USCās Palmer breaks collarbone, out for 6-8 weeks
If losing 33-30 in triple overtime at Oregon in their Pacific 10 Conference opener wasn't hard enough for head coach Paul Hackett and his USC Trojans to swallow, then losing sophomore starting quarterback Carson Palmer to a broken right collarbone isn't any easier.
He suffered the injury two plays before half-time when Oregon rover Michael Fletcher knocked him out of bounds after a 3-yard scramble.
Palmer will be sidelined for six to eight weeks, during which time he will have to wear a shoulder brace to help the healing process.
"Obviously, Carson Palmer's injury is a big blow to us," Hackett said in a USC press release following the game. "He was just starting to come into his own, beginning to develop and show the improvement a young quarterback exhibits from year one to year two."
Palmer, who stayed in for the final plays of the first half before spending the second half on the sideline with his right arm in a sling, has completed 73.6 percent of his passes for 490 yards and three touchdowns while starting the Trojans first three games.
He was replaced by junior Mike Van Raaphorst, who completed 20 of 36 passes for 227 yards along with a touchdown while leading the Trojans back from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit, only to lose 33-30 in three overtimes.
Backing up Van Raaphorst will be senior John Fox, who has been a utility man for the Trojans in 1999.
Senior wide receiver Troy Walters of Stanford was named the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week for the second straight week after catching nine passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns, including a 98-yard strike from sophomore quarterback Joe Borchard in the Cardinal's 42-32 victory over UCLA.
His 278 yards receiving is the third-highest game total in Pac-10 history and Walters now needs only 57 receiving yards to become the Pac-10 career receiving yardage leader.
Walters is the first player to receive back-to-back Offensive Player of the Week honors since Washington tailback Corey Dillon in 1996.
Washington's sophomore safety Hakim Akbar was the defensive key in the Huskies 31-24 win against Colorado as he was credited with 10 tackles (four unassisted). Due to his performance Saturday, Akbar was named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week.
Senior cornerback Deltha O'Neal from California rounded out the players of the week as he took the special teams honor after returning four kickoffs for 120 yards and two punts for 24 yards in Cal's 24-23 win over Arizona State.
O'Neal, who earlier this season took home the defensive honor, also contributed four unassisted tackles and two pass deflections on defense.
When the Oregon State-USC game kicks off this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in the Los Angeles Coliseum, it will mark the 1,000th game in the storied history of Trojan football, which dates back to 1888.
USC will become the 37th Division I-A school to reach the 1,000 game mark. During the span they have accumulated a 669-276-54 record, which ties them for ninth among all Division I-A schools.
Northwestern University will also reach the 1,000 game mark Saturday