Last year, USC had seemingly dozens of offensive weapons. This year, they have Marqise Lee, last year's Biletnikoff Award winner and someone who certainly would have been selected highly in this past year's NFL Draft were he allowed to.
So when Lee's shoulder was injured last week, the college football world gasped and hoped for the best for the dynamic playmaker. When he was cleared to practice, we breathed easy. Then this happened Wednesday at the Trojans' scrimmage:
Marqise Lee dove for a ball and hurt his shoulder early in the 2nd half. He has not returned. #USC— Ryan Abraham (@insidetroy) August 21, 2013
Lee came out, and was very careful not to aggravate anything as he left the field. It turned out to be okay:
Kiffin said Lee "had same injury as before, but I think he’s all right."— Rich Hammond (@RegisterUSC) August 21, 2013
Marqise Lee raised his arm for reporters to show that he’s OK. Said he would have stayed in if it was a game.— Rich Hammond (@RegisterUSC) August 21, 2013
Well, not entirely okay: because even after the scrimmage, which served as the end of the team's training camp, Lee had no idea what was going on with the team's quarterback situation, and seemed a little bit aggravated by it:
Marqise Lee to reporters, on the (lack of) QB decision: "I’m sitting here just like you guys. Lost."— Rich Hammond (@RegisterUSC) August 21, 2013
USC finishes training camp without picking a starting QB, which Marqise Lee says is "crazy."— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) August 21, 2013
Lee wouldn't pick a side, saying he was 50-50 between Max Wittek and Cody Kessler. Wittek, who was the starter, albeit a sub-par-one, after Matt Barkley's injury last year, was clearly the better player Wednesday, going 15-for-20 with a touchdown. Meanwhile, Kessler, who was a third-stringer who only attempted two passes last year, was 13-for-22 with two touchdowns and two picks.
In his USC preview, Bill Connelly pointed out that of all teams, USC, with their scholarship restrictions, was even more susceptible to injuries ruining their year than most. That's especially true with Lee the person injured, and the team seemingly stuck in the old mantra of having two QB's, but actually having none.