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USC hit with more injuries against Notre Dame

USC lost more than a game against Notre Dame.

Tight ends Xavier Grimble and Randall Telfer and running back Justin Davis suffered injuries that will sideline them for the Trojans' next game against Utah, interim Coach Ed Orgeron said Sunday.

USC will face the Utes with only one scholarship tight end, sophomore Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, and with a tailback corps devoid of its two leading rushers.

Tre Madden, who started the first six games, sat out against Notre Dame because of a hamstring injury. Orgeron said the sophomore was not ready to practice but that his condition might be improved by the end of the week.

Receiver Marqise Lee sat out the second half against Notre Dame after reinjuring his left knee and he is questionable for Saturday's game, Orgeron said.

USC is 4-3 and looking to rebound after a 14-10 loss that ended the Trojans' five-game winning streak at Notre Dame Stadium.

The Trojans were penalized 11 times for 95 yards, including multiple holding and false-start infractions that stalled drives.

After the game, several USC players said some of the holding calls were questionable.

On Sunday, after reviewing the game, Orgeron did not disagree.

"Some of them were obvious that we have to fix, no question," he said during a teleconference with reporters. "Some of them [were] questionable. We can't control that."

As Lee walked to the locker room after the game, he said the Trojans would recover from the defeat.

"We've got to work on the little things," he said. "Keep it moving forward. We'll be all right."

Orgeron said he spoke briefly with Athletic Director Pat Haden after the game.

"Nothing really was said," Orgeron said. "I think he tapped me on the head."

Secondary issue

Orgeron said he and defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast probably would discuss moving junior Josh Shaw from safety to cornerback again.

Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees completed 14 of 21 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns before he was forced to leave the game because of a neck strain.

Receiver TJ Jones and tight end Troy Niklas both caught four passes and scored touchdowns.

Junior cornerback Anthony Brown started and struggled at times during his first game since suffering a knee injury in the season opener.

In 2012, Shaw started the final seven games at cornerback. He has started four games at cornerback this season.

For kicks

Andre Heidari kicked a 22-yard field goal, but he missed attempts from 40 and 46 yards.

Heidari made 15 of 17 field-goal attempts as a freshman, 10 of 16 as a sophomore.

This season, he is six for 11.

Orgeron said he had an "extensive meeting" with special teams coach John Baxter on Sunday.

"It's a technical problem," Orgeron said of Heidari's struggles. "He's hurrying up a kick and not following through.

"He's been a really good kicker for us in the past and he's struggling. So, I'm not going past that to see what we're going to do. [We] talked about the technical problems to see if we can fix them."

Quick hits

Orgeron praised the play of freshman receiver Darreus Rogers, who caught six passes for 60 yards in his first game since suffering a high ankle sprain against Boston College on Sept. 14…. USC is 8-3 against Utah, including last season's 38-28 victory at Salt Lake City.

gary.klein@latimes.com

Twitter: @latimesklein

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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