When USC takes the field against UNLV, they will take the field with only four scholarship safeties. Sophomore safety Bubba Bolden will not be playing in Saturday’s opener per Clay Helton during his Thursday post practice presser.
Bolden was not present during Thursday’s practice and will not be available to play against UNLV on Saturday. Clay Helton wouldn’t provide a time table or the reason why the sophomore safety wouldn’t be playing during the opener.
Starting safety Bubba Bolden will not be available for USC's season opener on Saturday due to a personnel matter, Clay Helton said. Bolden was not at practice Thursday. "There's no timetable for his return and I cannot comment further," Helton said.— Joey Kaufman (@joeyrkaufman) August 31, 2018
Earlier in the week Ykili Ross opted to leave the program to focus on his academics and seek a graduate transfer. Ross was seen as a favorite to win the starting job. Bolden won the starting strong safety job over redshirt freshman Isiah Pola-Mao. The loss of Ross now magnifies with Bolden being unavailable for an unknown period of time.
With Bolden now out for a period of time, Pola-Mao will now start on Saturday. True freshman Talanoa Hufanga will see some rotation time as will sophomore CJ Pollard, who took some reps with the first team during Thursday’s practice. The Trojans may get away with their losses this Saturday against UNLV, however it could be a factor when the Trojans start the rough part of the schedule.