As Travis Dye was loaded onto an damage cart Friday evening, his left leg wrapped in a solid, Austin Jones stood shut by, devastated. The working backs had transferred from different Pac-12 Conference faculties looking for alternative, each winding up in the identical USC backfield, having dedicated simply days aside.
They had grown shut since then, encouraging one another whilst Dye’s function grew on the expense of Jones.
Now one in every of their runs with the Trojans was over with out warning, Dye struggling a season-ending damage. “To see him go out like that, it hurts me,” Jones mentioned Friday.
When Jones later barreled his method into the top zone on a receiving landing in USC’s 55-17 win over Colorado on the Coliseum, he held up two fingers, then six as tribute to his fallen buddy, who wore No. 26.
The reins of the USC dashing assault at the moment are in Jones’ fingers, although it’s unclear how a lot he’ll share them this week with rival UCLA on faucet Saturday evening on the Rose Bowl. Trojans coach Lincoln Riley mentioned on his radio present Monday evening that Jones is “obviously Option 1,” however a breakout efficiency from freshman Raleek Brown has appeared imminent all season. Darwin Barlow, who rushed for 41 yards and a landing towards the Buffaloes in his first prolonged motion, additionally may play an element.
Riley had no intention of sharing plans for that pecking order Tuesday. He prefers to maintain it a thriller for the Bruins.
“There will probably be some things that change,” Riley mentioned of the dashing assault. “Probably will be. I’m not gonna get into it.”
Jones is the plain candidate to step in as USC’s early-down again. His 52 carries are second amongst Trojans working backs. His common of 6.44 yards per carry leads the group. Yet, after a comparatively sturdy September, Jones’ function was lowered amid a troublesome stretch that included issues in move safety. He carried the ball simply 17 occasions over the earlier six video games forward of Friday, as Dye took the lead and Brown stepped in as a change-of-pace again.
Jones wasted no time in asserting himself in his buddy’s absence Friday. He completed with 113 all-purpose yards and a landing in 15 touches. Brown wasn’t far behind, with 90 complete yards in 9 touches to go along with his personal receiving rating.
Both should be at their greatest Saturday to maintain tempo with UCLA’s Zach Charbonnet, the Pac-12’s main rusher.
“We gotta step up for him,” Jones mentioned of Dye. “We gotta take on what he’s been doing so well with and just continue to progress. We just got to continue to work.”
Jordan Addison’s return
While he lay on the sideline at Utah on Oct. 15, surrounded by USC trainers, Trojans huge receiver Jordan Addison frightened his leg damage would possibly maintain him out for longer than just some video games. Worse, it felt to him as if he had let down his teammates throughout USC’s solely loss this season.
“The hardest for me was not being able to finish that game for my team,” Addison mentioned. “I felt like I let them down a little bit, just not being able to finish it through. I felt like if I was playing, I could’ve contributed and made it a little different.”
The Trojans’ prime receiver has a clear invoice of well being heading into Saturday. He shall be a matchup drawback for UCLA, which ranks close to the underside of the Pac-12 in move protection.
USC’s workers restricted Addison to 30 snaps Friday towards Colorado, in response to Pro Football Focus. There needs to be no such restrict this week.
“I feel like I’m back,” Addison mentioned. “I’m gonna show you all this week, though.”
Injured huge receiver Mario Williams and linebacker Eric Gentry have been training to start out the week, and Riley mentioned USC is “hopeful” they are going to be wholesome sufficient to get reps throughout Saturday’s sport. Whether both could be thought of full-go, if they’re cleared to return, stays to be seen.
Defensive again Max Williams left Friday’s sport due to an undisclosed damage, and Riley mentioned he has been “participating some” throughout apply. His standing for Saturday is unclear.