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SC NOTEBOOK: USC SEEKS BCA GAME.

Byline: Scott Wolf Staff Writer

USC wants to open next season playing in the BCA Classic, which would be the first game of the 2004 college football season.

``We've told them we were willing to play anybody,'' said USC senior associate athletic director Daryl Gross.

USC would like to play the game in the Coliseum. Officials discussed the possibility of playing Miami, but a home-and-home series could not be arranged because the schools have open dates in different years.

USC wanted to play at Miami in 2008 while Miami wanted to play in 2009. The BCA Classic makes sense for USC because the Trojans currently have just 11 games on their schedule although they are still attempting to fill an open date.

--Nunn returns: Cornerback Ronald Nunn was supposed to be out three weeks with a broken bone in his eye socket, but doctors cleared him Tuesday and he will play against Washington State on Saturday.

Nunn practiced and said he felt OK.

``I was surprised,'' Nunn said. ``Everyone told me I would have to sit out this game.''

Nunn said he's not allowed to blow his nose, because air will accumulate near his eye and cause swelling.

``As long as I don't blow my nose or get hit in the eye, I can play,'' he said.

Nunn is wearing an extra-large chin strap and more padding in his helmet to keep his head stabilized. Trainers also attached an eye shield but Nunn said he won't wear it for the game.

Nunn suffered the injury against Washington when his helmet slid down and tight end Joe Toledo fell on him.

``I'm not in pain,'' Nunn said. ``The only time it hurt was when it happened.''

--Lewis a factor? The coaches keep threatening to make receiver Whitney Lewis a more significant player in the offense after two impressive practices filling in for Mike Williams, who is resting his sore ankle.

``He's doing a really nice job and we're pressing him with Mike out,'' USC coach Pete Carroll said. ``He realizes this could be a game where he plays on a regular basis if Mike can't go. He's catching the heck out of the ball.''

--Air problems: Carroll said he's been sensitive to any players with asthma this week during practice because of the smoke-filled skies around Southern California.

``Nobody's had an issue at all,'' he said.

--White out: Tailback LenDale White missed his second day of practice with a scratched cornea but is expected to return today.

--Tape delay: Because of airport problems, USC didn't receive its copy of the Washington State-Oregon State game films until Monday. Usually, game tapes are exchanged Sunday but the fires in Southern California canceled many flights.

--Lesson of the day: Perhaps because of the Ryan Killeen-Mike Williams flare-up last weekend, Carroll referred to Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal during his team talk Tuesday, saying that ``two players fighting can never help the team.''

--Aches and pains: Defensive tackle Shaun Cody did not practice because he wasn't feeling well. Receiver William Buchanon's back stiffened and he also missed practice.

Linebacker Matt Grootegoed (sprained ankle) wanted to practice but was held out an extra day by Carroll.

Scott Wolf, (818) 713-3607

scott.wolf(at)dailynews.com

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

RONALD NUNN

Cornerback has been cleared to play against Washington State as a broken bone in his eye socket heals.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 29, 2003
Words:563
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