Tailback Stafon Johnson made his first appearance of the season and lined up at wide receiver. Johnson immediately made an impact, getting called for offensive pass interference.
USC coach Pete Carroll offered an obvious but simple point after the game.
“It’s hard to be 4-0,” he said.
Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin pointed out that USC’s gone undefeated in the regular season the other two times it started 4-0 under Carroll. And 1-1 in bowl games, for those keeping score.
USC quarterback John David Booty on tonight’s performanace: “I just felt good. Im playing more and more. My offensive line blocked its butts off. It seemed like Ive been through a couple of these close games now though.”
USC center Ryan Kalil said the Trojans’ narrow lead did not weigh on the players’ minds in the fourth quarter.
“Weve been in these situations before, theres no time to think about those things,” Kalil said. “Theres no time to think, `What if we lose?’ But it is a little more close for comfort.”
Feel free to post your thoughts. Lots of praise for John David Booty and Steve Smith in the locker room. Looks like the secondary still has some work to do.
“The young guys were in some situations and made some mistakes, but those guys will grow through that. Were going to keep calling on them,” Pete Carroll said. “Its good for us. This is a program that needs experiences to grow.”
Wide receiver Chris McFoy is in street clothes with a left shoulder injury along with linebacker Luthur Brown, who is on crutches.
UPDATE: McFoy bruised his left shoulder and Brown strained his hamstring. No announcements yet on how long they will be out. Emmanuel Moody sprained his ankle but said he was OK.
Among the recruits Washington State brought to the game was La Canada High tailback LaVelle Peterson, who rushed for a school-record 345 yards and five touchdowns last week. The Cougars’ starting tailback, Dwight Tardy, is also from Southern California and attended St. Paul High.
Outside my hotel room window, the Trojans are conducting a walk-through in the parking lot, giving a shock to a couple people walking by and anyone driving into the WinCoFoods 24-hour market which is across the street.
It’s extremely mild up in Pullman and today’s high is forecast for 78 degrees. That’s a vast improvement from the hail storm that greeted USC during warmups two years ago.
Freshman safety Taylor Mays said he feels comfortable enough after two starts that games are not his biggest worry.
“I feel like tomorrows practice will be harder than Saturdays game, Mays said.
Mays also said he likes playing the “center field” spot in the Trojans’ secondary.
“Im not feeling a lot of pressure but I know if I make a mistake its a touchdown,” he said.