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Killeen Is Eager for Redemption

USC REPORT

October 04, 2003|Gary Klein | Times Staff Writer

TEMPE, Ariz. — USC kicker Ryan Killeen eagerly awaits his first opportunity to attempt a field goal today when the 10th-ranked Trojans play Arizona State in a Pacific 10 Conference game at Sun Devil Stadium.

Last week, Killeen missed a 39-yard attempt in the third overtime against California, setting the stage for Cal kicker Tyler Fredrickson to win the game with a 38-yard field goal.

Killeen is accustomed to coming back from crucial misses.

In last year's 30-27 loss at Washington State, Killeen missed an extra-point attempt during regulation and a 52-yard field goal attempt in overtime.

He kicked three field goals in the next game against Cal as USC began what grew to an 11-game winning streak.

"Last year, I knew I had to be more focused [after the Washington State game] because I didn't get the job done," Killeen said. "You just have to keep a level head.

"I've had a good week in practice, and hopefully that will transfer into the game and I'll have a strong game."

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The temperature at kickoff is expected to be in the 90s.

Quarterback Matt Leinart said the Trojans' experience playing at hot and muggy Auburn in the opener prepared them for the conditions.

USC is expected to use most of the 60 players who made the trip.

"We have to rotate our guys and make sure guys are staying fresh," Coach Pete Carroll said. "We have to eat well and take care of ourselves in preparation for the game so we're physically at our best. And then we've got to go out there and endure it."

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USC has intercepted at least one pass in 14 consecutive games.

The Trojans have returned an interception for a touchdown in each of their last three games.

Defensive end Omar Nazel scored on a 16-yard return against Brigham Young, safety Jason Leach scored on a 25-yard return against Hawaii and linebacker Lofa Tatupu scored on a 26-yard return against Cal.

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The Trojans lead the series against the Sun Devils, 10-9. The series dates to 1978, the year Arizona State and Arizona joined the Pac-10.

USC has won the last three games and four of the last five. The teams have split 10 games in Tempe.

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