When USC linebacker/safety/explosive playmaker Su'a Cravens went down on a non-contact injury against Washington State, the entirety of the Trojan faithful held their breath fearing the worst. Cravens had to be helped to the locker room and watched the second half on crutches.
However, it appears it was just a scare. After having a week off to heal all the Trojans bumps, bruises and nicks, the Trojans returned to practice over the weekend as healthy as they have been in weeks and Cravens was a full participant in practice on Saturday and Sunday.
"Human nature is human nature," USC head coach Steve Sarkisian said in an attempt to explain how Su'a Cravens was back full strength. "When you think you’re really hurt, I’m sure it was painful, and then you get an MRI back that says there’s nothing wrong, sometimes you heal a little quicker. Sometimes that goes directly to your mind like, ‘Okay, there really isn’t anything wrong in here.’"
The Trojans will need one of their biggest playmakers and arguably their most important defensive player this Thursday when they face a potent Cal offense that likes to sling the ball around, similar to what Washington State does.
Against the Cougars, USC employed a 2-4-5 defense, daring Washington State to run the ball. Su'a Cravens was at one of the linebacker positions and will likely have a similar role this Thursday. The Trojans will have to worry about the run more than they did last game, but the 2-4-5 could be used once again.
Cal enters the game averaging 41.9 points per game thanks to gunslinging sophomore quarterback Jared Goff, who has thrown 27 touchdowns and only four interceptions while passing for 346.5 yards per game.