The USC Trojans suffered a blow last week with a close-fought loss to Pac-12 rival Washington State in prime time. Fortunately, Clay Helton’s team still has every goal ahead of them given the strength of the conference and what looks to be a “quality” loss but, in the same breath, there is no margin for error for the Trojans from this point forward when it comes to the College Football Playoff conversation.

With that as the backdrop, USC will now be down a prominent member of its offense for the rest of the 2017 season. Helton announced that senior offensive guard Viane Talamaivao went down with a torn pectoral muscle in the loss to the Cougars and, as a result, he needs surgery that will keep him on the sideline.

Helton said the following about the loss, via Yahoo’s Dr. Saturday:

“Viane has been a rock to us for four years. Very much a leader. Very near and dear to all of our hearts. He has been a true Trojan. Love him to death. Awesome gentleman and an awesome student-athlete.”

It could be possible for Talamaivao to pick up a redshirt, but that seems unlikely given that it happened in the fifth game and, if he falls short in that pursuit, this will be the end of Talamaivao’s college career. In his absence, USC still has quite a bit of talent offensively, namely in the form of highly touted QB Sam Darnold and big-time running back Ronald Jones. Still, this is a loss of 37 career starts at a key position and with that in mind the Trojans now have a major question mark moving forward.

USC should be able to paper over this loss, but it certainly will be felt in the immediate future.

College Football Playoff hopeful loses starter for the season to injury Harry How/Getty Images
Rowland is a lifelong Atlanta sports fan that also grew up in a Michigan Wolverines household. He previously worked with FanSided, SB Nation and UPROXX sports and covers college football for FanBuzz.
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