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COLLEGE FOOTBALL / Week 6 | NOTES

Claiborne Says USC Didn't Pull Out Stops in Loss

October 11, 1998|ROBYN NORWOOD and STEVE SPRINGER | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

It was supposed to be a defensive struggle--but instead USC's defense struggled.

"The offense scored enough points to win," USC linebacker Chris Claiborne said. "Defensively, we didn't get the job done.

"I'm going to take the blame for this one. I'm supposed to take over the game. Today I didn't take over the game. . . . I didn't make a big play to change the game."

The combination USC couldn't stop was Cal quarterback Justin Vedder and receiver Dameane Douglas.

"They hit us underneath and killed us underneath," Claiborne said. "On first down, they'd get seven yards, and they'd have two plays to play with.

"I think we kind of underestimated them. Definitely, we scored enough points to win this game. You score 20 points, and the defense should take over the game."

As for Vedder: "We had chances to pull him down and didn't. He pulled a Cade McNown on us today."

*

Frank Strong became only the fourth true freshman to start at tailback for USC. He joins Charles White, Scott Lockwood and Malaefou MacKenzie, who started some last year.

Strong, who shared time with Petros Papadakis, rushed for 45 yards in 12 carries.

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USC quarterback Mike Van Raaphorst was sacked five times, and backup Carson Palmer was sacked once for a safety.

"They blitzed the whole game," Van Raaphorst said. "They just pinned their ears back and came after us. They did a good job."

*

USC tailback Petros Papadakis, who had the first 100-yard game of his career, started his career at Cal but stayed in Berkeley for only one week of practice before returning to USC, where his father, John, and brother, Taso, also played.

Papadakis, a junior, says he left Cal because he was "homesick and nostalgic," but he had to hand it to the Bears on Saturday.

"They played a helluva game. They took it to us."

*

Cal's Dameane Douglas, who had 151 receiving yards, had many yards to cover before tying the USC opponents' single-game record.

UCLA's J.J. Stokes caught six passes for a total of 263 yards in a 1992 game against the Trojans.

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This was Cal's second consecutive victory over USC at the Coliseum, the Bears having defeated the Trojans, 22-15, in 1996.

The last time Cal won consecutive games on the road against the Trojans was 1948 and 1950. The Bears went on to play in the Rose Bowl in each of those seasons.

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Ifeanyi Ohalete's blocked punt that set up a touchdown was USC's sixth blocked kick this season. Ohalete was part of another punt block against Arizona State, when he recovered the ball and scored.

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USC receiver Windrell Hayes scored his first touchdown as a Trojan, but the 10th of his college career. He scored nine for San Jose State before transferring.

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