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THE SCOUTING REPORT

No. 11 USC (2-0) at No. 25 Kansas State (3-0)

September 21, 2002

Today, 4 p.m. PDT

TV--TBS. Radio--KMPC (1540)

WHEN USC HAS THE BALL

Quarterback Carson Palmer completed 71.4% of his passes in the first two games by sticking with short and medium routes. Tailback Malaefou MacKenzie is a favorite target and showed his value again last week against Colorado when he caught a short pass and broke four tackles on his way to the end zone. Sultan McCullough rushed for more than 100 yards for the 10th time and flashed his breakaway speed on a 62-yard scoring run. Now Justin Fargas joins the mix. Kansas State senior cornerback Terence Newman is a Thorpe Award candidate and special teams standout. Junior linebackers Josh Buhl and Terry Pierce help anchor a defense that was untested against overmatched opponents.

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WHEN KANSAS STATE HAS THE BALL

Ell Roberson gave USC fits last season, running the option and rushing for 119 yards in a 10-6 victory at the Coliseum. Roberson missed the Wildcats' 63-13 victory over Eastern Illinois last week because of a hand injury and Marc Dunn stepped in and passed for two touchdowns and ran for another. Tailback Darren Sproles is averaging 7.3 yards a carry. Taco Wallace and Derrick Evans are the top receivers. Linebackers Mike Pollard, Matt Grootegoed and Melvin Simmons will be challenged by an option attack.

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KEYS TO USC VICTORY

1. USC must neutralize Kansas State's big-play special teams and eliminate breakdowns on its own units.

2. Establish a running game. The Trojans rushed for 181 yards last week in their rout of Colorado.

3. Cornerbacks Darrell Rideaux and Ronald Nunn must prove they are not weak links in USC's pass defense.

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HOW THEY COMPARE

*--* USC KSU 32.0 Scoring 59.7 10.0 Points Allowed 5.3 273.0 Passing Offense 172.0 132.5 Rushing Offense 242.7 405.5 Total offense 414.7 82.5 Passing Defense 129.0 88.5 Rushing Defense 93.3 171.0 Total Defense 222.3

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