Unusual suspects stepping up for hobbled Trojans

USC is 7-3 on the season, but as far as interim head coach Ed Orgeron is concerned, Saturday’s visit from Stanford will mark game No. 6 of the Trojans’ “new season.”

The previous five games have been nothing like the first five games to start the 2013 season.

Just take a look at the Trojans’ 62-28 win at Cal, for example.

USC was without two of its top front seven players, Leonard Williams (shoulder) and Morgan Breslin (hip), and limited the Golden Bears offense to 288 passing yards, below their average of 351.1 entering the game, which was third in the conference.

For the first time in his career, De’Von Flournoy led the team in receiving yards, catching three passes for 63 yards.

After his three touchdown performance the previous week at Oregon State, Buck Allen found the endzone three more times in Berkeley — twice on the ground and once through the air.

Allen averaged 27.4 yards per touch in the Trojans win at Memorial Stadium. In two of the Trojans first five games of the season, he didn’t record an offensive stat. He’s now rushed for over 100 yards in back-to-back games.

Soma Vainuku was more or less demoted from his fullback position, but has found a way to contribute by, arguably, being the team’s best special teams performer this season. He blocked a punt that led to Josh Shaw’s scoop and score on Saturday.

These aren’t the Marqise Lee’s or Silas Redd’s of the world whom much was expected of.

Flournoy, Allen, and Vainuku were buried on the bench, but ended up being key contributors in the lopsided win against Cal.

Orgeron says the energy level and playing more as a team are major components that have contributed to the success in USC’s “new season.”

“It’s a tremendous testament to if guys work hard they’re going to get a chance,” Orgeron said. “When their time comes, they’re going to step up and play.

“We have a lot of good players on this team. Guys have waited their turn and when their turn comes, they’re performing …the team’s sticking together.”

USC is 7-3 in 2013 but in the “new season,” it’s 4-1.