LOS ANGELES (AP) The absences for No. 5 Southern California were offset by one big return Wednesday.
Outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu was back at practice, and coach Clay Helton was optimistic about the senior's chances of playing against unbeaten California on Saturday. Nwosu could provide a big lift for the Trojans, especially considering outside linebacker Porter Gustin (toe/biceps), defensive end Rasheem Green (ankle) and slot cornerback Ajene Harris (knee) were held out again.
Nwosu, who sprained his knee during Saturday's double-overtime win over Texas, has been the Trojans' top defender this season. Nwosu has seven pass breakups, which ranks second in the Pac-12, and his ability to create havoc around the line of scrimmage prompted Helton to call him the most valuable player on that side of the ball. Facing the upstart Golden Bears without Nwosu would be a major challenge.