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.
Talk about the contest with USC fans at Conquest Chronicles, with Cal fans at the California Golden Blogs, and with Pac-12 fans at Pacific Takes.