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USC FYI

BCS computers? Not a tweet thing for Carroll

Despite moving up to No. 4 in the polls Sunday, USC ranked only 11th in the computer component of the BCS formula. That left the Trojans at No. 7 in the initial standings.

October 19, 2009|Gary Klein

Pete Carroll embraces computers like few other college football coaches, as evidenced by his program's website and his social media network activity.

Carroll, though, is no fan of the computers that help determine the Bowl Championship Series standings.

Despite moving up to No. 4 in the polls Sunday, USC ranked only 11th in the computer component that is part of the formula for determining the BCS standings.

That left the Trojans at No. 7 in the first standings.

"It's a huge discrepancy," Carroll said. "I would think that gives you a lot of reason to question the end result. Is the goal to find the team with the best record or the best team?"

Carroll's team is coming off a 34-27 victory at Notre Dame, but the Trojans apparently are still feeling the aftereffects of their stumble in Seattle against Washington on Sept. 19.

The Trojans resume their Pacific 10 Conference schedule on Saturday at the Coliseum against Oregon State, which upset then-top-ranked USC last season at Corvallis, Ore.

Don't expect Carroll to tweet about the BCS any time soon. "We just have to keep playing games and not worry about it," he said.

Carroll is more immediately concerned with finding ways to help defensive players recover fumbles and correcting the behavior that led to several costly penalties against the Fighting Irish.

After reviewing game tape, however, Carroll said that two late-hit penalties against safety Taylor Mays "should not have been called."

Notre Dame is a nonconference game for the Trojans, but Carroll still contacted the Pacific 10 Conference to inquire about a fake field-goal play that the Irish ran to set up their first touchdown. Carroll said the play, which USC also used in the past, had been "outlawed" by the conference but was allowed by the Pac-10 officiating crew that worked the Notre Dame game.

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Top of the charts

USC's five sacks against Notre Dame improved the Trojans' average to a nation-leading 4.33 per game.

USC is tied for second in tackles for losses, averaging 9.33 a game.

The play of a relatively young defensive line has exceeded Carroll's expectations.

"Leading the country in sacks -- that's more than I would have thought," he said.

The emergence of ends Wes Horton and Nick Perry, a redshirt freshman who has eight sacks, and the knee injury that is being nursed by tackle Christian Tupou, could keep Armond Armstead playing tackle for the time being.

Armstead was on track to start at end before suffering a broken bone in his foot during training camp.

He started in place of Tupou against the Irish and made two tackles.

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Williams rolling

Receiver Golden Tate's near heroics for Notre Dame overshadowed another outstanding performance by Trojans receiver Damian Williams, who caught four passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns.

Williams' breakaway ability was on display when he lined up to the left with two other receivers and caught a pass from Matt Barkley along the line of scrimmage.

Williams then dashed 41 yards to the end zone, getting a key block from Brice Butler.

"Usually, it's three on three when we line up like that, which is usually a good situation because I can use one block to get two people -- that's basically what happened," Williams said. "I can't take credit for that touchdown."

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Quick hits

Fullback Stanley Havili (shoulder) will be examined this week. Carroll confirmed that offensive lineman Alex Parsons suffered a concussion.

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gary.klein@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimesklein

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USC vs. Oregon St.

Saturday at the Coliseum

5 p.m., Channel 7

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