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USC free safety Pinkard out for season with torn ACL

LOS ANGELES -- Southern California free safety Josh Pinkard
tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the
third-ranked Trojans' 50-14 opening victory over Arkansas and won't
play again this season.

Pinkard, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound junior from Oxnard, Calif., said
he heard his right knee "crack" while covering a punt against the
Razorbacks last Saturday night. An MRI on Tuesday revealed the torn
ligament, and he will undergo surgery sometime during the next few
weeks.

"It's real unfortunate," Trojans coach Pete Carroll said after
Tuesday's practice. "We're going to miss Josh badly. He's been
such a special player for us."

Pinkard has the option of applying for a medical redshirt for
this season. He started the second half of last season at
cornerback, but entered this year as the starting free safety.

Freshmen Antwine Perez and Garrett Green were listed behind
Pinkard on the USC depth chart entering the Arkansas game. Other
possible replacements are freshman Taylor Mays, listed as the
second-string strong safety, and senior Dallas Sartz, who shares a
starting linebacker spot with Brian Cushing.

"The logical thing to do is to have Taylor just jump in there,
because he was the third safety," Carroll said. "We don't have to
rush into a decision. We're just trying to figure it out as we go.
We're very fortunate we have two weeks to do this."

Idle this weekend, the Trojans face No. 21 Nebraska on Sept. 16
in their home opener. USC has won 46 of its last 48 games.

Linebacker Oscar Lua, who injured his right hamstring against
Arkansas and didn't play after the first series, had an MRI on
Tuesday.

Asked if he expects to be able to play against Nebraska, Lua
said, "I think so. We'll see how it feels after this week."

Also missing practice was starting cornerback Kevin Thomas, who
sprained his ankle in the third quarter of the opening victory. He
wore an ankle brace on Tuesday, but the injury isn't believed to be
serious.

Carroll obviously was pleased with the Trojans' opener, the
injuries aside.

"This is the best overall game we've had as a first game,"
said the coach, in his sixth year at USC.