Three key USC players will miss the Utah game as starters safety Gerald Bowman, receiver George Farmer and fullback Soma Vainuku will be out for tonight's game in Salt Lake City.
OUT for #USC: WR George Farmer, FB Soma Vainuku, S Gerald Bowman.— Michael Lev (@MichaelJLev) October 26, 2014
According to the USC athletics Twitter account, the three players did not even make the trip with the team, so this was a decision made before yesterday and not a game-time decision:
USC FB Soma Vainuku, WR George Farmer and S Gerald Bowman did not make the trip to Utah due to injury.— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) October 26, 2014
The biggest loss is Gerald Bowman, who is the veteran leader in the secondary for the Trojans. Bowman sprained his foot in USC's 56-28 win over Colorado. He is the third leading tackler with 45 stops and has one interception. Behind Bowman, USC has a couple of options. The Trojans can move Su'a Cravens back to safety from the hybrid linebacker position he has played this year, but more likely it will be Leon McQuay III moving back into the starting lineup after he was replaced by John Plattenburg last week.
Farmer will miss his second game in a row after pulling his hamstring last week. With him out, Darreus Rogers will have to step up on the outside behind Nelson Agholor and JuJu Smith. He has 103 yards receiving on 13 catches this season. He has one touchdown.
The Trojans will also miss Soma Vainuku -- USC's lead blocker in the backfield and the reigning conference Special Teams Player of the Year. With him out, USC head coach Steve Sarkisian said it will be "all hands on deck" on special teams for the Trojans. Vainuku is missing his second game in a row after pulling his hamstring while covering a kick in USC's victory at Arizona. Jahleel Pinner will fill in behind him.