Coming out of Fall Camp, the Trojans offense is facing a lot of uncertainty. Besides a few spot on the O-Line, there are virtually no starters at any position. Quarterbacks Max Wittek and Cody Kessler are still fighting it out to see who will be the Trojans starting QB, running back Silas Redd is still sidelined due to injury, fullbacks Soma Vainuku and Jahleel Pinner are both still vying for that starting spot, and there are three options over at right guard. John Martinez looked to be the starting RG, with Aundrey Walker taking reps with the twos, but Martinez has been sporting a boot on his foot, and Coach Lane Kiffin announced that Jordan Simmons is also being considered for the position.
Over on the defensive side, there is a lot of talent, especially in the secondary, but again, injuries have been plaguing the Trojans. Safety Dion Bailey has been sidelined with an injury as well as Morgan Breslin. No word if the two will play against Hawaii, let alone if they made the trip over. Overall, looks like Anthony Brown, Torin Harris, Josh Shaw and Su'a Cravens will be getting the majority of the reps in the backfield this year.
Hands down the biggest concern for the Trojans is their health. Nineteen players were unable to participate coming out of Fall Camp, and top players like Marqise Lee, Redd, Bailey and Breslin are all still uncertainties. On the flip side, the Trojans biggest strength has to be their leadership coming from their new captains. Representing the Trojans this year will be Hayes Pullard, Devon Kennard, Marcus Martin and Lee. All players seem to have a positive impact on the team, despite the fact it is the first captain group without a quarterback since 2003.
The two biggest surprise players of Fall Camp had to be linebacker Lamar Dawson and left tackle Chad Wheeler. Dawson has been an MVP of camp, continuing to improve his technique and statistics. Definitely a player to watch for on the defensive side. But the biggest surprise has to be Wheeler. Wheeler filled out his frame over the summer, and the redshirt freshman has stepped up to start at left tackle this season. Wheeler has been solid protecting the blindside and says he isn't phased by the inevitable pressure at the position.
Overall, the Trojans could realistically end their season at 9-4, with losses to UCLA, Stanford, Notre Dame and finally to either Arizona State or Oregon State. With kickoff on Thursday, that final answer should be cleared up soon.