The Trojans will have some new faces in new places when they take the field on Saturday looking to get back on track against the Oregon Ducks.
"We have got a couple changes in there but guys have worked real hard," Carroll said.
"I just think it is the best way to go," Carroll said of starting Cushing in the middle. "After watching Galippo get back, it's too much to ask of him to be at the top of his game with really just a couple of weeks of preparation.
"Cush is really pumped about this challenge. He looks really good at the spot. He's a natural."
"He chases the ball like crazy and gives you everything he's got," Carroll said of Tupou.
While the shakeup in the linebacking corps is due to injuries, the switch on the defensive line can be attributed to the poor performance against Oregon State.
On the offensive side of the ball, Alex Parsons will replace Zack Heberer at right guard.
Family Affair for Tupou
When USC defensive tackle Christian Tupou lines up in the trenches and looks across the line of scrimmage, he will see a familiar face on the opposite side, the face of his older brother, Kenuki, who is the starting offensive tackle for the Oregon Ducks.
Christian Tupou spoke with his big brother and got some good advice on this weekend's matchup.
"He's just telling me to do my best," the younger Tupou said. "We are going to go against each other so just do your best.
"We are in front of our families and we represent our last name and our Tongan heritage so we have to come out and let it all loose."
While Christian admitted that it's going to be exciting playing against his brother, he expects to be all business on the field.
"I definitely don't want to lose to my older brother, and I definitely don't want to lose at home," Tupou said with a grin.
Once the final whistle blows, Tupou said he wants to share the special moment with his family.
"Look for my parents and take a picture for the parents," Tupou said of his postgame plans. "Let our family see us in our uniforms because I know my parents are going to be proud."
Mustain Moves to No.2
The backup quarterback shuffling continued as Mitch Mustain has moved up to the No.2 spot after putting together an impressive week of practice.
"We are watching everyday," Carroll said of the backup quarterback competition. "Mitch (Mustain) has done better and so he deserves a chance to be in that spot.
"The moves may have fired him up a little bit and he has come back strong."