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Gable isn’t complaining

Times Staff Writer

C.J. Gable boasts the highest average per carry among USC tailbacks, producing an impressive 11 yards each time he has been handed the ball.

But the sophomore from Sylmar, who started the first two games, got only four carries against Nebraska and only one against Washington State.

“I can’t do nothing about it,” he said Monday. “I’m not in control of it. If they give me one carry, then I have to make the best of it.”

Gable has 13 carries, fewer than fellow sophomore Stafon Johnson (32 carries), senior Chauncey Washington (23) and freshman Joe McKnight (14). But Gable’s 143 yards rushing rank second to Johnson’s 256.

Coach Pete Carroll said USC’s focus on balancing the offense and working in McKnight affected Gable’s role against Washington State.

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“There’s no problem with what he’s done at all,” Carroll said. “The rotations sometimes help you, and sometimes they don’t.”

Gable said he was not frustrated and that he had not asked coaches for an explanation about his reduced role.

“I just go on my way -- I don’t really want to hear why or whatever,” he said. “As long as we win, then all right. But if we lose, then I’ll be like, ‘Well, I could have done something to help it.’ But until then, I’m good.”

Despite the seemingly diminished role, Gable is determined to remain at USC.

“I’m not a quitter, so I keep on going with it,” he said.

Gable’s hopes have been buoyed by the flashes he has shown this season. Against Idaho he had a 33-yard gain. He topped that with a 40-yard run against Nebraska.

“They’ve seen what I can do,” he said. “When the time is right and they need me, I know they’ll put me in.”

Junior cornerback Cary Harris, who dislocated his right shoulder against Washington State, went through the first drills of practice until team trainers saw him and pulled him out.

“If they let me, I’m going to play against Washington,” Harris said.

Harris said an MRI exam revealed no torn ligaments or bone bruises, but his range of motion remained limited.

Sophomore Shareece Wright is on track to start in his place.

Freshman center Kristofer O’Dowd rolled on the turf from end zone to end zone as part of his punishment for being late to a team meeting last Friday.

The miscue got O’Dowd benched for the first series against Washington State.

“I took a nap after class and set my alarm clock wrong,” O’Dowd said. “I don’t want that to happen again.”

O’Dowd said he felt worse for his teammates than for himself.

“I lost the trust of my linemen. I felt bad I disappointed them. . . . By me doing that it throws them off a little bit,” he said. “It was selfish on my part. It was stupid and it won’t happen again.”

Freshman safety Marshall Jones thought he might redshirt this season until Carroll summoned him on the sideline against Washington State and told him he was going into the game.

“That got my heart racing,” Jones said.

Jones is expected to provide depth with Mozique McCurtis shifting to cornerback in the wake of Harris’ injury and uncertain status.

“I’ve got to shift gears mentally, come more prepared to practice and pay a lot more attention to what’s going on,” Jones said.

USC announced that after a review of the Washington State game tape, a play that had been scored as a rush by receiver Patrick Turner was instead a reception.

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gary.klein@latimes.com


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