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October 06, 2000|DAVID WHARTON

Arizona (3-1) at No. 18 USC (3-1)

* Kickoff: 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Coliseum, Channel 7.

* Story line: It's put-up-or-shut-up time. The Trojans already suffered a blow to their Rose Bowl hopes by losing at Oregon State last week--a second loss in Pac-10 play would be crushing. The problem is, Arizona has improved with each week and might be the most fundamentally sound team USC has played.

* USC update: A handful of starters--tight end Antoine Harris, tailback Sultan McCullough, receiver Kareem Kelly--are nursing injuries but USC should be relatively healthy. It's their confidence that has taken a beating. "For our team, it's important that we respond well and play well at home against a good team," Coach Paul Hackett said.

* Arizona update: Look for a lot more of Clarence Farmer, a big freshman tailback who played sparingly at the start of the season but had 116 yards against Stanford last week. "We have been looking for one of the backs to really step up," Coach Dick Tomey said. "I think Clarence has made a statement."

* Edge to USC: If Hackett cannot get his team motivated and focused for this game, it's going to be a long season. The Trojans will need their best effort to date against an Arizona team that knows how to win on the road and held USC to minus-20 yards rushing in Tucson last season.

* Line: USC by 6 1/2.

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