Cameron Rising is expected to miss his seventh consecutive game to start the season when Utah faces No. 18 USC on the road on Saturday. Bryson Barnes will start at quarterback for the 14th-ranked Utes.

That’s according to ESPN’s Pete Thamel, who went on ESPN’s College GameDay Saturday morning to break down the injury situation in Salt Lake City. Thamel referenced the shift in messaging this week from coach Kyle Whittingham.

The decision to start Barnes was largely expected after Whittingham opened the possibility to a medical redshirt for Rising earlier this week. Now, the question is whether Rising will play at all in 2023.

“It is a possibility, but it hasn’t really been talked about at length or in detail,” Whittingham said Monday when he met with reporters for his weekly press conference. “But certainly that is something that is one way this thing could break. We’ll see what happens.”

Rising would be seeking a seventh year of eligibility if Utah went after a medical redshirt. In order to qualify, Rising would not be able to play a snap this year.

Barnes will start his second consecutive game and his fourth of the season.

The junior from Milford opened the year as the starter and led Utah to a win over Florida in the opener. He started the 20-13 Baylor win, but was replaced by Nate Johnson in the fourth quarter after the offense sputtered through the first 45 minutes of the game.

Johnson started the next three games for Utah, but offensive struggles continued. In the game against Oregon State on Sept. 29, Johnson was replaced by Barnes. When Barnes was knocked out, Johnson came back in to close the game out.

But he did not play in last week’s 34-14 win over Cal. Utah rediscovered its ground game with Sione Vaki seeing an expanded role. Utah said this week Vaki was in Johnson’s utility role, and so long as that continued, Johnson’s role would be limited to that of the backup quarterback.

Kickoff between the Utes (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) and the Trojans (6-1, 4-0 Pac-12) is set for 5 p.m. PT on FOX.