Kirtman Is Not Torn Over Game

Times Staff Writer

David Kirtman is USC's only scholarship player from Washington state, but the junior fullback said there would be no special significance when the top-ranked Trojans play struggling Washington on Saturday at the Coliseum.

"I never really followed UW, because I was always concentrating on what I was doing," Kirtman said Wednesday. "A lot of my friends go to school there, but they can't really say much to me lately with the way things have been going."

Kirtman, at 6 feet and 225 pounds, has started twice this season, including last week in USC's 45-7 victory over Arizona State.

Kirtman redshirted as a freshman in 2001 and was a reserve fullback and special teams player the previous two seasons.

His backfield role expanded this season after Brandon Hancock sustained knee and chest-muscle injuries that required surgery during the spring and forced him to redshirt.

Kirtman has split time with senior Lee Webb and has made several clutch receptions. He has seven carries for 41 yards and 11 receptions for 94 yards.

"I'm a role player, and I just do whatever they want me to," said Kirtman, who also started against Colorado State. "If I have to play one play, if I have to play 100 plays, I don't care. As long as I can help us keep winning, I'm happy."

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After sitting out the game against California because of a pinched nerve in his neck, strong safety Darnell Bing started against Arizona State and intercepted a pass and made six tackles.

Bing, who has been nursing a sore left shoulder all season, participated in all drills this week and will start against Washington.

Safety Scott Ware remains sidelined because of a foot strain, so freshman Josh Pinkard will be part of the rotation with Bing and free safety Jason Leach. Greg Farr, who also has a foot strain, ran under supervision of the training staff, but Carroll said he was probably a week away from returning.

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Defensive end Frostee Rucker sat out the last part of practice because of an ankle problem, Coach Pete Carroll said.... USC's average home attendance this season is 88,850. The Trojans have home games remaining against Washington, Arizona and Notre Dame. Last season, USC averaged a school-record 77,804.

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