The USC Trojans had a difficult time running their offense -- especially in the second half -- against the Stanford Cardinal in Saturday night's 21-14 upset loss. The running game was completely shut down, and quarterback Matt Barkley was sacked five times.
Seeking to address that issue, coach Lane Kiffin opened a competition between two offensive linemen -- incumbent Aundrey Walker, a sophomore, and freshman Max Tuerk, who is No. 2 behind Walker on the Trojans' depth chart.
Kiffin had this to say Monday to open the week leading up to USC's game against California:
"The team was informed (Sunday) that Max Tuerk is getting reps with the ones. There will be competition (at left tackle) between Max and Aundrey Walker."
This is a pretty clear indication that failure to protect your quarterback means you could lose your spot. Walker is a 6'6, 300-pound 19-year-old from Cleveland, Ohio who played last season as a true freshman. Tuerk, 18, is a true freshman from Santa Margarita, Calif. He's 6'6 and 285 pounds, and can also play guard.