Practice Report: Markowitz done for the year

After missing last season with a broken right foot, offensive lineman Abe Markowitz needs surgery to repair a broken left foot and will not play this year.

LOS ANGELES – Offensive lineman Abe Markowitz will miss the rest of the season with a broken left foot, USC head coach Lane Kiffin said Thursday.

It marks the second consecutive season that Markowitz has missed, after breaking his right foot in fall camp last year.

As with that injury, Markowitz will require surgery, which Kiffin said will happen next week.

"Very disappointed in that, obviously it's an area of concern for us and he was somebody that we were excited about and kept hoping to get him back every week," he said. "He'll have a long rehab to get through to get back."

After coming to USC from the famed Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii, Markowitz earned a scholarship last season as a back-up center. He was emerging as the frontrunner to start at left guard before his injury.

In his absence, the Trojans have used three different starters there in three weeks. Junior college transfer Jeremy Galten got the nod against Minnesota, but was replaced by redshirt senior Martin Coleman against Utah, only to step in and play most of the game after Coleman hurt his shoulder.

Freshman Marcus Martin was up first against Syracuse and, while Kiffin declined to name a starter, is expected to do so again Saturday at Arizona State.

Difference of Opinion
Redshirt freshman running back D.J. Morgan has fumbled twice in the last two games, losing the ball on his only carry against Syracuse. His struggles prompted Kiffin to state that, "If you do it, it's almost like the guys in front of you, you have to wait for them to screw up again" to get back in the rotation.

But offensive coordinator Kennedy Polamalu disagrees, citing the chances Morgan will have to get involved in other ways.

"We've had a lot of opportunities to sit down and basically build him. … He has got to learn to make plays other places besides running with the football," Polamalu said.

"The great ones I've been around, it didn't matter. They always left an impression."

Polamalu pointed to the impact redshirt junior Curtis McNeal had on special teams against Syracuse before breaking out with a team-best 79 rushing yards in the fourth quarter. He also mentioned Reggie Bush's up-and-down freshman season.

"Reggie was the same. We were afraid as a freshman to put him out there, but you got to build his confidence," Polamalu said. "Allen Bradford was the same way his senior year. It shouldn't matter if you have the ball or you don't, it's being on the field and making plays."

One player who could get those opportunities this week is freshman Amir Carlisle, finally healthy after dealing with an injury.

"Do you know what's great about that young man? Every week even with the high ankle sprain, he prepared like he was going to start," Polamalu said.

Quick Hits
-Linebacker Lamar Dawson (ankle) did not practice for the third straight day and seems unlikely to play.

That leaves former walk-on Will Andrew to backup Chris Galippo, but Kiffin said Shane Horton could play inside as well.

-Junior defensive end Devon Kennard, who attended Phoenix (Ariz.) Desert Vista, returns to the desert Saturday for his final game in nearby Tempe.

Kennard expects to have more than 20 friends and family in attendance, but said he never seriously considered signing with the Sun Devils.

"They wanted me bad, but no," he said.

Held without a sack this season, Kennard is also looking for a measure of redemption after what quarterback Brock Osweiler did to him two years ago in a 14-9 USC win.

"The only thing I remember my freshman year, Osweiler got me on a stiff arm and a lot of my friends gave me a hard time about that for about a year," Kennard said. "I owe him one." Top Stories