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Usc Report

October 26, 2002

No. 15 USC (5-2, 3-1) at

No. 14 OREGON (6-1, 2-1)

Today, 12:30 p.m.

Autzen Stadium

TV -- Ch. 7. Radio -- KMPC (1540)

WHEN USC HAS THE BALL

Quarterback Carson Palmer burned Washington with play-action passes and the Trojans will probably employ the same strategy against a Duck defense that ranks last in the Pacific 10 Conference in pass defense at 291.6 yards a game. Freshman receiver Mike Williams caught three of Palmer's four touchdown passes against Washington and will probably start again in place of Kareem Kelly, who has a sprained right ankle but will play. Sultan McCullough will start at tailback and probably receive the bulk of the carries, but Justin Fargas is expected to get increased opportunities. Linebackers Kevin Mitchell and David Moretti lead the Oregon defense, which is giving up 21 points and 367 yards a game.

WHEN OREGON HAS THE BALL

Onterrio Smith is the Pac-10's leading rusher at 133.7 yards a game. Quarterback Jason Fife, who played at Lake Elsinore Temescal Canyon High, is second nationally in passing efficiency and throws to a corps of receivers that includes Keenan Howry and Samie Parker and tight end George Wrighster. Kicker Jared Siegel beat USC last season with a field goal with 12 seconds left and has made 12 of 13 attempts this season, including a 59-yarder in a 31-30 win over UCLA. USC's defense is the stingiest in the Pac-10, allowing 18 points and 286.1 yards a game.

KEYS TO USC VICTORY

1. Control Onterrio Smith: Smith has gained 100 yards or more in each of his seven games. USC has not allowed an opposing player to gain more than 100 yards.

2. Execute the kicking game: Ryan Killeen must continue to kick off into the end zone. He also must maintain the consistency he has demonstrated on field-goal and extra-point attempts since struggling against Washington State three weeks ago.

3. Neutralize the crowd: Autzen Stadium will be rocking as usual, though the 12:30 start might result in a less rowdy atmosphere.

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