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USC Defense Decimated By Injuries; Galippo Likely Starting, Robert Woods Taking Snaps

A defense already decimated by transfers and senior losses is bearing the brunt of the injury bug. Kenny Legan of the Daily Trojan has more.

Numerous key players were limited or sat out of practice Tuesday. Redshirt sophomore defensive end Wes Horton, freshman tailback Dillon Baxter, senior linebacker Malcolm Smith and redshirt junior linebacker Shane Horton did not practice because of injuries.

“I looked out at seven-on-seven and in our second team’s defensive seven you might only know the names of two of them,” USC coach Lane Kiffin said. “It is what it is. We got to find a way to get guys healthy.”

Add in the fact that defensive end Nick Perry is playing hurt, and you can see how deeply the Trojans are searching for depth on the side of the ball they used to dominate.

The biggest indicator of their troubles? Phenom receiver Robert Woods might see some time in the backfield and play two ways. Divya Goel of the Daily Trojan reports.

As for Woods, he’s feeling good about his opportunity. Not only would he get the chance to make some key plays and grab some interceptions, but he said playing defensive back would help him in terms of his offensive ability as well.

Woods has gotten a lot thrown at him in a week by the coaching staff, but everyone seems excited about the possible change.

“They only gave me one task this week: to play my man and get the ball,” Woods said.

Kevin Riley will never have a better chance to beat USC than he will tomorrow afternoon.