Trojans show fight through season of injuries
OCT 27, 2013 8:01p ET
Cravens in street clothes, Bailey in full uniform. After halftime, their roles reversed. It was Bailey in street clothes to start the game and Cravens lined up in the Trojans defensive backfield.
The two talked and smiled as they limped up the Coliseum tunnel. Side by side, both favoring their inside legs, almost in unison. It was a moment that depicted just a fraction of the injury woes inside the USC locker room.
"Step Up" is one of the new mottos floating around the campus under interim head coach Ed Orgeron.
When Bailey saw Cravens was injured and forced to leave the game on Saturday, he felt it was in his right to "step up" and sacrifice for his teammates.
Over the past month, the mindset and the approach has changed for USC. The scholarship limitations were once looked upon as, well, limitations. Injuries only provided a larger, darker cloud. That's not the case any longer.
"With the injuries and everything that we've had, I'm so proud of how our team fought," Bailey said following Saturday's win. "Compared to how it used to be, it's a big difference, especially responding to adversity."
That same mindset needs to travel with them on their trip to Corvallis later this week.
Walk-on tight end Shane Sullivan suffered a torn ACL in the win over Utah and will miss the remainder of the season, Orgeron announced on his Sunday conference call. It's big news when you consider Sullivan was playing valuable snaps on Saturday when the Trojans were without all three of their scholarship tight ends.
Orgeron said there is a chance for Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick and Xavier Grimble to return to the lineup on Friday at Oregon State.
"We're not sure yet," Orgeron said.
Marqise Lee's status is also uncertain. The Trojans wide receiver has been out of the lineup in two of the last three games and will be re-evaluated by doctors later this week.
On the offensive line, Kevin Graf, who was carted off of the sideline with an ankle injury, is questionable.
The aforementioned Bailey played in the second half, but by the end of the game had a tough time walking. Cravens is listed as probable with a groin injury.
Regardless of who plays, the team made a statement in Saturday's win. No excuses will be made.
"(I'm) hoping that we can get some guys back but again we will stick with the motto: We put 11 guys out there and we're going to fight, regardless, and we showed you that we could do that this week," Orgeron said.