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USC REPORT

Players Get Part of Game Plan, Break

November 27, 2003|Gary Klein | Times Staff Writer

USC players scattered for a three-day Thanksgiving holiday after Wednesday's practice, but not before digesting part of the game plan for their Dec. 6 game against Oregon State.

The Trojans, second in the bowl championship series standings, could advance to the BCS title game in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4 if they win their final regular-season game.

"I want to make sure that it brought meaning to the practice and they realized there were some things we were doing that were helping for that [Oregon State] game plan," Coach Pete Carroll said. "It really scratched the surface, but we really just tried to grab their attention about it."

USC will not practice again until Sunday, so most players from out of state left for home on Wednesday night.

As a parting gift, all players received a two-page printout that included a weight-lifting and running regimen to be performed during the Trojans' longest break of the season.

"We want to make sure they get out and sweat on Friday," Carroll said.

No problem, sophomore running back Hershel Dennis said.

"We've got a good thing going," Dennis said. "We don't want to let up."

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Offensive coordinator Norm Chow said Arizona officials have not contacted him since his interview for the Wildcats' head-coaching job last Sunday.

Chow also said he had not been contacted by school officials at Duke, where former Trojan offensive coordinator Hue Jackson interviewed on Tuesday.

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Fullback Brandon Hancock received a brace for his sprained left knee and said he would determine by Monday whether he would play against Oregon State.

"If it's not going to hold up, I'm not going to push it for this game," he said. "I want to be healthy for the bowl."

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Linebacker Matt Grootegoed did not attend practices during the week because he was rehabilitating his high ankle sprain and finishing classwork, Carroll said.

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