Bradford, Williams Honored
USC tailback Allen Bradford was named the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week and Damian Williams was named the Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the week for their performances in USC’ 42-36 win on Saturday.
Bradford rushed for a career-high 147 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Beavers.
“He really was coming downhill, shoulders were squared and he hit the line of scrimmage well,” Carroll said. “He showed really good instincts about bouncing it out a couple of times and then had the big plays in him too.”
Bradford had a season-ending hip injury last season, and had been buried deep on the depth chart in USC’s crowded backfield for the past few years, but he has always remained positive and is now reaping the rewards of his hard work and determination.
“He is a guy that everybody respects and loves, and he is as tough as can be,” Carroll said. “He just hasn’t really had the chance to really break out, and boy he really did in a big way. He was a huge factor in the game.”
“It was really pleasing too because he has been working real hard for a long time to try to get this opportunity and take advantage of it. He really seized it the other night.”
After Bradford’s career night, the bruising tailback spent a moment reflecting on the progress that he has made at USC with his head coach.
“Really late in the locker room, he was the last guy in there and he and I just kind of sat down in the corner and just kind of reveled in it a little bit,” Carroll said. “It has been a long time for him.”
Williams received the special teams award after returning a punt 63 yards for a score in the fourth quarter of USC’s win.
“He is just so good in the open field that he is a legitimate threat,” Carroll said. “We are at the halfway point and he is just kind of getting warmed up. It’s pretty exciting.”
With the score, Williams became the first Trojan to record two punt returns for touchdowns in a single season since Reggie Bush in 2004.
Havili Optimistic, McCoy in a Boot
USC fullback Stanley Havili, who dislocated his shoulder against Notre Dame, practiced in a limited role on Monday and was optimistic about a possible return this week.
“I will be able to play,” Havili insisted after practice. “I still got a lot of range of motion to take care of but I could run so that’s a good thing.”
Pete Carroll was encouraged to see Havili on the practice field but was more cautious about the situation.
“He worked today and got some stuff done running around out here,” Carroll said. “We would love to have Stanley back and he is trying to make it, so he made a statement by coming out here able to work today.
“We will have to see during the week.”
Havili said he still needs to work on strengthening his shoulder and has to be cleared by team doctors before making a full return.
“I think it’s more mobility,” he said. “If I move it or get hit the wrong way it could still come out, so I still have to strengthen it.
“I have done a lot of loosening it up this last week in rehab and now it’s time to strengthen it.”
While Havili was able to do some running, tight end Anthony McCoy was in a boot on Monday after suffering a right ankle sprain in USC’s 42-36 victory against Oregon State.
After practice, Carroll said it was still too early to determine if the talented tight end would be available for Saturday’s showdown with the Oregon Ducks.
“I don’t know. He’s in a boot so you can’t tell,” Carroll said. “He had a legitimate sprained ankle.
“It didn’t swell up which is really unusual, so there is some hope that maybe he will have some mobility but right now I couldn’t tell you.”
If McCoy is unavailable Saturday then Rhett Ellison would get the start and rotate at tight end with Blake Ayles, according to Carroll.
“Of course, we will miss Anthony if he can’t go but these guys have been playing in every game,” Carroll said.
McCoy has 16 receptions for 375 yards and a touchdown this season.
Official suspended for Mays non-call
The Pac-10 announced on Monday that they were suspending an official one-game for missing a facemask penalty during the USC-Oregon State game.
The play in question occurred when Oregon State wide receiver James Rodger’s caught a 7-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and had his helmet ripped off by Taylor Mays, who came over from his safety position and tried to break up the play.
Carroll said he agreed that a penalty should be called but wasn’t sure about the suspension.
“It was a penalty, definitely a penalty and it should have been called,” Carroll said. “I agree with the evaluation that it should have been a penalty.”
“It was unfortunate. They were going opposite directions and Taylor reached out and he just hooked whatever he caught.
“There was more than one guy out there. It’s too bad that one guy has to take the hit for that because it was pretty much right in the open.”
- Anthony McCoy, Brice Butler, David Ausberry, Luthur Brown, Hebron Fangupo, Marc Tyler and Marshall Jones were among the players that didn’t participate in practice on Monday.
- Tailback Joe McKnight banged up his hand Saturday night but practiced today and will play against Oregon.
“It wasn’t as bad as we thought,” Carroll said. “He will be fine.”
- Wide receiver Brice Butler missed practice because of tightness in his lower back.
- Carroll said he was very pleased with the performance of the new look offensive line and raved about the play of Butch Lewis at left guard.
“Butch played a terrific game. Butch really was on it and had some key blocks, a couple of dominate blocks,” Carroll said. “We were really excited about his play.
“And Jeff (Byers) played real solid too, so it turned out to be a very effective performance.”
- It has been quite the freshman season for USC’s Matt Barkley. The first-year passer is currently undefeated as a starter with wins at Ohio State and Notre Dame already on his resume, and Monday he was named a Davey O’Brien Award Semifinalist. Barkley was one of 15 quarterbacks to make the list that includes Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy, Jake Locker and Jimmy Clausen.
- Carroll said that he expects Ronald Johnson to contribute on the kickoff return team this week.
Damian Williams returns a punt 63 yards for a TD. (Jaime Rodriguez Photo)
*Discuss more on the SCPlaybook.com message boards
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden at email@example.com