Tuesday Practice: Havili, Ellison Out

As expected, USC head coach Pete Carroll announced on Tuesday that Stanley Havili and Kevin Ellison will be unavailable for the Rose Bowl. Look inside for all the news, notes and quotes from Tuesday's practice.

Ellison, Havili Out

As expected, USC head coach Pete Carroll announced that Stanley Havili and Kevin Ellison will be unavailable for the Rose Bowl.

Havili will miss the game because he is academically ineligible, while Ellison's knee hasn't responded since playing against UCLA on Dec.6th.

Will Harris will start at safety in place of Ellison.

"Will Harris has played beautifully for us. We'd love to have Kevin [Ellison]. He's a great member of this team and a leader," Carroll said. "How do you replace it? You don't. However, Will Harris has played great football for us."

Carroll didn't name a starter at fullback but said that D.J. Shoemate, Rhett Ellison and Adam Goodman will all be in the game plan.

Carroll Discusses Recruiting Feud

Ken Norton Jr. and UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel have made headlines in recent days by trading words in the press. On Tuesday, Pete Carroll commented on the situation and the crosstown rivalry.

"Everybody wanted to see a rivalry. When you are this close stuff is going to come up now and then," Carroll said. "This is competing. This is over. But I bet there will be more stuff. This is what happens when you are this close and stuff is going to go on. It's part of it and I don't think there is anything wrong with it. If it wasn't like that nobody would care."

News and Notes

- Pete Carroll said one of the intriguing aspects of the Rose Bowl will be the battle between two of the nation's best defenses.

"I think this is really a cool match-up because it is just so dead even on all categories. Every statistic is right there one way or another. It is crazy how even it is. They've had a terrific season and we've had a terrific season. Now we get to go battle it out and see what happens."

- After practice, Pete Carroll said that Damian Williams and Stafon Johnson are both 100 percent.

- The bowl practices have allowed the coaching staff to evaluate the younger players that will play major roles in 2009.

"This is extremely important. It is a tremendous advantage to the guys to capture if they do," Carroll said. "I can't deny the fact that there are many times where we are watching guys out there and we are looking as they would be there next year."

- Former USC wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson was at practice on Tuesday. Johnson was named the 1996 Rose Bowl MVP after pulling in 12 catches for a Rose Bowl record 216 yards in USC's 41-32 victory over Northwestern.

- Former USC defensive line coach Jethro Franklin was fired by the Houston Texans on Tuesday.

- At the conclusion of Tuesday's practice, which was the last of the year, the players formed a tunnel for the seniors to run through as they exited Howard Jones Field.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden at kevin@scplaybook.com

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