|USC Legends News|
USC's Booty feels good in practice
John David Booty, wearing a receivers glove to protect the middle finger on his right hand, did not take snaps but threw passes with good velocity and accuracy while alternating with Mark Sanchez.
Sanchez, coming off a victory over Arizona in his first start, began the week as the No. 1 quarterback going into Saturday's game at Notre Dame. But John David Booty put himself back in the picture.
"We tell Mark, 'You're starting until you're not,' " Coach Pete Carroll said. "But this was a very good day for John David. Everybody was a little surprised."
John David Booty said some of his throws were low because the ball stuck to the glove, but he was clearly encouraged and seemed more animated on the field.
"It didn't really seem to be anything I couldn't take or deal with," he said of occasional pain in his finger. "If I feel like I can take it and throw the ball accurately I'll be good to go."
Carroll reiterated that he was in no hurry to name a starter.
Meanwhile, Sanchez continued to prepare for what could be his first start on the road. The third-year sophomore from Mission Viejo is working to correct mistakes that resulted in two first-half interceptions against Arizona.
"I should play like a seasoned veteran being around here so long," Sanchez said. "The emotional side kind of took over a little bit and my focus wavered there in the second quarter, so I'm excited to get back into it and hopefully play again this Saturday and really clean up those mistakes and let them know I can be a technician and a real quarterback and not just an emotional head case or something."
Carroll and USC players praised Sanchez for his fearless 10-yard fourth-quarter scramble against Arizona, but chastised the quarterback for holding the ball in a vulnerable position.
"The only thing he could have done worse is gone behind his back for a layin or something," Carroll joked.
Said Sanchez: "One of the guys said I looked like Bambi on ice, so that was pretty embarrassing."
USC punt returner Desmond Reed, who suffered a season-ending knee injury at Notre Dame Stadium in 2005, said he was not apprehensive about returning to Notre Dame Stadium.
"I think it will feel just regular -- I don't have any fear of anything," he said.
Reed said last year that unusually long grass the day of the game caused his injury, but he said Tuesday that he does not blame Notre Dame.
During his news conference Tuesday, Notre Dame Coach Charlie Weis acknowledged Reed's injury and said, "No way do you ever want a player getting hurt from another team for any reason. But this is the Midwest and we're going to play five games in a row at home. . . . It isn't like our grass grows like we're living in the South. It is what it is."
Later, Carroll said the grass issue, "was blown out proportion."
Tailback Stafon Johnson (foot) participated in a few drills, but said he was unsure whether he would be able to play Saturday. . . . Defensive end Kyle Moore did not practice because of a sore knee and was scheduled to have an MRI exam Tuesday night. . . . Linebacker Rey Maualuga (hip) sat out again, but cornerback Shareece Wright practiced for the first time since suffering a hamstring strain against Washington on Sept. 29.
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