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Joe McKnight will start at tailback for USC in opener

September 1, 2009 |  1:44 pm

Joe Joe McKnight will start at tailback for USC when the Trojans open their season Saturday against San Jose State, Coach Pete Carroll announced today.

McKnight, a junior, will be making his third career start, but his first in an opener.

“Joe has a whole variety of things he does,” Carroll said. “He has a wider spectrum than the other guys…. He runs routes like a wide receiver, catches the ball outside and can do things very well in the backfield.”

McKnight rushed for 659 yards and averaged 7.4 yards per carry during an injury-plagued 2008 season. He also caught 21 passes.

McKnight is expected to work in a rotation with senior Stafon Johnson and fourth-year juniors Allen Bradford and C.J. Gable.

Gable started the last three openers for the Trojans.

-- Gary Klein

Photo: USC tailback Joe McKnight. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times