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USC FOOTBALL FYI

Damian Williams expected to play for Trojans

USC's top receiver has missed most of practice this week because of a sore glute muscle.

October 31, 2009|Gary Klein

EUGENE, ORE. — As USC players whooped and hollered during the Trojans' walkthrough at Autzen Stadium on Friday, receiver Damian Williams quietly jogged around the perimeter of the field.

Williams, the Trojans' top receiver and punt returner, did not practice for much of the week because of a sore glute muscle, but he is expected to play today when fourth-ranked USC plays No. 10 Oregon.

"If nothing else, he's going to have fresh legs," Coach Pete Carroll said.

Still, Williams' condition is part of an injury equation that will leave the Trojans without any of their top three pass catchers at full strength.

Tight end Anthony McCoy, second on the team with 16 catches, did not make the trip because of an ankle sprain suffered last week against Oregon State.

Fullback Stanley Havili, third on the team with 14 receptions, is still nursing a shoulder injury suffered at Notre Dame two weeks ago and will play behind D.J. Shoemate.

Williams, Ronald Johnson and Brice Butler are expected to be the top three wideouts for the Trojans. Brandon Carswell also could play a lot because receivers David Ausberry (calf) and Travon Patterson (ankle) did not make the trip.

Congdon ready

USC has not required a game-winning field-goal attempt this season, but Jordan Congdon will be ready if called upon.

Congdon, who has made eight of 10 attempts, said the crowd noise at Autzen Stadium would not bother him.

"For me, it's almost a better feeling being away with a lot of noise . . . than having silence [at home]," Congdon said.

"There's no time to think when there's all that noise going on."

Another Matthews

Oregon's defense, which ranks third in the Pacific 10 Conference, is led by junior linebacker Casey Matthews, son of former Trojans All-American linebacker Clay Matthews and the brother of former Trojans standout Clay Matthews.

Casey Matthews is tied for the team lead with 44 tackles, including 2.5 sacks, and also has an interception.

"He does everything right and makes things happen," Carroll said.

The 6-foot-2, 235-pound Matthews played at Westlake Village Oaks Christian High.

How did he get away from the Trojans? "We never got around to offering him," Carroll said, "and he has really blossomed and grown."

Holland update

Jamere Holland, who transferred to Oregon from USC after the 2006 season, has caught seven passes for 105 yards in five games.

Holland also gained three yards in one rushing attempt.

King of Pop fan

Carroll watched Michael Jackson's "This Is It," late Thursday evening and came away impressed.

"He competed so hard to make it exactly, perfectly right," Carroll said. "That kind of focus and ability to perform . . . and the natural ability to improvise and create was just amazing.

"That's what great athletes do and that's what great performers in all the different arts do."

Quick hits

The forecast calls for rain during the morning with partly cloudy conditions at kickoff. . . . Tailback Stafon Johnson, who is recovering from throat injuries suffered in a weightlifting accident, visited the Trojans' team meeting Friday before their short practice on campus. . . . USC leads the series with Oregon, 37-16-2. . . . The Trojans are 6-5 in games played on Halloween. . . . The Trojans have no players from Oregon. The Ducks have 61 Californians on their roster.

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gary.klein@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimesklein

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