The Hawaii Warriors are not likely going to defeat the visiting USC Trojans Thursday night, but USC is doing all they can do to help Hawaii be competitive in this game. USC will be missing two key cogs in their offense as their top two running backs will not be making the trip to the islands:
"Silas Redd and D. J. Morgan have been ruled out (medically) for this game, so we're not bringing them on this trip so they can stay here and rehab (injuries)," head coach Lane Kiffin said on the Pac-12 football coaches conference call on Tuesday.
Former Penn State transfer, and senior, Redd rushed for just under 1,000 yards and finished with 905 last season, plus he also scored nine touchdowns. Morgan is a junior who had just 201 yards in 2012.
Kiffin also said in his teleconference that he will be going with four other younger backs against Hawaii. Those likely to see playing time are Javorius Allen, Tre Madden, freshmen Justin Davis and Ty Isaac. This will give them a chance to get some playing time against a Hawaii defense that was not all that spectacular.
As for Hawaii this gives them a chance to get some confidence on the defensive side of the ball with so many new running backs seeking significant carries for the first time. Add in that USC is still deciding on who will start at quarterback, plus another 10 or so spots, and Hawaii must be brimming with some extra confidence in this game. There is also some concern at wide receiver for USC as Marquis Lee has injured his shoulder twice during fall camp, yet he says he is good to go.
A Warriors win is not likely, but just maybe they can keep it close with what is going on, or at least cover the near 20-point spread.