September 12, 2007

NU Notes: Roles reversed at the center position

Last year senior center Brett Byford was forced to step in and make his first start on the road at USC in front of over 100,000 people in the Los Angeles Coliseum

This year, the roles will be somewhat reversed at the center position. USC will be forced to start true freshman Kristofer O'Dowd at center because of an injury to Nick Howell.

O'Dowd was a five-star recruit in high school out of Arizona in 2007, but Trojan head coach Pete Carroll said there's no question Saturday will be a tough atmosphere for the true freshman to make his first collegiate start in.

"He's up against it," Carroll said. "We're making him work against Sedrick Ellis as much as we can so he gets a great battle. They'll battle today again all day long. Through the help of the communications getting more solidified, it will really make him more consistent. But he's going to be a very good football player."

Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan said following Wednesday's practice SC's situation reminds him a lot of what NU had to go through last year when Byford was forced to step in for Kurt Mann.

Callahan said the crowd at Memorial Stadium has the potential to play a big factor in effecting O'Dowd and the USC offense when they make their checks at the line of scrimmage.

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