Tight end Anthony McCoy returns for the Stanford game after missing both the Oregon and Arizona St. games. He has 16 catches for 375 yards and a touchdown. He’s averaging almost 54 receiving yards per game and 23ypc. He’s a total beast – the best tight end I’ve seen since I’ve been covering USC football. It’s huge that he’ll be back today.Fullback Stanley Havili, who played in a limited way last Saturday in Tempe, is back at full strength and will start today. Havili has 11 rushes for 88 yards, almost 8 yards per carry. Plus, he’s the team’s 3rd-leading receiver with 14 catches for 207 yards, and when healthy, he’s a guy that QB Matt Barkley can always check down to in the passing game.
Junior DE Everson Griffen, who didn’t make the trip to Tempe, returns today from his turf toe injury. He leads the team in sacks with 8.
Defensive End Nick Perry, who dislocated his shoulder at Oregon played last week, and he’ll be out there again today. He’s got 8 tackles for a loss and 7 sacks.Defensive tackle Armond Armstead still wearing a cast after fracturing his wrist at Autzen Stadium, but he will play.
Linebacker Malcolm Smith (30 tackles) didn’t play at Arizona St., and he’s questionable for today’s game. He’s got a wrist and shoulder injury.
A huge loss for USC as senior WR Damian Williams is out with a sprained ankle. He is the Trojans’ leading receiver with 45 receptions, 688 receiving yards and 5 TDs. Freshman Brice Butler will get the start at wide receiver opposite Ronald Johnson.Williams is also a devastating punt returner with 16 yards per return including 2 punts he has taken all the way to the house. TB Joe McKnight will return punts in place of Williams against Stanford.
One other note. Backup tight end Blake Ayles is likely out for today’s game against the Cardinal. He is working through ankle and knee injuries he suffered when a teammate rolled up on his leg at practice on Wednesday.