Saturday, September 02, 2006

[Whicker] Special feeling for Reed - OC Register
...Desmond Reed has heard so much about his gifts that you figure he'd have trouble keeping his feet on the ground.

He doesn't. That's the problem.

Because Reed wrecked his knee last year and then suffered nerve damage that shot down to his right foot, he cannot flex his ankle upward. Or to the outside.

"Downward is OK," he said the other day at Heritage Hall, standing up and pushing off in demonstration. "And I can flex it to the inside. It's just the other stuff. Basically it's just numb. It feels weird, but I've been able to show what I can do. It's just something to deal with."

"A fantastic story," blurted USC coach Pete Carroll...
[Wood] 10 reasons why the Hogs have a chance against USC - Northest Arkansas Times
...1. Pride -- Southern Cal intentionally embarrassed a very young and inexperienced football team last year...

...3. UA cornerbacks...

...5. Reggie Herring
-- The Hogs' defensive coordinator has been stewing about last season's loss for nearly a year...

...9. Motivation...

...10. Razorback fans...
[Sharp] USC's success puts pressure on U-M, others - Detroit Free Press
Pete Carroll noticed the affiliation on the media credential and couldn't resist rushing to the defense of an embattled member of his coaching brethren.

"Detroit, huh?" the USC head coach said following a team practice earlier this week. "What are you guys doing to coach (Lloyd) Carr up there? All he does is win and graduate his kids and...that's not enough for you guys."

If Carroll wants to know why there's more pressure than usual on head coaches with national championship rings, he needs to venture no farther than to the nearest mirror.

The monster he's resurrected at Southern Cal has diverted more attention to the relative disappointments at traditional powers such as Michigan, Miami (Fla.) and Tennessee...

Also, Plan for success - Northwest Arkansas Times
Can USC defense take a lead role? - San Diego Union-Tribune
Pete Carroll has heard this theory many times in recent months:

With eight NFL draft picks to replace on offense, the USC defense – last year's sore spot – will have to shoulder the load for a while if his team hopes to compete for another national title.

His response: “We will find out, but I am not counting on that, and I wouldn't expect that necessarily.”

Maybe the Trojans coach doesn't want to put pressure on his defense...

Also, 2 USC defenders returning to action - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Gable Is Ready to Make Some History in Opener - LA Times
C.J. Gable has yet to play a down for USC, but today against Arkansas he will do something Heisman Trophy winners Charles White, Marcus Allen and Reggie Bush never accomplished.

Gable will be the first USC freshman to start an opener at tailback since the NCAA first allowed freshmen to play on the varsity in 1972.

"It's big, a lot of pressure, but I'm just going to come out and play hard and not change anything," said the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Gable, who starred last season at Sylmar High...

Also, No. 6 USC at Arkansas - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
[Hill] Talent just keeps coming for 'rebuilding' USC - Foxsports
An Unforgettable Loss - LA Times
To suggest Arkansas' defense had a "deer in the highlights" look during last year's 70-17 loss to USC at the Coliseum is almost an insult to deer.

Reggie Herring, the first-year defensive coordinator responsible for implementing that plan, is thankful to be the second-year coordinator with a chance to redeem himself, his school and all hogs in heaven with tonight's rematch in Fayetteville, Ark.

They don't take kindly to woodshed games in Arkansas and there isn't a day that passes that Herring has not had flashbacks to that tackle-awful night in Los Angeles.

"It was like having your dog run over, your wife left you and your house burned down," Herring said...

Also, Herring Puts Job On The Line Against Trojans - Springdale Morning News
Carroll: 70-17 a sign of respect - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
USC: 2005 result ‘irrelevant to this’ - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Knowing the score - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Razorbacks hope to restore ‘manhood’ - Northwest Arkansas Times
Back to where it started - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Chester Caddas remembers how he managed to convince California kid Pete Carroll that going to Arkansas 29 years ago would be a really good career move.

Pete Carroll has come a long way from his season as an assistant at Arkansas in 1977.

"I told him if he didn't take the job, he wasn't as smart as I thought he was," Caddas said Friday. "Pete was my grad assistant at Pacific, making $3,000 a year, plus room and board that included an apartment."

And along came Arkansas, looking for an assistant who would get half of a full salary and the chance to work for Lou Holtz, who was returning to the college game from the NFL...
After Seasons of Waiting, Booty Is Finally Behind the Wheel - NY Times
...John David Booty’s decision to skip his senior year at Evangel Christian in Shreveport did not come without careful consideration. Booty visited U.S.C. during the spring of 2003 with his father, John, a high school coach; his brother Josh, a former college and N.F.L. quarterback; and a family friend, Rob Johnson, a local quarterback guru.

“After watching Matt and Matt, they thought that he could beat them out,” U.S.C. Coach Pete Carroll recalled...

Also, USC ready to answer the call with Booty - Daily Breeze
Will USC have identity crisis? - LA Daily News
All-Access Passes for Opening Night - LA Times
Booty excited about his first start - OC Register

Friday, September 01, 2006

[Carlton] Arkansas welcomes shot at redemption - Dallas Morning News
Arkansas coach Houston Nutt knows the painful details of last season's 70-17 loss to Southern California as if the game had happened last week.

He even recalls what time the team returned from the West Coast: "About 7:47 a.m. Sunday morning. That's a long, long flight home after a humiliating loss."

Nutt has made certain his players' memories are as fresh as his own. He has embraced Saturday's opener against the Trojans in Fayetteville, happy that he and 20 returning starters don't have to wait a couple of games for vindication.

Arkansas might win, despite concerns...
[Hayes] Ten things to watch for this weekend - Sporting News
1. The emergence of USC QB John David Booty. Reggie Bush was a fantastic talent, but the most important player at USC the last three seasons was QB Matt Leinart. He was much more than numbers and championships; he was a leader who always played his best in difficult situations. Booty must be the stabilizing factor for a young backfield, and more than anything, must play with patience. Leinart never pressed -- not when the Trojans trailed in the fog game at Oregon State, not when they trailed by three scores against Arizona State, not when it was fourth-and-the-season against Notre Dame...
[Smith] Razorbacks motivated by loss - OC Register
...It was the kind of haunting defeat that Nutt could only term "a whooping." Razorbacks defensive coordinator Reggie Herring called it "the worst night ever." Junior Robert Johnson, who left the bloodletting in the second quarter after suffering a bruised back on his quarterback sneak, watched from the sideline, "frustrated and helpless," he said.

"We want to get out there right away (on Saturday), make a statement and get some respect playing against such a great team," Razorbacks split end Marcus Monk said. "They lost a lot of great players."

The Razorbacks hope the bulk of the USC's offensive strength left for the NFL...
USC teammates pair up again - Cincy Post
It wasn't funny at the time, but friends Keao Burdine and April Ross burst out laughing now when asked to assess their progress from the beginning of the season.

When the two former USC volleyball standouts teamed up for the first time to compete on the AVP Tour in April, they are the first to admit it wasn't a pretty sight...

..."We're friends, we've known each other for so long," said Burdine, who became the first player ever to be named the MVP of the NCAA championship twice. "Playing together at SC, we're kind of used to each other.

"We've made a commitment to each other to stick it out. A lot of the top teams before a couple weeks ago were teams that had stayed together...
Trying to tie up loose ends - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
...Scary thought for defensive backs: Southern California’s big-play threats have improved, offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin said.

Arkansas can gauge how much they’ve upgraded when the sixth-ranked Trojans visit Saturday night because the Razorbacks covered them last year. At least they tried. Not many teams could handle Jarrett and Smith.

In USC’s 70-17 demolition of Arkansas last year, Jarrett and Smith combined to make 8 receptions for 208 yards — by the first series of the third quarter. They raked in 151 catches for 2, 231 yards and 21 touchdowns by season’s end.

“These guys are really special catchers,” USC Coach Pete Carroll said.

And different from each other...

Also, At a Glance - LA Times
USC vs. Arkansas - Keys to the Game - College Football News
[Hall] No doubt McFadden is mentally ready to play - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
...Less than five weeks after surgery to save his left big toe, Darren McFadden is practicing and very well may see action against Southern California...

...McFadden almost severed the a fight outside of a nightclub.

A heads-up play by a University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center emergency room doctor got orthopedic surgeon Jack VanderSchilden out of bed and in the emergency room.

The toe was reattached, and almost a week later, McFadden was headed back to the UA.

He had to wear a protective boot, and a pin had been inserted...

Also, UA’s McFadden sits out practice with ailing toe - Northwest Arkansas Times
University reminds fans of stadium rules... - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
The Big Questions - LA Times
Five questions facing USC going into the season:

1) Can John David Booty manage the offense?...

...2) Which tailbacks will replace Reggie Bush and LenDale White?...

...3) Can the defense carry the load?...

...4) Will special teams live up to their name?...

...5) Is the schedule conducive for a run at a national title?...
Buzz Off - LA Times
...The most star-studded era in USC history — along with the Trojans' 34-game winning streak and hopes for a third consecutive national title — ended in January...

...Carroll...misses the rock-star atmosphere created by last season's national media crush. He accepts, but does not exactly embrace, the return to normalcy.

"Do I welcome it?" Carroll said, laughing. "No. I would rather have the buzz and all the excitement about all the players.

"Hopefully we'll re-create it in the next couple years. It takes a while to do that."...
Booty gets call at USC - Shreveport Times
John David Booty waited three years for Saturday night.

He endured multiple injuries and lingered in the wings for his opportunity to lead Southern California on the field as the Trojans' starting quarterback. He could have transferred to any Division I program, be greeted with open arms and named an immediate starter.

Instead he honored his commitment and waited for the spotlight to find him. He is the personification of patience.

The disappointment and anticipation will evaporate Saturday night...

Also, USC Trojans face the challenge of replacing key players... - Daily Texan
USC Hires Prepackaged Team - Science Magazine a bold experiment that begins this fall, the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles has hired seven scientists who pitched themselves to the institution as a package.

The appointments by the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies (WIES) are part of the university's push to add 100 faculty members to its College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. Three of the seven WIES hires are genomics experts; the rest specialize in marine biogeochemistry. Together, the septet plans to use gene sequencing as a tool to explore the dynamic relationship between microbial colonies and the ocean's chemical environment...
Looking for redemption - Daily Trojan
...don't expect a repeat performance just because Arkansas is returning basically the same team. Carroll doesn't.

"The plays that got the game going were really uncommon and it's not likely that it's going to happen this time," Carroll said. "I think this will be a very difficult game for us and a big time challenge for our kids."

If USC wants to learn from the past, it should look back to the last time it played at Arkansas...Arkansas actually has history on its side...

Also, [Pohlman] Saturday: Another beatdown or can the Hogs pull off a miracle? - Daily Trojan
[Corsini] Saturday: Another beatdown or can the Hogs pull off a miracle? - Daily Trojan
Razorbacks motivated by loss - OC Register
Olajubutu, Hog linebackers ready for another crack at USC - Northwest Arkansas Times
Secondary takes smart approach - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Fresh Start for Trojans - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
...This year's freshman class, a dozen deep in ready-to-play talent, is not the exception to any rule. It's a trend.

The Trojans' freshmen have surprised themselves, their coaches, even their families and friends, with the impact they've had in less than a month....

...Just four freshmen were in the mix in both 2002 and 2003, five in 2004 and six last September. By contrast, these Trojans are so rich in freshman talent that they have three tailbacks -- C. J. Gable, Allen Bradford and Emmanuel Moody -- who could have been picked to start Saturday at Arkansas...
Lua, Gable Among Starters - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Pete Carroll took it to the limit, just minutes before curfew Thursday night, before making his choices known to the USC players who had won their battles to start in the opener Saturday against Arkansas.

Oscar Lua, who had headed off to his room not knowing, had just been told he'd won the closest battle of the preseason camp, edging out sophomore Rey Maualuga for the middle linebacker position...

...As to the other battles that came down to the wire, C. J. Gable will become the first freshman tailback to start an opener for USC.

"He's earned it for sure," Carroll said. "But Chauncey (Washington) will play. He's had a great week."...

Also, Two corners are enough - LA Daily News
Gable to Start at Tailback - LA Times

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Trojan Horse has arrived five years later - Northwest Arkansas Times
...It was May 2001, and Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles just announced that the Razorbacks would be playing a home-and-home series with the Trojans in 2005 and 2006. At the time, the idea of adding an opponent like Southern Cal to the schedule seemed like a good idea...

...everybody knew how far the Trojans had come since the days of Paul Hackett. Especially Broyles and Nutt.

Now, almost 64 months after the series between Arkansas and USC was conceived, it’s about to come to an end. The Trojans will soon march into Razorback Stadium — not as a team trying to recover the luster its program lost but as one that is attempting to rewrite the college football record books and continue its amazing run under Carroll...

Also, Nutt, Carroll both relinquish coordinator posts in opener - Northwest Arkansas Times
McFadden upgraded to questionable for USC - Northwest Arkansas Times
[Hall] USC laughed first, last, all the way in between - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Ready, set, Gus - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Offense gets redesign, not complete overhaul - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
[Farrell] Freshmen who will make an impact this season - Sporting News
...WR Vidal Hazelton, Southern Cal: Hazelton has done things that have dropped the jaw of Pete Carroll and company already. He's behind Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith, but as the third receiver he'll get plenty of catches. And if someone gets hurt, watch out...

...RBs C.J. Gable and Stafon Johnson, Southern Cal: One of these two true freshmen is expected to win the starting job down the line this season, and each has explosive ability. Johnson is bigger, Gable is shiftier...
[Baxter] CLICK ON RESTART - Miami Herald's not like USC is starting from scratch. The Trojans' success on the field has led to unrivaled success in the search for talent as well, and three consecutive top recruiting classes have left Carroll with as much depth, if not top-of-the-line talent, as he has had since coming to USC from the New England Patriots in 2000.

''Winning can bring a lot of things,'' said quarterback John David Booty...``All the top kids in the country want to be here...

...If the Trojans are to do that again this year, they'll need a big season from Booty...behind center. If that sounds intimidating, Booty said he learned from watching Leinart that the key to winning a Heisman -- and a national title -- isn't how well the quarterback performs but rather how well he makes everyone else perform...
Week 1: USC at Arkansas - Athlon Sports year later, the Hogs have a chance to avenge that loss on their home turf...will the crowd matter? Maybe for the first few series, but once the Trojans settle in, and first-year starter quarterback John David Booty gets comfortable, it will be very difficult for Arkansas to slow down the USC attack...

...Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, a high school coach last year, will be making his collegiate debut...

...Arkansas would love to establish its running game early, but the USC defense, led by arguably the nation’s top linebacking corps, will be difficult to penetrate. The Hogs will have to make some plays in the passing game...

...USC by 14

Also, Pac 10 Fearless Predictions Week One - College Football news
[Smith] Making predictions for the season and college football's first weekend - USA Today
Trojans report: Strategy and personnel - CBS Sportsline
WR Dwayne Jarrett
-- The junior All-American was bothered by a quad injury during camp but says he'll be ready to play in the opener against Arkansas...

...LB/DE Brian Cushing -- In USC's ultra-competitive linebacker position, Cushing earned a starting spot at outside linebacker/defensive end. The sophomore has the speed and athleticism coach Pete Carroll wants out of that hybrid position.

RB C.J. Gable -- It's a new era in the USC backfield and Gable, a true freshman, could be in line to start the opener at Arkansas. The freshman...was the "most consistent" of the USC backs in camp, coach Pete Carroll said. Gable is 6-1 and 190 pounds...

Also, Trojans report: Notes, quotes - CBS Sportsline
Trojans report: Inside slant - CBS Sportsline
Friends stuck in middle - OC Register
Oscar Lua and Rey Maualuga knew the competition for the starting job at middle linebacker could one day tackle them, test their maturity and take a toll upon their friendship.

But competition, they realized early, is what USC coach Pete Carroll uses to drive their effort, improve their skills and develop them into starters.

Both have split repetitions with the top defense and both will play middle linebacker in Saturday's...opener at Arkansas...
Fourth and long - OC Register
He has been called everything from an "unknown" to a "question mark" going into Saturday's season opener at Arkansas, his first game as USC's starting quarterback.

John David Booty anticipated doubters as much as he does the opportunistic pass rushers eager to rattle the rookie assuming the role last held by Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart...

...The Trojans elected Booty one of four team captains. They gush about Booty's perseverance after back surgery and his patience while waiting his turn...
Smith quietly is making noise - LA Daily News
There was a time Steve Smith couldn't stand to look at the Coliseum.

The...stadium was the host for his most painful moments in high school...

...Four years later, Smith enters his senior season at USC never having lost a collegiate game at the Coliseum...there's nowhere else he would rather play.

"I never would have thought that," Smith said of his Coliseum turnaround. "Hopefully, we'll win all of them this year. It's been a tremendous ride. ... I'm really happy I stayed with my family and went to USC. I don't know what I was thinking (considering Tennessee)."...
Making a clean slate - LA Daily News
USC linebacker Rey Maualuga said he is only focused on football and winning a starting spot for the season opener against Arkansas.

Those are easy things to worry about compared to the drama of last year, when Maualuga dealt with just about everything but football as a freshman. He was arrested the week of the Stanford game for punching another student at a party. His father was incapacitated most of the season and died two days before the Rose Bowl.

And in between, he played football.

"I'm a lot more mature now," Maualuga said. "I've learned my lessons...
Hollywood lights dim on USC - LA Daily News
...It's extraordinary that a college team developed this celebrity cache, something like the Lakers'. It's more surprising that it did so without suffering any tangible damage, unless you can find a way to blame Jessica Simpson for the failure to pick up that first down against Texas in the Rose Bowl.

"The nature of the three guys we've had that have been Heisman (winners)," Carroll said, referring to Carson Palmer (2002), Leinart (2004) and Bush (2005), "is that they've been extraordinary team members. They've never put it in the face of teammates or tried to big-time them at all. I think the following and hype that goes along with it is part of being in Los Angeles and being a high-profile program that's done a lot of winning. I think those are beautiful things that come with it. That has not been a bad thing at all. In terms of it being a distraction, we've dealt with it quite well...
[Witz] The show must go on - LA Daily News
...The surest sign of the defense's mortality might have been Carroll's decision to gamble on his offense to beat Notre Dame with a two-point conversion and Texas by going for it on fourth-and-1 late in the game.

As bad as the Trojans were, they weren't the worst defense to inhabit the Rose Bowl. That would be UCLA's...

...The difference at USC is that Carroll has created an environment in which he rarely has to choose between effort and talent. He has both.

Carroll says he has 20 defensive players he considers capable of starting...

Also, USC unknown quantity - OC Register
[Kredell] A special effort is essential - LA Daily News
...With an inexperienced offense featuring new starters at quarterback and running back, the Trojans aren't likely to survive such special teams breakdowns this year.

"This year, we're going to have to kick it up a notch," said Rey Maualuga, who plays on punt coverage and also will see a lot of time at linebacker. "It all starts with special teams. We need the best players to help the team the best that we can."

The coaches seem to know this. Just look at the lineup of players scheduled to see time on punt coverage this season: Brian Cushing, Kevin Ellison, Cary Harris, Oscar Lua, Kaluka Maiava, Clay Matthews, Maualuga, Taylor Mays, Josh Pinkard, Dallas Sartz, Kevin Thomas, Terrell Thomas and Thomas Williams...
Back where they started - Daily Trojan
...Arkansas is where Carroll first met Pat Ruel, who is now USC's offensive line coach, and where he met his mentor Monte Kiffin, who was Arkansas' defensive coordinator at the time.

Ruel was also a graduate assistant at Arkansas, helping out with the offensive line there instead of at Miami, his alma mater, because the Miami coaches thought he was too young for a full-time position.

While working with the line, Ruel also met a fiery young backup quarterback by the name of Houston Nutt, who is now Arkansas's coach.

"He was headsy, bright young man who we knew we could count on when he was in the game," Ruel said. "The only reason he wasn't our starter was he was bad at running the option."...
Evaluations Complete - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise far, Carroll has said nothing, Lua said.

"They're both going to play," Carroll has said every time he's been asked about the two players. "We're fortunate to have players like that. I know Oscar's really pumped up about it. It's his senior year. And Rey is, too. They're both going to get lots of plays."

Does it matter who starts?

"I'm going to tell them to try not to make too much of it," Carroll said. "One guy is going to get to play a couple of series, then the other guy's going to get to do the same. But I know it does matter."...

Also, Carroll still keeping quiet about starters - Daily Trojan
Coleman will redshirt - LA Daily News
Thomas Looks for Fresh Start - LA Times

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Garratt on his way - to Arkansas - Tahoe Daily Tribune
Excused class absences have taken on a whole new meaning to Nick Garratt.

Garratt learned that the University of Southern California will be honoring him with the get-out-of-class-but-still-responsible-for-the-work passes later this week as he has been selected to travel with the Trojans for the season football opener at Arkansas on Saturday. He spied the road-game roster on Monday...

..."That's strong affirmation that I'm going," Garratt said. "It's definitely a reward after all of the things I've been through; it's a stronger light at the end of the tunnel."

The freshman from South Lake Tahoe is one of 80 players who will be making the trip to Fayetteville, Ark., and it will be his first after redshirting last season...
Former star wows students with strength - Kosciusko Star-Herald
“Winners never quit” were the words former NFL linebacker Keith Davis made sure not only the students of Kosciusko Junior High School understood Monday, but teachers as well.

Davis grabbed the attention of his audience, not only with his authoritative voice, but his amazing feats of strength as well...

...After high school, he went on to play for the University of Southern California, working his way up to starting linebacker for three years, winning two Rose Bowls and playing in four other bowl games, including the All-Star Hula Bowl...

...the one-time remedial reader went on to pursue a business degree in finance and had the highest grade-point average on his team...
[Mandel] Ohio State of mind - CNNSI
...the same rankings I turned in as my preseason AP ballot a few weeks ago. I'm not exactly brimming with confidence about the order of the top five...

1. Ohio State Buckeyes......2. Notre Dame Fighting Irish......3. Texas Longhorns...

...4. USC Trojans
With Chauncey Washington still recovering from a hamstring injury, it's entirely possible that the Trojans will utilize an all-true-freshman backfield...

5. Auburn Tigers...

Also, College Football Power Rankings - LA Daily News
[Dufresne] THE TIMES' TOP 25 - LA Times
PAC-10 rankings - SJ Merc
[Bechard] AP Top 25, Harold Bechard's ballot - Hutchinson News
[Barnhouse] Barnhouse's Top 25 - Ft Worth Star-Telegram
[Weiss] Dick Weiss' Top 20 - NY Daily News
[Thamel] Teams to Watch - NY Times
USC, Notre Dame atop rankings of non-conference schedule strength - USA Today
[Center] Smith and Ginn give the Buckeyes a boost - The Times
[Dodd] Preseason Top 25: Only thing certain is uncertainty - CBS Sportsline
SportsLine 119 - CBS Sportsline
[Curley] USC still has one big star left - VC Star
...Dwayne Jarrett, whose 61-yard catch and run on fourth-and-nine at Notre Dame Stadium was the signature play of a season dominated by Reggie Bush highlights, now assumes the mantle passed from Carson Palmer to Mike Williams to Matt Leinart to Bush and LenDale White.

The All-American wide receiver, a Biletnikoff Award finalist as a sophomore, is USC's most recent Heisman Trophy candidate. The stiff-arming statue has resided in Heritage Hall in three of the past four seasons. If he ties the school's single-season record of 16 touchdown catches again, Jarrett could make it four out of five.

The Arkansas defense, torched by Jarrett for 79 yards and two scores in last year's 70-17 romp, is readying itself for Jarrett and senior Steve Smith, who might make up the best receiving duo in the country...
[Dilbeck] History awaits Trojans - LA Daily News
There is opportunity and then there is historic opportunity.

USC has enjoyed one fantastic run with its college football program. Pete Carroll has taken the Trojans back among the...elite programs.

Now there is opportunity for more. To reach truly rarified air in college football. To be not just among today's best programs, but its legendary ones.

Carroll first took the Trojans to national prominence in 2002 with Heisman Trophy quarterback Carson Palmer. Then he did it again...

...Pull it off this year, or even next, and Carroll will have led USC to a place few others have in the history of college football. Historic opportunity awaits.

Also, USC in transition, just like '03 season - Arizona Daily Star
A true linebacker answers his calling - Memphis Commercial-Appeal
Sam Olajubutu always knew what he was on a football field, even if his coaches didn't.

"I'm a true linebacker," he said...

...Southern Cal might remember Olajubutu from a year ago...

..."It won't be the same game as it was last year ... that game was a nightmare," promised Olajubutu..."We've got them at home, and we're more mature as a defense. We got a lot better last year after that (USC) game. It's like we turned how embarrassed we were into intensity the rest of the season."

They don't come much more intense than Olajubutu...

Also, [Wood] Johnson should perform better than Hog fans expect - Northwest Arkansas Times
QB coach brings experience - Arkansas Traveler
McFadden gets back in practice - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Razorbacks have some things in their favor - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
...USC Coach Pete Carroll is trying to negate one edge the Hogs might have — the humidity.

Most likely that’s one of the reasons he is bringing his team in Thursday, a day earlier than usual. Carroll learned about the heat and humidity of Arkansas when he was a graduate assistant for Frank Broyles.

Still, humidity is like elevation: You can adjust to it, but usually not in two or three days.

The humidity certainly won’t hurt Arkansas’ chances, because when the Trojans go out at night in Los Angeles, they need a jacket. Here they will need a towel...

Also, Mass for USC football team will be Friday - Benton County Daily Record
The recipe for drunken madness - Arkansas Traveler
[Waldner] Not all attention desired by USC - Daily Breeze
There are issues at USC with the football program...

...The issue is USC being called the Miami of the West.

Carroll, USC's coach, does not accept the negative characterization.

"I don't like it," he said. "I don't like it at all."

There was a day when Miami stars were as likely to be seen on Court TV as on ESPN. Oklahoma and Florida State were cut from the same cloth.

USC has received similar unwanted national exposure of late.

Carroll protests...
Gable states case, may make history - Daily Breeze
C.J. Gable had to prove to only two factions that he could be a collegiate running back: Himself and everybody else.

Apparently, the USC freshman is big on self-motivation.

"Most everybody thought I wasn't a good back,'' Gable said. "They said I was too little to be playing running back at the next level. I just wanted to prove them wrong if I had the opportunity to play running back.''

As Gable walked off the Trojans' practice field Tuesday, he was figuratively steps away from making history at the school...

Also, Washington getting in his reps for USC - Daily Breeze
USC Spotlight Up for Grabs - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Tailback by Caucus - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Washington won't start against Hogs - Daily Trojan
Gable is ready to prove himself - LA Daily News
Carroll Says Washington May Not Be Able to Start - LA Times
Trojan Freshmen Will Carry Load - LA Times
Washington not starting in opener - OC Register
USC exploring backfield options - VC Star

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

USC basketball player Cameron to miss season - AP via CNNSI
Southern California guard Brynn Cameron will miss the upcoming women's basketball season for personal reasons.

Cameron, a 20-year-old junior, will redshirt, giving her another year of eligibility. She averaged 9.8 points as a freshman starter, but played only 13 games last season before being sidelined by a second operation on her hip.

USC women's basketball spokeswoman Darcy Couch wouldn't disclose the reason Cameron will sit out, saying, "It's a private matter.''...

Also, Leinart, Cameron expecting baby boy - Whittier Daily News
Cameron, Leinart expecting baby boy - VC Star
Matt Leinart To Be a Dad - People Magazine
[Daugherty] No need to fret about No. 9 - Cincy Enquirer
...Maybe more important than the monstrously efficient numbers Palmer put up in less than a half was the psychological balm they provided. Just getting into a game and testing the waters was the biggest thing for Palmer. Coming back firing like Conan O'Brien at the Emmys was something else altogether.

The effort says some things about Palmer we already assumed but, because he isn't one to preen, verbally or otherwise, we never discussed much. There is dedication and character very much at work there. Remember: The injury was supposed to require up to a year of rehab and recovery. This wasn't just your basic ACL knee-rip. It was two ligaments, ACL and MCL. Doctors needed an Achilles tendon from a cadaver to do the repair...

Also, Palmer looks like the No. 9 we know - Cincy Enquirer
Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10
Seau looks like a good fit - Boston Herald
The Patriots’ signing of Junior Seau has been described in some quarters as a square-peg, round-hole situation.

That may or may not wind up being true. For now, all we have to go on is Seau’s preseason debut Saturday against Washington, and that looked like a surprisingly comfortable fit.

Lining up next to Mike Vrabel as the strong side, inside linebacker, the 17-year veteran and 12-time Pro Bowler played 16 snaps in the first three defensive series and was credited with three tackles (two solo).

...the 37-year-old spent most of his night cracking heads...
Willie’s numbers game easy as U-S-C - Boston Herald
Maybe the passive-aggressive snipes from Willie McGinest this week seem a little childish.

Until you consider why that number, 55, means so much to him - because it means that much to all USC linebackers.

Seau was the one that hatched the tradition in the late 1980s and, ever since, one of the highest honors a Trojan can receive is to have the No. 55 jersey bestowed upon him. It’s so sacred, in fact, that it’s been left open at times because coaches deemed no player on the roster worthy of the honor...
Williams waiting to play - Detroit Free Press
Wide receiver Mike Williams doesn't know why he didn't play in Friday's 21-3 loss to the Oakland Raiders. Apparently neither does coach Rod Marinelli.

Williams, who received little playing time in the first two exhibition games, got no snaps in the third exhibition game.

He was healthy, and Marinelli acknowledged that Williams hadn't broken any team rules.

After Friday's game, Marinelli addressed the decision not to play Williams by saying: "guys earn their time in practice."...

Also, Analysis: Charles Rogers, Mike Williams will make team, but will they play? - Grand Rapids Press