Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 9/5/12
LOS ANGELES -- When USC ended spring practice, depth at tailback was issue No. 1. They had just three scholarship tailbacks. Fast forward to the Wednesday before No. 2 USC (1-0) is set to take on Syracuse (0-1) in their second game of the season, and the Trojans are once again down to three scholarship tailbacks for the foreseeable future. Running back D.J. Morgan announced via Twitter that he would be undergoing "minor" knee surgery on Wednesday and will miss 3-4 weeks. It was not announced by the school because of USC's new policy to not discuss injuries but after practice USC head coach Lane Kiffin confirmed the tweet. "That's true," Kiffin said. It is unknown which knee Morgan will have surgery on. During his senior year at Taft High School, Morgan tore the ACL in his right knee and partially tore his meniscus, which led to him redshirting in 2010 as a freshman with the Trojans. He began 2011 as the starting tailback before ball security issues caused him to lose his job. In Saturday's win over Hawaii, Morgan came in late in the second half and carried the ball seven times for 25 yards. Morgan was No. 2 on the depth chart before Silas Redd transferred from Penn State. The injury to Morgan makes Redd's pickup that much more valuable. The Penn State transfer carried the ball a team-high nine times for 56 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown against Hawaii. "I think it goes back to how important getting Silas was and we're sure happy to have him," Kiffin said. Despite Redd being able to find the endzone, there wasn't much to say about the Trojans' running game last Saturday. USC's two 1,000-yard rushers from a year ago, Redd and Curtis McNeal, had just 14 carries between them. "I was (expecting to get more touches) but my number wasn't called so what can I do," said McNeal, who finished with five carries for 10 yards. "I'm fine. The receivers was rolling so feed the hot man." Kiffin says McNeal's lack of touches wasn't anything that was done "on purpose" and acknowledged the 41 pass attempts and 23 rushing attempts isn't "the balance we're looking for." The reason for the lack of balance is attributed to the way Hawaii defended them. "Those guys were very aggressive with a lot of people in the box and a lot of pressures and left (receivers) outside a lot to man-to-man coverage, especially in the first half, so that really dictated that we threw more than we rushed," Kiffin said. Redshirt freshman Buck Allen now becomes the third tailback with Morgan out. It is unlikely freshman wide receiver Nelson Agholor will be moved to the backfield this week. Kiffin mentioned Agholor would have to play running back before fall camp started but after the addition of Redd, Agholor was allowed to stay at his more comfortable wide receiver position, where he worked exclusively during fall camp.
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