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USC-Cal game would be affected next in DirecTV-Pac-12 dispute

'We're not close,' Pac-12 commissioner says of talks with DirecTV. None of the three games that the conference's network showed Saturday were on DirecTV.

September 16, 2012|By Gary Klein

PALO ALTO — Larry Scott, the Pac-12 commissioner, said Saturday that talks to carry the Pac-12 Networks on DirecTV were not progressing, meaning many fans in Los Angeles could be unable to watch the USC-California game next Saturday.

"We're not close," Scott said at halftime of USC's 21-14 loss to Stanford at Stanford Stadium. "Hopefully DirecTV will listen to their customers and our fans."

DirecTV is the only one of the Southland's five biggest television services to not yet sign up with the Pac-12 Networks. DirecTV has also not yet signed up Time Warner Cable, which will broadcast the Lakers games beginning this season.

"From what they've said publicly, they don't believe their fans need it, or want it, or that we're making a fair offer," Scott said. "But as important as DirecTV is in Southern California, I'd be shocked if something didn't happen."

On Saturday, the fledgling Pac-12 Networks showed three games featuring top 25 teams, and DirecTV subscribers missed all three.

Heidari factor

USC kicker Andre Heidari did not make the trip because of a knee injury that required surgery.

But freshman Alex Wood, who wore jersey No. 39 last week against Syracuse, donned Heidari's No. 48 against the Cardinal.

Wood ran onto the field midway through the third quarter with the Trojans facing a fourth-and-two at the Cardinal 13-yard line.

But Wood lined up in the backfield next to quarterback Matt Barkley, and Barkley's pass into the end zone for fullback Soma Vainuku fell incomplete.

Holmes out

USC center Khaled Holmes was in uniform and went through warmups, but the senior did not play. Redshirt freshman Cyrus Hobbi started in his place.

"If there was a game on the schedule you'd pick that you wouldn't want to be missing your senior center, this is it," Coach Lane Kiffin said. "One, because their nose [tackle] is really good; two, because of all the different fronts and all the calls that have to be made up there.

"I don't care who the backup was. You're going to miss it when you play this team."

Holmes suffered an apparent leg injury last week in the fourth quarter against Syracuse. He was carted off the field and was on crutches afterward.

But he ran onto the field and went through pregame drills with the Trojans. Right before kickoff, he ran to the end zone and took a knee for a few moments before joining teammates on the sideline.

Dawson starts

Sophomore middle linebacker Lamar Dawson started for the first time after sitting out the opener because of an apparent leg injury and playing sparingly against Syracuse. He had five solo tackles.

With Dawson in the middle, Hayes Pullard moved to the weak side. Strong-side linebacker Dion Bailey, who intercepted two passes against Syracuse, intercepted a pass in the second quarter.

Line shuffle

With defensive ends Wes Horton and J.R. Tavai nursing injuries, freshman Leonard Williams started at defensive tackle and George Uko moved to defensive end.

Horton entered the game in the first half and started the second. He finished with two solo tackles.

Agholor shines

Freshman receiver Nelson Agholor broke out with several plays on offense and special teams. On the opening kickoff, Agholor chased down Ty Montgomery and prevented a potential touchdown. Agholor's 49-yard catch-and-run in the first quarter set up a short touchdown run by Silas Redd.

gary.klein@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimesklein

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