USC would be down one wide receiver when they travel to the Bay Area for a late night meeting with California.
Redshirt junior wide receiver Tyler Vaughns has a slightly sprained ankle and was limited during Tuesday’s practice. USC head coach Clay Helton shared that Vaughns was “a little ways off” and was ruled day to day. He also shared that they will see how Vaughns progresses during the week leading up to the game. As of now his status is “unknown” for Saturday’s game.
Last week Michael Pittman Jr. had a slightly sprained ankle and was progressed the same way. The senior ended up starting in the Trojans victory over Arizona State where he grabbed 13 catches for 146 yards. In the event that Vaughns is unable to play Saturday night, look for a couple of Freshmen in Drake London and Kyle Ford to rotate to the outside in his place. They could also rotate Amon-Ra St. Brown from the slot to the outside to start things off against California.
Vaughns isn’t the only one who’s status is in the air for Saturday’s game. Running backs Stephen Carr and Vavae Malepeai participated in practice Tuesday. Helton stated that Carr was well, putting him on track to play Saturday. However, the same couldn't be said for Malepeai. The junior running back will take it day by day, making his status for Saturday also unknown. Both Carr and Malepeai participated in warm ups before the Arizona State game, but didn't play in the game.
What could their availability mean for freshman running back Kennan Christon? It was already ruled that Christon will not redshirt, but his work load will diminish with Carr and Malepeai returning. Running backs coach Mike Jinks shared that the freshman looked worn down with the large amount of carries through the last three games. Having three healthy scholarship running backs should help the Trojans running game moving forward.
Unfortunately USC will be without their starting center Brett Neilon vs California. Neilon suffered a strained calf against Arizona State and will miss multiple weeks. Justin Dedich will take over as the starting center while starting guard Jalen McKenzie becomes the new back up center as an emergency option.