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Running Game Can't Say 'Bye' to Woes

September 19, 1997|ROBYN NORWOOD

It was supposed to be a productive day for rebuilding USC's running game, not a day to hear a collective "ouch."

Two offensive linemen started the day on the sidelines and a couple more had to be carted off before practice was over.

Then running back LaVale Woods limped off the field after injuring his ankle--only one day after starting to practice at tailback as USC looks for alternatives to starter Delon Washington.

The initial diagnosis on Woods is a sprained left ankle after X-rays showed no other damage, and his status is day to day.

None of the injuries is projected to keep anyone out of USC's next game Sept. 27 against California--but it's a good thing the Trojans aren't playing Saturday.

Offensive line coach Mike Barry said the real concern is lost practice time.

Guard Chris Brymer, who sat out the Washington State game because of a sprained foot ligament, said he won't practice again until next week as a precaution. Guard Travis Claridge has a bruised shoulder but said he expects to practice today. Tackle Phalen Pounds left the field because of back spasms.

That's three starters--and backup guard David Pratchard left the field because of a bruised thigh.

"We're running low, but I think our guys will be back out there," Brymer said.

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