YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


A football brotherhood

October 04, 2008|Gary Klein and David Wharton | Times Staff Writers

Ninth-ranked USC's game against No. 23 Oregon today at the Coliseum will be a family affair for Trojans defensive end Clay Matthews and nose tackle Christian Tupou.

Matthews' younger brother, Casey, is a sophomore linebacker for the Ducks.

"I'm looking forward to it," Clay said. "Last year, on one punt return I went out of my way to hit him. I didn't get a good shot but whatever.

"I think during the play he was telling me, 'C'mon, get out of the way!' That was pretty fun."

Tupou, a sophomore making his first start at nose tackle, said there would be about 20 family members at the Coliseum to see him play against older brother Fenuki, an Oregon offensive tackle.

"There's a lot of family pride on the line," Christian said. "I told [defensive end] Kyle Moore, 'When you see that screen pass, you better get it so I can look for my brother and smash him.' "

Poll position

When it comes to polls, USC Coach Pete Carroll usually feigns indifference if not ignorance, saying they have no connection to what happens on the field.

But with his team slipping in the polls this week, he acknowledged keeping an eye on how the rankings might affect players. "There's no point in even talking about it other than the fact that it can work against you, thinking you're the greatest thing ever or thinking that you're down and out," he said, adding, "The numbers don't matter."

As the season progresses, he might pay more attention.

"It only matters when they put you in bowl games and take you out of your championship game, or whatever, at the end of the season," Carroll said. "That's when I think it does figure in and you have to deal with it even more in the last two weeks of the season."

Quick kicks

USC officials planned to wait until after Oregon went through its walk-through at the Coliseum Friday night before deciding whether to cover the field, an athletic department official said. There is a 50% chance of rain today. . . . Oregon receiver Jamere Holland, a transfer from USC, has played in two games and has one reception for no gain. . . . A shuttle system will be in operation between Staples Center and the Coliseum. Parking for the shuttle is in Lot W, which is just west of the Nokia Theatreacross from Staples Center. Parking is $20. Service begins at noon and ends one hour after the game.


Los Angeles Times Articles