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USC Trojans once again chosen to win conference

In a preseason Pacific 10 Conference poll, USC received 28 of 32 first-place votes.

July 31, 2009|Gary Klein

USC was once again the choice in a Pacific 10 Conference football preseason poll, it was announced at Thursday's media day. The Trojans, who have won or shared the last seven conference championships, were the leader by a landslide, getting 28 of 32 first-place votes. Here's some more USC football news, one week before the Trojans are scheduled to open camp:

No pressure?

Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, John David Booty and Mark Sanchez preceded Aaron Corp as starting USC quarterbacks heading into fall camps, but Coach Pete Carroll is not expecting the redshirt sophomore to emulate any of them.

Instead, Carroll recalled the comparison that came to mind when he saw Corp play at Orange Lutheran High.

"The guy that I hoped Aaron would be like would be Joe Montana," Carroll said, citing Montana's resourcefulness, accuracy and running ability.

Carroll said he told Corp he was capable of rushing for upward of 400 yards this season.

Brown out

A day after incoming freshman linebacker Frankie Telfort's USC career ended before it started because of a heart condition, the Trojans linebacker corps appeared to further thin.

Carroll said Luthur Brown's academic eligibility was in doubt and "as of right now," the oft-sidelined senior would not be able to participate when the Trojans open training camp next week.

Carroll called junior Malcolm Smith's off-season "a little bit spotty," because the starting weakside linebacker is coming back from esophagus surgery and a recent illness.

Tight end Blake Ayles is attempting to regain full speed after sitting out four of the last five games in 2008 because of a knee injury.

Internal affairs

Carroll declined to specify what discipline, if any, defensive end Everson Griffen and linebacker Jordan Campbell might face because of their part in an incident last month in Massachusetts.

"We deal with all those things internally," Carroll said.

Griffen and Campbell were cited for violating Nantucket's noise bylaw during a July 4 party. The case was treated as a civil matter and resolved two days later. No criminal charges resulted.

A USC spokesman said the players were required to write a letter of apology.

Uniform policy

During an early morning rules meeting, coaches were informed that a national rules change would allow home and visiting teams to wear colored jerseys of contrasting colors.

The change was adopted, in large part, after USC and UCLA agreed to wear home jerseys at the Rose Bowl last season. USC was assessed a penalty -- the loss of a timeout -- and UCLA immediately called a timeout as a courtesy.

This season, the home team must agree to the arrangement in writing before the game, and the conference of the home team must certify that the jersey of the visiting team is of contrasting color.

Season schedule

Sept. 5 vs. San Jose State

12:30 p.m.

Sept. 12 at Ohio State

5 p.m.

Sept. 19 at *Washington

12:30 p.m.

Sept. 26 vs. *Washington State

TBA

Oct. 3 at *California

5 p.m.

Oct. 17 at Notre Dame

12:30 p.m.

Oct. 24 vs. *Oregon State

5 p.m.

Oct. 31 at *Oregon

5 p.m.

Nov. 7 at *Arizona State, 5 p.m.

Nov. 14 vs. *Stanford

TBA

Nov. 28 vs. *UCLA

7 p.m.

Dec. 5 vs. *Arizona

12:30 p.m.

*Pac-10 game. Home games, Coliseum

. . . and turning points

* at Ohio State: Buckeyes quarterback Terrelle Pryor won't be utilized only on alternate downs as he was last year at the Coliseum. A USC victory sets up a possible national title run for the Trojans.

* at Notre Dame: Midseason trip to South Bend, where the supposedly improved Fighting Irish and quarterback Jimmy Clausen await.

* at Oregon: Halloween night Pac-10 game at Autzen Stadium? Now that's a scary thought, especially coming before Carroll's November mojo kicks in. The game at Cal could be frightening too.

-- Gary Klein

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