Depth Charge

With Tre Madden now a game-time decision, it once again illustrates the tenuous nature of some positions for USC. Javorius Allen is the starter. Justin Davis is now No. 2 but he fractured his ankle last season and sprained an ankle in training camp. Fullback Soma Vainuku is the No. 3 tailback with Madden hurt.

That’s might not really matter for Fresno State but if someone else gets hurt, it could be panic stations for the big Stanford game.

Lamar Dawson’s Slower-Than-Expected Knee Recovery

"0816_SPO_LDN-L-USC-PRACTICE-JM "Lineback Lamar Dawson might miss the first month of the season as he still recovers from last season’s knee injury, which might be why there does not seem to be a sense of urgency about bringing him back.

“We’ve got to get him re-motivated,” USC coach Steve Sarkisian said. “I think he was a little bit discouraged. He’s not as far along as maybe he would have hoped for and we would have hoped for, and maybe he took a little bit of a step back mentally.”

Pac-12 v. SEC

The SEC is considered the nation’s best conference but how much of that is because of the schedule? Here’s what Rick Neuheisel said:

“(The Pac-12) is going to be a bloodbath. If you look at LSU, they have two byes in November. Alabama has a bye and then plays Western Carolina. (The SEC) knows how to schedule their way to a title.”

Paul Finebaum’s Revisionist History

ESPN’s Paul Finebaum said this last night about USC coach Steve Sarkisian:
“Sark was really responsible for the offense when Pete Carroll won the championship, a couple national championships at ‘SC.”
Funny, I could swear Norm Chow ran the offense on those teams.

Behind The Kicks

ABE

Although the Andre Heidari-Matthew Boermeester kicking battle was getting most of the attention, Steve Sarkisian might be more worried about the other parts of the kicks. Walk-on Conner Sullivan is the holder while Peter McBride’s been snapping while expected-snapper Zach Smith is hurt.

Sarkisian’s been critical at times of the snaps and holds on kicks. Remember, poor blocking and kicking on field goals cost USC victories over Washington State and Notre Dame last year, so it’s a critical issue.

Andre Heidari Wins Kicking Job

HEIDARIUSC coach Steve Sarkisian said after practice that senior Andre Heidari will be the Trojans’ kicker. Heidari rebounded from a poor start during training camp. Perhaps Sarkisian should tell him the job is contingent on not acting like this during games.

Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick Update

I previously mentioned ineligible tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick petitioned for a grade change to regain his eligibility. USC’s also petitioned the NCAA the allow Cope-Fitzpatrick to continue practicing in the fall because he will be below the required 12 units. There’s been no developments regarding his grade-change petition.