USC head coach Lincoln Riley had something interesting to share to reporters: One of his players played the early part of the 2022 regular season through a painful injury.
While speaking to the media ahead of USC’s Saturday evening clash with the Arizona Wildcats, Riley revealed that inside linebacker Tuasivi Nomura played through a gruesome finger injury in a game earlier this season.
Here’s what Riley said, per USC football reporter Keely Eure:
“You feel his physicality, his speed, and his decisiveness on the field. He’s about as tough as they come…He broke his finger during the middle of a play. Like compound (fracture), bone sticking out. He didn’t tell anybody. Played three more plays with the bone sticking out of his finger…
He broke his finger during the middle of a play. Like compound (fracture), bone sticking out. He didn’t tell anybody. Played three more plays with the bone sticking out of his finger…
And played well, had two tackles! He finally comes over and tells somebody because we couldn’t tell, obviously, from the sideline.”
The 6-foot-1 Nomura is in his third season with the Trojans. He has 14 tackles and one pass defense in five game appearances. The No. 10 ranked Trojans lost their first game of the season to the Utah Utes on Oct. 15 by a final score of 43-42.
USC has five regular season games remaining on their schedule. After visiting Arizona, they’ll return home to face the California Golden Bears on Nov. 5 before hitting the road again for a Nov. 11 meeting with the Colorado Buffalo.
The Trojans will then come home for a meeting with the No. 12 ranked UCLA Bruins before concluding the regular season against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
The 39-year-old Riley previously served as the head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners (from 2017 to 2021), compiling a superb 55-10 record that included 2020 Cotton Bowl and 2021 Alamo Bowl victories over Florida and Oregon, respectively.
Last November, the Trojans announced that Riley would take over the head coaching position.
Jalen Hurts (Philadelphia Eagles), former first overall picks Baker Mayfield (Carolina Panthers) and Kyler Murray (Arizona Cardinals), wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (Dallas Cowboys), tight end Mark Andrews (Baltimore Ravens) and offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. (Kansas City Chiefs) are among the notable NFL players that Riley coached at Oklahoma.
Riley has done an excellent job in turning this organization back into a juggernaut, to say the very least. The man he succeeded, Clay Helton, left the USC football program with a 46-24 record.