Mark Beech's Sidelines

April 25, 2004

TROJAN TROUBLE

The suspension of USC tackle Winston Justice (he allegedly
flashed a pellet gun at another student) leaves his status for
the fall up in the air, meaning right guard Fred Matua may be the
only returning O-line starter for the co-national champions. That
could mean a lot of scrambling this fall for quarterback Matt
Leinart. On the bright side sophomore tailback Reggie Bush looked
very sharp in spring drills. USC is counting on the multitalented
Bush, who set a school freshman record with 1,331 all-purpose
yards, to take up the slack left by the depletion of the Trojans'
wideout corps.

TROPHY HUNT

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder is such a fan of Darren Sproles,
who rushed for 1,986 yards and had 16 touchdowns last season,
that he's thinking about allowing the school to start a Heisman
campaign for the 5'7" senior tailback. That's big news in little
Manhattan, considering that Snyder has never permitted such
hype--even for star quarterback Michael Bishop in '98--in his 15
years with the Wildcats program. Said Snyder of Sproles, "He's
more than just a guy who makes a commitment when you hand the
ball off to him. He's a hard runner, a pass catcher, he's
developed as a blocker, he's a punt returner and he's a kickoff
returner. He's really talented."

EXTRA POINTS

Last week Georgia tailback Albert Hollis II went through his
first contact drills since suffering a catastrophic injury to his
right knee as a redshirt freshman in the spring of 2001. On his
first carry in last Saturday's spring game Hollis took the ball
six yards up the middle and received a long ovation from the
25,000 fans in Sanford Stadium. "It feels good to be back out
there competing," said Hollis, who'll be a senior this year. "Now
it's time to really compete. I didn't come here to make the
bench." ... Oklahoma State quarterback Josh Fields, who threw for
2,494 yards and 21 touchdowns last year, is hitting .366 as a
third baseman for the Cowboys and is attracting the attention of
big league scouts in the run-up to the June 7 draft. If he
chooses pro baseball, QB duties would be up for grabs between
freshmen Bobby Reid and Donovan Woods, the younger brother of
former OSU receiver Rashaun Woods.... Auburn's new offensive
coordinator, Al Borges, is shifting the Tigers, who ranked 10th
in the SEC in passing in 2003, to a West Coast attack and had his
quaterbacks throwing long this spring. The coach admits progress
has been slow. "We're a long way from a well-oiled machine,"
Borges says. "In this style of play, little things are
critical--footwork flaws, stepping to the target, timing throws.
Hopefully we can refine it in two-a-days."

COLOR PHOTO: PETER READ MILLER Bush

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)