster if it doesn’t..

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