Williams sits as Trojans gear up for Eagles

first_imgUSC will put its 2-0 record on the line this weekend at Boston College and is spending the week preparing for the long roadtrip. The Trojans are focused on not allowing a letdown after the big Stanford game, which might be difficult without their star linebacker and possibly without their top defensive lineman.Take it easy · Junior defensive end Leonard Williams sat out of practice on Tuesday to rehab his ankle, which he sprained in practice last week. Despite the injury, Williams recorded 11 total tackles on Saturday. – Ralf Cheung | Daily Trojan Pulled OutRedshirt senior inside linebacker and co-captain Hayes Pullard was ejected in the third quarter of USC’s game at Stanford last Saturday and will have to miss the first half of the Trojans’ game this weekend at Boston College as a result. Head coach Steve Sarkisian did not express any concern about Pullard’s absence, showing full confidence in sophomore inside linebacker Michael Hutchings.“Michael will step right in, just as he did in [last Saturday’s] game,” Sarkisian said. “And he’ll start at that position next to [redshirt junior linebacker] Anthony Sarao.”Sarkisian also mentioned true freshman linebacker Olajuwon Tucker as the second man the team is looking at to see significant playing time this Saturday in Pullard’s absence. Sarkisian admitted that this is the first time he has dealt with this type of situation and that he needs to clarify some of the specifics of the rules with the conference prior to the start of the game.“I don’t know if he’s allowed to warm up and pre-game with us or not,” Sarkisian said. “I don’t know if he’s allowed to be on the sidelines or not … but whatever we can do and whatever Hayes can do we’ll do and have him ready to go for the second half.”According to league rules, Pullard can warm up with the rest of his team before the game, but he must spend the first half of the game in the confines of the locker room.Injury UpdateWhile Pullard will definitely be  out for the first half of the game, junior defensive end Leonard Williams’ status is more up in the air.The recently named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week sat out of practice on Tuesday. Williams sustained an ankle sprain in practice last week, but played through the injury over the weekend and recorded 11 total tackles and a sack. Sarkisian said sitting Williams Tuesday was mostly precautionary and expects him to return to practice later this week and play on Saturday.The Trojans will also again be without redshirt junior running back Tre Madden, who is working through a turf toe injury, and senior linebacker Lamar Dawson, who is rehabbing his knee this week.Freshman safety John Plattenburg strained his Achilles tendon, but Sarkisian says the injury is not serious.On the Road AgainFollowing the Trojans’ game in Palo Alto this past weekend, the team now turns eastward as it prepares to travel to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.The team insists that its preparatory routine remains the same regardless of the location of their game.“We are going to keep the same mindset and the same focus,” redshirt junior quarterback Cody Kessler said. “You can’t let factors like where you’re playing or when you’re playing affect how you play.”There is a stigma about back-to-back road games, but Kessler remains unfazed.“We could travel out of the country and these guys are still going to show up,” Kessler said. “It doesn’t really matter where you play. It’s the opponent, not where we are playing.”The Trojans faced their first road test amid a vocal Stanford crowd, and the players are anticipating nothing less coming from Boston College.Freshman wide receiver JuJu Smith is looking forward to his second road game ever.“I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a big game out there,” Smith said. “It’s going to be really loud and be really fun.”Though Smith appeared excited to head to Boston, Sarkisian insisted that he won’t let his team get wrapped up in the lore of the city.“They can go on a vacation later,” Sarkisian said. “This is a business trip.”last_img

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