Injuries can derail any team’s season, but when you have particularly big plans, as USC does, injuries can be all the more frustrating and disheartening, especially when you can’t replace the injured. The Trojans are down 10 scholarships from 85 to 75 for the next three seasons as a result of the Reggie Bush scandal.

We all know the Trojans’ offense is potent – and to date relatively healthy. But if there is a chink in the armor, it comes on the defensive side of the ball where depth and experience are both concerns. Some recent injuries have further fueled those concerns. Here’s a look at the key ones with an informational assist from Michael Lev of the Orange County Register:

DE Devon Kennard (pectoral muscle): The Trojans were already thin along the defensive line with the losses of tackles Christian Tupou and DaJohn Harris. Kennard’s injury means USC's defensive line will feature three new starters. J.R. Tavai, Kevin Greene, redshirt freshman Greg Townsend, junior college transfer Morgan Breslin and incoming freshman Leonard Williams are candidates to replace Kennard.

MLB Lamar Dawson (calf): Dawson has been out the last few weeks and could miss the team’s opener against Hawaii. Coach Lane Kiffin has not said when Dawson, a sophomore, would have to return to practice in order to start against Hawaii. Hayes Pullard started every game at weak side linebacker for the Trojans last season, but with Dawson hurt, Pullard has been practicing as the middle linebacker. Pullard has looked fine in camp, but shuffling him into the spot means another new face in his spot, further hampering continuity and experience.

CB Torin Harris (right hamstring): Harris is also questionable for the season-opener. He suffered the injury in the team’s scrimmage two weeks ago while covering sophomore TE Randall Telfer down the sideline. He pulled up midway through the route. Harris is listed as the starter opposite Nickell Robey. Redshirt sophomore Anthony Brown and true freshman Devian Shelton are listed behind him on the depth chart. Brown is the likely replacement.

Other injury concerns: DE Wes Horton (undisclosed) hasn't been practicing much of late. Maybe it’s minor and Kiffin is trying to keep him fresh, given the dearth of experience on the D-line. Maybe it’s something more. In either case, it’s a red flag.


For all the Pac-12 news you can handle, follow @CBSSportsPac12, @JohnBreech, and @cmorgancbsfoxaz on Twitter.