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USC's Wes Horton to play against Oregon

The Trojans defensive end was sidelined the last three games because of a back injury and will help fortify a line that will go up against the nation's top offense.

October 28, 2010|By Gary Klein

USC defensive end Wes Horton, sidelined the last three games because of a back injury, will play Saturday against top-ranked Oregon, fortifying a line that goes up against the nation's top offense.

Horton was hurt Sept. 25 at Washington State. He remains the team's co-leader with three sacks.

"He was probably playing more consistent than anyone when he got hurt, so it's great to have him back," defensive line coach Ed Orgeron said Thursday.

The 6-foot-5, 295-pound Horton is expected to rotate with Armond Armstead and Nick Perry, while Jurrell Casey, DaJohn Harris and Hebron Fangupo rotate at tackle.

Perry, who also has three sacks, did not practice but said he would be ready Saturday. Perry has been nursing an ankle sprain since training camp.

Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas directs a spread-option attack that features running back LaMichael James, the nation's leading rusher. The Ducks have averaged 55 points and 569 yards per game.

"They just run so many plays, up-tempo, your guys hardly have time to catch their breath," Orgeron said. "So we'll need everyone and more."

Meantime, Casey said coaches instructed him to tone down his comments to the media.

Casey told on Wednesday that Oregon had "a good running back and a good quarterback. Other than that, they're really not that good."

Casey said Thursday that he made the comment "in the heat of the moment" and was not attempting to call out the Ducks.

"I was asked a question and I answered the question," he said.

Lane Kiffin said he mentioned former All-Pro defensive tackle Warren Sapp when he talked to Casey. Kiffin coached the loquacious Sapp with the Oakland Raiders in 2007.

"I don't think it matters what you say with [Oregon]," Kiffin said. "They're the No. 1 team in the country, they're the No. 1 offense in the country and they blow out everybody they play.

"Whether you say something or not, you're going to have your hands full all day long."

Quick hits

Starting right tackle Tyron Smith (ankle) did not practice. Redshirt freshman Kevin Graf continued working at the spot. Starting left guard Butch Lewis also practiced at tackle, with Michael Reardon replacing him at guard…. Oregon has not defeated USC at the Coliseum since 2000, when the Ducks won, 28-17. The schools did not play in 2003 and 2004 because the Pacific 10 Conference did not have a full round-robin schedule at the time.

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