LOS ANGELES — No. 9 USC was again severely short-handed in Saturday night’s game against Cal.
For the second straight game, receivers Jordan Addison and Mario Williams and linebackers Eric Gentry and Ralen Goforth were in street clothes on the sidelines. Meanwhile, starting left tackle Bobby Haskins did not play in the opening quarter after leaving last week’s win over Arizona with a shoulder injury.
Addison injured his leg late in the Trojans’ Week 7 loss to Utah and has not played since, though he has returned to some work in practice. Williams was a late scratch last week against Arizona with an undisclosed injury and was again not available for USC after being described as a game-time decision by head coach Lincoln Riley on Thursday.
Tahj Washington and Michael Jackson III started at receiver in their place.
Redshirt freshman Mason Murphy started in Haskins’ place on the blindside after starting at right tackle this week. Starting left guard Andrew Vorhees was back after a one-week absence, allowing Justin Dedich to switch back to the right side and Jonah Monheim to slide back out to right tackle.
Gentry (ankle) and Goforth (hand) left USC with few available options at linebacker. The injured Shane Lee (hand) started, as usual, and was joined by Tuasivi Nomura for the second straight week.
USC also made some non-injury-related changes to the starting defense, with Bryson Shaw starting at safety over Max Williams after Shaw won Pac-12 defensive player of the week honors.
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As part of homecoming festivities for Saturday’s game, former USC head coach John Robinson was honored on the Coliseum field during a timeout in the first quarter. As his resume, which includes the 1978 national title and four Rose Bowl wins, was read, Robinson waved at the crowd as he was shown on the big board.