Havili will be back to help struggling offense
USC fullback Stanley Havili, who sat out nearly all of the last three games because of a shoulder injury, will start Saturday against Stanford, giving the struggling Trojans offense a boost.
Havili, hurt in the game against Notre Dame on Oct. 17, did not play against Oregon State and Oregon. The junior was in for a few plays last week against Arizona State but did not carry the ball or catch a pass in a victory he described as “just a terrible game to watch.”
“We just need more tempo -- we need more life out there,” Havili said Tuesday. “If you ask anyone, it seems like the offense is dead even when big plays are made.
“This week I’ve told myself to make it an emphasis of bringing guys up and letting guys know that they are doing good.”
Havili’s return should bolster an offense that has been outgained in each of the last three games and produced only 10 points in the last six quarters.
Tight end Anthony McCoy also might return from an ankle sprain that has forced him to sit out the last two games.
After participating in a few drills, McCoy on Tuesday night was cleared to practice. He said his ankle “feels like hell,” but that it would probably not prevent him from playing against the Cardinal.
“I’m not going to say for sure -- we’ll see how things go,” he said.
Meantime, receiver Damian Williams remains doubtful because of an ankle sprain suffered last week against Arizona State.
“It’s tough to know there is that possibility that I might not play,” Williams said. “I’ve got to be smart about it.
“Basically, it’s going to be how I feel on Saturday.”
If Williams sits out, Joe McKnight will return punts and Brice Butler will start at receiver.
Butler, a redshirt freshman from Georgia, has 10 receptions, one for a touchdown.
“I’m practicing hard, studying my film of Stanford, knowing everything they’re doing,” he said.
“Knowing where their corners went to high school, knowing what their mom’s name is and what their dad’s name is, and they’re uncles and cousins.”
“That’s what I do every week and I’m doing it this week.”
Defensive end Everson Griffen (toe) and linebacker Malcolm Smith (shoulder) also were cleared to practice today. . . . Receiver Brandon Carswell (toe) did a few drills and said he hoped to return to full practice. . . . Linebacker Jarvis Jones (neck) will not play against Stanford, Coach Pete Carroll said. . . . Cornerback Josh Pinkard has been added to the roster for the East-West Shrine game.