TAIL­BACK WHO?

Tyler is atop depth chart, but Brad­ford makes a push to start for Tro­jans af­ter his big game last week. Bax­ter looks for car­ries, too.

Los Angeles Times - - Sports - Gary Klein

Allen Brad­ford used to claim that he needed mul­ti­ple car­ries in suc­ces­sion, that be­ing revved up would make him a more pro­duc­tive run­ning back for USC. Not any­more. “Just give me one carry and that’s go­ing to spark the flame,” Brad­ford said Tues­day.

Brad­ford’s break­out per­for­mance against Min­nesota last week has reignited the tail­back com­pe­ti­tion at USC, which plays its Pa­cific 10 Con­fer­ence opener Satur­day at Washington State.

Brad­ford, a fifth-year se­nior, is push­ing to un­seat ju­nior Marc Tyler as the starter while fresh­man Dil­lon Bax­ter also is an­gling for a larger role.

“We’re go­ing to go through the week and give them some shots,” Coach Lane Kif­fin said.

Kif­fin is not a fan of the tail­backby-com­mit­tee ap­proach fa­vored by for­mer coach Pete Car­roll, but that’s what he uti­lized dur­ing much of the Tro­jans’ 32-21vic­tory at Minneapolis.

Tyler started for the third game in a row but seemed to lose his grip on the top spot when he lost the ball af­ter a short gain mid­way through the first quar­ter. Tele­vi­sion re­plays indi-

Matt Barkley is start­ing over.

USC’s sopho­more quar­ter­back saw his pre­vi­ously un­blem­ished touch­down-to-in­ter­cep­tion ra­tio take a hit in Satur­day’s vic­tory at Min­nesota.

Af­ter pass­ing for seven touch­downs with­out an in­ter­cep­tion in the Tro­jans’ first two games, he passed for two more touch­downs against the Golden Go­phers but also had two passes picked off in the Tro­jans’ 3221vic­tory.

Barkley did not ex­pect to go the en­tire sea­son with­out an in­ter­cep­tion.

“I guess the goal is to see how long you last be­fore it hap­pens,” he said af­ter prac­tice Tues­day. “But I’ll count at zero from here on out. Start it over and start from scratch.”

Barkley passed for 15 touch­downs with 14 in­ter­cep­tions last sea­son. Dur­ing spring prac­tice and train­ing camp, new Coach Lane Kif­fin said the ra­tio would not be ac­cept­able.

“We’ve im­proved on that,” Kif­fin said, “but we’ve got to keep im­prov­ing so Satur­day doesn’t hap­pen again.”

Af­ter three games, Barkley is ranked 16th na­tion­ally in pass­ing ef­fi­ciency.

“Last year, I kind of forced a lot of balls but I don’t think I’ve been do­ing that this year,” he said.

Barkley is a nurs­ing a sore calf and sore neck af­ter be­ing thrown to the ground on a play in which the Golden Go­phers were called for a face­mask penalty.

He said he would be fine when the Tro­jans open Pa­cific 10 Con­fer­ence play Satur­day at Washington State.

Wel­come to the Pac

Kif­fin was not sur­prised by the an­nounce­ment that Colorado would join the Pac-10 in 2011, rather than 2012.

Utah also will join the Pac-10 next year.

“I would as­sume that adds a cham­pi­onship game and more com­pe­ti­tion to an al­ready very deep con­fer­ence,” he said.

Asked whether he liked the for­mat that al­lows for a cham­pi­onship game, he said, “Sure, if we’re in it. I like it a lot.”

NCAA sanc­tions against the Tro­jans in­cluded a twoyear bowl ban.

The school is ap­peal­ing to re­duce the ban to only this sea­son.

Quick hits

De­fen­sive line­man Ar­mond Arm­stead was limited be­cause of a shoul­der in­jury. … Ju­nior safety Drew

McAl­lis­ter, who has been limited be­cause of a hip in­jury, will have surgery and red­shirt, Kif­fin said. … Safety Pa­trick Hall prac­ticed af­ter be­ing re­in­stated from a three-week sus­pen­sion from team ac­tiv­i­ties.

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