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Kicking Problems Are Getting a Close Look

COLLEGE FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : USC

September 30, 1997|ROBYN NORWOOD

Is it time for some competition for USC's kicking duties?

Adam Abrams, in his third year as the Trojans' kicker, missed a 34-yard field-goal attempt and an extra point Saturday against California.

The Trojans had other problems on special teams as well, allowing a blocked punt against Jim Wren.

"The kicking game let us down," Coach John Robinson said. "We must correct that."

Abrams, a junior, has tried to work on his low trajectory, which along with protection problems contributed to seven blocked kicks last season, when he was 13 for 21 on field goals and 33 for 36 on extra points.

This season, he's 0 for 1 on field goals and five for seven on PATs with one block and one miss.

Abrams' backup is junior Adam Rendon, who kicks off and missed USC's only other field-goal attempt this season--a 47-yarder against Washington State. USC's other kickers are sophomore David Bell and freshman Mike MacGillivray.

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All the attention goes to the offensive rushing statistics, but USC ranks fifth nationally in rushing defense, giving up 54.3 yards a game after holding California to 31. Those were the fewest yards rushing against a Trojan team since Oregon was thrown for minus-10 in 1989. Cal began the game averaging 173.5 yards on the ground. . . . Nevada Las Vegas, USC's opponent this Saturday night at the Coliseum, has never beaten a Pacific 10 team other than Oregon State in nine tries. UNLV is 3-0 against Oregon State. The Rebels (2-2) have already doubled their victory total from last season by beating Hawaii and Illinois State. UNLV was 1-11 last season.

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NEXT UP FOR USC

WHO: Nevada Las Vegas

WHERE: Coliseum

TIME: Saturday, 7:15 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports West 2

RADIO: KLSX-FM (97.1)

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