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USC expects Utah to start Travis Wilson at quarterback

The Utes' 6-foot-7 sophomore passer suffered a hand injury last week, but the Trojans are preparing to play against him and say they have a plan if backup Adam Schulz is used.

October 24, 2013|By Gary Klein
  • Utah quarterback Travis Wilson (7) checks the line during a read-option play against Arizona last week.
Utah quarterback Travis Wilson (7) checks the line during a read-option… (John Miller / Associated…)

Utah quarterback Travis Wilson suffered a hand injury last week, but USC expects the 6-foot-7 sophomore from San Clemente to start against the Trojans on Saturday at the Coliseum.

"We kind of feel we know what they're going to do with Travis in there," USC interim Coach Ed Orgeron said Thursday. "And if the backup quarterback comes in, we do have a plan."

Wilson has completed 60% of his passes, 14 for touchdowns, with 12 passes intercepted. He also has rushed for five touchdowns.

Wilson completed three of nine passes for 15 yards and a touchdown, with two passes intercepted, before he was removed late in the first half of a 35-24 loss at Arizona. Sophomore Adam Schulz replaced Wilson and passed for 142 yards and a touchdown.

Wilson told reporters in Utah this week that he had "no doubt" he would start against USC.

"I'm going to suck it up and play and do the best I can for this team," he said.

Dennis Erickson, Utah's co-offensive coordinator, was head coach at Miami from 1989 to 1994. Orgeron was the Hurricanes' defensive line coach under Erickson from 1989 to 1992.

Erickson coached the Seattle Seahawks, at Oregon State, the San Francisco 49ers, and at Idaho and Arizona State before joining the Utes' staff this season.

"He's a guy that's going to take shots down the field," Orgeron said.

Utah has averaged 35.1 points and 449.3 yards per game.

Quick hits

Linebacker Morgan Breslin will not play Saturday because of a hip injury, Orgeron said. Receiver Marqise Lee (knee) and safety Dion Bailey (shoulder and hip) are questionable, receiver Nelson Agholor (rib) and tailback Ty Isaac possible, tailback Tre Madden (hamstring) probable. …The NCAA released national Graduation Success Rates for athletes who entered school from 2003 to 2006. USC's football program had a 53% graduation rate, which ranked 11th in the Pac-12 Conference. Dr. Magdi El Shahawy, a senior associate athletic director who oversees USC's Student-Athlete Academic Services, told the school's website that many of the players who were NFL draft picks during that time left school before completing their degrees. Some have returned to finish their degrees, he said….Freshman quarterback Max Browne returned after being absent Wednesday because of a stomach virus.

gary.klein@latimes.com

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