USC will be without senior guard Viane Talamaivao for the rest of the season.
Trojans coach Clay Helton said Talamaivao suffered a torn pectoral muscle in the team’s loss at Washington State on Friday night. The injury will require surgery, Helton said.
“Viane has been a rock to us for four years. Very much a leader. Very near and dear to all of our hearts. He has been a true Trojan. Love him to death. Awesome gentleman and an awesome student-athlete,” Helton said.
Helton said there is a “limited” chance Talamaivao could be granted a medical redshirt from the NCAA because he played into the fifth game of the season.
“Usually the breaking point is after the fourth game and we went four games and 22 plays, so it’s a sad story,” Helton said.
The 6-foot-2, 325-pound Talamaivao has been a constant up front for the Trojans since he stepped on campus, starting a total of 37 games — 11 as a freshman, eight as a sophomore, 14 as a junior and five as a senior — over his four seasons. All but one of those starts came at the right guard spot.
With Talamaivao sidelined, Helton said true freshman Andrew Vorhees will likely start Saturday at home against Oregon State. Vorhees, who enrolled early as a four-star prospect, filled in against WSU after the injury to Talamaivao. Helton said Vorhees has “played extremely well since he’s been here.”
Talamaivao was one of three starting linemen who missed most of the Wazzu game with tackles Toa Lobendahn and Chuma Edoga also sidelined.
Helton said Lobendahn, along with wideout Steven Mitchell, is “progressing in the right direction” to play against Oregon State. It’s unlikely Edoga, who has a high ankle sprain, will be ready to suit up.
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