Saturday, September 23, 2006

Booty not shaken yet - Tucson Citizen
...Booty, a fourth-year junior, actually has had a better beginning to his career as a starter than either of his Heisman-winning predecessors - Leinart and Carson Palmer.

As the next guy in line, Booty automatically qualifies for all the hype - the magazine covers, the groupies, the famous friends. But when words come out of his mouth with a Southern twang, it's clear that this USC quarterback won't have a surfer image.

"I'm not from around here, so I don't much know where all the hot spots are,"
said Booty, from Shreveport, La. "I don't have a lot of friends who grew up around here or who are involved in all that, so I can't say I have that Hollywood in me. I don't really get out too much."...

Also, Arizona QB has county, Carroll ties - VC Star
Not too early for wrinkle or two - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Trojans Want a Ground Breaker - LA Times
Carroll, Trojans Return to Where It All Began - LA Times
USC Keys - LA Times
Havili gets a fresh start- off the field, too - LA Daily News
USC freshman fullback Stanley Havili might make his first career start tonight when the No. 3 Trojans play Arizona.

At worst, he is expected to play a significant role in his first action at the position...

...This week, he quickly picked up blocking schemes that were required for the fullback, easing Carroll's fears that Havili might not be ready tonight.

"We have a blocking technique called, `surgery,"' Havili said. "You don't really pick up a man to block; you go to an area and then have to find someone to block...
Arizona poses fresh challenge for USC attack - Daily Breeze
...USC coach Pete Carroll wanted to tighten up his team's attention to detail in this week's practice.

"I'm really hoping we can get on a march of improvement, get better in a lot of different areas,'' said Carroll, whose team is hoping to extend its Pac-10 record to 24 consecutive wins. "It's just small improvements in a lot of areas that is really going to make a difference for us and hopefully we can keep moving.

"It's consistency and being more accurate with all of the stuff we are doing, so miscues aren't the issues. We want to just try to keep cleaning it up. The game is so often won by the team that makes the fewest mistakes and we're trying to play mistake-free football and not let that be an issue in our game. And if you do that, you're really hard to beat.''...

Friday, September 22, 2006

[Dodd] Weekend Watch List: Defenses making a stand - CBS Sportsline
John Robinson has seen the shift, subtle as it is.

The former Southern California and UNLV coach has television work now in the NFL, which gives him a broader look at the game.

His conclusion: Defense is making a comeback...

...Credit USC's Pete Carroll, who brought consistent defense to an offensive league...

..."Charlie Weis was a genius last year and ahead of everybody," Robinson said. "Now he's holding on to his ass. Those things have kind of balanced out."...

Also, USC 'D' garnering attention - OC Register
Jackson Still Seeks a Sack - LA Times
USC defensive end Lawrence Jackson began the season as an All-American candidate, a potentially dominating pass rusher who was chosen as a regional cover boy for a national sports magazine.

The fourth-year junior from Inglewood had 12 sacks last season and passed on the chance to make himself available for the NFL draft.

But after two games against teams seemingly wary of throwing the ball against the third-ranked Trojans, Jackson has no sacks among his five tackles.

"It's frustrating, but if life gives you lemons you make lemonade," he said Wednesday...
'R.I.P. Dad' - OC Register
A teenage athlete's first step into the public eye can be a treacherous one. Rey Maualuga emerged into the spotlight at the worst moment of his life.

Late last October, Maualuga's family told him to come home to Eureka right away. His father, Talatonu, was in the hospital and it didn't look good.

Maualuga didn't know until he got to the hospital that his father wasn't going to be OK...he was in the final stages of a long fight with cancer.

Less than 48 hours later...Maualuga punched a fellow USC student...Three months later, his father died.

When word of Maualuga's arrest hit the newspapers, the perception that he was an out- of-control menace became hard to shake...
Still Awaiting Their Passing Grade - LA Times
...Nebraska's passive passing game disappointed members of a secondary eager to show they should not be considered a weak link in a defense that has mostly dominated in victories over Arkansas and Nebraska.

"A quiet game is a good game for a corner but it gets a little frustrating," said sophomore cornerback Cary Harris, who was also making his first start.

Coach Pete Carroll does not expect the secondary to remain untested for long.

"Pretty soon we'll get all we want," he said.

Soon could be Saturday, when the third-ranked Trojans play their Pacific 10 Conference opener at Arizona...
In their first starring roles . . . - Portland Oregonian
Wide receivers Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith, the big-play guys in the USC offense, have combined for 27 catches and three touchdowns in two games.

That's good, but not good enough for Lane Kiffin, the Trojans' hard-driving offensive coordinator...

...The player-coach relationship has been a roller coaster ride since Kiffin recruited Jarrett out of New Brunswick, N.J., where Jarrett was a Parade All-American...
Trojans report: Notes, quotes - CBS Sportsline
The running game seems to have narrowed to new starter Emmanuel Moody (the leading rusher in both games), fellow true freshman C.J. Gable and junior Chauncey Washington. The running game can't live up to last season's levels, but...the ground attack will be more than dependable.

Most people probably didn't realize how good this defense was going to be, even with a rash of injuries. Last week, four defenders made their first career starts -- freshman S [Taylor Mays], sophomore MLB Rey Maualuga, sophomore NT Fili Moala and sophomore CB Cary Harris. USC held Nebraska to 211 total yards...

Also, Trojans report: Inside slant - CBS Sportsline
Trojans report: Strategy and personnel - CBS Sportsline
Trojans stay in shape at practice - OC Register
...While many programs run or do conditioning drills after practice, USC lets its players go on their way. Carroll met with strength and conditioning coach Chris Carlisle when he arrived and explained his philosophy.

USC runs its drills fast and insists that players run between stations. They call it a "movement system." They do their conditioning in practice instead of after it.

"You watch some programs and they jog across the field and they jog back," Carlisle said.

"When, exactly, do you see that during a play in the game? We get guys flying down the field because they're not concerned with running after practice."...
[Krikorian] A game with lasting results - LA Daily News
They now are both 56, many years removed from participating in a historic event that dramatically changed the racial landscape of college football.

One, Sam Cunningham, has a successful gardening business called A & T Landscape.

The other, John Papadakis, owns a popular restaurant in San Pedro called Papadakis Taverna.

Both are inextricably linked for playing in that Sept. 12, 1970 match between USC and Alabama at Legion Field in Birmingham...
UA plans to come out swinging against USC - Tucson Citizen
Nebraska took the approach that less is best on offense when trying to pull off a major upset.

The University of Arizona hopes to learn by that mistake...

...Bill Callahan went with a conservative style...The Huskers lost 28-10.

The Wildcats plan to open up their playbook.

"We are going to be aggressive and with the mindset that we are going to open it up a little bit and give our kids a chance," UA offensive coordinator Mike Canales said. "We have to play to (quarterback) Willie (Tuitama's) strength."...

Also, Arizona's Stoops, USC's Carroll like fire and ice - Tucson Citizen
Trojans offer major challenge - Tucson Citizen
Reloaded Trojans invade UA - Daily Wildcat
Carroll hopes this game goes like the last 2, not the 3 before that - Daily Trojan
[Cirminiello] Pac 10 Fearless Predictions, Week 4 - College Football News
Week 4: USC at Arizona - Athlon Sports
Can Cason slow Trojans' horse? - Tucson Citizen
USC receiver Dwayne Jarrett is "nearly unstoppable," Nebraska's football coach says...

...Arizona junior cornerback Antoine Cason wants to prove that theory is wrong.

"He's pretty good. So am I," Cason said. "I want him. We will see what happens. I really want to (defend him one on one). He is a pretty good receiver. I think I'm a pretty good DB. I think I'm ready for the challenge to guard him."

The Wildcats have stayed with their regular defense and not placed double-teams or designated one individual to shadow Jarrett...

...It shows...

Also, Shunned by USC, Cason is motivated - Arizona Daily Star
Not-so-wild 'Cats - Daily Trojan
Johnson makes the list - LA Daily News
It was a late decision, but USC freshman tailback Stafon Johnson narrowly made the travel squad for Saturday's game against Arizona.

Johnson, perhaps the most highly touted of USC's freshman backs but who is buried on the depth chart, was not on the original 64-man travel roster.

One reason Johnson was added might be because tailback C.J. Gable of Sylmar strained his groin, although Gable practiced Thursday and said he felt fine.

Johnson, currently fifth on the depth chart, said he does not want to redshirt.

"I'm not thinking about it, I'm going to keep pushing until the last minute," Johnson said. "It's a form of having confidence in yourself."...

Also, Bradford Refutes Report - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
[Oberjuerge] Bradford getting bad rap - Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Gable Has Returns in Sight - LA Times
Team waits for runners to hit stride - OC Register
[Stewart] Fouts sends a signal to Carroll about coverage - LA Times
One of the first things Dan Fouts did this week was have a phone conversation with USC Coach Pete Carroll.

Fouts, who is doing the play-by-play for ABC's regional telecast of the Trojans' 5 p.m. game at Arizona on Saturday, said, "I just wanted to make sure he knew that with our crew, everything that is said in a production meeting is on the record unless otherwise stated."

Anything to avoid what happened Saturday during the USC-Nebraska game. Play-by-play announcer Brent Musburger, late in the game, described to viewers what hand signal Trojans quarterback John David Booty uses...

Also, [Pierce] Network 'partnerships' not fair - Deseret News
USC QB’s signal leads to Musburger flap - Kansas City Star
Buckeyes foil Musburger, change signals weekly - Columbus Dispatch
Tressel of a mind to keep Buckeyes' secrets secret - Cleveland Plain Dealer
TV has its signals crossed - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Injuries force Carroll to become deep thinker - LA Daily News
...Since training camp, USC has lost sixstarters and one-part time starter to injuries: fullbacks Brandon Hancock and Ryan Powdrell, cornerback Kevin Thomas, safety Josh Pinkard, nose guard Sedrick Ellis, offensive guard Jeff Byers and linebacker Oscar Lua.

But the Trojans appear unaffected, thanks to years of compiling some of the nation's top recruiting classes. So far, USC seems immune from the devastating effects of injuries.

And in Carroll's opinion, the Trojans might emerge even stronger at some positions...

Also, 'Fun guy' Carroll also works hard - Arizona Daily Star
[Hansen] Carroll on verge of establishing USC as dynasty - Arizona Daily Star
Any hopes of USC slide already gone - Tacoma News-Tribune
Onus on players to avoid agents - Daily Trojan
...the ubiquitous presence of agents will continue to be a staple of big-time collegiate sports.

This week Carroll praised Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players Association, for proposing a rule prohibiting accredited agents from contacting college players before they declare for the league draft. It was a topic Upshaw and Carroll had already chatted about numerous times.

"I can't imagine any argument on the other side of that," Carroll told reporters...

Also, New Rule for Agents? - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Latest problem: Agents' runners - LA Daily News
[Witz] Saint or $inner? - LA Daily News
Players land on side of Bush - SF Chron
Agent flap will fly over USC - Denver Post
Enforcer Is Missing From N.C.A.A. Rule Book - NY Times
College coaches incorporate off-field strategies to keep tabs on players - USA Today
[Dodd] Swarm of agents continues to plague players, schools - CBS Sportsline

Thursday, September 21, 2006

USC looks to Torrance's Malu for his versatility - Daily Breeze
Starting right tackle Kyle Williams was back at USC's practice Wednesday, a day after he went down with a minor knee sprain.

But Williams, a 6-foot-6, 300-pound senior, was limited in his drills and that meant former Torrance High standout Tiny Malu was moved from guard to tackle to get some work in.

"They've been having me work left guard, right guard and right tackle, so I'm just trying to click over from guard to tackle,'' Malu said. "I'm trying to switch that thinking over...
Havili waiting his turn - OC Register
Stanley Havili is a freshman, but the USC fullback isn't naïve. He knows better than to assume he will start against Arizona on Saturday just because the coach mentioned his name.

Coach Pete Carroll said Havili, a high school All-American from Utah, is a possible replacement for injured starting fullback Ryan Powdrell. Powdrell, who had surgery for a broken ankle Sunday, is out for the season...

...Although the opportunity to start is there, Havili is quick to point out there are two other fullbacks - Jody Adewale and Mike Brittingham - who also can handle the job.

"I think I'm ready," Havili said after practice Monday. "But there are three of us fullbacks who can bring something to the table. We'll all be up there...

Also, Havili may have future dilemma - LA Daily News
Next year? More like next week - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
As weekend approaches, fullback situation clears up - Daily Trojan
[Bisheff] Ex-Foothill star does it the hard way - OC Register
[Murphy] Trojan treatment - CNNSI
Lucas Makes Huge Donation To Alma Mater - Forbes
Billionaire Star Wars creator George Lucas occasionally turns his attention to this humble sublunary sphere.

Lucas, 15th on the Forbes Celebrity 100 and the world's 194th richest man, is to give $175 million to his alma mater, the University of Southern California.

The cash gift from the Lucasfilm Foundation is the largest donation the school has ever received.

Lucas, who polished off his intergalactic double trilogy last summer with Revenge of the Sith, graduated from USC in 1966. He says he discovered his passion for film and making movies while at USC. "My experiences there shaped the rest of my career," he said...