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COLLEGE FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT / USC

Injuries Slowing Preparation for Ducks

October 12, 2000|DAVID WHARTON

Once again, Carson Palmer and his sore shoulder were relegated to handoffs and short passes at practice Wednesday. Once again, the sophomore quarterback insisted he is not concerned.

"I've only missed two days," he said. "I'm definitely playing on Saturday."

Also missing was receiver Kareem Kelly, who has not practiced all week and does not expect to practice today, but continues to predict he will be ready for the Oregon game. Kelly is slowed because of thigh and ankle injuries.

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Center Eric Denmon will not play against Oregon because of a sprained ankle, Coach Paul Hackett said.

Redshirt freshman Lenny Vandermade will shift from left guard to take his place. Vandermade practiced at center in training camp and played 35 snaps at that position after Denmon's injury against Arizona last Saturday.

"Lenny's very confident with where he's at," Denmon said. "I know he'll do a great job."

Senior Trevor Roberts, a projected starter who struggled because of an injury earlier this season, will play left guard.

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Having benched David Newbury in favor of freshman John Wall at kicker, Hackett has made an additional change, deciding that David Bell will handle long field-goal attempts.

Bell is the team's kickoff specialist and has put a high percentage of his kicks into the end zone. He made an attempt from nearly 50 yards in practice this week.

Still, Hackett said he will consider trying for a first down when his team needs seven or less yards on fourth down.

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