Mitchell Wants to Be a Go-To Guy
USC flanker Jason Mitchell might start for the first time tonight against Arizona because Chris McFoy has a knee injury.
Mitchell, a senior, has four receptions for 78 yards. He caught his first touchdown pass Oct. 23 against Washington when quarterback Matt Leinart connected on a 29-yard play.
“That was huge because he knows he can go to me and I can make a play for him,” said Mitchell, who had one reception for 11 yards in last week’s victory at Oregon State. “Last game, he went to me like four plays in a row. I don’t think that would have happened before I caught that touchdown.”
Senior cornerback Ronald Nunn started the first three games, then tumbled down the depth chart after surrendering a long touchdown pass against Brigham Young.
He still has not regained his starting job, but with Kevin Arbet out because of a sprained knee, Nunn will play tonight as the fifth back in passing situations.
Junior Justin Wyatt and redshirt freshman Eric Wright will start at cornerback.
“I like playing nickel,” said Nunn, who sat out the Oregon State game because of a knee injury. “With my knee, I don’t know if I could play a whole game anyway.”
Nunn said he struggled in the weeks after his demotion, but kept working.
“It was tough because I thought I should have been playing, but we were winning with what they were doing so there was no room to complain,” he said. “I had a lot of nights on the phone with my mom and my dad.
“Before the game against Washington State, I talked to Coach [Pete] Carroll and he said, ‘Go ahead and speak your mind.’ I got my points across and he got his.
“It’s working out fine.”
Arizona, playing at the Coliseum for the first time since 2000, is 2-4 in games against No. 1-ranked teams.
The Wildcats defeated No. 1-ranked USC, 13-10, at the Coliseum in 1981. Arizona also defeated Washington, 16-3, in 1992 at Tucson.
Offensive lineman Taitusi Lutui is the only USC player from Arizona. The Wildcats have 41 players from California. ... USC’s 2004 Olympians will be saluted at halftime.