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COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 5 | NOTES

A Silver Lining for Sun Devils' Redmond

October 04, 1998|ROBYN NORWOOD and BILL PLASCHKE | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Arizona State's J.R. Redmond made it his own private homecoming.

Redmond, a junior from Carson High, rushed for 214 yards in 33 carries--becoming only the eighth tailback ever to rush for more than 200 yards against USC, and only the third to do it at the Coliseum.

"Every game means a lot, but when you come here and play in front of family and friends, it means that much more," said Redmond, whose 214 total yards were ninth in Arizona State history.

He also caught six passes for 34 yards and had 17 yards on four punt returns and 85 yards on three kickoff returns for a total of 350 all-purpose yards.

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In a blow to the USC defense, the Trojans lost stalwart defensive lineman Marc Matock for at least two months when he broke his left ankle during the game.

Matock will undergo surgery shortly, but would be a longshot to return for more than a bowl game.

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Only a few minutes into the game, two of the best offensive players on the field were on the sidelines, through for the day.

USC tailback Chad Morton emerged in street clothes after testing his strained and bruised back in warmups and determining he could not play.

USC hoped Morton would recover the way he did two weeks ago, when he missed practices because of his back--and then rushed for 123 yards against Oregon State.

"I tried to go. I just couldn't," said Morton, who originally hurt his back weightlifting but was re-injured on a hit last week against Florida State.

"Hopefully [I'll return] next week," Morton said. "I just have to take it week-by-week and see how it goes."

Without Morton, the Trojans rushed for only 23 yards.

Arizona State lost quarterback Ryan Kealy on the third play of the game when he suffered a concussion on a fierce hit by USC linebacker Chris Claiborne as Kealy completed a pass.

"He killed him. I knew as soon as he hit the ground he wasn't coming back," USC receiver Billy Miller said. "It was a hit you wouldn't wish on anyone."

Kealy passed for 281 yards against USC last season.

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Daylon McCutcheon was a good example of the resiliency of the new Trojans when, after he and his secondary mates were beaten several times by young quarterback Chad Elliott early in the game, he rebounded to tip away a last-gasp touchdown attempt late in the fourth quarter.

The ball was going to Tariq McDonald from the five-yard-line on fourth-and-goal, but McCutcheon was there, because he said it was planned that way.

"We worked all week on their pass plays, so I knew what was coming, and just reacted," McCutcheon said. "Everybody out there is going 100% at that time of the game, so those things can happen."

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According to the Trojans, the unsung hero of the game was Matt Schiotz, the team's strength and conditioning coordinator.

"There was a lot of times this year that we hated him," said safety Rashard Cook. "But right now, I want to hug him."

Schiotz is the coach who directed the players through the grueling off-season workouts that have helped them become a solid fourth-quarter team. He came to Los Angeles with Hackett from the Kansas City Chiefs, where players were known to run an off-season sprint or two.

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