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Secondary’s latest casualty is Harris

Times Staff Writers

USC’s injury-depleted secondary suffered another blow Saturday when junior cornerback Cary Harris dislocated his right shoulder during the Trojans’ 47-14 Pacific 10 Conference victory over Washington State at the Coliseum.

Harris was hurt with 5 minutes 11 seconds left in the quarter while defending a pass in the end zone that was intended for Brandon Gibson. He left the game and did not return.

Sophomore Shareece Wright replaced Harris.

USC lost cornerback and safety Josh Pinkard to a torn knee ligament before the opener against Idaho and is out for the season.

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Reserve cornerback Vincent Joseph did not play Saturday because of a bruised larynx he suffered while returning a kickoff last week in the win over Nebraska.

Linebacker Brian Cushing reinjured the ankle he sprained in the opener against Idaho.

Sixth-year senior running back Hershel Dennis played for the first time since the 2004 season and gained 14 yards in four carries.

Dennis sat out the last two seasons because of knee injuries.

“I was a little nervous because it’s been so long,” he said. “After that first carry it felt like I’d been out there forever.

“It felt good to get back out there and get the ball in a game situation in the Coliseum. Hopefully, it’s only the start.”

In what is becoming something of an annual tradition, Washington State punter Darryl Blunt jawed with USC players on the field before the game.

Last year in Pullman, Wash., Trojans defensive linemen gathered at midfield after they arrived at Martin Stadium.

Blunt took umbrage and started arguing with the group. The linemen retreated to their locker room to a chorus of boos.

On Saturday, Blunt, a junior from Los Angeles who played at Bellflower St. John Bosco High, got into it again with USC players as the entire squad came out of the tunnel a few minutes before the opening kickoff.

Midway through the second quarter, Blunt bobbled a snap, tried to pick it up and was tackled by linebacker Clay Matthews for a 10-yard loss.

The Trojans turned the miscue into a touchdown pass from John David Booty to Fred Davis and a 24-7 lead.

After kicking off both to start the game and the second half against Nebraska, USC kicked off only once against Washington State.

But it was still an unusual set of circumstances, at least for the Trojans.

Washington State won the coin toss and elected to kick off, forcing USC to receive an opening kickoff for the first time since the 2006 Bowl Championship Series title game against Texas.

The announced attendance was 86,876, the first time in 16 home games that the Trojans failed to draw at least 90,000.

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gary.klein@latimes.com

chris.dufresne@latimes.com


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