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#1 Camp Concern: Depth

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At long...long...long last, the 2010 USC Football season begins Wednesday with the first day of fall camp.

By Lane Kiffin's count, he has 71 scholarship bodies to run through the rigors of two-a-days and then a 13-game season over 14 weeks. 

Unlike your fantasy team, he cannot use the waiver wire to replenish, so depth will be the number one cause for concern in camp and the great variable that looms over the season.

The offensive line and linebacking corps could be the two most exposed spots in the war of attrition.

During spring practice, USC was limited to five healthy offensive linemen at times.  By my count, that's about the minimum.

However, as camp opens, the numbers have swelled a bit.  The Trojans top seven (Tyron Smith, Kris O'Dowd, Butch Lewis, Matt Kalil, Khaled Holmes, Kevin Graf and Zach Heberer) are loaded with talent if not experience.  If they have to dig deeper, they'll need either young or less-touted players to fill important roles.

As for the rest of the offense, Mitch Mustain is a very capable back-up to Matt Barkley with freshman Jesse Scroggins positioned to learn his craft for a year. 

Robert Woods, Kyle Prater and Markeith Ambles are projected to be the top freshmen pass-catching trio in the country, which makes Ronald Johnson's health all the more important.  Rojo needs to set an example for the kiddie corps, so they can fulfill their potential if and when they're pressed into service.

New offensive coordinator and running backs coach Kennedy Pola will have the opposite problem of many of the other position coaches.  Will he work to get every player game touches or will he trim it to the two- and three-headed monsters of his first tenure at USC?

Defensively, the linebacking corps needs their luck to change.  By all accounts, Frankie Telfort and Jarvis Jones were headed for stardom before career-ending health concerns led to Telfort's move to aiding the team from the sidelines and Jones' transfer.

Devon Kennard was the big story of spring practice.  In a year, he's moved from defensive end to outside linebacker and now to middle backer.  While he's new to the position, the coaches were blown away by his spring performance and his ceiling is tremendous.

Kennard, Chris Galippo, Malcolm Smith, Michael Morgan and Shane Horton will get all the reps they can handle with no experience in reserve.  

Coach O's defensive line will miss Christian Tupou's work ethic, but DaJohn Harris was a spring surprise.

The secondary has been injury-prone in recent years, so while they have strength in numbers, they'll need health to develop consistency.

Coach Kiffin preached aggressive competition upon his spring arrival, but he's admitted that "roster management" will be a key to getting through camp unscathed with an eye toward the season long grind, which tests any team's depth.

As for you Trojans fans, while you have one hand up in your "Victory V's," you might want keep your fingers crossed on the other hand.  USC needs a little luck this season.

DT Christian Tupou suffered a freak knee injury, which will cost him his season.
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I know Coach Carroll ran his 4-3 under defense with a lot of pressure being brought by the outside LB (Clay Matthews Jr.) now we have Coach Monte and his Tampa 2. How big of a shift is this from the methodology that Carroll ran?

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