Steve Sarkisian said there would be lots of "OR's" when we saw the Trojans depth chart for the Arkansas State game (8 p.m., Pac-12 Networks) Saturday at the Coliseum. "Maybe more than you're used to," he said Saturday.
But that's not really true. There are just five on offense -- and two of those are at tight end -- as you would have expected with Oklahoma transfer Taylor McNamara, walkon Connor Spears or freshman Tyler Petite. All will play.
Two more are for Toa Lobendahn with Chad Wheeler's starting status up in the air a bit at left tackle having just gotten 100 percent cleared last week. That makes Toa an "OR" at left tackle behind Chad or back at right guard where Viane Talamaivao is back from his hamstring.
So that's not really many at all. Teams with one "OR" at quarterback find that's more than equal all of USC's.
Sure, there are some "OR's" down the depth chart. Like for the three freshman tailbacks now that Ronald Jones II is back home with Dominic Davis and Aca'cedric Ware. That's as it should be for these three.
Then for the defense and special teams, well there's no waffling. The starters are the starters. Not a single "OR." Walkon Alex Wood won the placekicking job over Matt Boermeester, a player USC has invested a scholarship on.
And for the position that's drawn the most comments thus far, Scott Felix rose to the top at RUSH end despite the return of Jabari Ruffin and the impressive play all fall of freshman Porter Gustin, listed second and third behind him.
Which is the signal here to say, again, that all three will play. As will the three freshman tailbacks.
The point is, when you look at this defense, the calls went to the veterans. Not because they were veterans but because they played up to the standards of USC starters.
But the thing that jumps out at you from this depth chart is how many "ORs" there could have been. Or how many there will be.
Just did a quick count through this depth chart and counting the players who could easily start at all the positions including special teams, the number that comes up is 60. Yeah, 60 players on this roster could be listed as starters and you wouldn't bat an eye.
Here are the names of players listed third or deeper at their position on this depth chart: Petite, Christian Tober, Gustin, Osa Masina, Michael Hutchings, Sam Darnold, all three freshman tailbacks, Nico Falah, Quinton Powell, John Houston, Jacob Daniel, Noah Jefferson, Jordan Simmons, Rasheem Green, Ykili Ross, Matt Lopes and Isaiah Langley.
You want the guys listed second? How about these names: Adoree' Jackson (at wide receiver), Isaac Whitney, Spears, Edoga, Talamaivao, Khaliel Rodgers, Chris Brown, Lobendahn, De'Quan Hampton, Max Browne, Justin Davis, Uchenna Nwosu, Cody Temple, Kenny Bigelow, Claude Pelon, Cam Smith, Ruffin, Olajuwon Tucker, Iman Marshall, Marvell Tell, John Plattenburg and Jonathan Lockett.
We're listing them here just to reinforce how different a world this is for USC football after the last three years. These numbers, this many names, would have been unthinkable
And now here they are. Only not buried. Not this season. Get used to it.
Here's the link to the depth chart: out USC DEPTH CHART.
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