USC fans at the Colosseum should cheer. Instead, they were silent.
View on star receiver Drake London writhing in pain after the second pass at the touch stunned fans, teammates and coaches as his leg injury cast a shadow on USC wins 41-34 over Arizona on Saturday at the Colosseum.
The win broke a series of three home defeats for the Trojans (total 4-4, Pac-12 3-3 conference), but the cheering of the winning ring is hollow for a team that could lose its brightest offensive star due to some interim head coach Donte Williams fear is a potential ankle injury at the end of the season.
The Moorpark youth entered the game with 79 caught and 1002 receiving yards and was at the pace to make the eclipse Marqise LeeSchool records set by a former recipient in the 2012 season who received a Ticket Award. The Londoner has caught the FBS player the most so far in seven games, and in less than half time against Arizona he had eight more for 81 yards, catching his second of two touches at 4:16 in the second quarter.
London caught a quarterback pass from Jackson Dart and pulled the defender into the final six-yard touch zone, but the Arizona player seemed to have rolled over to London’s leg. London immediately intervened on his right foot and teammates put a signal for help on the sideline. The trainers stabilized London’s leg with a large black air outflow that covered his foot and leg to the upper thigh.
As he drove off the pitch, London wiped away tears with his jersey.
“It was awful, to be honest,” USC Offensive Coordinator Graham Harrell said. “I feel terrible for him. For us as a team, the next guy has to step in and play. “
The Trojans held Arizona (0-8, 0-5) in the second half without a stellar receiver, leaning on the match. Running back Keaontay Ingram scored a record 204 yards, despite being returned several major runs due to penalties. Receiver Tahj Washington highly equated his career with eight catches for 87 yards.
“Obviously it hurt if we lost him,” said receiver Gary Bryant Jr., who had two touchdowns and a record 89 yards. “But do what we do. Drake knows. He would tell us, ‘Just do what you do,’ and we will.
London returned to the pitch in the third quarter and followed the second half from the sideline, where he sat with his right leg outstretched on the bench. She was covered with hard plaster under her knee. Williams said London remained in good spirits and continued to cheer on teammates who checked on him during matches.
“It’s crazy because you can say he was really affected, but he wasn’t worried as much about himself as he was about the team, which I think shows a lot about his character,” said defender Jaxson Dart, who dismissed both. touchdown moves to London on Saturday. “He made sure all the guys in the locker room were focused on the task at halftime and didn’t care about him.”
USC scored a touchdown while driving immediately after London’s injury, but was ruled out of the end zone in the second half. The Trojans held on to victory with two goals from the game in the second half, and after the game, London drove through a tunnel at the back of the injury cart and told reporters that “this is just part of the game.”
Fans, some of whom were dressed in his No. 15 jersey, leaned over the fences as they drove him toward the locker room. London flashed the USC “Fight On” symbol with both hands.