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Palmer Applauded, but Still No Starter

October 05, 1998|ROBYN NORWOOD

Carson Palmer is USC's catalyst, that's clear enough.

He sparked the Trojans to a comeback victory for the second time this season against Arizona State on Saturday--with the crowd at the Coliseum so eager to see the freshman quarterback it even booed Mike Van Raaphorst while waiting for Palmer to appear in the third quarter.

"I kind of felt bad," receiver Billy Miller said. "Van Raaphorst was doing a great job. But the crowd got so enthusiastic when Carson came into the game, I thought the whole team vibed off it."

Coach Paul Hackett, however, isn't ready to make Palmer the starter.

"He's getting better every game," said Hackett, whose only concession so far has been to give Palmer closer to half the snaps in practice, after starting the season favoring Van Raaphorst, 60-40.

Here are the statistics of the quarterbacks:

Van Raaphorst, who passed for 191 yards Saturday, has completed 48 of 106 passes (45.3%) for 648 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions.

Palmer, who threw for 69 yards, has completed 15 of 38 passes (39.5%) for 222 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.


Bernard Riley from Los Alamitos High, one of the top defensive line prospects in the nation, decided he will sign with USC after attending Saturday's game, his mother said Sunday.

"He committed to USC today," Cindy Riley said. "He's real excited."

Riley, a 6-foot-3, 305-pound tackle, had 122 tackles last season for the Griffins, who are 4-0 and Orange County's top-ranked team.

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