09/02 USC Football Notes and Quotes

Columbia, S.C. - Inclement weather forced USC to finish the second half of its football practice Tuesday indoors. The team had practiced for nearly 60 minutes before severe thunderstorms came through the Columbia area. The final 60 minutes of practice were conducted in the indoor practice facility ...

* USC head coach Lou Holtz said Tuesday that linebacker Ricardo Hurley, who has been sidelined the past two weeks with an ankle sprain, has returned to practice and could be available this weekend against #15 Virginia. Hurley was penciled in as a starter heading into preseason camp until he suffered the injury in the second preseason scrimmage.

* During the indoor practice session, a pair of players - nose tackle Natron Scott and wide receiver Andre Hemphill both suffered ankle sprains. They will be re-evaluated on Wednesday.

* Comments from Head coach Lou Holtz: "I thought our players responded well today in practice. We had some disruptions due to the weather, but their intensity was good and their focus was sharp. Virginia poses a lot of problems for us. I'm not sure if we can move the ball against their defense. We will have to play a flawless game on both sides of the ball."

* Coach Holtz said that freshman wide receiver Noah Whiteside has the ability to help the team right now, but still needs to get the different coverages down. "Noah is talented enough to contribute right now, but he needs to get the mental part of the game down."

* Offensive lineman Jeff Barnes learned Tuesday that his father, William, had suffered a stroke on Monday and was hospitalized near their home in Newnan, Ga.

* Deep snapper Ike Crofoot has an interesting neighbor back home in Orlando, Fla. -- none other than Shaquille O'Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers. "Shaq used to throw ball with me and my brothers when we were younger," said Crofoot. "He's really a cool guy and fun to be around."

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