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USC FOOTBALL FYI

Damian Williams' return includes duty as a returner

The receiver scores the game's final touchdown besides running back punts.

November 29, 2009|By Gary Klein

After being sidelined against Stanford because of an ankle injury, USC receiver Damian Williams returned to the lineup -- and also returned punts.

Coach Pete Carroll had said that Joe McKnight would return punts, but Williams was the first man up.

Williams had returns of 22 and 24 yards in the first half, finishing with four for 62 yards.

He also caught one pass for 16 yards in the first half and finished with five receptions for 82 yards and the final touchdown.

Colorful scene

The Trojans and the Bruins both wore home jerseys for the second year in a row.

Last season, because of NCAA rules, USC lost a timeout as a penalty for not wearing white road jerseys at the Rose Bowl. UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel then took a timeout as a courtesy.

The NCAA changed the rules this season, allowing teams to wear home jerseys on the road for rivalry games if the visiting team submits a written request with the host school and conference office.

The Bruins wore throwback jerseys.

Johnson sighting

The crowd cheered with about 9:30 left in the third quarter when the video board showed USC tailback Stafon Johnson standing on the sideline alongside injured Trojans receiver David Ausberry.

Johnson is recovering from several throat surgeries stemming from a September weightlifting accident.

In memory

About five minutes before kickoff, USC officials requested a moment of silence in the press box in honor of Mike Penner, a longtime Times sportswriter who died Friday night.

Close call

Carroll has taken some criticism for USC's rocky play this season, but he made a smart call in the second quarter against UCLA.

He called a timeout.

That allowed officials to review a pass they had ruled complete from UCLA's Kevin Prince to Nelson Rosario deep in Trojans territory.

The final ruling was that USC's Josh Pinkard had stripped Rosario of the ball, and the Trojans were awarded possession at the USC 31.

Quick hits

USC leads the series with UCLA, 44-28-7.

gary.klein@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimesklein

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