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SPORTS WEEKEND | COLLEGE FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : USC

Soward Tries to Catch On

September 26, 1997|ROBYN NORWOOD

Sophomore R. Jay Soward's frustration with himself for not emerging as the go-to player at receiver has been almost visible at times.

Soward already has a kickoff return for a touchdown--the third of his career--but has caught only eight passes in the first two games. Billy Miller leads the Trojans with 18 catches for 185 yards.

"Right now, it's hard," Soward said. "I've been dropping the ball. I've got to work on that and get better every day. Let it come to me instead of trying to make it happen."

Coach John Robinson calls Soward "a dramatic football player," but said he's "still learning as a receiver.

"We need to be as creative as we can in getting him the ball. As we become more proficient at getting first downs, his chances of having plays directed at him will increase. He's certainly a big-time, big-play guy."

Since Soward can almost always outrun the defense, USC sends him deep on desperation downs, but Soward wants to be more of a factor on routine plays as well.

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