Kicker David Buehler, who also plays safety, is the latest to get a try out at fullback. With Buehler stuck behind Troy Van Blarcom as the kickoff specialist and not likely to play at safety, he can try to learn the position, unlike Luthur Brown, who is a linebacker and has aspirations of starting one day.
One of our spies received this email from the USC ticket office Wednesday.
“A limited number of tickets to see the Trojans home game versus Washington have just been released. Be sure to get your tickets today.
This means two things: Tickets are available, even if you are not a student, for an upcoming home game. And USC has not sold out all six home games yet, despite making the claim every week in press releases.
Allen Bradford asked to move back to safety. He requested a meeting with Pete Carroll and Carroll gave him the option of playing safety, fullback or tailback and Bradford chose safety.
Bradford said “it was tempting” to play fullback but he always preferred safety. He will remain there now, barring a rash of injuries at tailback.
UPDATED: Dallas Sartz moved to safety because Kevin Ellison rested his knee but Carroll said Sartz could play if needed on Saturday. Kevin Thomas practiced and could play. It’s too soon to tell if Sedrick Ellis will be available.
Dallas Sartz started out practice working at safety before moving back to his preferred linebacker.
Allen Bradford is also practicing at safety. Dwayne Jarrett showed up for the start of practice but left.
The offensive line is making slow progress, just like the rest of the offense.
“They were better (against Arizona),” offensive line coach Pat Ruel said. “We’re replacing a lot of guys, and we’re not getting the same consistency but it’s starting to come.”
Offensive tackle Sam Baker goes against Washington State defensive end Mkristo Bruce on Saturday. Last year, Bruce beat Baker on an early play, then was fairly well contained. Bruce had five sacks against Stanford.
“If he gets five sacks this week, daggone, he’s an All-American,” Washington State coach Bill Doba said.
Freshman Vidal Hazelton is getting a lot more work in practice this week. Not necessarily because he will play against Washington State but because if Patrick Turner gets injured, Hazelton will be the next guy up in the rotation and needs to be ready to play.
As the chart below shows, games are 15 minutes shorter so far this season thanks to the new clock rules.
Category 2005 2006 Difference
Plays/Game 168 152 16 plays
Game time 3:20 3:05 15 minutes
“It’s making a difference. I think somebody did the stats. It’s eight or nine plays to 12 plays is where we’ve heard is the range,” USC coach Pete Carroll said. “I don’t want these games to end in a hurry. I’d rather play and stay out there as long as we can. We only get to play 12 or 13 a year you know. The longer the better, but if we could turn it, I’d vote for turn it.”
USC offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin said he is unfazed by critics.
“Criticism from the fans or media, Ive grown up around this, I know you cant please everyone, he said. “Its about getting guys ready and improving. If someone writes a story or says something its not going to change the way Im doing my job.”
Dwayne Jarrett is not practicing today but will see the doctors tonight. Chauncey Washington had his best practice and said he got his burst back.
“It was noticeable he was different,” Pete Carroll said.
The Luthur Brown fullback experiment is over because Carroll said it would take too much time to learn a new position during the season.
Travon Patterson missed practice with a possible concussion.