Friday, September 29, 2006

USC is looking for lost explosiveness - Lindy's Sports
...With Bush no longer being able to line up wide and stretch defenses, and without the 6-foot-5 Jarrett a jump-ball candidate on any deep pass, the USC attack is a bit more compact. But there is an assembly line of young players ready to be stars - just add experience.

True freshman Emmanuel Moody is one of those. He rushed for 130 yards on 21 carries against Arizona, including bursts of 40 and 30 yards. The running back competition might not be over, but Moody took a big step in solidifying that coveted job.

Moving up the depth chart because of Jarrett's injury are 6-5 sophomore Patrick Turner and 6-3 true freshman Vidal Hazelton. All three of those players were part of different top-ranked recruiting classes...
Trojans report: Inside slant - CBS Sportsline
USC might not have the same offensive firepower as in recent seasons, but there is nothing wrong with the defense.

With a starting lineup that included four juniors, five sophomores, true freshman safety Taylor Mays and senior outside linebacker Dallas Sartz, the Trojans slugged their way to a 20-3 victory at Arizona on Saturday night.

"I love the fact that we're playing defense like this," coach Pete Carroll said.

What would you expect the ol' defensive coordinator to say?...

Also, Trojans report: Notes, quotes - CBS Sportsline
Trojans report: Strategy and personnel - CBS Sportsline
Cougars overhaul, over prepare in practice to take on Trojans - Daily Evergreen
Practice was different this week for the WSU football team.

Greater attention was paid to detail; coaches screamed to get their points across. Players encouraged each other to work hard and get it right. Drills not done right were done again and again until they were perfect.

With hopes of upsetting No. 3 USC on Saturday
at Martin Stadium, the Cougars tried to leave nothing for chance in practice.

“I know it is going to be a hard-fought game on both sides,” WSU wide receiver Jason Hill said. “It is a big-time game in a big-time atmosphere.”...

...they will have to play flawlessly...

Also, Week 5: USC at Washington State - Athlon Sports
Pac-10 Rankings - The Columbian
USC's Smith could be a marked man in Pullman - Daily Breeze
If junior split end Dwayne Jarrett doesn't make the trip when USC leaves today for Saturday's game against Washington State, senior flanker Steve Smith immediately becomes a marked man...

...Being USC's second-leading receiver this season and ninth on the school's all-time list, Smith has no qualms about taking on the double-teams Jarrett frequently sees.

"I'm expecting a little bit more attention, but luckily we've got a lot of other guys who can take that pressure off me,'' Smith said. "And if they try to get on me, double-cover like they try to do Dwayne, PT will be open.

"But I want that. I want to show that I can go out there and make plays with two guys on me, with three guys on me. It's a challenge I'm willing to take...

Also, Jarrett won't make trip - OC Register
Mays has earned trust of his coach - Seattle Times
One year ago, Taylor Mays was starting for O'Dea High School against Bishop Blanchet.

On Saturday, the free safety will start for USC at Washington State on national television.

It will be Mays' third start of the season for the third-ranked Trojans...

...Mays said coach Pete Carroll approached him early in the week of the Nebraska game and said, "We think you're ready and we trust you."

Mays has responded with two solid performances against the Cornhuskers and Arizona...

Also, Youth serves USC's juggernaut defense - Daily Breeze
Up in the air - Daily Trojan
Hancock may play in bowl - LA Daily News
Could USC fullback Brandon Hancock return for a bowl game?

It's a thought being considered because the senior is making a fast recovery after tearing knee ligaments last month.

"I'd like to suit up, run a play and maybe catch a ball," Hancock said. "If the trainers feel I can, it might be cool."

Hancock said he rides an exercise bike 20 miles a day and suffers no pain or atrophy in his knee since the operation.

"It's been a freakish recovery," he said.

USC coach Pete Carroll said he's discussed the possibility...
More of the same - LA Daily News
...There was a general impression last season that operating USC's offense was about as difficult as playing a video game, with coaches merely required to press the right buttons with two Heisman Trophy winners.

It's not an idea endorsed by USC coach Pete Carroll, who thinks the Trojans could fall apart just as easily as some of college football's other dynasties, the most recent example being Miami.

"Heck yeah, we could," Carroll said. "It's a finely tuned instrument. It's not just the players or coaches. It's both."

But in the eyes of skeptics, this year would be a truer test for offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, quarterbacks coach Steve Sarkisian and even Carroll, who keeps a firm hand over the offense...
McFoy Eager to Fill Void - LA Times
...McFoy, 23, is looking forward to an opportunity he almost gave up.

Last January...McFoy decided he was through with football.

Though he can play with finesse, McFoy is known for a physical style. It served him well as a blocker but left him with myriad sprains, strains and bruises.

"I was thinking, 'My body's been through a lot,' " he said. "I didn't think a fifth year would help."

McFoy avoided conditioning workouts and contemplated how he would utilize his economics degree. Ultimately, he decided to return.

"I don't think I was ready for the real world," he said...
Ex-Colt star Havili upbeat despite injury - Deseret News
College football has brought Stanley Havili success, fame and serious injury. But it doesn't seem to have changed him much.

Havili, who had his first start ever at fullback for the USC Trojans in their 20-3 win Saturday over PAC-10 rival Arizona, had four receptions for 24 yards. He has been starting on special teams. The Salt Lake west-side resident graduated last year from Cottonwood High.

But he may not play again for a while. Near the end of the third quarter in Trojans' win, Havili was leveled and stayed down after catching a pass for about a four-yard gain. When he was carried from the field, ABC-TV play-by-play announcer Tim Brants told viewers the player "has a sore left leg."...
Holt’s return to USC mutually beneficial - Tacoma News-Tribune
When Pete Carroll wants something, he’s not afraid to twist a few arms to get it.

What Carroll wanted in February was for Nick Holt to return to the University of Southern California and become the Trojans’ defensive coordinator. No matter that Holt had just quit his job as coach at Idaho to take a position with the St. Louis Rams under good friend and new coach Scott Linehan.

“We heard he was on his way to the NFL and when that happened, we tracked him down and tried to make him an offer he couldn’t refuse,” Carroll said.

Carroll, in an effort to convince Holt he belonged at USC, even appealed to Holt’s wife and two sons. The powerful pitch worked...

Also, Both Trojans and Cougars rush to excel - Tacoma News-Tribune

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Fred Davis: Time to shine - OC Register
...With the team down to its fourth-string fullback, Booty's options are drying up.

It might be the right time for tight end Fred Davis to begin fulfilling his vast potential...Davis could spend some time at fullback in an attempt by USC's coaches to integrate him more fully into the offense...

...Unlike some USC players, who have balked at the idea of playing the unglamorous fullback position, Davis said he is willing to move. He lined up there a few times last year.

"I went from receiver to tight end, so I definitely don't mind,"...
WR Jarrett isn't in the clear yet - LA Daily News
USC wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett is not expected to be cleared to play in Saturday's game against Washington State, according to sources.

Jarrett, who sprained his shoulder against Arizona, appeared at the beginning of Wednesday's practice but did not participate in any drills before departing early.

He told USC coach Pete Carroll he wants to play but is not expected to make it back...

..."He's still pretty sore," Carroll said. "It's day-to-day."

The news was better for cornerback Kevin Thomas, who returned from a sprained ankle and practiced well enough to play...
Bradford Makes the Move Back to Safety - LA Times
Allen Bradford, one of the most prominent members of USC's stellar 2006 recruiting class, came to the Trojans as a safety.

He moved to tailback during training camp, but on Wednesday the 6-foot, 230-pound freshman from Colton returned to the secondary, passing up an opportunity to play fullback for an offense especially thin at that position.

"I just wanted to play defense," Bradford said.

Bradford was behind fellow freshman tailbacks Emmanuel Moody and C.J. Gable and junior Chauncey Washington, who appears to be working through the hamstring problems that precipitated Bradford's move to offense...

Also, Bradford Back to Safety - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Trojans Make 9-Year-Old Big Man On Campus - KNBC-TV
The smallest participant in the University of Southern California football team's practice Wednesday was treated like the big man on campus.

Sean O'Donoghue, 9, had a heart transplant when he was 4 years old.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation organized the Trojan fan's campus visit. The third-grader met the football players and coach Pete Carroll.

He said his favorite part of the day was "putting on the helmet."...

Video here.

Monday, September 25, 2006

[Simpson] UA can build off solid play against USC - Tucson Citizen
Moral victories are for losers. Arizona can't afford to be pleased with that loss to Southern California.

Just the same, the beast didn't feast...

...Like Goths on heavy horses, the Cardinal and Gold defenders trample everything in sight. It's a tough, talented, absolutely amazing USC football team, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

And yet, until Mike Thomas fumbled a fair catch on a punt at the Arizona 9-yard line...the Wildcats had a shot at an earthshaking upset.

No, it wasn't likely to happen. But, yes, it could have.

Also, Cats got turnovers from USC - Tucson Citizen
LSU has edge over Southern California - Tucson Citizen
Cason glows in spotlight during battle with Jarrett - Tucson Citizen
UA football: Between the lines - Tucson Citizen
[DeMarco] Some thoughts on the USC game - Arizona Daily Star

Sunday, September 24, 2006

USC still too strong - Arizona Daily Star
...The Wildcats missed...Blocks....Pass attempts...Tackles...Punts...

...The Wildcats (2-2, 0-1 Pac-10) missed the biggest thing of all: a chance to make a statement.

"I thought we'd have a great opportunity," Stoops said. "I like playing them. They make you do everything right."

Arizona's defense played nearly perfect ball against the Trojans (3-0, 1-0 Pac-10) early on...

...Arizona gained just eight first downs, with only two coming via the run.

Also, [Hansen] Looking on the bright side - Arizona Daily Star
Defense gives USC a fight, but Trojans pull away - Tucson Citizen
[Simpson] Nice effort from Cats against too-strong USC - Tucson Citizen
The 'D' still piles it on - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Get used to it, USC fans. You're in for a different kind of ride with this Trojans team.

"It's not as pretty as we'd like it," senior center Ryan Kalil said of the third-ranked Trojans' 20-3 victory over Arizona...

...Not only was this one not very pretty, but it also wasn't anything like those offensive-minded USC teams of recent years made happen, with three Heisman Trophy winners in four years. Only by the barest of margins did the Trojans manage to extend their streak of scoring 20 points or more to a nation's-best 55 games.

"We haven't been in a game like this," USC coach Pete Carroll said with a grin...

Also, Clawing to victory - Daily Trojan
Defense Propels USC Past Arizona - LA Times
[Markazi] Linebackers could make USC's D something special - CNNSI
Moody is right way for USC to be - OC Register
...Take away Moody, and the biggest USC gain of the night was a 22-yard reception by Chris McFoy. And none of the other tailbacks broke loose for anything longer than a 10-yarder.

As terrific as the defense played, this game would have ended 13-3 had Arizona's Mike Thomas not fumbled away a punt late in the fourth quarter to set up a 9-yard Moody touchdown run.

Offensively, the final period was all about Moody...

..."He showed us his big-play ability tonight," Carroll said. "We hoped this would be a breakout game for him."...

Also, Moody Fast Improving - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Keys to the Game - LA Times
Havili suffers leg break - LA Daily News
USC's injury-ravaged fullback spot took another hit when freshman starter Stanley Havili sufffered a cracked fibula and will be out 4-5 weeks.

That leaves former walk-on Mike Brittingham and Jody Adewale as the remaining fullbacks.

Linebacker Luthur Brown will probably move over to fullback this week, and there's always a chance tailback Allen Bradford could move...

...Havili is the third starting fullback to get injured, following season-ending injuries to Brandon Hancock and Ryan Powdrell...

Also, Broken Leg Will Sideline Havili - LA Times