Monday, November 27, 2006

First Team Offense
QB John David Booty, Jr., USC
WR Steve Smith, Sr., USC
WR Dwayne Jarrett, Jr., USC
OL Ryan Kalil, Sr., USC
OL Sam Baker, Jr., USC
OL Chilo Rachal, So., USC

First Team Defense
DL Sedrick Ellis, Jr., USC
LB Rey Maualuga, So., USC
LB Keith Rivers, Jr., USC

Second Team Defense
DL Lawrence Jackson, Jr., USC
LB Brian Cushing, So., USC
DB Terrell Thomas, Jr., USC

Co-Freshmen of the Year:
Taylor Mays, FS, USC

Coach of the Year:
Pete Carroll, USC
Cushing revels in return - Bergen Record
As Notre Dame lined up for an onside kick Saturday night, Brian Cushing's spider senses told him something big was about to happen.

"I had a feeling they were going to kick to me," the Southern California sophomore from Park Ridge said.

That a 6-foot-4, 245-pound defensive end/linebacker is on the front line of the Trojans' "hands" team already says a lot about the "super" athletic powers the former Bergen Catholic star possesses...

..."They didn't realize they shouldn't give the ball to the Bergen County flash," USC coach Pete Carroll said...

Also, Big Day by Jersey Guy - Inland Empire Press-Enteprise
U.S.C.’s Schedule Has Winning Combination - NY Times
...“It’s a little bit of a Rubik’s Cube,” said Steve Lopes, the senior associate athletic director at U.S.C. in charge of football scheduling. “It’s a puzzle that we have to put together.”

And the puzzle piece that best fits this year’s edition of the B.C.S. formula is that U.S.C. is the only team from the six major B.C.S. conferences that did not play a game against an opponent from outside a B.C.S. conference...

...Here is where the luck comes in. U.S.C. scheduled those games about eight years ago...
[Weiss] Trojans have the horses - NY Daily News
USC has taken total control of its rivalry with Notre Dame...

...If there was any year when the Irish figured to stop the streak, it was this one...

...As long as Pete Carroll stays put...the Trojans will be stocked with enough talent to dominate the Pac-10...

... the Trojans already have gained commitments from blue-chip linebacker Chris Galippo of Anaheim and 310-pound offensive lineman James Wilson...

...There were close to 100 prospects from all grades at Saturday's game, and the blowout may have been the best recruiting pitch Carroll could have given to keep the Trojans' dynasty rolling.

Also, [Robbins] USC STAKES CLAIM - NY Post
[Bladshun] Trojans seize the moment - Boston Globe
USC shows Irish why it deserves title shot - Chicago tribune
Trojans proclaim their berth-right - Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
[Henderson] Trojans are blue-chip BCS title foes - Denver Post
[Keisser] Past not important for USC this year - Long Beach Press-Telegram
[Abrahamson] With convincing win, USC belongs in the title game - NBC Sports
[Walter] Irish lost to a better team - NBC Sports
...What is appalling, all things considered, is how outclassed Notre Dame appeared in both games...

...The last time Notre Dame allowed at least 44 points in two separate games was fifty years ago...

...Notre Dame started 18 seniors this evening and only one starter, offensive tackle Sam Young, is an underclassmen. The Trojans, by contrast, started three seniors and seven underclassmen. You wonder how they do it, the folks at Troy. Sublime weather, beautiful female students, an irrepressibly upbeat coach, the beach due west and Hollywood due north. What's to like?...

Also, Not today, Notre Dame - LA Daily News
[Kelly] Irish face the music vs. USC - South Bend Tribune
Irish return to glory remains on hold - Chicago Daily Herald
Irish believe they should be in BCS - Ft Wayne Journal-Gazette
[Walters] Upon further review: Irish not worthy of BCS - NBC Sports
[Dienhart] What's the fuss about the Irish? - Sporting News

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It's time to look ahead to a stacked Pac-10 - Eugene Register-Guard
...For now, a quick preview of 2007:...


The Trojans could return eight offensive starters,
though it seems likely that wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett will head for the NFL. Still, there are a couple of standouts waiting in the wings, though one will have to replace flanker Steve Smith. Also done are two linemen, but losing four last year didn't seem to hurt too much.

On defense, there's only one senior starter in linebacker Dallas Sartz, though end Lawrence Jackson could decide he's ready for the NFL. Punter and kicker both also return. Can anyone say, favored to make it six straight titles?...
John Robinson's shoes - Detroit Free Press
Former USC coach John Robinson recalled a recruiting trip he took to Michigan on a cold winter day.

He showed up at the home of a recruit but discovered there was another coach already inside. Yes, it was Bo.

When Robinson finally got inside, Schembechler put his arm around him and told the parents Robinson that is a fine man, but he added that "you can't trust a man who wears shoes like that."

And Robinson said all during his visit, the parents and their son kept looking at his shoes. The recruit went to Michigan.

Years later, Robinson said, Bo and wife Cathy traveled to California and Robinson met him at the airport.

He said Bo was dressed for vacation, but "damned if he didn't have my shoes on!"
[Johnston] 7 reasons why Notre Dame must beat USC - MSNBC
...1. Rivalry Games. If Notre Dame loses to USC, it will be 10-2. Almost undoubtedly, that will mean a trip to the Sugar Bowl. How can that be considered a disappointing season for the Irish? Here’s how: that would mean Notre Dame lost to its two biggest rivals...

...4. Drive for Five. Notre Dame can avoid the dreaded five-game losing streak against USC, which has happened only one time (1978-82) in this rivalry...

...6. Weis Guy. The Irish lack a marquee victory in Weis’ two seasons...

...7. Last Season. Ah yes, last season. We’ve saved the best for last. What was your favorite nightmare, Irish fans? Bush running wild? Fourth-and-9? The Push?...
Trojans, Booty drawing strength from numbers - NBC Sports
...First came Palmer. Then Leinart. Now Booty.

He is, to hear the girls tell it, sooo handsome. Noelle Van Valkenburgh, who is 16 and blonde and was sporting a No. 10 cardinal-and-gold authentic Trojans jersey...said of Booty, "I was looking through the football program his freshman year, when I was in like the seventh or eighth grade, and I thought he was just the cutest person."

He is, to hear the football types tell it, a pretty darned good quarterback. And getting sooo much better -- indeed, gotten much better throughout this season.

"It's been a great journey for him in his first season," USC coach Pete Carroll said last week. "He's had a lot of great games...
[Schlabach] Trojans, Irish ready to add to storied rivalry - ESPN long as Notre Dame stays competitive with the Trojans, the Irish seem assured of playing in a BCS bowl game, probably against the SEC champion in the Sugar Bowl...

...The importance of Saturday's game certainly isn't lost on Weis. Surprisingly, Weis admitted he was looking forward to the Trojans even before the Fighting Irish beat Army 41-9 on Saturday. And it was evident where his players' attention was directed. After beating the Black Knights, Quinn was shouting, "Beat SC! Beat SC!" with fans sitting in the student section at Notre Dame Stadium...

Also, COLLISION COURSE - Daily Trojan
Why we hate Notre Dame - Daily Trojan
Weis praises Southern Cal - The Observer
Men of Troy have odds on side - Chicago Tribune
Weis fully aware of Trojans' 'wow factor' - Chicago Tribune
At last, California, here we come - NBC Sports
Trip to West coast could define season - NBC Sports
Rivals also battling for recruits - Chicago Sun-Times
Simeon star Martez Wilson is scheduled to leave Friday morning for his first official college visit -- to USC. He'll attend the Notre Dame-USC game Saturday night.

The 6-4, 230-pound Wilson, a five-star prospect, has both schools on his list along with Illinois, Ohio State and Michigan. Wilson said his official visit to Notre Dame is scheduled for Dec. 1...

...The Irish and Trojans are battling over a number of top recruits. Another is Everson Griffen, a 6-4, 266-pound defensive end from Arizona. Griffen is scheduled to visit USC this weekend...

..."This weekend isn't just about this year for Notre Dame, it's about recruiting for the future," Lemming said...
Jarrett Positive - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Only one of two blows Dwayne Jarrett took on his leaping touchdown catch against Cal on Saturday was still affecting him Monday.

Landing on the ball and getting his wind knocked out briefly was no problem by the time Jarrett jogged off the field.

But the hit to the head that knocked him out for just a second was causing USC medical personnel to play it safe.

If it was a concussion, he said it was "a mild one." But enough to have him stay out of the short Monday workout...

Also, Jarrett hurt, says he'll play - LA times
Grass at N.D. not an issue to Carroll - LA Daily News
A lot of USC fans remain angry about the long grass at Notre Dame Stadium last year, especially after kick returner Desmond Reed tore knee ligaments without being touched, but coach Pete Carroll said the length of the grass was not an issue.

"I don't think it was the long grass, but the turf was kind of loose," Carroll said.

Linebacker Brian Cushing, who grew up a Notre Dame fan, said the grass surprised him when he arrived at the stadium.

"It was high and it was thick," Cushing said. "I can't imagine they play on it all yearlong like that. If we go back there next year and it's like that, then maybe they did do it on purpose."...

Also, Tireless in Scouting USC - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
USC's Reed didn't let the grass grow under his feet - LA Times
One big, golden hurdle remains in USC's path - OC Register
[Robinson] Robinson remembers the rivalry - NBC Sports
[Bozich] Give the Trojans a shot against the Buckeyes - Louisville Courier-Journal
Ohio State vs. Michigan was wonderful drama, but if you give me a vote for the national championship game, give me Ohio State-Southern California, not a rematch of Saturday's game in Columbus.

If Southern Cal closes the regular season by defeating Notre Dame and UCLA, that would give the Trojans three victories against top-12 teams in the Sagarin computer rankings and 10 victories against top-40 Sagarin teams.

I'll excuse the Trojans for their slip at Oregon State if they win the Pacific-10 in addition to non-conference victories against Arkansas, Nebraska and Notre Dame.

If USC stumbles?...

Also, [Modesti] It's a stretch - LA Daily News
[Krikorian] It's time for BCS sham to go on the lam - Long Beach Press-Telegram
USC has rebounded from loss to Oregon State - South Bend tribune
Here's what needs to happen for the Wolverines... - Detroit News
[Barnhouse] Beware of BCS' Trojan horse - Ft Worth Star-Telegram
[Mandel] Bowl Projections - CNNSI
[Jones] Ohio State vs. Mich.-Again? - ESPN

Monday, November 20, 2006

Gable latest in line of USC's star tailbacks - Sacramento Bee
...there's a reason USC has long been known as Tailback U.

From Mike Garrett to O.J. Simpson to Charles White to Marcus Allen to Reggie Bush -- Heisman Trophy-winning backs all -- the Trojans have taken a perverse pride in pounding the ball, be it student-body right, student-body left or grinding it up the middle.

C.J. Gable may not have the accolades of that celebrated Troy quintet -- yet -- but the freshman from Sylmar High, about 30 miles north of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, took major strides toward that elite company Saturday night in No. 4 USC's 23-9 defeat of No. 17 Cal.

Gable gave Sylmar more name recognition than simply being remembered as the epicenter of the devastating 1971 earthquake...

Also, Gable comes through for Trojans - Daily Breeze
Freshman seizes the moment - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Gable on the run for USC - LA Daily News
Trojans' Gable is more than able - SF Chron
[Mayo] If Southern Cal wins out, it deserves title shot - Grand Rapids Press
...the Pacific-10 Conference, which has qualified nine of its 11 teams for bowls, doesn't lack for conference depth. Just look what Arizona has done in recent weeks. If USC wins the Pac-10 with one loss and nonconference wins over Arkansas (10-1), Nebraska (8-3) and Notre Dame (10-1), how could anyone justify selecting a second-place Big Ten team over the Trojans?

Fortunately, the season doesn't end today, and the likelihood is that USC, if it can win its final two games, over Notre Dame and UCLA, will score enough style points and gain enough computer advantage to overtake Michigan and play for at least a share of the national championship for a fourth consecutive season...
Controversial nominee turns out to be defender of investor protection - Seattle Times
During more than 16 years in the House of Representatives, California Republican Christopher Cox was the quintessential conservative.

After a stint as a lawyer in the Reagan White House, Cox was elected nine times from the Republican stronghold of Orange County. After Republicans took control of the House under Speaker Newt Gingrich in the 1994 elections, they chose Cox to lead the party's legislative policy-setting committee.

When President Bush picked Cox, 54, in June 2005 to replace William Donaldson as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the move set off alarms among investor advocates...
The $29 million man - Manchester Guardian
According to Will Ferrell, comedy is not science. After years of practising the dark arts of making people laugh, the only theory he's come up with is: 'There's just something funny about a guy standing on a street, yelling.'...

...they're showing clips of the upcoming jamboree. Among the worthy world cinema offerings, French fancies and gritty British life slices, the name of Will Ferrell stands out like a pork pie at a bar mitzvah. But the reverent atmosphere in the...cinema palpably lightens when Will appears on screen in the trailer to his latest film, Stranger than Fiction. He stands on a street corner, looks to the heavens and yells. The cinema erupts in giggling fits and I'm beginning to think Will's right...

...He went on to study sports journalism and broadcasting at the University of Southern California. Ferrell was the son of Lee Ferrell, a keyboardist for the Righteous Brothers...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Defense emerges as a big-play unit - LA Times
Last week's shutout did not count. Not really...

...this Saturday night the question was: How would the Trojans fare against the Oregon offense, ranked ninth in the country in rushing and 19th in passing?

The answer came in the form of a convincing 35-10 victory over the 21st-ranked Ducks, a win powered by big defensive stops and even bigger turnovers.

"It's just an attitude we have," USC cornerback Terrell Thomas. "We're trying to finish things off and not just get by."...

Also, Van Blarcom shows some leg - LA Times
[Plaschke] Path to championship game is a straight line for Trojans - LA Times
Back in the BCS business - LA Times
Trojans are on the brink in BCS - LA Times
USC rolls over Oregon, 35-10 - OC Register
Trojans look their best - Daily Breeze
...The Trojans face California, another of Saturday's Top-10 upset victims, next week in a game that will determine the Pac-10's No. 1 team.

"All in all, a really strong win for us," USC coach Pete Carroll said. "It puts us in a really good position.

"We controlled the game throughout. There were a couple of questions in the third quarter, they might come back, but the defense wouldn't allow it. The guys did a good job in the red zone."... was difficult to decipher if the Trojans should have been up by more or if the game could have been closer...

Also, [Waldner] It all falls into place for USC - Daily Breeze
BREAKING OUT - Daily Trojan
Back in the race - LA Daily News
[Dilbeck] All the breaks are going USC's way - LA Daily News
Jackson breaks through - LA Daily News
Trojans back in BCS picture - LA Daily News
[Bellamy] Ducks pull off another flop on the big stage - Eugene Register-Guard
...they found a way to mess up just about every chance they had to make a game of this, before 92,000 in the Coliseum, and a national television audience.

Once again, they weren't ready for prime time...

...And give No. 7 USC some credit for that.

The Trojans began a streak of four hugely important demonstrating that all that the loss to Oregon State two weeks ago did was make them really mad...

Also, To err is fatal for Oregon's defense - Eugene Register-Guard
UO winged by USC - Eugene Register-Guard
Force hasn't been with Ducks on road - Portland Oregonian
Oregon couldn't compete in the zones - Portland Oregonian
Long night in Los Angeles - Portland Oregonian
USC pounds Ducks 35-10 - Portland Tribune

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Athletes Get New College Pitch: Check Out Our Tutoring Center - NY Times
Chris McFoy, a wide receiver at the University of Southern California, answers to about half a dozen coaches. Off the field, his coaching staff has been much larger.

Like many U.S.C. athletes, Mr. McFoy has had a lot of help during his five years as a student. During his freshman season, he met weekly with four tutors, one for each of his classes. He also met with a learning specialist who composed “action plans” to organize his schedule and help him plan for tests and papers. U.S.C. and most other N.C.A.A. Division I-A universities also use student “class checkers” who traverse campus to make sure athletes are where they are supposed to be...

...Mr. Carroll tries to make academics competitive, like football. U.S.C. has instituted a points system in which athletes can get in trouble with their coaches if they are not attending class or handing in assignments...
[Holtzman] Trojans, Bruins staring at different challenges - Daily Breeze
It's a getaway weekend to the San Francisco Bay Area for local college football fans. UCLA is at California and USC plays at Stanford, marking the first time the two have played in the Bay Area on the same day.

The games will be on opposite sides of the Bay, but neighbors could run into each other tonight in San Francisco...

...Especially since both games appear to be one-sided. USC should get back on track against a winless Stanford team and UCLA is a double-digit underdog at Cal.

At least, the drinking establishments should be interesting with the influx of tourists...
Playing USC is no way to get your first victory - SF Chron
..."I know it sounds like a broken record, but this is our situation. We've got to start fast, play good, play smart," Stanford coach Walt Harris said. "We need to put a complete game together."

USC's last four games have been decided by a touchdown or less. But the idea that the Trojans are vulnerable, ripe for the kind of 31-28 scare that Stanford gave them in 2004, seems like a stretch considering the Cardinal's average margin of defeat against Pac-10 opponents is 28.6 points.

In order for the Cardinal to have any hope of playing close, they are going to have to put points on the board. And that means jump-starting an offense that's stalled out in recent weeks against a team that leads the Pac-10 in scoring defense...

Also, For Stanford, here's USC - SJ Merc
Carroll OK on Harris' poll - LA Daily News
Stanford struggles to make the grade - OC Register
USC status is day to day - LA Times
As he often does, Pete Carroll turned to the NFL for a lesson when USC began preparations for today's game against winless Stanford...

...a hard look at three recent pro football case studies.

In the aftermath of their turnover-laden performance against the unbeaten Chicago Bears a few weeks ago, the Arizona Cardinals and former Trojan quarterback Matt Leinart lost to the winless Oakland Raiders the following week. Buoyed by the victory, the Raiders returned two interceptions for touchdowns the next week and beat the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers...

...Meanwhile, the Cardinals, who were on the verge of beating the Bears, continue to struggle...

Also, No. 9 USC at Stanford - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Another chance to bounce back - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Trojans look for growth at the Farm - Daily Breeze
Scouting Report: USC vs. Stanford - Daily Breeze
USC hopes to win by playing it cool - LA Daily News
USC keys to the game - LA Times
Carroll stands tall amid USC's storm - SJ Merc

Friday, November 03, 2006

Trojans report: Strategy and personnel - CBS Sportsline
USC at Stanford, Nov. 4 -- A perfect game for USC to rebound in...The Trojans don't have to play their best game... this game will be over at halftime.

RB Chauncey Washington
-- He fumbled twice in the loss at Oregon State...Other than that, he's doing well...

...QB John David Booty -- He passed for 406 yards last week...Pete Carroll said, "I think he made great progress." Having Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith healthy helps, as will going against a Stanford secondary that won't be able to...cover all of USC's weapons.

MLB Rey Maualuga...

Also, Trojans report: Notes, quotes - CBS Sportsline
Trojans report: Inside slant - CBS Sportsline
Jarrett undecided about immediate future - OC Register
Dwayne Jarrett said he still has not decided whether he will remain at USC after this season.

Slowed by a separated shoulder, the junior All-America candidate has caught just 31 passes for 335 yards in six games.

After the Trojans lost at Oregon State last week, Jarrett's chances to play for a second national title team likely vanished.

But he said neither of those factors would persuade him...
[Fryer] Rollinson has been here before - OC Register
Forty years ago to this very day, the first football game was played at Anaheim Stadium.

It was Mater Dei vs. Servite. Tonight, in the same location now known as Angel Stadium, it is Mater Dei-Servite again.

Bruce Rollinson was on that field 40 years ago as a Mater Dei player, and he will be there tonight as the Mater Dei coach...

...Rollinson was a fast one at Mater Dei - he was one of the county's top sprinters at the time - and later at USC.

"I still remember I sort of conveniently slid off that knee brace before the Servite game," he said, "and just went for it."...
The Trojan War - Stanford Daily
Never awake a sleeping giant.

If the old adage holds true, USC football and the USC marching band might compete to see who can most dominate their Stanford counterpart tomorrow at 4 p.m...

...The football team, meanwhile, might wish they were in the Red Zone against a team infinitely stronger, faster, more talented — and now angrier as well — than the Cardinal...

...As Stanford Stadium has grown increasingly empty by the game and USC’s fan base ever larger by the season, the Cardinal may be facing a road atmosphere in their home stadium...
Trojans are trying to get tighter grip - LA Daily News
USC freshman tailback Emmanuel Moody carried the ball just three times in last week's loss to Oregon State, but even he can't seem to escape questions about fumbles.

"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."...

...the issue came to the forefront because starting tailback Chauncey Washington fumbled twice against Oregon State...

Also, Garrett has talk with Washington - LA Times
Diminishing return for top recruit - SJ Merc
Jeff Schweiger does his best to hide the frustration. Asked how his USC career has gone, the former Valley Christian High star forces a slight smile and stares off in the distance.

``I've learned a lot, and in that sense it's been good,'' said Schweiger, a junior defensive end. ``Everything hasn't gone my way, but that's the way it goes in life. All you can do is keep working.''

Three years ago, Schweiger was the Mercury News' Central Coast Section player of the year, a Parade first-team All-American and one of the most coveted recruits in the country...Everyone wanted him. He chose USC, and it has not gone as he hoped.

Schweiger spent his first fall as a backup -- no surprise there...
No longer the understudy, Trojan QB relishes star role - SF Chron
John David Booty waited his turn on the USC sidelines for three years, mustering as much patience as could be expected when you're backing up one of the marquee players in college football.

Now Booty's got top-billing for the Trojans in his first season as the starting quarterback, and he knows first-hand that it was never as easy as it looked.

"I came here to USC to play on the biggest stages," said Booty, the Trojans junior quarterback. "You know everybody is gunning for you."

As Booty and his USC teammates found out last week in Corvallis, every once in a while they get you...

Also, Sanchez waiting in wings - San Gabriel Valley Tribune
How coaches handle the heat - Memphis Commercial Appeal
... The rash of heart attacks and surgeries among college football coaches, particularly those in their mid-40s to early 50s, seemingly has increased dramatically the last few years...

...two straight losing seasons will put a coach's job in jeopardy...

...Making the job fun: Southern Cal coach Pete Carroll is a notorious prankster, keeping his staff and team loose...

..."Coaching does consume you," Carroll said, "but you have to be a master of maximizing the spaces between the spaces and getting the most you can when you do have your breaks. We've found a way to work really hard and practice with great discipline to meet our objectives, but still allow for fun and good times out there. I don't know how to do it any other way."...
Trojan Tradition: Why we Weekender - Daily Trojan
The Weekender. A Trojan tradition everyone seems to follow without question. Every fall, hundreds of students and alumni make their way up the California coast to support our football team in its game against either Stanford or California. But does anyone ever wonder how this whole thing got started?

Joe Enloe, a 1957 USC graduate and chairman for the Bay Area Weekender Committee, is the perfect person to ask. He has been involved with the Weekender since 1964 and has seen it develop and change throughout the eras. It now stands as an important tradition to draw the Trojan family together in pride and to raise money for future family members.

The early years...

Also, For one weekend, even USC gets hyphy - Daily Trojan
SO HAPPY TOGETHER? - Contra Costa Times
BOUNCING BACK - Daily Trojan
...Despite the Cardinal's unimpressive statistics, the Trojans claim they will approach Saturday's game like any other matchup. Defensive end Lawrence Jackson said last weekend's loss to Oregon State doesn't give the Trojans any extra incentive to come out strong against the Cardinal.

"We don't overlook anybody," Jackson said. "The loss doesn't mean anything. We're not putting anything extra on the rest of the games. We don't believe in false motivation."

USC has not beaten a team by more than 17 points in Pac-10 play this season, but Carroll...denied any motivation for a blowout against a team that is last in the conference in rushing defense, passing defense, total defense, passing offense and total offense...
[Withers] Why Troy finally fell - Seattle Times
Let's not issue the autopsy on USC, 2006, just yet. This is a team that still might win the Rose Bowl.

But after an eminently average four-game stretch — at least for the Trojans — it's also fair to say this isn't a team in the same league as any of the past three, and perhaps dating through 2002, pre-Reggie Bush days when USC shared the league title with Washington State.

The Trojans have had just enough slippage of various render them only a vague facsimile of 2003-05...

..."They're not like the cats they had before," said the same coach, referring to former Trojans like Kenechi Udeze, Mike Patterson and Shaun Cody. "These guys are good players, those guys were war daddies."...

Also, [Krikorian] Carroll has USC exactly where he wants - Long Beach Press-Telegram
Vocal Lua Ready to Play - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Oscar Lua is healthy and making the case for a chance to play.

The senior middle linebacker from Indio said he sees himself as a senior leader who would like to lead.

"But it's really hard not being out on the field," Lua said Thursday of his injury-plagued season that has seen sophomore Rey Maualuga move into the starter's spot.

"We're a young defense with me and Dallas Sartz the only two seniors, and Dallas has never been a vocal leader," Lua said. "That's my role."

And now he's healthy, over a couple of hamstring pulls and a crack in his shin that caused additional problems...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

USC at Stanford - AthlonSports
...Pete Carroll’s team likely will take out all of its pent-up frustrations against a youthful, undermanned Cardinal entry and spoil another sunny fall afternoon in Palo Alto at the league’s newest football facility, making all of the latest fan comforts moot.

It’s the team that never loses but did against a team that can’t win no matter what happens.

USC went back to work this week bent on restoring its dynasty and getting over the shock of going to practice on a sour note.

“We’re back to life and here we go,”
Carroll said.

Still, some rough spots need to be smoothed out...
[Krikorian] USC's Rachal focused on jobs - Long beach Press-Telegram
Chilo Rachal is one of many underclassmen starting this season for the USC Trojans, a 6-foot-6, 305-pound sophomore guard from Compton who has set high standards for himself.

"I want to be the best guard ever to play at USC," says the Dominguez High graduate. "No way I'm going to leave early from college. I like it here a lot, and I want to maximize my potential to its fullest before taking that next step. I still have a lot to learn, and a lot more improvement to make."

His head coach, Pete Carroll, thinks that Rachal can attain the heights he has set for himself.

"No doubt that Chilo has a chance to be a great football player," says Carroll...
Schweiger to play in nickel - LA Daily News
USC defensive end Jeff Schweiger has been nearly invisible this season and did not play in the past two games, but he could finally have a key role Saturday.

"He's going to start in the nickel package," Coach Pete Carroll said.

It's quite a boost for Schweiger, a highly regarded recruit who has barely played this season. He did not see time against Oregon State or Arizona State and played just a few snaps against Washington.

"I'm excited," Schweiger said. "But I'm not going to be happy unless I get sacks because I haven't done anything yet."

The move is being made because USC's pass rush has been inconsistent...
Beating USC is low-marginal - LA Daily News
..."The losses have been similar, we've had turnovers and really hurt ourselves," Carroll said.

But here's the real stat of the Carroll era that is rarely mentioned but most impressive. In his six years as the Trojans' coach, Carroll has lost just one game by more than 10 points...

...Even with the Trojans facing that 33-10 deficit against Oregon State, Carroll's team somehow avoided getting blown out for the first time in his career. Compare that to the legendary Joe Paterno...

...Then there is so-called genius Charlie Weis...
Matchup with Stanford a prime opportunity to open up the playbook - Daily Trojan
...It's time to move on past the loss. Toss it onto the trash heap of inappropriate topics to broach at parties, right along with religion, politics and Vince Young. The Trojans played down to the Beavers and lost. It's over.

Look forward rather than back, to Palo Alto rather than Corvallis. This game against the winless Cardinal needs to be more than Novocaine to numb the loss without doing anything to heal the maladies that caused it.

And Stanford is the Red Cross of the Pac-10. Since Tyrone Willingham left after the 2001 season, the Cardinal has gone 9-28 in the Pac-10 and 15-37 overall. Eight of those 37 losses and none of the wins have come this year. Stanford hasn't won since Nov. 12, 2005.

Repairs must be made to the creaking machine that is the Trojans...

Also, Coming off loss, Trojans avoid a leisurely attitude - Daily Trojan
Suddenly Tough on Kicker - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
With 26 of his first 36 kickoffs going into the end zone for touchbacks, Troy Van Blarcom wasn't accustomed to getting many run back at him. Not until Saturday, that is, when Oregon State managed to return five kickoffs.

"In warmups I could tell my ball wasn't going as far," said Van Blarcom. "There was so much mist in the air. It was much heavier."

That mist was mostly fog that lingered almost until the 12:30 p.m. kickoff. The chilly air also made it more difficult for Van Blarcom to warm up and gauge his kicks.

He said a hip injury suffered last month hasn't bothered him in games...
Held back - Daily Trojan
The numbers - or lack thereof - are stunning.

Zero carries.

Zero catches.

Zero touchdowns.

In fact, the only statistic that can be attributed to freshman running back Stafon Johnson is minus-15, when he was called for offensive pass interference at Washington State.

All - or nothing - from the prospect who was supposed to replace Reggie Bush and LenDale White in the USC backfield...
Maualuga reflects on past troubles - LA Times
Rey Maualuga's USC teammates apparently could not help themselves.

The sophomore linebacker said several Trojans ribbed him about being arrested one year ago Wednesday after punching a man at a Halloween party near campus.

"My friends brought it up," he said. "They're saying, 'Hey, you're celebrating your one-year anniversary.' "

Maualuga, though, maintains that he has put his troubles behind...

..."I've grown up now as a person and a football player," he said. "I've learned here and there from mistakes."...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Cunningham didn't know he was making history - Tallahassee Democrat
Sam "Bam" Cunningham had no idea he was making history. He was trying only to win a football game and make a name for himself.

All three happened on Sept. 12, 1970.

Cunningham, playing in his first game at the University of Southern California, was the star when his racially integrated team thumped all-white University of Alabama, 42-21, at Legion Field...

...Paul "Bear" Bryant, Alabama's legendary coach, decided in the aftermath of that defeat that he needed to recruit black athletes...

...the USC-Alabama game is regarded as a watershed moment in college sports. Other universities followed...

Also, Face-to-face with a real-life legend - Tallahassee Democrat
More Gray Than Black and White - LA Times
Trojans report: Inside slant - CBS Sportsline
There is something going on at USC that hasn't occurred since September 2003.

The Trojans are trying to recover emotionally from a regular-season loss.

"After going through the film and setting the record straight, we went out and had a very upbeat and fast-moving practice on Monday," said coach Pete Carroll...

..."That's how we march our way back into it. We're not kicking the ground a little bit and scuffling around. The response has been right on the mark and very focused."...

Also, Trojans report: Notes, quotes - CBS Sportsline
Trojans report: Strategy and personnel - CBS Sportsline
[Forde] The Dash breaks out the Adriana rating system - ESPN
...3. Notre Dame-USC (9)...Rating: 4 Adrianas...
Not quite the gigantic event it was in '05, but not far behind. This is another top-five national rivalry, regardless of record -- and the records are good. If both teams get there with just one loss, there could be significant BCS ramifications. Think either side might enjoy knocking the other out of the national championship picture?...

...6. Cal-USC (12)...Rating: Adrianas...
If the Golden Bears get here 9-1, they'd have a chance to earn their first Rose Bowl bid in 48 years -- at worst. The BCS title game could still be in play. Unseating the four-time Pacific-10 champions would make it even sweeter. Or USC could take a big step toward a fifth straight league title with a win...
Booty plans to stay for senior season - LA Times
USC Coach Pete Carroll invited quarterback John David Booty to his office on Tuesday for a conversation that had nothing to do with tipped passes or the Trojans' loss to Oregon State.

Instead, Carroll felt compelled to meet with Booty amid radio and Internet discussions that said the fourth-year junior might leave for the NFL after only one year as the starter...

...Booty said he was not considering leaving after this season.

"I've never even thought about it," he said...

Also, Tipped passes not just Booty's fault - LA Daily News
Passing still up in air - Daily Trojan