Thursday, August 23, 2007

More Buehler - OC Register
The USC football team is asking more out of David Buehler this season by telling him to do less. It's no surprise that Buehler has found the assignment occasionally baffling.

Last year, Buehler competed for playing time at fullback and safety, plus got on the field on special teams. Kicking the ball a long way was only part of what he did well.

But the Santa Ana Junior College transfer has just one assignment this year. He is the place kicker.

Buehler is replacing Mario Danelo, who was as consistent as the tax man...
USC — Who else? — dominates Lindy’s Defensive All-American Team - Lindy's Sports
Three Southern California Trojans find themselves on the Lindy's Defensive All-American team, two on the first unit and one on the second.

It's not too surprising considering USC is a consensus No. 1 pick going into the season.

Defensive lineman Sedrick Ellis and linebacker Keith Rivers are both on the first-team while linebacker Rey Maualuga is listed on the second team...
2007 Pac-10 Conference preview - Athlon Sports
...someone really should take a serious look into USC’s latest graduation rates. A funny thing happened on the way to commencement exercises: Almost no one from the football team showed up. Did the NCAA grant a blanket sixth year of eligibility to the older Trojans? The names and numbers of these guys have become way too familiar.

Carroll should apologize to someone. He returns 15 starters, all but one of his defensive first-teamers. How on earth did linebacker Dallas Sartz get away? The Trojans coach has more than 50 players back in the fold who have appeared in at least one game before, 31 who have started. “We have the nucleus of a very strong, successful team,” Carroll says.

No kidding...Defense is where it really gets ridiculous...A more pressing question is, can anyone score on them?...
Bringing the glory back - San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Your dreams were your ticket out. ... But those dreams have remained and they've turned around. ... Who'd've thought they'd lead ya? Back here where we need ya? -- John Sebastian

But that's the case for Bishop Amat High School alum Daylon McCutcheon, who after an eight-year NFL career has come home with the hopes of reviving this once proud tradition.

"I'm excited to help these guys out," said McCutcheon who, in the last 12 seasons, earned All-America honors at USC before moving on to become a starter for the Cleveland Browns of the NFL. "I'm just tired of hearing about the good ol' days, the good ol' days. I feel I was part of the best teams (in Amat's history). I want these kids to experience what I experienced when I played here...
Tailback depth takes another hit with Washington's injury - LA Times
USC tailback Chauncey Washington mainly credits three people for his lighter, sleeker physique.

According to the fifth-year senior, Chris Carlisle, Brandon Hancock and George Foreman helped him shed 24 pounds during the off-season.

Carlisle, USC's strength coach, provided the workout regimen. Hancock, a former Trojans fullback and bodybuilding aficionado, supplied nutritional advice. And Foreman, the former boxing champion, was the namesake for the popular grill on which Washington prepared his high-protein meals...

...On Wednesday night, as he walked out of the Coliseum with his right shoulder packed in ice and secured with a sling, Washington looked as if he had absorbed one too many body shots from a heavyweight fighter...

Also, USC RB Washington injures shoulder in scrimmage - LA Daily News
Tailback Washington hurt in Trojans' final scrimmage - Inaldn Empire Press-Enterprise

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Learning curve - OC Register
Chris Galippo can tell he's not in the Trinity League any more, but the freshman linebacker from Servite High has looked anything but out of place on the USC practice field this fall.

Galippo, a middle linebacker, and weak-side linebacker Malcolm Smith, the younger brother of former USC receiver Steve Smith, have been drawing as much praise from the coaches as any freshmen.

Both Galippo and Smith could be factors right away. USC might lose all three of its starting linebackers to the NFL draft next spring, so the coaches are considering using Galippo and Smith some to prepare them for larger roles as sophomores.

Galippo is working with the second-team special teams units for now, but could move onto the first teams by the Idaho game...
USC's Baker is on the verge of making history - Lindy's
Already a two-time All-American, USC offensive tackle Sam Baker might seem hard-pressed for an encore this season. But Baker's dream season starts off with a simple goal: Stay healthy.

As improbable as it sounds, Baker was an All-American last season despite being bothered by a knee injury he originally suffered two years ago. He played with a large piece of loose bone in his knee.

"It affected a lot of stuff I did," Baker said.

Few noticed, however, and Baker was a consensus All-American. He easily could have turned pro, but he never considered it despite being perhaps the top prospect on last year's USC team...
CFN Three-Year Program Ranking - College Football News
...1. USC
2006 Ranking: 1 2005: 1 2004: 10 2003: 24
Program Analysis: Make it three straight years for the Men of Troy, and once again, it's not even close with a whopping 6.87 points ahead of No. 2 Texas. Going 36-3 over a three-year span certainly makes the rating high, and as expected, the fans have starting showing up more and more. Fine, so the APR is average, but everything else is unbelievable. Only Florida State has had as many drafted players over the last three years, Only Texas has more Quality Wins, only Auburn has a better Elite Win score, and no one has more wins.

...20. California...29. UCLA...37. Arizona State...38. Oregon State...44. Oregon...69. Washington State...71. Stanford...87. Arizona...96. Washington...
Goal is crystal clear: New Orleans or bust - Daily Trojan
The nearly unanimous preseason No. 1 in every major poll, a Heisman Trophy front-runner at quarterback, 10 returning defensive starters from a squad that held its last six opponents to 74 total points and five incoming freshmen rated as the top player at their position.

These figures have the makings of the best season in a program's recent memory, or in many cases, the makings of a program's best season ever. Then again, if this program is USC, these figures have the makings of yet another team that could, should, win it all. In fact, anything less would be a disappointment... USC the idea that nothing less than a championship will suffice has become an inexplicable and possibly unfair truth...

Also, After two years, Turner's time is now - Daily Trojan
Linebackers: Changing perceptions - Daily Trojan
D-Line: Big players, big expectations - Daily Trojan
Secondary: Young but experienced - Daily Trojan
Quarterbacks: Spotlight is on Booty - Daily Trojan
O-Line: Rebuilding the foundation - Daily Trojan
Wide Receivers: New faces, old aspirations - Daily Trojan
RBs: Finding strength in numbers - Daily Trojan
"Mood" about USC's running game changes with transfer - Daily Trojan
After Danelo's death, kickers look forward - Daily Trojan
Your top 10 reasons not to look past Idaho - Daily Trojan
[Oberjuerge] Trojans just too talented? - San Bernardino Sun
..."Hey, I could transfer."

It must be crossing the minds of lots of Trojans whose medium-range plans include a lucrative stint in The League - but currently are running third on the USC depth chart.

What, indeed, keeps players at USC when they have to be thinking, "I could go anyplace else and be an every-down player?"...

...Senior defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis pondered USC's holding power.

"Number one is winning games," the third-year starter said.

"Number two is the ability to get to the next level from USC...

Also, Poachers on Notice - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Talent runs deep on the Trojans' defensive line - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
It wasn't supposed to be like this...

...USC's defensive front four were good
, but it was just the four of them.

Several preseason publications had the quartet -- All-Americans Sedrick Ellis at nose tackle and Lawrence Jackson at end, along with...Fili Moala and...Kyle Moore at the other end -- as the No. 1 unit in the nation...

...And then two things happened.

Ellis, Jackson, Moala and Moore came to summer practice quicker and...bigger. They're all much more ready to play after what all agreed was their best summer conditioning program since they came to USC.

But here's the kicker. At USC there's now defense in depth, a lot of depth...
Trojans deny Holland's transfer release to Oregon - LA Daily News
USC would not grant former wide receiver Jamere Holland a formal release to his preferred fellow Pacific-10 Conference rival, Oregon, according to sources.

Holland, who was dismissed by USC coach Pete Carroll on Monday after he already decided to transfer, wants to enroll at Oregon next month. But the Trojans are unlikely to grant a release to another Pac-10 school.

Holland actually listed several other Pac-10 schools, including Arizona State, on his release. The only non-Pac-10 school listed is Florida, where Holland' s former Taft High, Troy Starr, is the director of football operations...

...This would not be the first time Carroll refused to grant a release...
Hot competition for tailbacks - OC Register
At 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, the USC football team switched into game mode. So what if their first opponent wouldn’t arrive in Los Angeles for more than a week?

The team did one final walk-through on campus, then checked into a downtown hotel. This evening the Trojans will divide into two (the first team against the second team) and scrimmage under the Coliseum lights. It might be their toughest game until they travel to Nebraska.

"This is going to be a good game," Coach Pete Carroll said.

It is an exercise in preparedness for USC, a yearly ritual that Carroll follows to help ready his players for the routine and excitement of game day.

"We take this very seriously because we want to make sure the guys can maximize their focus when it comes time to perform," he said...

Also, Bradford is willing to wait for his turn - LA Times

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

[Krikorian] At the top of his field - Long Beach Press-Telegram
...There is no doubt that Pete Carroll has become the biggest star in the glittering USC football constellation, a modern-day Howard Jones and John McKay wrapped into a bundle of inspirational charisma and organizational deftness that has resulted in two national championships...

..."We haven't accomplished anything yet. This is just the preseason. I'm not worried about all the stuff said about us...

..."We're extraordinarily fortunate to have reached the level we have here at USC," he says. "Our ultimate goal here is to win forever."...

..."Is this your final season at USC?" I ask.

Pete Carroll shakes his head, and continues to smile...
Trojans receiving corps thinner with departure - OC Register
...Carroll said he addressed a "handful" of his players about other schools that might tempt them to transfer. The Trojans now expect Holland to turn in his transfer papers...

..."From a competitive sense, I understand why guys would eyeball our roster and look for guys here and there."...Carroll said. "The other side of it is it's illegal, so it has to be done properly."

Carroll said he would report any instances of other schools contacting his players to the USC compliance office. He wouldn't disclose the reasons for dismissing Holland, other than to say it wasn't, "along the lines you might suspect like breaking rules or laws or something like that."

Teammates indicated that Holland...was not always present at team meetings...
USC cornerback Wright considered transferring - LA Daily News
With two players leaving USC in the past week, Trojans coach Pete Carroll was concerned enough about rumors cornerback Shareece Wright might transfer to meet with the sophomore.

Wright said he considered transferring but never took any steps toward leaving.

"I thought about it," he said. "It came up here and there. But I didn't contact any other colleges."

Wright admitted he was stunned Carroll confronted him over the matter.

"It surprised me when he brought it up to me," Wright said. "I just told him if he heard it, I hadn't talked to anyone."...

Also, Holland no longer with USC football - LA Daily News
Carroll dismisses 2006 recruit Holland - LA Times
Wide Receiver Holland Dismissed - Inalnd Empire Press-Enterprise

Monday, August 20, 2007

Five Trojans already have earned degrees - OC Register
...Make no mistake here. Four seasons of soaking in adulation and experiencing triumph in the nation’s top program, walking out the Coliseum tunnel and standing victorious after a Rose Bowl game have been rewarding, too.

But the celebration Jody Adewale loves most came when he threw on his cap without a facemask and gown without a number and graduated last spring with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

"When I walked to get my diploma," Adewale said, "I felt people looking at me with respect as someone more than an athlete. I was a man."

Four other current Trojans — left guard Jeff Byers, defensive end Lawrence Jackson, tailback Hershel Dennis and kicker Brad Smith, who transferred from Davidson — already have their bachelor’s degrees...
Frustration grows among tailbacks - OC Register
...Another player who took a turn as the featured back last year, C.J. Gable, expressed a measure of frustration at the situation.

Gable, a sophomore, started five games last year but has seen his chances shrink as the coaches take looks at Stafon Johnson, Broderick Green and Allen Bradford.

"It's a challenge, because sometimes when I get my reps, there's nothing there, so it makes me look bad. But they already know what I can do from last year," Gable said. "I trust them right now. I'm just going to get in the plays I get in right now."

Competition at the tailback spot is nothing new at USC, but the numbers this year are new. The Trojans still have nine tailbacks...

Also, [Johnston] Tailback U runs an amazing nine deep - MSNBC
[Maisel] USC has a stable of talented backs to choose from - ESPN
The late Agatha Christie's new mystery is "Ten Little Trojans."

When USC sophomore Emmanuel Moody announced late last week that he intended to transfer in order to find more playing time, the Trojans still had nine remaining candidates from which to choose at tailback. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian assessed the field...earlier this summer.

What Sarkisian is looking for: "The goal for us is to have one to two lead backs and the other guys are going to be our spot, role-type players, whether it's short yardage, whether it's third down. We're going to have one or two backs and we're going to go with them...
[Maisel] Turner poised to be next in long line of great Trojan receivers - ESPN
Patrick Turner arrived at USC two years ago with the fanfare accorded a top high school recruit. Here came a 6-foot-5 wide receiver from Nashville who, like the similarly sized Dwayne Jarrett two years before, would step off the plane and into the starting lineup. Add uniform and stir: instant star.

That didn't happen. Life isn't that easy, especially at USC, where the scout team is filled with high school phenoms.

Turner remained an understudy to Jarrett and Steve Smith for two seasons. There's no shame in backing up receivers who became NFL second-round draft picks this past April. But the reality of standing on the sideline for two seasons can grind down any high school stud who has been wooed by the top coaches in the country...
USC camp ends on high note - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
It took the final play on the final day of preseason camp to break the tie between the offense and defense, and new receiver Garrett Green's leaping grab was the difference. Just the way Pete Carroll hoped to send his top-ranked Trojans off to their final team meetings and a quiet night, a week before the start of classes next Monday...

...Linebacker Luthur Brown got some hitting in for the first time this summer, and offensive tackle Drew Radovich increased his workload, although with just two days of practice, Carroll said Radovich is a "long shot" to be ready to start against Idaho...
Receiver Holland dismissed from team - LA Times
USC receiver Jamere Holland was dismissed from the team, Coach Pete Carroll said late Sunday night.

Carroll declined to comment about why Holland was dismissed, but said it was not a violation of team rules.

"It was just the right thing to do," Carroll said...

...Holland...redshirted last season after breaking his collarbone. He reinjured his collarbone during spring practice and was counseled several times by coaches about a seeming lack of commitment to football...

Also, Second top recruit exits USC - LA Times
Holland might leave USC football team - LA Daily news
Holland dismissed - OC Register

Sunday, August 19, 2007

USC freshman TE Ellison is impressive - LA Daily News
When USC releases its preseason depth chart, there could be a surprising name on the offense.

Freshman tight end Rhett Ellison, the son of former USC linebacker Riki Ellison, continues to impress Trojans coach Pete Carroll, who thinks the 18-year-old is holding his own against the veterans at the position.

"He's playing as well as anybody," Carroll said. "And he's not just catching the ball, he's blocking really well. He's probably been the biggest surprise of camp."...

Also, [Withers] Powerful defense makes USC No. 1 - Seattle Times
Sorting out the powerful Pac-10 - Arizona State Press
Davis needs to take his chances - OC Register
Not a day goes by that one of the fans who line the practice field at USC doesn't wonder when Fred Davis is going to get more action.

The athletic tight end shows flashes of being a downfield threat in the mold of NFL players like Tony Gonzalez or Antonio Gates, but he also has inexplicable lapses. Both were on display Thursday night at the Coliseum when Davis caught two consecutive 30-yard passes to score a touchdown and later dropped an easy throw from John David Booty...

Also, Turner's turn to be USC's main man at wide receiver - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise