USC Trojans fans learned on Wednesday night that defensive leader Morgan Breslin will undergo hip surgery and officially miss the remainder of the season.
The DE/OLB hybrid was third on the team with eight tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks on the season. Despite his numbers being down from time missed, Breslin was clearly one of the leaders of the defense both on the field and off of it. This is a big loss for the Trojans, who face off against California on Saturday, and still have games against No. 5 Stanford and No. 19 UCLA remaining on the schedule.
Breslin has not played in the past two games, and while the Trojans have gotten two wins, they’ll no doubt miss him down the stretch. In his absence, fellow linebacker Devon Kennard will need to continue to step up. Kennard has nine tackles for loss on the season and seven sacks.
His counterpart, Lamar Dawson, will also need to make plays down the stretch. Dawson has recorded only 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks on the year. With Breslin out, Dawson will need to elevate his game. The defensive line will also have to step up, with guys like Leonard Williams continuing to make plays in the backfield.
Breslin’s junior year saw him lead the team with 19.5 tackles for loss, and the senior was expected to lead the team in that category again this season before his hip and other smaller injuries kept him out of the lineup.