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Inside College Football | USC REPORT

Bush Gets His Shot at Returns

September 04, 2003|Gary Klein | Times Staff Writer

After easing him into college football last week, fourth-ranked USC will turn loose freshman Reggie Bush and allow him to return kicks against Brigham Young on Saturday at the Coliseum.

"He's done so many great things out here, there's no reason to believe he won't be able to do them in a game," Coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday.

Carroll did not want to burden Bush with the responsibility of returning kicks in the opener against Auburn. Bush and fellow freshmen running backs LenDale White and Chauncey Washington each had five carries as backups to sophomore Hershel Dennis.

"We didn't get a lot of carries, but that's not the point," Bush said. "We just went in there when they needed us and did our job."

Bush, though, has been waiting for the chance to return kicks.

"I feel like I got my feet wet and I'm ready now," he said. "I just want to get out there, make some plays and score some touchdowns and show them what I can do."

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Kicker Ryan Killeen made all three of his field-goal attempts and both extra-point kicks against Auburn, but he said there is still room for improvement against BYU.

"My kickoffs need to be placed exactly where they're supposed to go -- I had a couple that drifted to the middle," he said.

Killeen said experience gained last year, when he made 16 of 23 field-goal attempts, helped him at Auburn.

"Last year, I was worried about things," he said. "This year, I'm not."

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Carroll said the Trojans are spending extra time in practice familiarizing themselves with the intricacies of BYU's unusual 3-3-5 defense and the Cougars' pass-oriented offense.

"It's not just line up and rock 'em, sock 'em," he said. "You really have to get your assignments down and know what the game plan is calling for."

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Freshman strong safety Darnell Bing (high ankle sprain) participated in most drills and is on track to play against BYU.

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