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Carroll isn't going to count Wells out

September 01, 2008|Gary Klein | Times Staff Writer

After watching quarterback Mark Sanchez overcome injury to star for USC in its season-opening victory at Virginia, Coach Pete Carroll anticipates a similar recovery from a player who could hurt the Trojans.

Ohio State running back Chris "Beanie" Wells suffered a foot injury Saturday in the Buckeyes' rout of Youngstown State, crumpling to the ground without being hit while taking a handoff.

A school spokeswoman restated Sunday that Wells had no broken bones and that an update on his condition was pending treatments and therapy. Carroll has viewed film of Wells from last season, when he rushed for 1,609 yards and 15 touchdowns.

The junior might not play this week against Ohio, but Carroll expects him to be on the field on Sept. 13 when second-ranked Ohio State visits the Coliseum to play the third-ranked Trojans.

"That's how we'll go about it till we know different," Carroll said Sunday.

Though USC coaches and players will not meet again until Tuesday, Carroll watched a replay of Saturday's 52-7 victory over Virginia.

Along with "hitting on all cylinders for a first go-round," Carroll said what jumped out was the Trojans' ability to play so well with the specter of Ohio State looming.

"Everybody thought we might not be able to do that because of the situation of the second game and that absolutely was not the case," Carroll said. "We put it aside and took care of business and did it in great fashion."

Sanchez didn't need a replay to come to the same conclusion.

"This whole off-season everybody's been talking about Ohio State," he said Saturday after passing for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns.

"I think you can tell by watching this game, if you watched it closely and watched it to the very end, to the last few plays, our focus was on this game. . . . I'm glad that showed. I'm really glad that showed."


Quick kicks

USC emerged relatively injury-free from the opener. Receiver Vidal Hazelton suffered an ankle sprain and will not practice this week, Carroll said. Running back Marc Tyler has sore ribs. . . . Carroll described Joe McKnight's decision to attempt to catch a punt that resulted in a fumble as ill advised. "I would like him to be more conservative in those choices so we don't give the ball back," Carroll said. . . . USC is scheduled to practice Tuesday through Friday, focusing mainly on getting younger players increased repetitions.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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