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USC FOOTBALL FYI

Joe McKnight trying to move forward against Oregon State

The Trojans tailback wants to forget his second-quarter fumble in last season's loss to the Beavers and hopes to have a breakout game on Saturday at the Coliseum.

October 24, 2009|Gary Klein

Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers has not lost a fumble in 1 1/2 seasons.

USC tailback Joe McKnight is not nearly as sure-handed.

But McKnight intends to keep the ball secure tonight when the Trojans play Oregon State in a Pacific 10 Conference game at the Coliseum.

McKnight's second-quarter fumble in last season's loss at Oregon State remains fresh in his mind.

After taking a direct snap from center, McKnight faked a handoff to Allen Bradford and fumbled.

The Beavers recovered the ball and soon scored a touchdown that gave them a 21-0 halftime lead.

"I try not to remember," McKnight said.

McKnight is hoping for a breakout game against Oregon State, something akin to his 145-yard, two-touchdown performance in last month's season opener against San Jose State.

McKnight gained only 10 yards in seven carries last year against the Beavers.

"They haven't seen what I can do," he said. "I'm going to try and show it this year."

Bradford also is hoping for an opportunity after not carrying the ball last season against the Beavers.

"They've probably watched film so they know what to expect," said Bradford, who is averaging 6.3 yards a carry. "I don't think I'm a secret weapon. I'm a useful weapon, so we'll just see what's going to happen."

Harris' hit

The last time Oregon State quarterback Sean Canfield played at the Coliseum, he suffered a shoulder injury when hit by safety Will Harris.

Two years later, Canfield is back and Harris is a Trojans starter.

"He looks great," Harris said of Canfield, who has completed 68% of his passes. "He came back, obviously, looking more efficient, more confident and more comfortable."

Canfield completed 18 of 30 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns, with an interception, in a 28-17 victory at Arizona State on Oct. 3. He connected on 22 of 32 for 290 yards and a touchdown in a 38-28 victory over Stanford on Oct. 10.

"Sean probably played his best two games as a Beaver the last two games," Oregon State Coach Mike Riley said. "Very efficient, very decisive and productive."

Harris also has played well in his first full season as a starter. He has 21 tackles and has broken up two passes.

Quick hits

USC has no players from Oregon. Oregon State has 38 players from California. . . . Oregon State has won five consecutive road games, the longest road winning streak in the Pac-10.

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gary.klein@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimesklein

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