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COLLEGE FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : USC : Trojans Numbed by North Carolina

John Robinson said his USC football team “went numb” during its 31-9 loss to North Carolina on Sunday night in Anaheim.

“We never mounted a challenge, there was never a sense we were coming back,” he said Monday.

“There was no glue to our game--nothing was holding us together.”

Robinson said the loss of tailback Dwight McFadden, who suffered a broken ankle in the game and underwent surgery Monday, put USC in, “a state of shock, me included.”

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The Trojans, who play Houston at the Coliseum on Saturday, are down to sophomore Scott Fields and freshman David Dotson at tailback, neither of whom has much experience and both of whom have been injured during the preseason. Robinson said he won’t move fullback Deon Strother to tailback for now.

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Injury update: Robinson said safety Mike Salmon, who suffered a shoulder injury against North Carolina, is questionable for Saturday. Cornerback Jesse Davis is sidelined because of a knee injury.

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Kim Helton, Houston’s new head coach, returns to college coaching after 11 seasons in the NFL, including a 1990-92 stint as the Raiders’ offensive line coach.

Helton, 45, was hired last May, after Houston’s spring practice.


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