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SPORTS WEEKEND | WEEK 12 PRIMER

The Locals

November 10, 2000|DAVID WHARTON

Washington State (3-6, 1-5) at USC (4-5, 1-5)

* Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Coliseum, Channel 9.

* Story line: It took a near-collapse and two overtimes for USC to end its five-game losing streak at Arizona State last week. Now the Trojans face the team with whom they share last place in the Pacific 10 Conference standings. They have lost to the Cougars in the Coliseum only once in the last 43 years.

* USC update: Tailback Sultan McCullough ranks among the top 20 rushers in college football. Quarterback Carson Palmer is averaging 19.22 completions, 17th-best in the nation. "We're becoming a pretty good offensive team," Coach Paul Hackett said.

* Washington State update: The Cougars bring a dangerous passing attack, even without starting quarterback Jason Gesser, who suffered a broken leg against Oregon last week. Still, they must overcome a history of losing in the Coliseum. "We're not playing Azusa Pacific when we go down there; we're playing USC," Coach Mike Price said.

* Edge to USC: The Trojans gained some valuable confidence with a victory and need only to think back a year ago to remember what it was like putting together a late-season winning streak. But they might have to score early and often to overcome the Washington State offense and their own propensity for miscues.

* Line: USC by 11.

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