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USC FYI

Longshore gets the start for Cal

November 08, 2008|Gary Klein | Klein is a Times staff writer.

California quarterback Nate Longshore will get a final shot at USC.

Cal Coach Jeff Tedford told Bay Area media on Friday that the senior from Canyon Country would start tonight against the Trojans in a Pacific 10 Conference game at the Coliseum.

Longshore got the nod over sophomore Kevin Riley, who suffered a concussion last week against Oregon. Riley practiced this week and is available to play tonight.

Longshore, 6 feet 5, 233 pounds, completed 13 of 29 passes for 199 yards and a touchdown with an interception in a 24-17 loss to the Trojans in 2007. In 2006, Longshore was 17 of 38 for 176 yards with two interceptions and a fumble in a 23-9 defeat at the Coliseum.

Longshore has passed for eight touchdowns with four interceptions this season.

Coach Pete Carroll said Thursday that the Trojans were preparing for Longshore and Riley.

"They have played both of their quarterbacks in seven of their games," Carroll said. "There's a good chance we'll see both."

Late heroics

Recent history suggests that tonight's game between the seventh-ranked Trojans and No. 21 Cal will not be decided until the fourth quarter.

Two years ago, Trojans rallied to tie the score on two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to beat the Golden Bears at the Coliseum.

Last season, the Trojans utilized a 96-yard, fourth-quarter scoring march to win, 24-17, in the rain at Berkeley. Tailback Chauncey Washington did the bulk of the work during the drive, but Stafon Johnson scored the go-ahead touchdown on a three-yard run.

"Chauncey was hot, and you wanted to keep feeding him," Johnson said. "I'd love an opportunity like that if we need it. I'm looking forward to it."

Backup plan

Junior safety Will Harris will start again for USC in place of injured Kevin Ellison.

Harris made six tackles, including 2 1/2 for losses, last week against Washington.

"I'll prepare the same way I prepared before," Harris said. "Coach Carroll told me, 'Don't go outside of what we ask of you.' "

Flagged

Lost among much of the talk about its three shutouts in four games is USC's continuing problems with penalties.

The Trojans have been called for at least 10 penalties in four of their last five games. They average eight infractions a game.

Tight end Anthony McCoy, who was twice called for false starts last week against Washington, said coaches have disciplined players for repeated offenses.

"They took me out for a number of plays just to show me what can happen if I continue to make mental mistakes like that," McCoy said. "I'm working on it. It's nothing I can't fix."

Quick kicks

USC leads the series against Cal, 60-30-5. . . . Parking and a shuttle to and from the Coliseum for tonight's game are available at Staples Center for $25. Parking is in lot W. Shuttle service begins at noon and will end one hour after the game.

--

gary.klein@latimes.com

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