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College Football | USC REPORT

Big Games Move Up Palmer and Williams

October 29, 2002|Gary Klein | Times Staff Writer

USC moved up three spots to No. 11 in the bowl championship series rankings on Monday because of a performance against Oregon that also put several Trojans among the statistical leaders in the Pacific 10 Conference and the nation.

Quarterback Carson Palmer, who passed for a school-record 448 yards and five touchdowns against Oregon, ranks second in the conference and eighth nationally in total offense at 291.9 yards a game.

Palmer has passed for 2,429 yards and 18 touchdowns with eight interceptions. His 57 career touchdown passes are one shy of the school record set by Rob Johnson in 1991-94.

Palmer said he played his best game of the season against Oregon.

"Everything was easy," he said after the game. "The offensive line was doing such a great job, the running game was there. That opened the play action. The receivers had a great game -- all those guys were getting open and running good routes. We were just clicking."

Freshman receiver Mike Williams, who had 13 receptions for 226 yards and scored twice against Oregon, is tied for third in the Pac-10 with nine touchdowns. He also is third in the conference and 14th nationally with 6.25 receptions a game. He is fourth in the conference and 16th nationally in receiving yardage at 102.4 yards a game.

Junior flanker Keary Colbert is fifth in the conference in receptions per game (5.5) and seventh in receiving yardage (78.1).

Freshman punter Tom Malone is tied for first in the Pac-10, averaging 42.6 yards a kick.

Defensive end Kenechi Udeze is third in forced fumbles with four, fifth in tackles for loss, 12, and ninth in sacks, 5.5.

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With an open date Saturday, USC will practice today, Wednesday and Thursday before taking the weekend off.... Linebacker Oscar Lua and offensive lineman Eric Torres will speak today at an assembly at Evergreen Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles. Athletic Director Mike Garrett will also attend.... Stanford, USC's next opponent, leads the Pac-10 in rushing at 159.1 yards a game. Kerry Carter ranks eighth at 50.5 yards a game and Kenneth Tolon II is ninth at 49.3. The Cardinal is the only team with two players in the top 10. The Trojans' Sultan McCullough, who played behind Justin Fargas against Oregon, is fifth in the conference at 72.8 yards. USC ranks first in total defense at 301.9 yards a game.

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