Noting USC's practice: 'Beanie Watch'


Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

LOS ANGELES -- USC coach Pete Carroll was his normal chipper self when he approached the post-practice gaggle of reporters.

"You want to begin with 'Beanie-watch' questions?" he quipped.

Well, er, yeah. What's your take on whether Ohio State's All-American tailback will play?

"We just figure the guy's playing," Carroll said. "I can't imagine that he won't. But on the other side of it, they showed three really good running backs last week. They're not short of running backs at all."

The Trojans are using 235-pound tailback Broderick Green and 225-pound Allen Bradford to simulate the 237-pound Wells, who's nursing a bum foot and sat out the Buckeyes' lackluster victory over Ohio on Saturday.

"Those guys run big and tough," Carroll said. "It gives us the feel."

More notes:

  • WR Vidal Hazelton didn't practice. He's still nursing a sprained ankle and could be termed questionable for Saturday's game.

  • LB Brian Cushing (wrist) and LB Rey Maualuga (hand) are both wearing protective casts, which might hamper their tackling against the Buckeyes.

  • Carroll was asked about the celebration penalty assessed on Washington QB Jake Locker. He went off on the stupidity of the rule for more than two minutes.
    "The game shouldn't be decided on that kind of situation," he said.

  • Ohio State receiver Ray Small told ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg that there is a "class" difference between the two schools. After Monday's practice, USC QB Mark Sanchez didn't have much to say in response. "It didn't really cross our minds," he said. "I didn't think too much about it. Too bad. Oh well."

  • The Orange County Register's Michael Lev broke down the Buckeyes game with Ohio over the weekend. Part I. Part II.