Up to the challenge

LOS ANGELES - - When impressive redshirt freshman running back Tre Madden, potentially the answer to USC's quest for a big back in 2012, went down during spring ball with a torn left knee ligament, one could hear the air let out of the Trojans cardinal and gold balloon.

As what happens so many times in sports, one player's misfortune turns out to be another player's opportunity. Don't look now, but that big running back the Trojans thought they had lost in Madden appears found in redshirt freshman fullback Soma Vainuku.

While much of the running back attention has been focused understandably on senior 1,000-yard rusher Curtis McNeal and impressive Penn State transfer Silas Redd, Vainuku has been quietly making big noise as potentially the missing big back.