USC's Marqise Lee leads list in receivers' returns to health

Marqise Lee accelerated off the line of scrimmage, burst toward the middle of the field with no hesitation and was wide open for a long touchdown pass.

That simple chain of events on USC's first offensive play against Oregon State last week sent a message to opposing defensive coordinators and NFL evaluators.

Lee, the reigning Biletnikoff Award winner, appears to be near full strength after being slowed by a knee injury.

"I'm feeling good," Lee said Tuesday after practice.

Lee's apparent return to form coincides with an overall return to health for USC's receiving corps.

For the last two days, Lee, sophomore Nelson Agholor, freshman Darreus Rogers, senior De'Von Flournoy and sophomore Victor Blackwell have gone through drills together for the first time in weeks.

"It's been great, " said Lee, who has a team-best 37 receptions despite the knee sprain that forced him to sit out all or part of four games.

Lee caught five passes for 105 yards in the Trojans' 31-14 victory at Oregon State.

Now he is preparing for Saturday's matchup against a California defense that has given up an average of 340.9 yards passing per game, the most in major-college football.

Lee said receivers coach Tee Martin was "being pretty conservative, but I think I'm OK."

"I'm running OK — no pain," he said. "In the game, I was OK. Today, it didn't stiffen up and in the game it actually did on the sideline.

"So I think I'm feeling, I'm getting to 100%."

Ready for encore

Tailback Javorius Allen, who rushed for 133 yards and three touchdowns against Oregon State, intends to take the same approach against California.

"Trust my technique, trust my O-line and trust my fullbacks," he said, "and see what happens."

Allen, a third-year sophomore, got an extended opportunity after Tre Madden reinjured his hamstring against Oregon State.

Allen was buried on the depth chart at the start of the season but received an opportunity to show what he could do after Ed Orgeron was named interim coach.

Orgeron allows running backs coach Tommie Robinson to make personnel decisions during games.

Allen said he had not been discouraged.

"To be honest, I'm not the type of person to get down because I know what I can do with my skills," he said. "To me, it just made me work harder.

"I just felt, I guess, I wasn't working hard enough, so I'm just putting in 100% every day."

Quick hits

Madden (hamstring), tight end Randall Telfer (knee), cornerback Anthony Brown (knee) and linebacker Morgan Breslin (hip) will not play Saturday, Orgeron said after practice. During the weekly Pac-12 coaches teleconference, Orgeron said he did not know how long Breslin would be sidelined, but it looks as if "it's going to be an extensive period of time." Breslin has eight tackles for losses, including 41/2 sacks, which ranks third on the team. Linebacker Devon Kennard has seven sacks, end Leonard Williams five…. Offensive lineman Kevin Graf (ankle) is questionable for Saturday's game.

Twitter: @latimesklein

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