October 3, 2007

Insider: Backs battle for Johnson's carries

One thing seems certain about USC's running game: "We can't give it Chauncey (Washington) 42 times this week," offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian said.

Stafon Johnson, the team's leading rusher, has not practiced the past three days, after getting his foot stepped on at Washington. His limp improved, from Tuesday to Wednesday, but he does not seem likely to play against 1-3 Stanford this weekend.

With C.J. Gable opting for surgery, Joe McKnight, Allen Bradford, Hershel Dennis and third-down back Desmond Reed are left to compete for Johnson's carries. Coaches have expressed their desire to get the shifty McKnight involved - he appeared for only one play at Washington - but the distribution of carries remains in question.

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