Shortly after news broke yesterday that former head coach Steve Sarkisian was sent home from practice after reportedly showing up for team meetings intoxicated, USC announced that senior center Max Tuerk will be out for the remainder of the season with a torn ligament in his knee.
Tuerk suffered the injury during Thursday’s 17-12 loss to Washington. Sophomore Toa Lobendahn, who usually starts at left guard and left tackle, took over at center. He will likely make his first start at center on Saturday when the Trojans take on the Irish in South Bend.
Tuerk was a veteran on the offensive line and was one of five captains for USC this season. He has started 38 games for the Trojans and was a preseason first team and All-American selection.
On the other side of the ball, the Trojans will also be without defensive end Claude Pelon, who is listed as doubtful against Notre Dame with a knee injury. Wide receiver Steven Mitchell Jr. is listed as questionable with an ankle injury.
In the wake of Sarkisian’s firing, the Trojans have suffered even more losses, this time on the recruiting front. Five-star linebacker Daelin Hayes announced on Twitter Sunday that he would decommit from USC and reopen his recruitment. Shortly after, five-star tight end Isaac Nauta cancelled his scheduled official visit to USC in favor of visiting Alabama.