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What if he had a broken finger? USC's Mark Sanchez would keep playing too

November 14, 2008 |  4:50 pm

Mark Sanchez So, who's fault was it anyway?

USC Coach Pete Carroll, offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and former quarterback John David Booty all absorbed varying degrees of blame and criticism last season after Booty was allowed to continue playing -- and passing -- after suffering a broken finger in the first half against Stanford.

Booty wound up having four passes intercepted in one of the biggest upsets in college football history, a 24-23 USC loss that ended the Trojans' 35-game home winning streak.

After the game, Carroll said, "We could have made a change but we went with our guy."

Later, Carroll fell on his sword and said he made a mistake by leaving Booty in and continuing to throw the ball, an admission he repeated this week as the sixth-ranked Trojans prepared for Saturday's game at Stanford.

Booty did what athletes are trained to do: Never give in.

"I want to compete. I want to fight. No way I was coming out of that game," he said at the time, after completing 24 of 40 passes for 364 yards and two touchdowns.

Booty is now in the NFL, a backup for the Minnesota Vikings.

I asked Trojans quarterback Mark Sanchez this week if he would continue playing with a broken finger as Booty did last season.

"It's just one of those things: You never want to come out," Sanchez said. "You put so much time and effort into it Monday through Friday, to come out in the second quarter on Saturday? Are you kidding me?

"No way that's going to happen. Hopefully, I don't have to worry about it."

-- Gary Klein

Photo: USC quarterback Mark Sanchez. Credit: Kirby Lee / Image of Sport / US Presswire