USC made a last-minute shuffle in its starting lineup before its 20-10 victory over Oklahoma, with senior Lamont Hollinquest being the odd man out.
Jason Sehorn, a transfer from Shasta Community College in Redding, Calif., and a converted wide receiver, replaced Mike Salmon at strong safety, and Salmon moved to outside linebacker in place of Hollinquest.
Linebacker Jeff Kopp and cornerback John Herpin also made their first starts of the season against Oklahoma, helping to limit the Sooners to 201 yards.
“We just went with the people who graded out the best,” Coach Larry Smith said. “Sehorn was one of the best in the secondary, and we felt that we had to get him on the field. And we also felt that Salmon could play that linebacker spot very well.”
Smith indicated that the same lineup will probably start when the Trojans play No. 2-ranked Washington on Oct. 3 at Seattle.
USC’s leading rusher last season, Deon Strother, has yet to play this year because of an ankle injury, and Smith said that his absence has been felt.
“What we miss from Deon is his leadership, plus he’s an excellent pass protector,” Smith said. “Running, it’s probably give and take (between Strother and USC’s other tailbacks, Estrus Crayton and Dwight McFadden), but he would really help us in the passing game.”
Oklahoma ran 61 plays against USC, but USC was credited with only 41 tackles by the official scorers.