Booty return may boost the offense

first_imgBy Scott Wolf Staff Writer USC coach Pete Carroll rarely offers forecasts, but he predicted big things for the Trojans’ much-maligned offense, with an expanded playbook accompanying the return of quarterback John David Booty. “I really think it will change this week,” Carroll said. “I think we can make it go.” Carroll said Booty resembled his pre-injury performances. “He looked like John always looks,” Carroll said. Backup Mark Sanchez, said the past three games were “invaluable” and said he enjoyed the Oregon game despite the fact USC lost. “It was the funnest time of my life,” Sanchez said. “It blows my mind how much your outlook changes when you get to play. Next year I won’t be so emotional like I was against Arizona.” Sanchez is resigned to losing the starting job. “I think we can see where it’s heading,” he said. The tailback rotation remains unchanged. Chauncey Washington (South Torrance High) starts with Stafon Johnson and Joe McKnight behind him. Washington averages 4.4 yards per carry but running backs coach Todd McNair said it’s a deceiving statistic. “If you take out short-yard and goal-line runs, it’s about 5.6 yards,” McNair said. “I’m happy with the way he’s running.” Offensive tackle Sam Baker (hamstring) did not practice and probably will not play although no official decision will be made before Thursday. Center Kris O’Dowd practiced but was also used at guard and tackle just in case further injuries occur during the Oregon State game. “I’ll fight back to get whatever (playing time) I can get,” O’Dowd said. Senior Matt Spanos remains the starter. “He’s not going to take Matt’s spot right away,” Carroll said. Linebacker Kaluka Maiava (wrist) will play with a hard cast on his arm. No change Baker doubtful Sudden improvement Oregon State coach Mike Riley said tailback Yvenson Bernard might be available. “We got some good news as far as the MRI. He’s got a sprained shoulder. It’s not dislocated, so it’s really going to be a day-to-day thing,” Riley said. “It’s pretty darn sore, I’ll tell you that. I’m sure he will want to play. Right now, I would say it’s just day-to-day and the news is pretty good from the reports that we got.” [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.USC scored only 17 points despite being inside Oregon’s 20-yard line five times during Saturday’s loss. Booty showed no effects from his broken finger and took all the snaps with the first team during Tuesday’s practice. He even got hit in the hand by a defensive lineman without further injury. “Someone came in and batted (the ball out),” Booty said. “I was kind of glad I did get hit, to see it was OK.” Booty also took extensive snaps from the shotgun, which USC finally appears ready to implement. He said he never wondered if he would return to the starting lineup. “I don’t think you can play football at this level and think that way,” Booty said. “For me, there was never any doubt in my mind.” last_img read more

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