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"Everyone acts like I fumbled like crazy," Moody said. "I've only fumbled two times. I know it's magnified because I'm a freshman. But it gets annoying.
"When coaches say something, it's OK. But when people around you are saying it, it's annoying."
Moody has fumbled twice in 69 carries, but the issue came to the forefront because starting tailback Chauncey Washington fumbled twice against Oregon State and also had a couple of other fumbles in the Trojans' first six games.
"They both had put the ball on the ground before, but two in one game is glaring," USC offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin said.
Fumbles do not allow teams to win national championships, and the loss to Oregon State might have ended the No. 9-ranked Trojans' hopes for a title.
But even with the fumbles, is anything going to change in the backfield for the final five games that won't make fans hold their breath on running plays?
"Chauncey's the No. 1 guy and we're complementing him with the two young guys," USC coach Pete Carroll said.
Following the Arizona State game three weeks ago, Carroll decided to make Washington the primary back. Moody's status shrank, partly because of his own fumbles, but now the Trojans have a bigger problem with Washington's fumbles against Oregon State.
"We had to go to Chauncey," running backs coach Todd McNair said. "He's the most seasoned guy. He's pretty much established himself as the lead dog, even with the fumbles."
No matter who is carrying the ball, USC is losing the pigskin more this season. Overall, USC has fumbled 16 times this season and lost six. Last year, after seven games, the Trojans had fumbled nine times and lost three. That might be one reason the Trojans went with a veteran last weekend.
"When games start, I lean toward the older guys," McNair said. "Last week, the older guy had a couple issues. But I do like more mature guys."
Washington said the fumbles were an aberration.
"I was shocked, but there's no excuses for putting the ball on the ground," Washington said.
Moody and freshman C.J. Gable (Sylmar High) did get more snaps in practices this week, but it's debatable if the tailback rotation, which virtually disappeared against Oregon State, will actually return against Stanford, barring a blowout.
"We've given C.J. and Emmanuel a lot of work this week," Kiffin said. "You're always basing your evaluation off performances. Chauncey had a great game against Arizona State and we made the decision to go with him. He ran well against Oregon State but had two fumbles."
Gable, who is the No. 3 tailback, said he's gotten more work lately but doesn't expect his status to change much.
"I know I'm a freshman," Gable said. "I'm not really trippin'. I don't really expect to play right now."
Carroll said there is still a chance for Moody and Gable, even if their carries currently don't bear it out.
"We haven't been able to get reps for C.J. or Emmanuel, but they are still in the mix," he said.
Moody said he doesn't expect the rotation to change, even after Washington's fumbles.
"I think it's still the same plan," he said.
But Moody said he has sympathy for Washington.
"That's part of football, the highs and lows," Moody said. "You have to learn from mistakes."
And where does that leave highly touted freshman Stafon Johnson, who went back the scout team this week?
After falling behind the other backs in training camp because the coaches feel he did not work hard, Johnson has not been able to close the gap.
"There's a lot of them back there," McNair said of the tailback logjam. "Initially, other guys were ahead of him. It gets to be a sticky situation. He's improved. But once game time comes, it's hard to make up ground unless the other guys struggle."
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