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Carroll Expects Challenge

Times Staff Writer

After giving up a season-high 195 yards rushing against Notre Dame, USC Coach Pete Carroll said Monday that the top-ranked Trojans will face another formidable run-oriented challenge Saturday against UCLA.

The Bruins are averaging 208 yards rushing a game.

“That’s a lot of yards they put on the board,” said Carroll, whose team remains second in the nation against the run after Saturday’s victory. “They’re a legitimate big-time running football team, so we’re going to have our hands full.”

Carroll said the Trojans also would be challenged by the buildup surrounding the 74th meeting of the cross-town rivals.

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Unbeaten USC can clinch a berth in the Orange Bowl, this season’s bowl championship series title game, with a victory on Saturday.

The Trojans have won their last five games against UCLA.

“This is a great matchup and one that we’re real excited about because of all the obvious things,” Carroll said. “It’s cross-town, a chance to finish out on top of the Pac-10 and the last game, all those things.

“We have to work with all that goes along with that, the following and the media and the distractions and all of the stuff.”

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Defensive lineman Manuel Wright, who will miss Saturday’s game because of a high ankle sprain suffered against Arizona on Nov. 13, said he would attempt to participate in some individual drills on Wednesday.... Offensive lineman Drew Radovich said he had an MRI exam on Monday morning for hip and knee injuries sustained against Notre Dame.


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