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USC REPORT

Chow: No Offer, Yet

November 25, 2003|Gary Klein | Times Staff Writer

USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow said Monday that he interviewed with officials from Arizona for about 90 minutes on Sunday, but has not been offered the school's head coaching job.

"We'll just have to see what happens," Chow said after practice.

Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops was interviewed for the second time, and Cincinnati Bengal assistant Ricky Hunley and New York Giant defensive coordinator Johnnie Lynn were interviewed for the first time by Arizona officials over the weekend.

Mike Hankwitz, who replaced the fired John Mackovic on an interim basis in late September, interviewed on Monday.

Arizona Athletic Director Jim Livengood has said the school planned to have a coach in place by Dec. 1, but Chow said the seven-member panel that interviewed him did not discuss a timeline.

Chow previously told Livengood he would not leave USC before a bowl game.

On Monday, the Trojans moved from third to second in the bowl championship series standings. USC has clinched a berth in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, but if it remains No. 2 in the BCS it would instead play in the BCS championship game in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4.

Chow also said he was aware of reports that list him as a finalist for the head coaching job at Duke, but he said he has not been contacted directly by Duke officials.

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With USC off this week before its Dec. 6 regular-season finale against Oregon State, backup quarterbacks Brandon Hance and Billy Hart split repetitions with starter Matt Leinart.

Hance, a junior, moved up to No. 2 on the depth chart because of a fractured left wrist suffered by freshman John David Booty against UCLA.

"He knows what he's doing," Coach Pete Carroll said of Hance. "He just needs to get more reps and in the rhythm. He hasn't had many opportunities so it's hard to get the feel, the rhythm of playing. But he'll pop right back into it."

Hart, a redshirt sophomore, took multiple snaps with the first-string offense for the first time since spring practice.

"This is a good chance for Bill to show his stuff," Carroll said. "In the next two days, he'll get some good work. We have to get him up to speed."

Said Hart: "I was a little rusty. But I'm pretty confident I can handle everything if I get enough work."

Carroll said Matt Cassel will stay at tight end.

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Booty, who broke his wrist when he was sacked by UCLA's Dave Ball, is wearing an elbow-length cast supported by a sling.

Booty is expected to miss at least six weeks.

"It's just one of those things -- it's happened to better men than me," he said. "I can't be bummed. It's just something you have to work through and get over it.... I've had a broken finger but never anything like this."

Booty said he would shadow quarterback Coach Steve Sarkisian during practices and make the most of his situation.

"I can be kind of an assistant coach," he said. "I lose a little bit of the athletic edge, but mentally I can grow a lot."

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The game against Oregon State was originally scheduled for Nov. 8, but was moved in February to Dec. 6 so that it could be part of what some call "Championship Saturday."

So, instead of looking at a six-week break between the end of the regular season and a January bowl game, the Trojans will have about four weeks.

"It's going to help us to play for two more weeks ... and shorten that span when you stop playing and start playing again," Carroll said. "This is a good deal for us."

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Offensive lineman John Drake had surgery as scheduled on Sunday for the broken right ankle he suffered against UCLA, Carroll said. Drake is out for the season. Freshman Fred Matua, who had been rotating with Drake, will start at right guard.... Several starters did not participate or were limited in activity because of lingering injuries. Tackle Jacob Rogers, who twisted a knee against UCLA, probably will not practice this week, Carroll said. Weakside linebacker Melvin Simmons (bruised fibula) also is expected to sit out this week. Fullback Brandon Hancock (sprained knee) did not practice but Carroll said he could be ready for the game against Oregon State.

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