USC, which already has a roster whittled down due to NCAA scholarship sanctions and a run of injuries, will be without its top pass-rusher, DE/OLB Morgan Breslin for the rest of the regular season, head coach Ed Orgeron said Wednesday. Breslin will undergo hip surgery and the Trojans hope he recover in time to play in a bowl game.
The 6-2, 250-pound senior led the Trojans in tackles for loss with 19.5 and sacks with 13.5 in 2012, but has been sidelined for much of this season. He missed the opener against Hawaii due to a foot injury, and also missed the Arizona game, before returning to play some against Notre Dame. Breslin has missed the Trojans two games since. Still, Breslin has managed to produce eight TFLs and 4.5 sacks.
"He's a terrific player," said Orgeron. "He just plays so hard."
In Breslin's absence, J.R. Tavai has stepped up. Against Arizona, Tavai, a junior, was all over the field, piling up 10 tackles and 3.5 TFLs.
The Trojans, who are 3-1 since Orgeron took over for Lane Kiffin, are coming off their first road win at Oregon State since 2004. USC plays at Cal on Saturday.