USC running back Tre Madden won’t play against Colorado

USC running back Tre Madden celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first half against Stanford on Sept. 19.

USC running back Tre Madden celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first half against Stanford on Sept. 19.

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

USC’s backfield rotation will change Friday night against Colorado.

Senior tailback Tre Madden will not play because of a bone bruise in his knee, interim Coach Clay Helton said Wednesday.

“We decided we’re going to rest him this week and reevaluate next week and it may be a couple-week thing,” Helton said after practice. “We’ll have to see, but at this point in time we want to get him back 100% healthy.”

Madden will make the trip to Boulder, Colo., but his absence from the lineup probably will result in an expanded role for freshman Ronald Jones II.

Jones rushed for a USC freshman-record 177 yards and a touchdown, and he also caught a touchdown pass in last week’s 38-30 victory over Arizona.

Junior Justin Davis, who started the last three games, rushed for 85 yards and two touchdowns. He said after the game that Jones’ performance also helped him.


“Just working off of Ronald’s runs, and him working off me, it really felt good,” Davis said. “That’s what we have to get going to win in the future.”

Freshmen Aca’Cedric Ware and Dominic Davis also could play against Colorado.

Madden, a fifth-year senior who has rushed for 418 yards and five touchdowns, had played through the injury for the last few games, but his role was limited against Arizona. Quarterback Cody Kessler and Madden fumbled a handoff exchange in the first quarter. Madden did not have a carry in the game.

Helton said he spoke with Madden and the player’s father before making the determination to rest him.

Madden’s presence on the Colorado trip and on the sideline is needed, Helton said.

“He’s too good of a leader,” Helton said. “He keeps me sane because he’s right there, whether it’s RoJo, whether it’s Ced Ware or Dominic Davis, he’s in the ear of Justin, he’s just that calm presence in that group.

“He’s a senior leader…. He may sit right beside me on the plane. He’ll be the assistant head coach this week.”

Cold call


Kessler followed tradition in preparing for game-time temperatures that could dip into the 20s.

“Cody does his patented thing that [he] and [former Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley] have always done,” Helton said. “They’ve got the bag of ice out there.

“They’re freezing their hand up and throwing with their hand being cold all week. That’s kind of a ritual around here.”

In 2011, Barkley completed 25 of 39 passes for 318 yards and six touchdowns in a 42-17 victory at Folsom Field.

Two years ago, Kessler completed 19 of 28 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns in a 47-29 victory.

Kessler said this week that he was accustomed to playing in cold weather from his high school days in Bakersfield.

This season, on a cold night at Notre Dame, Kessler completed 36 of 46 passes for 365 yards and two touchdowns, with two interceptions, in a 41-31 defeat.


Quick hits

Center Khaliel Rodgers, who is nursing a sore shoulder, and defensive lineman Claude Pelon (knee) will play against Colorado, Helton said. Pelon was sidelined for three games before returning against Arizona and providing a key fourth-down stop. Pelon was not able to finish practice Tuesday, but he was in attendance Wednesday…. Safety Matt Lopes suffered a foot injury during practice this week and will be sidelined for a week or two, Helton said.

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