USC's Everson Griffen won't play against Arizona State - By Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times
By Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times
TEMPE--USC, already missing several starters because of injuries, will also be without Pacific 10 Conference sack leader Everson Griffen when it plays Arizona State tonight.
Griffen, a junior defensive end from Avondale, Ariz., suffered a toe injury against Oregon. He did not practice this week, working instead with trainers on the sidelines with the hope of healing enough to play.
Griffen, however, did not make the trip.
"He woke up . . . a little bit worse maybe from the work they did [Thursday] so we just figured it would be best to treat him for three straight days," CoachPete Carroll said Friday after the 12th-ranked Trojans' walk-through at Sun Devil Stadium. "We never thought he was going to make it to full speed, but he was trying."
Sophomore Malik Jackson will start in place of Griffen, who has eight sacks. Jackson has two sacks.
Devon Kennard, a freshman from Phoenix, also will play a lot, Carroll said.
Tackle Armond Armstead, who suffered a wrist fracture against Oregon, will play wearing a cast. End Nick Perry, who suffered a dislocated shoulder against the Ducks, also will play.
The offense will be without receiver Brandon Carswell, who had three catches, a career best, against Oregon. Carswell suffered a toe injury during Wednesday's practice.
Travon Patterson is expected to get more playing time as the fourth receiver in Carswell's absence.
The Trojans conducted their walk-through in half-light because only one side of the stadium was illuminated.
"It's kind of like playing in the park or something," Carroll said.
The Trojans did not need light to gain a feel for the natural turf, which is perhaps the best maintained in the conference.
"This is as fast as a grass field can get," Carroll said.
Going for two
Arizona State Coach Dennis Erickson, who won national titles at Miami in 1989 and 1991, is seeking his second win against USC.
Erickson is 1-6 against the Trojans, having gone 0-1 at Washington State, 1-3 at Oregon State and 0-2 so far with the Sun Devils.
Erickson guided Oregon State to a 31-21 victory over USC in 2000, ending the Beavers' 26-game losing streak against the Trojans.
Erickson said he expected the Trojans to be motivated after their 47-20 loss at Oregon last week.
"A lot of teams have gone up to Oregon and had that happen and things just start rolling on you and it's tough," Erickson said this week. "But that [USC] program isn't where it's at by not coming back and fighting like heck."
Arizona State lists five players on its roster from Corona Centennial High.
Sophomore running back Ryan Bass, freshman linebacker Vontaze Burfict, sophomore linebackers Shelly Lyons and Brandon Magee and freshman defensive tackle William Sutton played for the Huskies, who were California Division I finalists in 2007 and champions in 2008.
Offensive lineman Zach Schlink also is from Centennial High -- in Peoria, Ariz.
USC leads the series against Arizona State, 16-9. . . . The Trojans are 27-0 in November games under Carroll.