No Mission For Damien Mama?

Offensive guard Damien Mama expressed doubt tonight about whether he would take his Mormon mission his sophomore year as originally planned.

“At this point I’m not sure,” Mama said. “The depth (on the offensive line) isn’t there.”

Mama said he did not know when he would go on his mission. This is not surprising because players often decide they do not want to take a year off college after they start playing. But it is interesting that Mama is expressing doubt this soon.

Mama took the snaps with the first team at right guard and Steve Sarkisian acknowledged after practice the 377-pound freshman could start the Fresno State game.

Coaches v. Top 25 Teams

WALL.STREET

The Wall Street Journal produced this graphic that illustrated how coaches fared against teams that were ranked in the Associated Press top 25 poll. Stanford’s David Shaw is the best with an 18-8 record. Most coaches do not have winning records. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is 50-23 record, the best among long-time coaches. Steve Sarkisian is 8-18.

More Praise For Juju Smith

"0813_SPO_LDN-L-USC-PRACTICE-JM"Pac-12 Network analyst Rick Neuheisel attended USC practice this morning and was impressed with wide receiver Juju Smith.

“Juju Smith was the man,” Neuheisel said. “His body looks like that of a 25-year-old.”

What About Lamar Dawson?

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Linebacker Lamar Dawson’s been a starter since his freshmen year but his training camp is spent mainly on the sidelines as he comes back from last season’s knee injury against Notre Dame. Torn knee ligaments are something that affect not only Dawson but offensive lineman Jordan Simmons and wide receiver Steve Mitchell.

USC coach Steve Sarkisian admitted Mitchell’s been hindered in camp by his knee injury, which is disappointing because it’s been more than a year since he tore knee ligaments.

Freshmen Line Thought

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Toa Lobendahn is obviously the top freshman lineman and should start against Fresno State. Damien Mama and then Viane Talamaivao are behind him. The freshman who gets mentioned least is Chris Brown.

That’s not necessarily unusual because freshman traditionally redshirt but it’s obvious right now the coaching staff has a clear pecking order and there were questions before camp about how the freshmen would shake out.