As the USC Trojans prepare to battle the Colorado Buffaloes Friday night at Folsom Field in Boulder, they will have a new look on defense. A trio of freshmen will start at linebacker for USC, as Tre Madden and Lamar Dawson will make their first starts, alongside redshirt freshman Hayes Pullard. Redshirt freshman linebacker Dion Bailey, the Trojans' leading tackler on the season, is out tonight with a concussion, confirming this melancholy tweet from Bailey on Thursday:
Looks like the only way i will be helping my team win tomorrow is rooting them on from the sideline.. #FightOn
Bailey leads USC with 67 tackles and had started the first eight games of the season, alongside Pullard and senior Chris Galippo. For the first time all season, Galippo will come off the bench Friday night.
Safety T.J. McDonald was suspended for the first half against Colorado for a hit in the fourth quarter against Stanford, but will play the second half. USC has a pair of new starters at safety in junior Drew McAllister and senior Marshall Jones. Junior safety Jawanza Starling has started all eight games but missed a few practices with an unspecified injury and will not start tonight. Michael Lev of the Orange County Register reported that Starling is in uniform tonight, as is running back Marc Tyler, who was limited to one carry against Stanford after aggravating his dislocated shoulder.
For more on the Trojans, head over to Conquest Chronicles.