Walk-ons in at the Coliseum

USC improved to 5-3 on Saturday afternoon after defeating Utah 19-3. Only 52 scholarship players were available for the Trojans who used ten walk-ons in the effort.

Though the numbers weren't as bad as originally anticipated after the Trojans roster appeared decimated during the practice week, USC did only have 52 scholarship players available Saturday afternoon (Including Dion Bailey, who was unavailable in the first half).

By the end of the 19-3 win over Utah, only 50, as two scholarship players went down during the game.

USC had to use ten walk-ons in the game.

"Tremendous," USC interim head coach Ed Orgeron said of the effort of his players who had to try out in order to earn a spot on the team. "We were able to execute and go out there and run our offense. We put 11 on the field and it doesn't matter. They had that mindset."

Right tackle Kevin Graf suffered an ankle injury and was carted into the locker room; he did not return to action. Safety Su'a Cravens suffered a groin injury after returning an interception 54 yards at the end of the first half. He was out the rest of the game.

Safety Dion Bailey, who is suffering from turf toe, did not practice this week. He was a game time decision Saturday and did not suit up in the first half. After seeing Cravens go down, Bailey implored the coaches during halftime to put him in the game. He suited and played, but his status for next week's game at Oregon State remains in question.

Just as the scholarship tight ends, the walk-ons weren't immune to the injury bug, either. USC played without Xavier Grimble, Randall Telfer, and Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick. Walk-on Shane Sullivan saw time in the first half at tight end before going down with an injury. Walk-on Chris Wilson, also on the two deep at the position this week, made his first career reception in the winning effort.

At one point in the week, USC only had one scholarship receiver available. By game time, Darreus Rogers, Nelson Agholor, and De'Von Flournoy were ready to play. Agholor was a game time decision due to bruised ribs. Walk-on receivers George Katrib, Robby Kolanz, and Cody Skene also had to lineup, though none caught any passes.

"I'm so proud of my guys," USC quarterback Cody Kessler said of the winning effort. "I think the quote Coach O put up ["We have our team. It's what it is. It's what we are. We're Trojans. We put 11 out on the field and we fight."] Chris Wilson came in and played amazing. Shane Sullivan played great.

"In the tight end situation they stepped up and did great things," Kessler continued. "Those guys are just team players."

USC has a short week of preparation before traveling to Corvallis (Ore.) to play Oregon State in a Friday night game.

No updates were given on the status of injured players after the game, though Bailey and Marqise Lee both said they hope to be ready on Friday.

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