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A Number of Notable Former Trojans Playing on Thanksgiving

Mark Sanchez is 3-1 since becoming the Eagles starting quarterback. He is just one of multiple Trojans playing on Thanksgiving this year.

Mark Sanchez is just one of several Trojans playing on Thanksgiving.
Mark Sanchez is just one of several Trojans playing on Thanksgiving.
Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Thanksgiving has always had a long tradition of producing great NFL games with the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys playing every year. This year, both teams are in action as part of the three-game Turkey Day extravaganza.

With the most first-round draft picks in NFL history (77), USC will have multiple Trojans in action. Here are the notable players that will be suiting up:

Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions (9:30 AM PT, CBS):

The Lions are now in second place in the NFC North after their loss to New England last Sunday. Former Trojan running back Reggie Bush hasn’t played since November 9 due to an ankle injury and is questionable to play. Bush has dealt with the ankle injury for much of the season and has only 360 total yards and one touchdown this season. The Bears, on the other hand, are one of the few teams in the NFL without a Trojan on their current roster.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys (1:30 PM PT, FOX):

What a dandy of a game we have in Dallas as both teams are 8-3 and tied for first in the NFC East. Philadelphia is 3-1 since Mark Sanchez became the starting quarterback after Nick Foles went down with a broken collarbone. Sanchez has done well in his three starts plus the game in Houston when Foles got hurt, throwing for 1,187 yards and seven touchdowns.

But Sanchez has had issues turning the ball over. In three of his four games played, he has thrown two interceptions. Sanchez’s backup is another Trojan, Matt Barkley, who in is second year has yet to see significant playing time. Kevin Graf is also on the team but is on the practice squad.

Since being taken with the number nine pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith has been one of the best and most reliable tackles in the NFL. Smith was named to the Pro Bowl in 2013 and was given an eight-year, $110 million dollar extension in July.

Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers (5:30 PT, NBC):

The Seattle USC Trojans I mean Seahawks will take on the San Francisco 49ers in the nightcap as the Pete Carroll/Jim Harbaugh rivalry will add another chapter in what should be an extremely physical game.

The Seahawks have six ex-Trojans on their roster along with multiple coaches that spent time at USC. Allen Bradford, Michael Morgan, and Malcolm Smith all play linebacker for Carroll’s team with Smith (last year’s Super Bowl MVP), the only starter. Bradford actually played running back for Carroll from 2006-2010 and ran for 1,587 yards and 16 touchdowns in 52 games.

The 49ers were really high on Marcus Martin when they drafted him in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Martin was named the starting center in late October after starting center Daniel Kilgore went down with injury. He has done a good job as a rookie and will have a tough task against Seattle’s feisty bunch.