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Fargas Feels History Is on His Side

November 28, 2002|Gary Klein | Times Staff Writer

Justin Fargas will be carrying the ball along with the weight of USC's tailback tradition Saturday when sixth-ranked USC plays seventh-ranked Notre Dame at the Coliseum.

With Mike Garrett in USC's athletic director's box, Anthony Davis on the sidelines and Charles White and Marcus Allen also possibly in attendance, Fargas said he is thankful for the opportunity.

"The guys that have played this position before and done so many great things, you have to know they're watching," Fargas said. "There's not much more motivation you need."

Fargas is expected to play a key role against an opportunistic Notre Dame defense that features one of the best secondaries USC will have faced.

"You have to establish a rhythm running the ball and control the clock," Fargas said.

Fargas has gained 473 yards in 121 carries and scored five touchdowns. Playing before a sellout crowd in the Coliseum is exactly what he dreamed about when he decided to transfer from Michigan for his senior season.

"It's going to be the ultimate football experience -- I already know it and can feel it," he said. "Just the rivalry and tradition and everything that's at stake. You couldn't ask for a better stage."


The Trojans went through a spirited practice that featured senior guard Zach Wilson tangling with defenders in two incidents.

Midway through the workout, Wilson emerged from the bottom of a pile without his helmet on his head.

"I pulled it off because my chin strap was up in my mouth and it didn't feel very good," Wilson said.

Did someone help put it there?

"Oh yeah, everyone is just hyped up and ready to go," he said.


Coach Pete Carroll said center Norm Katnik will practice today to test the high ankle sprain that has prevented him from participating in contact drills this week. Derek Graf worked again with the first-team offense.... Tight end Gregg Guenther did not practice because of a sore left knee but will play Saturday, Carroll said.


USC officials are advising fans to arrive early for Saturday's game, which is a sellout. Once the public parking lots around the Coliseum are full, cars will be directed to the USC campus, the USC Parking Center and the Shrine Auditorium lots. Parking is also available at the Convention Center's South Hall and Venice parking structures, on Figueroa Street between Venice Boulevard and Pico Boulevard, for $10. Free shuttles will begin running at noon and will drop passengers at Figueroa and Exposition Boulevard. After the game, the shuttles will run until midnight.

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