USC to play first half of Washington State game without standout linebacker Porter Gustin

September 17, 2018

A bicep injury forced Porter Gustin to skip USC’s last game against Washington State entirely, and now the Trojans’ defensive enforcer will have to miss half of the next game against the Cougars.

In the third quarter of USC’s 37-14 loss to Texas, Gustin was flagged for a personal foul penalty after a punishing hit on Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger, then later ejected from the game when officials determined the Trojans defender had led with his head.

Targeting penalties warrant a one-game suspension, so Gustin will have to miss the first half of Friday’s 7:30 p.m. game against WSU at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. He’ll be eligible to return for the second half.

The outside linebacker is one of USC’s top defensive playmakers and has 20 career starts in 34 games. A former sophomore All-Pac-12 honorable mention choice, Gustin entered his senior season with 109 tackles, 23 tackles-for-loss and 14 sacks, in addition to four pass deflections.

Cougars coach Mike Leach called Gustin “good” and “explosive” during his weekly Monday news conference.

“He’s real long, a long guy with all kinds of reach and range both physically and because of his speed,” Leach said. “He’s a good player.”

Gustin had notched two sacks in the game against Texas before he was ejected. Junior Jordan Iosefa will start at outside linebacker against WSU, according to the Trojans’ updated depth chart.

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