Notes from the sidelines

Our weekly look at what's going on with the USC Trojan football team

With a new Trojan season upon us it's time to take a look at what's happening with the Men of Troy……Injuries are a foremost concern right now and it will be interesting to see how many of the banged up players can see action on Monday against Auburn......Justin Fargas has been waiting a long, long time to run down the tunnel and hit the field while wearing the Cardinal and Gold and you can be sure it will take a lot to keep him out….Carson Palmer is a warrior and will play through any pain he has while a key will be the health of two true freshmen in Fred Matua and Mike Williams……If Matua can't go look for Derek Graf to step into his spot after having a fine fall camp…..Ronald Nunn brings the experience that Carroll so desperately wants at corner right now and if healthy he will get the start opposite Rideaux. Keep an eye on Justin Wyatt in the future, however, he is a player…….The move of John Walker back to free safety makes sense, we took a look at him at corner and he didn't quickly earn playing time so move him back to the spot where he will likely see action as a reserve behind DeShaun Hill…..Auburn and USC are similar programs in that each have proud traditions based in large part on running the football but both have been searching for an identity in recent years with high hopes under new coaching regimes…..Mike Pollard will be a major key at linebacker, he is a senior leader who brings a physical style of play that you want to have in the middle of your defense……When Kennedy Pola returned to running backs coach for the Trojans it wasn't hard for Pete Carroll to find a coach to assist Pola with the special teams as Carroll's son Brennan, who played last year as a TE for Pitt, has joined the staff as an offensive and special teams assistant……Gregg Guenther has made some eye-opening catches at tight end this fall and he could team with Alex Holmes to give the Trojans as much production as we've seen from that spot since the days of McWilliams, Allred and Cashman……Kareem Kelly will return punts but don't be surprised to see Greig Carlson back there at some point.  The coaches are enamored with the potential of Kareem as a punt returner because he has a chance to be as good as they come if he is focused and prepared for the job…..A crowd of 70,000 is expected for the game with a national television audience watching on ABC as Keith Jackson and Dan Fouts will handle the broadcasting chores.  There are also some new additions to the Trojan radio crew as Pete Arbogast and Paul McDonald return but Tim Ryan has moved on to the NFL and Petros Papadakis will take his spot on the sidelines.  Petros will also be joined on the radio pre-game show by former Trojans Jeff Kopp and Mark Carrier…..The coaches are faced with an interesting dilemma regarding Hershel Dennis.  The talented freshman has shown without a doubt that he can play and his skill level at this point for a running back is second only to Fargas on the Trojan roster but with three seniors and a solid sophomore at his position it would be ideal to save Hershel's redshirt year.  Expect to see Dennis play in the first few games and if everybody is healthy heading in to league play then a decision will be made on whether or not to redshirt him…..There will be a pre-game Navy jet flyover and a post-game fireworks show…..Norm Katnik will start at center and when his uncle John started at center for USC in 1987 the Trojans went to the Rose Bowl…..

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