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COLLEGE FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : USC : Otton Gets Hit, Leaves With a Limp

August 20, 1995|EARL GUSTKEY

USC's two-man battle for the starting quarterback position may be down to one for a practice or two.

Junior Brad Otton suffered a sprained right ankle late in Saturday's afternoon practice, and, while it wasn't believed to be serious, he was considered day-to-day.

Otton, who backed up Rob Johnson a year ago, took a snap and was in the process of throwing a quick pass over the middle when he was hit and dumped by tackle Matt Keneley.

Otton didn't get up and limped slightly as he left the field with trainers. Kyle Wachholtz finished at quarterback.

"He caught his foot while he was going away from Keneley," offensive coordinator Mike Riley said. "My impression was it wasn't a bad sprain."

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Coach John Robinson on sophomore defensive tackle Darrell Russell, now toting 330 pounds on his 6-foot-4 frame:

"This could be a breakaway year for Russell, when he joins the elite of college football. He has more talent than any player we have."

Last spring, Robinson told line coach Doug Smith: "Do you realize you may never again in your career coach anyone with this kind of ability?"

Russell, a sophomore from San Diego St. Augustine High, played spectacularly at times last year, at an even 300 pounds.

Said defensive coordinator Keith Burns: "Darrell was great against Notre Dame and just average against Stanford. As soon as he learns to play at a consistent level, he's going to be a great player."

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Two freshmen combined for Saturday's play of the day: Wide receiver Mike Bastianelli leaped high over the middle to make an acrobatic, one-handed catch on a play when cornerback Daylon McCutcheon was high in the air with him, trying to bat the ball away.

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