Wright wants a chal­lenge

Los Angeles Times - - Usc Gameday - Gary Klein re­port­ing from pull­man, wash. gary.klein@latimes.com

Sha­reece Wright would wel­come a heav­ier work­load Satur­day when No. 20 USC plays Washington State in a Pa­cific 10 Con­fer­ence opener at Martin Sta­dium.

The se­nior cor­ner­back is the most ex­pe­ri­enced mem­ber of USC’s young sec­ondary.

He was mostly left alone the last two games as Vir­ginia and Min­nesota at­tempted to ex­ploit fresh­man cor­ner­back Nick­ell Robey and sopho­more safeties Jawanza Star­ling and T.J. McDon­ald.

“I got a cou­ple throws in the Min­nesota game, but that’s about it,” Wright said. “You can get kind of lack­adaisi­cal af­ter a while, so you have to re­mem­ber that the ball can come your way any time.

“I would love to have the ball thrown at me more to chal­lenge my­self.”

Wright might get more op­por­tu­ni­ties if Washington State Coach Paul Wulff de­cides to let quar­ter­back Jeff

Tuel go af­ter a Tro­jans de­fense that ranks last in the Pac-10 against the pass.

Quick trip

Af­ter long jour­neys to Hawaii and Min­nesota that re­quired an ex­tra day of travel, USC is look­ing for­ward to what will be about a 24-hour turn­around.

The Tro­jans ar­rived at their ho­tel in Moscow, Idaho, late Fri­day af­ter­noon.

They are sched­uled to be back in Los An­ge­les on Satur­day evening.

North­west Pas­sage

A year ago, USC lost at Washington a week af­ter win­ning at Ohio State.

USC made an­other trip to the Mid­west last week, but quar­ter­back Matt Barkley does not ex­pect a re­peat of 2009.

Barkley sat out the Washington loss be­cause of a shoul­der in­jury suf­fered at Ohio State.

Outer lim­its

Joe Hous­ton has missed two field-goal at­tempts from 48 yards, the outer reaches of his range. He makes no ex­cuses.

“I’m sure not a whole lot of peo­ple ex­pected me to make that. But I did, and so did my coach and my holder and the snap­per,” Hous­ton said. “Both those kicks I should have made. I need to step it up in con­fer­ence play.”

Mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tor

Butch Lewis and Michael Rear­don are ex­pected to share time at left guard.

Coaches gave Rear­don more reps this week be­cause they wanted to push Lewis to play at full speed ev­ery snap.

Coach Lane Kif­fin was pleased with the re­sult. “Butch is play­ing faster,” he said.

Quick hits

USC is ac­cus­tomed to play­ing in cold con­di­tions at Martin Sta­dium — hail fell dur­ing warmups in 2004 — but the fore­cast for Satur­day calls for tem­per­a­tures in the low 80s. . . . USC is 57-8-4 against Washington State.

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