December 23, 2007

USC: That Old Familiar Feeling

Remember earlier this season, when USC was picked to be the greatest team ever to hit the collegiate football landscape, but then the Trojans were hit with a plague of injuries that decimated the team leading up to their season-crushing loss to Stanford? Remember all that? Well, it looks like despite the fact that the Trojans will be representing the Pac-10 in the Rose Bowl once again, the injury bug is back and attacking with a vengeance. The latest victim is junior linebacker Brian Cushing, who suffered a bone bruise in practice last week.

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November 21, 2007

USC vs. Arizona State: Banged-Up QBs Back In Action

After Oregon fell to Arizona a week ago, USC's stock rocketed upwards in the suddenly close Pac-10 conference race. If the Trojans can pull out a win over Arizona State on Thanksgiving night, at Arizona State, they put themselves in perfect position to finish in a tie for the top spot in the Pac-10. Both teams are coming off a bye with two formerly banged-up quarterbacks ready to prove that their injuries have healed. USC's John David Booty should start his second straight game after missing three weeks with a broken finger, while Arizona State quarterback Rudy Carpenter threw last weekend for the first time in nearly two weeks, having spent time allowing his injured thumb to heal.

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November 09, 2007

USC: Good Injury News Better Late Than Never

After weeks of novel-length injury reports took their toll on the no-longer-title-bound Trojans, in the form of two losses, USC finally has some good news to report. And it comes just in time for this weekend's used-to-be-huge matchup with Cal, too. All-American offensive lineman Sam Baker is still battling injury, this time a sore hamstring, and fullback Alfred Rowe will miss this game as well, but quarterback John David Booty's finger is feeling fine and tailback Stafon Johnson is healthy for the first time since Sept. 29.

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November 02, 2007

USC: Booty Back

John David Booty has missed the last three of USC's games with a broken middle finger, bowing out to backup Mark Sanchez. In that time, the Trojans have snuck by Arizona, blown out Notre Dame and lost last week to Oregon to knock them out of the national championship picture, and most likely the Pac-10 race, for good. Now that Booty is healthy and ready to start on Saturday, it's up to the senior to use that healed hand to pick up the pieces of this not-so-untouchable-anymore USC team and try to make something out of the rest of this season.

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October 25, 2007

USC: 'Real Close,' But No Start

USC quarterback John David Booty has thrown problem-free in the last two days of practice, but "real close" is not close enough for the senior QB. Unless something miraculous happens in the next 48 hours, Booty will most likely miss his third consecutive game on Saturday, as the swelling in his broken middle finger is still hampering his play. All signs point to Mark Sanchez taking over the Trojans for this weekend's key Pac-10 matchup with Oregon, and maybe for the rest of the season, as well.

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October 19, 2007

USC: The O-Line Carousel Goes Round And Round...

The Trojan army has come under heavy injury fire all season, but no single position has been hit harder than the offensive line. In seven games this season, USC has been through five different starting offensive line combinations, and with another new face on the line in Sean Milota, the Trojans have really hit rock bottom - before this week, Milota had not stepped to the line since his high school days, three years ago. But at this rate, his services may be needed in Pac-10 play.

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October 17, 2007

USC: On The Road To Recovery

USC has definitely been hit with an injury storm so far this season, but Tuesday finally brought some good news to the taped up Trojans. Quarterback John David Booty threw for the first time in five days during Tuesday's practice and felt better than he thought he would with that fractured middle finger, linebacker Brian Cushing was able to get in a whole practice and for the first time in many, many weeks, the list of healing players may be longer than the list of hurt guys.

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October 14, 2007

USC: Booty Not Better, O-Line Decidedly Worse

Things simply do not look good for USC. Backup quarterback Mark Sanchez played just well enough to get by on Saturday, as the Trojans avoided a second-straight upset loss by topping Arizona, 20-13, but USC would certainly like its starter back starting. Unfortunately, it does not look like John David Booty will be healthy in time to take the field against Notre Dame next week, and even if he is, the continued plague of injuries to the offensive line should make him all the more wary about returning to the field, and a collapsing pocket, ahead of schedule.

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October 12, 2007

Pac-10 In Pain

Headlining the Pac-10's long list of injury news is USC head coach Pete Carroll's official announcement on Thursday that backup Mark Sanchez will be starting at quarterback when USC takes on Arizona on Saturday. USC may be ailing more than most, but that does not make them the only team dealing with injuries as this week's conference matchups inch closer.

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October 11, 2007

USC: What About The Line?

As the days tick by leading up to Saturday's USC-Arizona showdown, it's becoming more and more clear that Mark Sanchez will be the man under center for the Trojans. But regardless of who steps up in the pocket, USC has got to do something about the men assigned to protect him, since right now, it looks like there may not be enough healthy bodies to keep that QB on his feet, and that's an issue bigger than a broken finger.

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October 10, 2007

USC: Sanchez It Is

After a few test runs, it looks like John David Booty will be watching Saturday's game from the sideline, as the senior's broken finger is not yet up to snuff and after a four-interception post-breakage performance last week, the Trojans are not ready to take their chances on that broken bone just yet. In his place will be redshirt sophomore Mark Sanchez, who has been taking all of the first-team snaps this week as Booty has been gingerly testing his broken finger. After throwing around 50 balls in mid-week practices, Booty is not convinced that his accuracy is good enough to earn him the starting spot this week, as the Trojans can ill afford another Pac-10 loss, and Arizona is knocking on the door.

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October 09, 2007

USC: Next Quarterback, Please

A lot of things broke for the Trojans during Saturday night's loss to 41-point underdog Stanford, but quarterback John David Booty is most concerned about his broken middle finger. Booty suffered the injury during the second quarter of the loss against Stanford, and then proceeded to throw four interceptions, although he claims the picks have nothing to do with the broken bone. Still, Booty is unsure whether or not he will start on Saturday and he sat out of Monday's practice, watching backup Mark Sanchez take snaps with that special glimmer that only comes from the hope of finally starting a game at USC.

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October 04, 2007

USC: Injured Trojan Army

USC escaped what would have been a disastrous loss by slipping through the clutches of Washington last week, and with down-and-out Stanford on tap for this week, the Trojans probably picked the best possible time to be hit with a list of injuries thicker than their depth chart. But this lineup is just ridiculous.

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September 30, 2007

USC: Hurting All Over

What a weekend for USC. Unlike five of last week's Top 10, the Trojans actually won their game, hanging on to beat Washington 27-24, but lost their No. 1 ranking in the AP Poll along with a lot of healthy bodies, as injuries hampered five of the Trojans' top players.

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September 28, 2007

Top 25 Updates

Week 5 is upon us and with conference matchups heating up around the country, the injury tally is climbing faster than Tim Tebow's Heisman rating. From No. 1 USC to No. 25-wanna-be Miami, everyone is dealing with something injury-related this week, but some news has been better than others.

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September 27, 2007

USC: Are There Any Linebackers Left?

Whoever decided to put an injury hex on USC one position at a time has access to some seriously dark magic. Just as USC entered the season with a laundry list of high-powered running backs, only to see the pool quickly drain down to a puddle, the nation's best crop of linebackers has taken quite a weeding in the past few days. After the news of junior Brian Cushing's re-sprained ankle hit the team, true freshman Chris Galippo one-upped him on Wednesday.

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September 26, 2007

USC: Linebacker Losses

Junior linebacker Brian Cushing is not happy. He knew he had a sprained ankle, but until this week, he didn't know how badly sprained it was. Turns out, the junior's sprain is serious enough to keep him out of the lineup for nearly a month. Officially, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound linebacker is listed as doubtful for Saturday's game against Washington, but in reality, Cushing is looking at three weeks of hard sideline time, where he may be joined by several of his linebacking friends.

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September 23, 2007

USC: Banged Up, But Unbeaten

USC rolled to victory, again, on Saturday, topping Washington State 47-14, but for all the glory of the victory, there was an awful lot of agony being felt in the locker room. Cornerback Cary Harris and linebacker Brian Cushing headline the latest list of casualties for the No. 1 Trojans, but the secondary can only sustain so many hits before the nation's best coaching staff will have to change up some personnel pairings and get some healthy bodies back defending passes.

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September 18, 2007

USC: Big Scare For Joseph

USC cornerback Vincent Joseph had the scare of his life on Saturday. After being tackled while returning a kickoff against Nebraska, the sophomore left the field on a stretcher, unable to breathe. He sustained a bruised larynx and neck sprain on the hit and spent some time in a local hospital before donning a neck brace for the team's flight home. Joseph is on a liquid diet this week and will definitely miss Saturday's game againt Washington State, but he's just happy to be breathing.

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September 16, 2007

USC: Joseph Recovering

USC cornerback Vincent Joseph scared everyone in Lincoln on Saturday when he spent ten breathless minutes motionless on the field before leaving on a stretcher, moving only his right arm to signal that he still had range of motion in his limbs. The sophomore left the field in the second quarter after taking a hit on a kickoff return and was later reported to have suffered a bruised larynx. He was hit by Ricky Thenarse after fumbling the kickoff and spent the rest of the game recovering at a local hospital. Reports have said that he is in pain but will recover.

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September 15, 2007

USC: Trojan Down

Sophomore cornerback Vincent Joseph was carted off of the field in the second quarter of USC's game against Nebraska after running back a kickoff on special teams. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound sophomore bruised his larynx on a hit by Ricky Thenarse. Joseph was handling the return after a Nebraska field goal when he took the hit, fumbled the ball on the play and stayed down for the count as teammate Malcolm Smith picked up the ball and ran it 31 yards to the Nebraska 45. Staff tended to Joseph for 10 minutes before carting him off the field on a stretcher. Joseph raised his right hand as he left the field, but not much else, evoking some frightening memories of last Sunday's NFL Buffalo Bills game.

September 12, 2007

USC: The Best Is Out, Again

Josh Pinkard has been through all of this before. Pete Carroll once described him as "maybe the best football player on our team," but that was before the USC defensive back sat out almost the entire 2006 season after tearing his right ACL in the season opener aganinst Arkansas. The fourth-year junior went through a tough rehab process and had regained his spot as the top cornerback on the nation's best team heading into this season. But then it happened again. Pinkard injured his left knee in practice and learned this week that he will need another season-ending surgery for another torn ACL, this time in the left knee.

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September 06, 2007

USC: Crossing Washington

Chauncey Washington has a Grade 3 sprain in his right shoulder, but he wants his starting job back by the Trojans' next game. When USC takes on Nebraska on Sept. 15, last season's leading rusher should be ready to lead the charge once again, but are the Trojans prepared to give over that top spot? C. J. Gable had a pretty good night in the team's opener against Idaho, recording eight carries for 68 yards. Stafon Johnson also looked solid, carrying 12 times for 64 yards, so Washington's job may no longer be his for the taking.

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August 29, 2007

USC: Time To Hit Someone Else

High-intensity pre-game workouts are one thing, but knocking out your teammates days before the season opener is quite another. USC would do well to learn the difference, as two key players were injured in Tuesday's practice, shining the haze of doubt on their ability to take the field on Saturday against Idaho. In Southern California, it's definitely time for the Trojans to start hitting someone else, so that they can stop hitting each other.

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August 23, 2007

USC: Tailback Pool Draining Quickly

The Trojans have been lauded throughout the preseason for their unbelievably deep pool of tailbacks. With an even ten rushing threats that could see playing time at any moment, USC had backfield coaches around the country drooling. Until recently. In the weeks leading up to kickoff, that pool has sprung a leak, and is now draining rapidly. The latest tailback down the drain? Fifth-year senior Chauncey Washington.

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August 17, 2007

USC: Bruised Ego

He's on the cover of Sports Illustrated in a Trojans jersey, but that's not stopping him - USC Tailback Emmanuel Moody is going to transfer. The sophomore tailback, who just happens to be the Trojans' second-leading rusher from last season, is leaving L.A. because he feels the team has forgotten him as he attemps to make a comeback from injury.

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