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Final Drive Was a Rush for Linemen

Times Staff Writer

Many USC players limped through Monday’s light workout with painful reminders of another hard-fought victory still resonating loudly in muscles, joints and bones.

One position group, however, moved smoothly through drills with a noticeable spring in its step.

Offensive linemen were still reveling in the afterglow of the fourth-quarter drive that produced the game-winning touchdown against Arizona State. USC ran the ball 13 times during the 14-play drive, Chauncey Washington carrying it 10 times, including the final two yards for a touchdown.

“It still feels good,” senior guard Drew Radovich said. “It felt like it was our time to really show what this offensive line is all about.

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“We knew it was going to be put on us. We’d been wanting to pound the rock for two or three drives before that.”

USC moved from its 26-yard line to the Sun Devils seven before it attempted the only official pass of the drive. John David Booty’s throw to fullback Jody Adewale fell incomplete. Booty passed to Adewale on the next play but Arizona State was called for an offsides penalty.

“I was kind of like, ‘We made it this far, let’s not start passing the ball,’ ” Radovich said. “Then there was the penalty and we were thinking, ‘Now it’s our turn to pound the ball into the end zone.”

Coach Pete Carroll said the Trojans did not intend to rush the ball on nearly every play of the drive.

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“We were just going about it in a four-down mode,” he said.

But Carroll acknowledged that the drive was a confidence boost for an offensive line eager to prove itself.

“There isn’t an offensive lineman that doesn’t dream about that.”

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With an open date this week, Carroll said the Trojans would “do as many creative things as we can with our personnel and with our stuff scheme-wise to find out what we can fix and tweak and all that.”

Freshman running back C.J. Gable appeared to be the main beneficiary Monday. Gable, whose role has diminished since starting the opener, ran patterns with wide receivers, lined up in the slot and also ran plays from various formations.

“We’re going to continue to put him all over the place and see if we can expand his role,” Carroll said.

Washington and Emmanuel Moody have received the bulk of the carries since Gable had a game-high 12 against Arkansas.

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“I wasn’t getting frustrated because stuff happens for a reason; you just have to deal with it,” Gable said. “I was waiting for my turn and they started telling me when I came to practice, ‘We got some plays for you.’ ... They said there would be more coming.”

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USC’s athletic department balanced its budget for the fourth year in a row, according to a report all schools are required to file as part of the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act of 1994.

USC reported total expenses and revenues of $65,434,875, an increase of $4.7 million from the previous year. The football program generated $27.7 million in revenues on expenses of $17.2 million.

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Athletic department revenue from sources such as donations and endowment income was $33.2 million, about $5.7 million more than the previous year, said Steve Lopes, a senior associate athletic director.

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Kickoff for USC’s Oct. 28 game at Oregon State is at 12:30 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on FSN.... Linebacker Oscar Lua (leg), receiver Steve Smith (ankle) and offensive lineman Chilo Rachal (ankle) were among the players who did not practice because of injuries.... Freshman receiver Jamere Holland (shoulder), who is redshirting, ran pass patterns during team drills.

gary.klein@latimes.com

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