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USC REPORT

Backup Kicker Hurts Leg

October 04, 2002|Gary Klein

A routine practice ended on an uncertain note Thursday when backup kicker David Davis was injured on the final play of the workout.

Davis, a returning starter who was supplanted by Ryan Killeen last week against Oregon State, was hit in the left leg--his kicking leg--after attempting a 37-yard field goal. Davis crumpled to the ground and stayed there for several minutes while trainers attended to him before he limped to the locker room.

"I just had this burning sensation going down my leg and I couldn't really pick up my foot," said Davis, a senior who made 15 of 18 field goals last season but struggled in games this season against Colorado and Kansas State. "They got out there and started moving it around and I could feel it coming back a little bit better, but it's still burning."

X-rays were negative, but Davis said he aggravated a nerve and also suffered a contusion on his knee. He is doubtful for Saturday's Pacific 10 Conference game at No. 17 Washington State, so if Killeen falters or is injured, punter Tom Malone would be pressed into service as USC's placekicker.

Malone kicked 46- and 47-yard field goals last season at Lake Elsinore Temescal Canyon High.

Coach Pete Carroll is hopeful that Davis will be available. "It's great to have an experienced guy who has kicked big kicks," Carroll said.

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Freshman offensive lineman Fred Matua underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, almost guaranteeing that he will redshirt this season.

Matua was scheduled to start at right guard in the opener against Auburn, but hurt his knee days before the game. He played as a reserve against Auburn and Kansas State but sat out Sept. 14 against Colorado and last week against Oregon State.

Earlier this week, Carroll said Matua would try to come back for next week's game against California. However, that was before tests revealed cartilage damage, Carroll said.

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Defensive end Omar Nazel has not practiced all week because of a sore shoulder, but he said he would start against Washington State.

Carroll said walk-on Jay Bottom and Doyal Butler would play if Nazel can't.

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The last time freshman receiver Mike Williams played before a hostile crowd on the road, he dropped four passes and blamed himself for the Trojans' loss at Kansas State.

As Williams prepared for Saturday's game at noisy Martin Stadium, he said rowdy fans would not affect him.

"The noise really didn't have an effect on me at K-State, it was just a lack of focus," said Williams, who is nursing a sore right calf.

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Receiver Grant Mattos, who was scheduled to play after recovering from an abdominal strain, is questionable because of a sprained ankle.

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