Key USC player out vs Tide, coach foolishly not worried

All eyes have been on USC tackle Chad Wheeler of late watching to see if he would be healthy enough to play against Alabama. It turns out his foot injury is severe enough that the senior will miss the season opener against the Tide.

"He hasn't really practiced in now three-and-a-half weeks," USC coach Clay Helton said. "So we're going to end up going with Chuma at the left tackle position to start off with. We're going to evaluate Chad throughout the week to see if he can progress into helping us with a couple series."

USC will be going with sophomore Chuma Edoga, once a target of Alabama, in his first start. Helton announced he wasn't worried about not having Wheeler,

"I'll tell you. I'm not very worried about it," Helton said. "I've seen him go into a big game before and have tremendous success," Helton said. "I'll never forget coming out of the Notre Dame game, and Chad was down after that game going into the No. 3 team in the country, and there's Zach Banner and Chuma out there, and had a big win that night over a really good football team. He played a lot of football as a true freshman last year. I thought it was very advantageous for us. It's really helped us this year."

It's important for coaches to be confident and build up their team's morale, but it's foolish for Helton to be so dismissive. Tim Williams and Jonathan Allen are enough to worry about when you have a healthy line let alone a banged up one. Hopefully for his team's sake Helton is taking this more seriously than he is letting on.