Friday, October 19, 2007


Are the 2007 Trojans cursed?

The Trojan line-up has been devastated by injuries. This is the situation as far as I can tell, based on attrition to the depth chart since the season opener:

Affected players’ names are followed by a number indicating the number of games he has missed so far this year due to injury and his status for the Notre Dame game.
Strikethroughs indicate players who are out for the year.

The offensive line and the secondary have been hit especially hard. At one point, Josh Pinkard, Cary Harris, Shareece Wright, and Vincent Joseph were all out at the same time, leaving virtually no CBs to play opposite Terrell Thomas. Safety Mozique McCurtis filled in. It’s even worse than it looks on the offensive line. According to USC’s 2007 media guide, Nick Howell was Matt Spanos’s original backup. However, Spanos injured his triceps prior to the opener, so USC opened the season with true freshman Kristofer O’Dowd at center. O’Dowd played commendably for the first three games. Then, O’Dowd and RG Chilo Rachal both injured their knees during a single play at Washington. It looks like USC will start Butch Lewis at LT, Jeff Byers at LG, Spanos at C, Alatini Malu at RG, and Drew Radovich at RT for the Notre Dame game.

I know that injuries must be expected during the course of any season, but this is ridiculous.

Add this to the adversity with which the team has had to deal. Many of the passengers on the team’s charter flight to South Bend were thrown from their seats, putting the fear of death into some of the players, when the plane dropped abruptly during its landing approach. The pilot aborted the landing and circled around for a repeat attempt.

Welcome to Notre Dame. I’m sure the jungle grass and the green jerseys will help calm your nerves.

A tip of the hat to Student Body Right.

UPDATE: I know the graphic is unreadable, but if you click on it, you will be linked to a full-size version.

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