Wednesday Practice Report

With two key players currently sidelined, Thursday will be a very important day in the USC training room, as both tight end Anthony McCoy and fullback Stanley Havili will test their injuries.

With two key players currently sidelined, Thursday will be a very important day in the USC training room, as both tight end Anthony McCoy and fullback Stanley Havili will test their injuries.

Havili has been able to do some running this week, but will test out his injured shoulder when he attempts to return to practice on Thursday.

The versatile fullback has been optimistic about his chances to play against the Oregon Ducks this weekend and tomorrow will be the key day in determining the likelihood of a return.

"He wants to play," Carroll said. "He thinks he can do it, so we will see."

If Havili is unable to play, sophomore D.J. Shoemate would get the start at fullback.

Tight end Anthony McCoy wore a boot today to protect his sprained right ankle.

"He couldn't go today and tomorrow is really the day to try him out and see if he can do something," Carroll said. "If he makes some progress tomorrow then we could carry it through the weekend, but we will see."

While Havili could end up being a game-time decision, McCoy said he doesn't think he will play if he is unable to practice on Thursday.

"If I don't practice tomorrow, I don't think I am playing," he said.

Hot Reads

- Anthony McCoy, Stanley Havili, Drew McAllister and Curtis McNeal were among the players that didn't participate in practice on Wednesday.

- Safety Drew McAllister has been on crutches the past two days, and will not play this weekend against the Oregon Ducks, after suffering a hip injury during Monday's practice.

"He fairly severely pulled a hip flexor, enough where he is on crutches," Carroll said. "I don't remember seeing that very often."

- Wide receiver Damian Williams remained limited with a bruised glut, but he is expected to play on Saturday.

"He is still sore so we are just going to wait it out. He knows he is going to play in the weekend," Carroll said. "He isn't worried about that at all, but we don't want to pull something at this point, trying to get him to practice."

- Curtis McNeal didn't practice today after banging up his knee during Tuesday's practice. His status for this weekend is uncertain at this time.

- On a positive note, Wide receiver Brice Butler returned to practice after missing Monday and Tuesday with tightness in his lower back and is expected to play.

- USC center Kristofer O'Dowd was replaced last week by Jeff Byers in a bit of a surprising move. Carroll explained today that the move was due in large part because of O'Dowd's injury issues.

"He wasn't playing poorly he just wasn't at his best," Carroll said. "He wasn't dealing with just one injury, he had a knee and a shoulder that he was coming back from.

"He understands that he is banged up. He fought it off for a long time but he has been banged up and been playing hurt. He wants back out there though, and he really wants to play, of course. He had to recognize that he had been playing hurt for some time.

"I think he will come back real strong. Next week he will be ready to go, at maybe even a full clip, we hope."

- With Jeff Byers getting the start at center, Butch Lewis moved to left guard and had a very impressive performance in USC's victory against Oregon State.

"Butch played great," Carroll said. "Butch played maybe his best game ever here, so it worked out very well."

- The USC defense has already faced two dual-threat quarterbacks in Terrelle Pryor and Jake Locker this season, but Carroll said Oregon's Jeremiah Masoli poses a bigger threat in the running game.

"Even more so than Ohio State, this is a team that is dedicated to the option and the QB reading the option and all that," Carroll said. "He is much more a part of the normal running game than just a guy that scrambles. That's what their spread offense is all about."

Anthony McCoy said if he doesn't practice Thursday, he doesn't expect to play.

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