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USC FOOTBALL FYI

Stanley Havili ready to move forward

The Trojans fullback didn't want to talk after the 55-21 loss at Stanford last weekend. He foresees a strong finish to the season for USC and himself.

November 21, 2009|By Gary Klein
  • USC fullback Stanley Havili breaks past Notre Dame's Harrison Smith for a gain last month.
USC fullback Stanley Havili breaks past Notre Dame's Harrison Smith… (Jonathan Daniel / Getty…)

USC fullback Stanley Havili moved a chair into his dressing stall and sat with his back to teammates and reporters after last week's embarrassing loss to Stanford at the Coliseum.

Havili could not bring himself to talk about the 55-21 defeat.

The fourth-year junior carried the loss with him through the early part of this week, but at the end of Friday's early morning workout he sounded as if he finally had let it go.

"The way we practice, I think the confidence comes back and guys believe in the program," he said.

"We're excited to get back out there."

With an open date today, the Trojans won't play again until next Saturday when they renew their crosstown rivalry with UCLA at the Coliseum.

Havili has caught 16 passes and rushed the ball 11 times, with no touchdowns, during another injury-plagued season. Now that he is sound again, Havili is hoping for a significant role in what will be only his second game against the Bruins.

Havili suffered a broken leg early in his freshman season and did not play in the Trojans' 13-9 loss to UCLA at the Rose Bowl in 2006.

The next year, he caught four passes for 66 yards and also rushed the ball twice for nine yards in a 24-7 victory at the Coliseum.

Last season, he suffered two sprained ankles against Notre Dame and could not play in the season-ending 28-7 victory over the Bruins. He was academically ineligible for the Rose Bowl.

But Havili was an integral, if underutilized, part of the offense this season before suffering a shoulder injury at Notre Dame. The injury sidelined him for most of the three games that preceded the Stanford debacle.

"We just didn't execute," said Havili, who caught two passes for eight yards against the Cardinal. "We didn't do what we were taught to do."

Havili was looking forward to a few days off before returning to practice Monday. The Trojans play UCLA and then conclude the season Dec. 5 against Arizona.

Havili foresees a strong finish for the team and himself.

"I'm going to be ready to go," he said.

Receiving recognition

Receiver Jordan Cameron, who has not caught a pass in a game,made a big impression during workouts this week, and will play more against UCLA, Coach Pete Carroll said.

Senior offensive lineman Nick Howell and safeties Jawanza Starling and T.J. McDonald also enjoyed productive weeks, according to Carroll.

"That's a great example of what we hope to have happen in a week like this -- that guys take advantage of it, seize the opportunity and help their cause and help us get better," Carroll said.

Quick hits

Cornerbacks Kevin Thomas and Josh Pinkard intercepted passes by quarterback Matt Barkley during team-scrimmage drills that were conducted without shoulder pads. . . . With nearly three full days off, Carroll warned players to avoid potential problems. "I don't want any distractions or guys getting in trouble or doing something crazy," he said. "We want to bounce back with a great week of work." . . . Defensive end Everson Griffen (toe) is expected to return to practice and receiver Damian Williams (ankle) is scheduled to run on Monday. Linebacker Jarvis Jones remains questionable because of shoulder weakness caused by a neck injury.

gary.klein@latimes.com

twitter.com/LATimesklein

USC (7-3, 4-3) vs. UCLA (5-5, 2-5)

Nov. 28 at the Coliseum

7 p.m., Prime Ticket

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