The last time Reggie Bush suited up for the Trojans was in the 2006 Rose Bowl.You wouldn’t have known it at Saturday’s practice, which featured the first intrasquad scrimmage of the spring.Young stunner · Early enrollee freshman running back Dillon Baxter finished his first USC scrimmage with 94 rushing yards on just nine carries, including one rush of 50 yards. – Geo Tu | Daily Trojan Freshman running back Dillon Baxter put on his best Bush impression during the scrimmage, dazzling the crowd with ankle-breaking cuts and a pair of long runs. Baxter finished with 94 yards on just nine carries, including a 50-yard touchdown run that left several defenders on their backsides.“I thought [Baxter] was phenomenal,” USC coach Lane Kiffin said. “His scoring run looked like Reggie Bush’s against Fresno State in 2005. It didn’t matter who was in front of him, nobody could stop him.”His teammates were just as impressed by his touchdown run. Baxter emerged from a pile near the right sideline and wove around defenders on his way to the end zone.“Dillon definitely did some crazy stuff today,” redshirt junior running back Marc Tyler said. “It was fun out there watching him. He did some crazy, stupid stuff today, like a damn videogame.”Baxter is just one of the running backs looking to work their way into the rotation this spring. Senior Allen Bradford is the leading returning rusher for USC and should be a workhorse for the Trojans. Bradford, who rushed for 668 yards and eight touchdowns last season, carried the ball a team-high 10 times during the scrimmage for 27 yards.“Whatever coach Kiffin gives me I’m going to take by the reins and do the best I can,” Bradford said.Part of his responsibilities this season will be mentoring the younger players. Bradford said he has been sharing a simple message with them this spring.“Go out there and do the little stuff right,” he said. “It’s the little stuff that counts. You can’t look for the big plays every time you get the ball. The big plays are going to come.”The big plays certainly came on Saturday for Baxter, who had a slow start to spring practice. He ripped off another long run later in the scrimmage that had defenders turned in circles. Now that the freshman — who enrolled in school early so he could take part in spring practice — is getting comfortable, more big plays like the two he had on Saturday could be on the way.Another running back trying to make an impression on the new coaching staff is Tyler. A top prospect coming out of high school, injuries held Tyler back in his first two seasons. He wants to focus this year on staying healthy.“The past years I’ve been getting hurt, and that’s really hurt my chances of playing and getting in there,” Tyler said. “If I stay healthy, anything can happen.”If Tyler can avoid the injuries that have plagued him thus far, he and Bradford should give the Trojans a formidable one-two punch. And if Baxter and speedy sophomore Curtis McNeal can give USC a pair of home run threats the team could have a running attack not unlike the old backfield tandem of Bush and LenDale White.A number of other USC players turned in standout performances on Saturday. Sophomore quarterback Matt Barkley and senior receiver Ronald Johnson connected for a pair of touchdowns, including a 70-yard strike, and junior defensive tackle Da’John Harris recorded five tackles and returned a stripped ball 52 yards.
0Shares0000Lionel Messi’s 365th La Liga goal came inside 12 minutes, with Luis Suarez adding the second before half time © AFP / Josep LAGOMadrid, Spain, Jan 7 – Lionel Messi marked his 400th appearance in La Liga with the opening goal in Barcelona’s 3-0 win over struggling Levante at the Camp Nou on Sunday as the Catalans prepare to unveil Philippe Coutinho.Messi’s 365th goal in Spain’s top flight was followed by strikes from Luis Suarez and Paulinho as Barcelona stretched their lead at the top of the table back to nine points over Atletico Madrid. They are also now a massive 16 points clear of defending champions Real Madrid, who were held to a 2-2 draw away at Celta Vigo despite a brace from Gareth Bale, and remain fourth.Barcelona are still unbeaten in La Liga this season and on Monday will officially unveil Coutinho following the Brazilian’s 160 million-euro ($192 million) move from Liverpool.With all the talk about Coutinho, coach Ernesto Valverde was eager for his side to keep their focus on winning their first league outing since beating Real Madrid 3-0 in the Clasico on December 23.“Levante had not lost away since September. We were very good in the first half, but the rhythm was not the same in the second half,” said Valverde.Barcelona’s previous record recruit Ousmane Dembele — a 105 million-euro buy from Borussia Dortmund in the summer — was included in the line-up for the first time since tearing his hamstring nearly four months ago.He came close to scoring on a couple of occasions, including from one 20-yard strike that was beaten away by Levante goalkeeper Oier Olazabal.“I think he has to bring something to the team, and he also has to face up to the competition for places and for the tackles he will face on the pitch, from opponents who don’t want to let him past,” said Valverde.“It is a process, but I thought he looked good and we still hope he can improve.”It was Messi who broke the deadlock with a fine first-time finish in off the post from a Jordi Alba assist for his 16th league goal of the campaign in the 12th minute.The second goal arrived seven minutes before the interval, as Suarez controlled Sergi Roberto’s fine ball into the box before firing home.It was the Uruguayan’s 400th professional goal, his 131st for Barca putting him seventh on the club’s all-time list of leading scorers.Barca rounded out the victory in the third minute of added time as Messi’s low ball across goal at the end of a jinking run was turned in by Paulinho.– Celta deserve draw –Madrid were without the injured Sergio Ramos and the suspended Dani Carvajal in Vigo and their makeshift defence was exposed when Daniel Wass put the hosts ahead in the 33rd minute.The Dane was afforded acres of space although his chipped finish over Keylor Navas from the edge of the box was still a delight.With Karim Benzema injured, Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo started together for the first time since late September.And it was Bale who quickly turned the game around, slotting home from a fine weighted pass by Toni Kroos in the 36th minute and then beating the offside trap to prod in an Isco pass two minutes later.However, Celta fought back after the break to claim a deserved point.Iago Aspas saw a 72nd-minute penalty saved by Navas after he had been fouled by the Costa Rican goalkeeper, but Maxi Gomez rose unmarked to head in a Wass cross eight minutes from time.Zinedine Zidane’s side do still have a game in hand on the sides above them but they are now only one point further away from the relegation zone than they are from Barcelona.“We made too many mistakes and lost the ball too often, especially in the second half,” said Zidane.However, he insisted he isn’t looking for reinforcements in the January transfer window.“We’ll see what happens but at the moment I am happy with my squad.”Second-placed Atletico beat Getafe 2-0 on Saturday, with Diego Costa scoring and then being sent off in his first league appearance since returning to the club from Chelsea.Valencia are 11 points behind Barcelona in third after coming from behind to beat Girona 2-1 at Mestalla on Saturday.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Leading the index lower was Miami, where prices fell 12.4percent in October compared with the same month last year. That led it to surpass Tampa, Fla., as the worst-performing city. Tampa posted a year-over-year loss of 11.8 percent.Besides those two cities, Detroit, Las Vegas, Phoenix and San Diego also posted double-digit year-over-year declines. Atlanta and Dallas, which had previously posted price appreciation, fell in October. Prices fell 0.7 percent in Atlanta and 0.1 percent in Dallas compared to a year earlier.Only three areas – Charlotte, N.C., Portland, Ore. and Seattle posted year-over-year home price appreciation in October. Charlotte posted the largest gains at 4.3 percent.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It is considered a strong measure of home prices because it examines price changes of the same property over time, instead of calculating a median price of homes sold during the month.Home prices could fall an additional 10percent over the next year to 18 months before bottoming out, said Patrick Newport, an economist with financial consultant Global Insight, in an interview.Newport said four of the largest groups trying to sell homes – banks holding foreclosed properties, home builders, speculators and unemployed consumers – are typically flexible about lowering house prices because they need to get rid of the property.Sales of homes will likely start to rebound late in 2008, with price appreciation to follow, Newport said.A second, broader Case-Shiller index, which measures 20 metropolitan areas, fell 6.1 percent in October. Among the 20 areas used in the broader index, 11 posted record year-over-year declines and all 20 declined in October compared with September. NEW YORK – U.S. home prices fell in October for the 10th consecutive month, posting their largest drop since early 1991, according to a key index released Wednesday.The record 6.7percent slide in the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index also marked the 23rd consecutive month that prices either fell or grew more slowly than the month prior.“No matter how you look at these data, it is obvious that the current state of the single-family housing market remains grim,” said Robert Shiller, who helped create the index, in a statement.The previous record decline was 6.3percent, recorded in April 1991. The index tracks prices of existing single-family homes in 10 metropolitan areas.