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USC REPORT

Plenty of Justice in Depth Chart

September 05, 2002|Gary Klein

Winston Justice did not play in the season-opening victory against Auburn, but the freshman tackle from Long Beach Poly High worked with the first-unit offense during practice Wednesday and is one of several players who could move up the depth chart during a bye week.

USC, ranked No. 18 in the Associated Press poll, does not play again until Sept. 14 when the Trojans travel to No. 17 Colorado.

Justice, 6 feet 6 and 305 pounds, alternated with starting right tackle Eric Torres, a 6-5, 300-pound junior, during a two-hour practice.

"We're rotating him and seeing how fast we can bring him along," Coach Pete Carroll said. "We'll try and push a little bit, using this week to give him some turns and see what happens."

Carroll said competition at several positions would heat up again.

Redshirt freshman Matt Leinart was listed as the No. 2 quarterback for the opener, but he did not play and is once again battling redshirt sophomore Matt Cassel.

Junior Marcell Allmond and redshirt freshman William Buchanon began another push for playing time at cornerback.

"Guys have got to play a lot during this week and show us they know what they're doing so we can play more guys," Carroll said. "It's a long season with a tough schedule and we have to be able to get a lot of guys in the game."

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Sophomore nose tackle Mike Patterson made a team-best seven solo tackles and assisted on another against Auburn.

Patterson is starting ahead of Bernard Riley, who is coming back from knee surgery.

"I kind of forgot what it was like to play a whole game," Patterson said Wednesday. "I just kept going and going. I was kind of hoping for those TV timeouts. But now I have a sense for what it's like to be out there most of the time."

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Senior tailback Justin Fargas, who missed the opener because of a strained right hamstring, attended practice but will not participate in drills until next week, Carroll said.

"We don't want to set him back at all," Carroll said. "He should be coming out roaring Monday or Tuesday."

Senior fullback Chad Pierson also will be held out until next week.

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Linebackers Matt Grootegoed and Melvin Simmons and safety Sandy Fletcher, who suffered mild concussions against Auburn, participated in light drills. Cornerback Ronald Nunn (hip) also returned to practice.... Players will join the Trojan marching band and yell leaders today in a visit to County-USC Women's and Children's Hospital.

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