USC loses Pinkard

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Jesse Ventura/Howard Stern 2016
Jun 27, 2006
USC junior free safety Josh Pinkard will miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL during the Trojans' 50-14 season-opening win over Arkansas on Saturday night, ESPN's Joe Schad reported Tuesday.

Pinkard injured the knee while covering a punt during the fourth quarter with the Trojans already up 44-14. Pinkard said he heard his knee "crack" as he tried to stop his momentum, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday night. He was called for interference on the play.

Pinkard has the option of applying for a medical redshirt for this season. He started the second half of last season at cornerback, but entered this year as the starting free safety.

A 6-foot-1 junior, Pinkard was the most experienced player in USC's secondary.

"If he can't play, that's a huge loss," head coach Pete Carroll told the Times after the game. "He is one of our best football players."

Possible replacements for Pinkard in the starting lineup include freshmen Taylor Mays, Antwine Perez and Garrett Green, as well as senior linebacker Dallas Sartz, and sophomore kicker David Buehler, who has also played safety.

USC jumped from No. 6 to No. 3 in the polls after the 36-point road win. The Trojans have a week off before hosting No. 21 Nebraska on Sept. 16.

Report courtesy of ESPN news services