Friday, September 07, 2007

Sooners' wrath points in several directions, including at USC - LA Times
...The Ruf/Neks think the probation is a load of you-know-what.

They want to know why Oklahoma was forced to vacate all eight wins from its 2005 season while No. 1 USC continues to play on without paying pipers.

Oklahoma self-reported its violations, punished itself, and yet the NCAA still descended.

Elsewhere, allegations swirl that USC may have defeated Oklahoma to win the 2004 national title while using an ineligible player, Reggie Bush...
USC's Johnson earns a lesson - OC Register
The pass came in a little low, a little outside. Stafon Johnson stabbed at it with one hand, missed it and shuffled back to the huddle.

Pete Carroll cut him off.

After practice, USC's head coach sat down with his emerging sophomore tailback for 15 minutes outside Heritage Hall. Carroll likes to call those teachable moments.

Last year, Johnson had so many teachable moments, he barely got on the playing field. This year, coaches have raved about his improved demeanor...

...Johnson sounded like he took the scolding in stride...
USC's Dennis getting into the flow - OC Register
USC tailback Hershel Dennis took the handoff and sprinted a short distance down the field. He immediately turned around and lined up again for another play.

Same old, same old,” Dennis said Thursday after his third full day of drills.

Actually, being on the field is something new for Dennis. He spent the past two seasons, all of fall camp and the first game this season on the sideline recuperating his well-worn left knee.

His latest setback was arthroscopic surgery after spring practice, a procedure that knocked him out longer than the 3-4 months the doctors predicted...
Walker wants to leave new mark - LA Times
Brad Walker and his USC teammates filed into the athletic dining hall after Thursday's practice and glimpsed former Trojan Reggie Bush and the...Saints playing the Super Bowl champion...Colts on TV ...

...Walker, a senior receiver from Tustin, will be forever linked to Bush, the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner who inexplicably and unsuccessfully attempted to lateral to the former walk-on during the Bowl Championship Series title-game loss to Texas in 2006 at the Rose Bowl.

"I never wanted to be remembered for being the guy that was in such an unfortunate play that some people say cost us the game," said Walker, who was awarded a scholarship in August. "I try not to think of it like that."

But Walker cannot elude the notoriety, so sometimes he is forced to good-naturedly embrace it...
Trojans' Tyler back from broken leg - LA Daily News
A post-practice roll across the practice field Thursday - punishment for a tardy arrival to a weightlifting session - won't be considered among the highlights of the week for USC tailback Marc Tyler.

But Tyler's debut as a full-fledged member of the Trojans - delayed for several weeks as he fully recovered from the broken leg he suffered at Oaks Christian of Westlake Village last season - was one of the things coach Pete Carroll listed as the highlights of his week...

...Tyler...had to sit and watch in practice as valuable repetitions.

Tyler has joined the fray this week, and how much he impresses...could go a long way on determining whether Tyler gets playing time...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

USC's Baker being cautious - OC Register
One of Sam Baker’s most important jobs is protecting quarterback John David Booty. At the moment, one of the USC football team’s primary jobs is protecting Baker.

In order to play against Idaho, Baker had to swallow a pain killer called Toradol, then get the area around his cracked rib numbed by a local anesthetic. The pain when he moved around was still intense enough to get him out of the game after just four series.

“It was kind of taking the wind out of me and stuff like that,” Baker said.

Having its All-American left tackle sporadically available is a big enough deal for USC, but it’s a bigger deal now...
Nerf-ball rehab works for USC QB Sanchez - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
He's back.

And a toy football is getting the credit
for backup quarterback Mark Sanchez's return to playing after three weeks watching film with a broken right thumb.

"How about that Nerf ball experiment?" Coach Pete Carroll asked, laughing at how Sanchez went from tossing a toy Tuesday to the real thing Wednesday.

"From Nerf ball to full recovery in one day," said Carroll, who tossed Sanchez a ball while they met in his office Wednesday and said he should give it a go...

Also, Sanchez is back in action - LA Daily News
Sanchez back and throwing - Daily Trojan
Sanchez says he'll be ready for Nebraska - LA Times

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

[Sweet] Will Reggie Bush take Peyton's place? - MSNBC
For the past few years, it's been hard to turn on the television during the NFL season without seeing Peyton Manning...

...But the Super Bowl MVP, entering his 10th NFL season, is facing some upstart competition in the commercial category...Manning will be able to view the rising star from the Colts’ sideline during the NFL opener Thursday night, when his team's defense will try to halt a young sensation — New Orleans running back Reggie Bush.

Elusive as can be on the field, Bush has been an easy catch for marketers off it. Poised to begin his second pro season, he is already becoming a strong force in the endorsement field, having landed in the top 10 of marketing income among nearly 1,700 NFL players. He has already filmed commercials with soccer star David Beckham...

Also, Reggie Bush readies for super stardom - New Orleans Times-Picayune
Colts won't let Bush sneak up on them - New Orleans Times-Picayune
No beating around Bush - Mobile Press-Register
Bush Figures to Run In the '07 Campaign - Washington Post
Reggie Bush goes with the Flo - San Jose Mercury News
Saints' Bush not satisfied with sparkling rookie year - USA Today
His mission was as easy as pie - LA Times
Brad Otton's two-year Mormon mission not only broadened his horizons, it also honed his culinary tastes.

Otton led USC to a Rose Bowl win over Northwestern in 1996. But it was the two years he spent on a mission in Italy...that formed his future.

"I don't think I was a great missionary, and Italy is mainly Catholic," Otton said. "I got over the fact that I wasn't going to convert people and just started helping people. I fell in love with the culture, the music, the soccer. . ."

And the pizza...

...So, a decade later, Otton started up the Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana in Henderson, Nev., with a second restaurant recently opened in Salt Lake...
Gillespie deserving of role with Yanks -
Mike Gillespie was a highly successful college baseball coach for nearly 40 years, but he says he has received a valuable education in the past year as a member of the New York Yankees' organization.

"It's been a great honor and a tremendous learning opportunity to be with the Yankees this past year," says Gillespie.

Gillespie, 67, spent the summer as the manager of the Staten Island Yankees of the Class A New York Penn League. Gillespie's team is in contention for the league title, and you can hear the excitement in his voice when he talks about his young players and the challenge of his job...
Hazelton catches on in college - Staten Island Advance
You've got to hand it to the kid.

It was some catch.

Vidal Hazelton went up
and ended up making Idaho cornerback Breyon Williams look like a youth football defensive back.

It took Hazelton just one game into his sophomore year at Southern Cal -- one half of one game to be precise -- to get all over the highlight reels with a flashy one-handed catch of a John David Booty loft into the end zone at the bottom of your TV.

Gave the Trojans a 21-0 lead in the second quarter, too...
Trojans report: Strategy and personnel - CBS Sportsline
USC at Nebraska
, Sept. 15 -- It should be one of the great intersectional games of the year in college football...

FB Stanley Havili
-- The fullback position can be a major pass-catching option in the USC offense...

...WR Vidal Hazelton -- The sophomore moves into a key role this season. He caught four passes for 44 yards, including a leaping, one-handed touchdown grab that made all the highlight shows....

...PK David Buehler -- ...Buehler made his only field goal attempt against Idaho, from 36 yards. He also hit four of seven kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks...

Also, Trojans report: Inside slant - CBS Sportsline
Trojans report: Notes, quotes - CBS Sportsline
Some NU-USC Tickets Priced At $4,800 - KETV-TV
Would you pay $4,800 for a ticket to the Nebraska football game against the University of Southern California? At least one online ticket seller is asking that much...

...Local brokers are charging less, but they said that between the online...prices and the demand [they] are seeing, it's like crossing into new territory.

"We get probably 100 calls a day," said Brett Franksmann of Red Zone Tickets....

...The inflated prices seen online have also become an annoyance to local brokers...
USC's Washington wants to return - OC Register
USC tailback Chauncey Washington said team doctors told him he has a Grade 3 sprain of his right shoulder, an injury more severe than the one that kept receiver Dwayne Jarrett out of two games last season.

Nonetheless, Washington said he intends to play in the Trojans’ next game, Sept. 15 at Nebraska.

“Unless something tragic happens at practice, I’ll be out there,” he said.

If Washington does return - and regain his starting job - the Trojans will again have a tailback glut...

Also, Trojans have 10 more days to make adjustments - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Freshman feat for USC DE Griffen - LA Daily News
USC announced Tuesday that defensive end Everson Griffen became the first true freshman in 21 years to start at the position in a season opener.

What did not get announced was the reason why Griffen started. According to sources, junior defensive end Kyle Moore was late to a team meeting and scratched from the starting lineup. That created an opportunity for Griffen, who became the first USC true freshman to start an opener on the defensive line since Tim Ryan in 1986 against Illinois. He was the first true freshman to start on the defensive line since Shaun Cody did so in 2001 against Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Also not mentioned was that Griffen did not record a tackle while Moore had four tackles, a sack, forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and deflected a pass...

Also, Lateness cost Moore a start - LA Times

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

When life gets in the way of itself - NY Newsday
Now that Roger Clemens is out for who-knows-how-long with an ailing elbow, the Yankees have to rely even more on rookie Ian Kennedy to pitch them into the playoffs. This creates a cruel twist for Kennedy.

Kennedy is scheduled to get married October 6, which obviously would fall right in the middle of the American League Division Series. Pushing the wedding back a few weeks isn't a viable option because Kennedy's fiancée, Allison Jaskowiak, plays women's basketball for USC. Her season begins in the middle of October.

It's one those feel-good, feel-bad situations. On a team filled with multi-millionaires, Kennedy is an easy person to root for...

Also, Kennedy’s Debut a Success for Yankees - NY Times
Freshman plays above his age - Daily Trojan
Kris O'Dowd was understandably nervous heading into USC's first offensive series against Idaho.

He was about to do something no Trojan had ever done before - start at center as a true freshman.

The first call of the game for the Trojans was a handoff to running back C.J. Gable. And while everyone in the Coliseum was watching Gable take the handoff for a 33-yard gain, it couldn't have happened without O'Dowd.

O'Dowd cleared the big hole for Gable by taking out Idaho nose tackle Jonah Sataraka. It was the start of a great night for O'Dowd...

Also, Ex-Lancer gets rare frosh start for USC - Tucson Citizen
Salpointe grad O'Dowd moves into starting role for first game with USC - Arizona Daily Star
Trojans report: Notes, quotes - CBS Sportsline
RB C.J. Gable
-- In a statistically inferior game for USC, Gable got the start at tailback and rushed eight times for 68 yards. He also caught an 8-yard touchdown pass. Gable got things started with a 33-yard run on the USC's first snap.

RB Joe McKnight
-- The true freshman had six carries for 26 yards, but showed his flash on a scamper in the third quarter after catching a lateral. He went all the way across the field, eluding about half of Idaho's defense, before being stopped for a 21-yard gain. He might not get a lot of touches in every game, but he'll be a threat to go the distance at any time...

Also, Trojans report: Inside slant - CBS Sportsline
Trojans report: Strategy and personnel - CBS Sportsline
[Waldner] Danelo tributes recall a dream - Daily Breeze
..."The guys who were really close to Mario, they were the ones who came up with the thought," USC coach Pete Carroll said of the empty-man formation.

Buehler, also a kicker, and snapper Will Collins are the guys who approached Carroll about lining up without Buehler on the field.

The chain of events started with a friend of Buehler's father coming up with the idea. Father told son.

"I thought it was a good idea,"
Buehler said.

During a team meeting Saturday morning, Buehler mentioned the idea to Collins. He also thought it was a good idea.

"So we talked to Coach and he liked it," Buehler said...

...They went straight to Pete and pitched the missing-man formation to him?

"Yes," Buehler said. "We went straight to Pete, ah, Coach Carroll. He liked it."...

Also, Briefs from USC's win over Idaho - Daily Trojan
Ceremony pays tribute to Danelo - LA Times
Rabalais: Notes on Henig, Hokies - Baton Rouge Advocate
[Walters] Upon Further Review - NBC Sports
[Carlisle] Carroll won't let The Man bring down his program - VC Star
...It's astonishing what Carroll has accomplished in just six seasons as USC's head coach, and I'm not even talking about the 66-12 record he has or the two national championships.

I'm talking about how he has flat-out become the king of college football. Urban Meyer? Please. The Florida coach is just an urban legend compared to Carroll.

The thing that has so impressed me about Carroll is how after a rocky NFL coaching career he so completely became Mr. College Football. Have you ever seen anyone so rah-rah in all your life? Cheerleaders look lazy next to this guy.

Perhaps the most amazing thing of all about Carroll is his ability to get top players to buy into his program...
[Waldner] Safe and simple works for USC - Daily Breeze
...More than basic was not necessary for the No. 1 Trojans against the No. 6,666 Vandals.

USC played it without frills in a, well, basic 38-10 victory...

...No shotgun on offense. Only an occasional zone blitz on defense. Just smash-mouth football. At least that's how they played when they were interested, which was hard considering the competition, which will give Pete Carroll something to bark about during preparation for their game in two weeks at Nebraska.

The suspicion is strong that the Trojans spent much of the game with one arm tied behind their backs to prevent Nebraska from getting a good look at how they'll play in Lincoln...

Also, Havili's performance highlights USC's rushing effort - Daily Trojan
Mixed Messages - Daily Trojan
Off week gives Trojans a chance to work out kinks - LA Times
Akey happy game with Trojans is behind Vandals - Idaho Statesman
[Keisser] Booty is not all that - LA Daily News
...The Trojans look incredibly talented Saturday night, but they also looked ragged. There are a lot of college observers who believe John David Booty is a Heisman candidate, but he still seems to these eyes as a quarterback prone to bad plays who can get a bit unnerved at times.

If there's a downside to having more quality running backs than America has quality presidential candidates, it's the possibility of continuity problems. Having options is a great thing until rotating so many backs into the game can bring a halt to momentum. The Trojans will have a better shot at their national title hopes if they've settled on two or three backs as the nucleus from their arsenal by mid-October.

USC will get a much tougher test at Nebraska in two weeks...

Also, Trojans' opening act gets mixed reviews - LA Daily News
USC secondary shows its flaws - LA Daily News
Williams: `Jitters' were at the root - Long Beach Press-Telegram
USC report card - OC Register
Trojans expected more in opener - North County Times

Monday, September 03, 2007

[Oberjuerge] It wasn't exactly the debut USC had in mind - San Bernardino Sun
It was going to be one of those columns that wrote itself.

"The Coliseum isn't zoned for human sacrifice.

"Public execution went out of vogue in this country years ago.

"So USC came up with the next best thing to sate 21st-century blood lust:

"The Trojans vs. Idaho. In football."...

...It would be a blowout of Georgia Tech-vs.-Cumberland proportions.

(That one ended 222-0, in 1916.) Monumental, that is...

Also, USC Keeps Strength Under Wraps in Opener - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
USC rolls over Idaho, 38-10 - LA Daily News
Trojans' opening act gets mixed reviews - LA Daily News
Trojans take a sputter step - LA Times
Opener goes as expected - LA Times
USC report card - OC Register