If you had to guess which team leads the country in sacks, you’d probably say somebody like Alabama, Clemson or even N.C. State given all of their terrific defensive lines. That is not the answer though, as some might be surprised to find out it’s actually USC who is the FBS leader with 34 sacks on the year.
While that Trojans’ pass-rush has been productive, it could get even better heading into the team’s game at Colorado this Saturday as defensive end Christian Rector could be in the lineup for the first time in two weeks after breaking his hand in practice.
“The hand is cleared by the doctors,” head coach Clay Helton said on Thursday evening, according to the LA Times. “It’s just from a pain standpoint. He’s not experiencing any pain right now, so basically we’re going to take (Friday) and the next day, warm him up on Saturday and make a decision from there, and see how he’s feeling about it. He wants to go.”
The addition of Rector, who has been wearing a wrapped up club to protect his hand in practice this week, could be a nice boon to USC’s chances at winning the Pac-12 as the edge rusher has 6.5 sacks on the season — good enough for second in the conference despite missing the past two games. Jordan Iosefa will likely start or play significant time in the position as he has been after taking over for the injured Rector.
That’s not the only bit of good news for the Trojans defense either, as Helton also confirmed that defensive back Iman Marshall could also be good to go for the team’s game in Boulder on Saturday as well after missing two weeks with a knee injury.
USC can clinch the division title and a spot in the Pac-12 championship game with a win against the Buffs.