USC - Stanford Football Preview
TICKETS: Tickets for the USC-Stanford game, priced at $28, are available at the USC Ticket Office (213-740-GO SC).
RADIO-TV: Live regional TV: 12:30 p.m. (PDT), ABC-TV, Keith Jackson, Tim Brant, Todd Harris.
Live local radio: 10:30 a.m. (PDT), XTRA-AM (690), Lee Hamilton, Paul McDonald, Tim Ryan (includes 1-hour USC pre- and post-game shows sandwiched by 1-hour college football pre- and post-game shows). Four other stations are included on the USC radio network: KMPC-AM 1540 in Los Angeles, KGEO-AM 1230 in Bakersfield, KFIG-AM 1430 in Fresno and KRLV-AM 1340 in Las Vegas, Nev. Fans also can hear the live XTRA broadcast on the Internet on www.usctrojans.com or can pay to listen to it live by dialing 1-800-846-4675 ext. 5933.
USC Sports Magazine Show: 2 p.m. (PDT), Thursday, (Oct. 19), and 3 a.m. (PDT), Friday (Oct. 20), FOX Sports Net West 2, Tom Kelly.
USC Trojan Talk: 7 p.m. (PDT), Sundays during football season, KDWN-AM (720), Harvey Hyde, Chuck Hayes. Fans also can hear the live KDWN broadcast on the Internet (type http://www.usctrojans.com).
USC HOTLINE--Dial (213) 743-2989 for a brief taped interview with USC coach Paul Hackett.
INFO CONNECTION--Dial (770) 558-6000, passcode 72210, for the Pac-10 Info Connection, a fax-on-demand system that provides access to press releases from the Pac-10 Office and all Pac-10 schools on a 24-hour-a-day basis. Media callers must have a PIN number (which can be obtained by calling 770-399-0096). Media can also access information at www.mediateamlink.com.
USC ONLINE--The USC athletic department has an official 'home page' on the World Wide Web, featuring current and historical information about Trojan sports. For access, type http://www.usctrojans.com.
IT'S NOT SOUTHERN CAL--Note to the media: In editorial references to athletic teams of the University of Southern California, the following are preferred: USC, Southern California, So. California, Troy, Trojans and (for women's teams) Women of Troy. PLEASE do not use Southern Cal.
PAC-10 ONLINE--Pac-10 information, press releases, statistics and links to all league schools are available online at http://www.pac-10.org.
PAC-10 SATELLITE FEED: The Pac-10 provides a weekly satellite feed featuring interviews with coaches and selected players regarding upcoming games along with highlight footage. The half hour feed airs every Wednesday at noon (PDT) through Nov. 22. Coordinates are Telstar 5, Transponder 16 (C-band). Trouble numbers: 310-543-1835 or 310-286-3749 or pager 888-423-0095 or 925-932-4411.
PAC-10 COACHES TELECONFERENCES: Pac-10 football coaches are available for 10 minutes each on a media teleconference beginning at 9:30 a.m. (PDT) every other Tuesday during the season. The remaining dates are Oct. 24 and Nov. 7. USC coach Paul Hackett comes on at 10:45 a.m. (PDT). Beginning at 1:30 p.m. (PDT) each of those Tuesdays, a taped replay of the teleconference is available anytime. Call the Pac-10 office (925-932-4411) or USC sports information office (213-740-8480) to obtain the media-only phone numbers for the Pac-10 Coaches Teleconference.
THE FACTS--USC (3-3 overall, 0-3 Pac-10 for 10th place) vs. Stanford (2-4, 1-2 for fifth place tie), Saturday (Oct. 21), 12:30 p.m. PDT, Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, Calif.
THEMES: One struggling team's 3-game losing streak is going to end on Saturday in Palo Alto as the second half of the season begins. USC, coming off a home loss to Oregon, is off to its worst conference start (0-3) since 1957 (the Trojans have never been 0-4 in league play). Defending Pac-10 champion Stanford fell at Oregon State last week and is averaging less than 8 points in each of its past 3 outings, but could benefit by the possible return of QB Randy Fasani. The Cardinal is USC's oldest current opponent. The game will be shown live regionally on ABC-TV.
RANKINGS: USC and Stanford are not ranked.
SERIES: Stanford is USC's oldest rival, with the series dating back to 1905. USC holds a 53-22-3 lead over Stanford. In its last 24 meetings with the Cardinal, USC has gone 19-4-1 (and Troy is 34-7-1 in the past 42 games). In games in Palo Alto, the Trojans are 29-7-2. USC has lost there just twice since 1980 (and only 3 times since 1956), but is 2-2 in the last 4 trips.
In 1998 in its last visit to Palo Alto, USC's 34-9 win was its most decisive there since 1952. Troy held the Cardinal to just 221 total yards (it was averaging 427.4) and forced 4 turnovers. The game was tied at 7-7 (USC's score came on a 1-yard run by TB Petros Papadakis) before the Trojans turned it into a rout. Among the USC scores were an 18-yard fumble return by DT Aaron Williams (LB Zeke Moreno forced the fumble), an 8-yard pass from QB Carson Palmer to WR Windrell Hayes and a 3-yard Papadakis run. Palmer was 19-of-26 for 203 yards.
Last year in Los Angeles, USC surrendered a 21-point lead and lost to Stanford, 35-31. Troy held a 21-0 first quarter lead on a 1-yard run by TB Chad Morton, an 8-yard pass from QB Mike Van Raaphorst to WR Windrell Hayes and a 64-yard Van Raaphorst bomb to WR Marcell Allmond. Stanford finally scored on a 2-yard run by RB Coy Wire. Then things started to unravel for USC (a lost fumble on the Stanford 6), 3 interceptions (1 returned for a TD), a pair of TD bombs dropped, 3 missed field goals and some untimely penalties. After PK David Newbury's 31-yard field goal gave USC a 24-7 lead late in the first half, the Cardinal responded with 21 unanswered points in less than 3 minutes to go up 28-24. USC struck back midway through the third quarter on another 64-yard Van Raaphorst pass, this one to WR R. Jay Soward. But Stanford scored on its next possession (a 1-yard run by QB Todd Husak) and held on. The Trojans generated 587 total yards (most since 1996) and ran off 90 plays (most since 1990). Van Raaphorst threw for a USC game record 415 yards and his completions (25), attempts (51) and TDs (3) were career bests. Stanford improved to 5-0 in the Pac-10 for the first time since 1970.
CONNECTIONS: USC has 4 players who previously attended a Bay Area school: DEs Matt Childers (Castro Valley HS and Chabot CC in Hayward) and Omar Nazel (Skyline HS in Oakland), CB Matt Lemos (St. Francis HS in Mountain View) and WR Forrest Mozart (St. Francis HS in Mountain View). USC linebackers coach A.J. Christoff was Stanford's defensive coordinator in 1983. USC LB/DE A.J. Single's father, Doug, lettered in football at Stanford in 1971 and 1972 (the 1971 team won the Rose Bowl), then was Stanford's offensive line coach for 3 years (1976-78). USC head coach Paul Hackett has Bay Area roots, including attending Miramonte HS in Orinda and UC Davis and serving as an assistant at UC Davis (1969-71) and California (1972-75) and with the San Francisco 49ers (1983-85). USC assistant coach Dan Ferrigno also has a Bay Area background, having attended Riordan HS in San Francisco and San Francisco State, then coaching at St. Ignatius HS in San Francisco and at San Francisco State and California. Trojan assistant Matt Irvin prepped at Northgate HS in Walnut Creek. Stanford CB Garry Cobb is the son of former USC OLB Garry Cobb (1976-78)...Stanford FB Emory Brock is the brother of former USC CB Louis Brock (1984-86), both sons of baseball Hall of Famer Lou Brock...One of the personal punting coaches of USC P Mike MacGillivray is Paul Stonehouse, who punted at Stanford (1989-92). Tracey Harris, Stanford's football promotions, events and travel coordinator, is a former intern in the USC sports information office.
LAST GAME: No. 9 Oregon: led by QB Joey Harrington's 4 TD passes: beat USC, 28-17, before 54,031 fans in the Coliseum and an ABC-TV regional audience, Troy's third straight loss of 2000 and its third in a row to the Ducks (who won in the Coliseum for the first time since 1994). It was the first time since 1957 that the Trojans were 0-3 in conference play. Unlike the previous 3 outings when they fell behind early, the Trojans scored on the game's opening possession as TB Sultan McCullough raced 59 yards for a TD. It was the longest run of his career and helped him rush for a career-best and game-high 152 yards on 23 carries (his third 100-yard game of the season and his career). But Oregon struck back on its first possession, driving 79 yards in 13 plays as TB Maurice Morris ran for an 8-yard score with a shovel pass from Harrington. The Ducks opened up a 21-7 lead on a Harrington's 23-yard pass to FB Josh Line early in the second quarter and his 13-yard toss to TE LaCorey Collins early in the third half after the Trojans fumbled away a punt return deep in their territory. But Troy came right back on the ensuing series, going 60 yards on 13 plays as PK John Wall nailed a 25-yard field goal (USC had first-and-goal at the 8, but had to settle for the 3-pointer). The Trojans scored again the next time they had the ball, capping an 80-yard drive with a 7-yard TD pass from QB Carson Palmer to TE Antoine Harris to pull within 21-17 early in the fourth quarter. But USC couldn't get past midfield on its final 3 possessions and Oregon sealed the game with Harrington's 18-yard TD pass to TE Justin Peelle with 1:10 to go after Troy turned the ball over on downs at its 25-yard line. Palmer was 15-of-35 for 194 yards with an interception and Harris caught 4 passes for a career-best 73 yards. For UO, Harrington was a career-best 28-of-42 for a career-high 382 yards (his 4 TD passes a USC opponents record and were the most against USC since Notre Dame's Steve Beurlein threw 4 in 1986), Morris ran for 85 yards on 32 tries and caught 6 passes for another 27 yards and FL Keenan Howry had 8 receptions for 126 yards (both game and personal bests). USC S Troy Polamalu had a game-high 13 tackles (2 for losses) and intercepted a pass, while LB Markus Steele added 9 stops (3 for losses). Oregon had the statistical edge, getting more total yards (499-423), first downs (25-18), plays (83-69) and possession time (32:49-27:11).
SCHEDULE--Although USC plays 7 of its 12 games at home, its 2000 schedule began with a challenge as the Trojans traveled to East Rutherford, N.J., to play Penn State in the Kickoff Classic. Beyond that, Troy doesn't have a long road trip, going to defending Pac-10 champion Stanford, 1999 bowl teams Arizona State and Oregon State, and UCLA. Visiting the Coliseum are non-conference foes Colorado (the 1999 Insight.com Bowl winner), Notre Dame and San Jose State, plus Pac-10 opponents Oregon (the 1999 Sun Bowl champ), Arizona, California and Washington State.
FUN FACT: This will be the 12th season that USC plays Stanford then California back-to-back. In those seasons, the Trojans have defeated the Cardinal 8 times (1923-29-32-36-48-59-72-94) and lost 3 times (1934-40-99).
HACKETT--Paul Hackett, a one-time USC assistant coach who has been on coaching staffs that have won a national championship in college and a Super Bowl in the pros, made an immediate mark on the Trojan football program upon his return to Troy as its head football coach. In his first year at USC's helm, he led the Trojans to an 8-5 record in 1998 (5-3 in the Pac-10 for a third place tie) and a berth in the Sun Bowl. With his 1998 opening win over Purdue, he became the first head coach to win his Trojan debut since Jess Hill in 1951, and by starting off 3-0, he became only the third Trojan coach since 1915 to win his first 3 games (joining Hill in 1951 and the legendary Howard Jones in 1925). Hackett is one of only two USC head coaches to have won their first outing against Notre Dame (John Robinson is the other). Hackett, Robinson and Larry Smith are the only USC coaches to have guided squads to a bowl game in their first seasons at Troy.
In 1999 in his second year at USC, Hackett's team went 6-6 overall (4-5 in the Pac-10 for a sixth place tie) as Troy won its final 3 games of the season and snapped UCLA's 8-game winning streak over the Trojans. USC was in every game, as it was the first time ever that Troy lost all 6 games by 10 points or less. The 53-year-old Hackett signed a 5-year contract to replace Robinson on Dec. 17, 1997. Regarded as one of the game's most progressive offensive coaches, he has 31 years of experience as a college and professional assistant and head coach. He has tutored some of football's top players--including Joe Montana, Marcus Allen, Jerry Rice, Andre Rison, Tony Dorsett, Steve Bartkowski, Charles White, Brian Sipe, Herschel Walker, Danny White, Dwight Clark and Vince Evans--and has worked under such head coaches as Bill Walsh, Tom Landry, Marty Schottenheimer and Robinson. Before coming to Troy, Hackett was the offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs for 5 years (1993-97). The Chiefs advanced to the NFL playoffs in 4 of those years, including 1997. Before that, he was at the University of Pittsburgh (1989-92), the first season as the quarterbacks coach and then 3 seasons as the Panthers' head coach (posting a 13-20-1 record).
As a college coach, he has a 30-34-1 overall mark in 5 seasons, including 17-14 in 3 years at USC. Hackett began his coaching career for 3 seasons (1969-71) at his alma mater, UC Davis. He then was an assistant at California for 4 years (1972-75). Then, at age 29, Hackett moved to USC for 5 years (1976-80), where under Robinson he was in charge of the quarterbacks and receivers for the first 2 years and then the quarterbacks and passing game the final 3 years. During his Trojan tenure, USC was the 1978 national champion, won 4 bowl games (including 3 Rose Bowls), posted a 50-8-2 record and produced a Heisman Trophy winner (White). Hackett began his pro coaching career as quarterbacks coach with the Cleveland Browns for 2 seasons (1981-82). He next was the quarterbacks and receivers coach with the San Francisco 49ers for 3 years (1983-85). The 49ers won Super Bowl XIX in the 1984 season. He then became the pass offense coordinator with the Dallas Cowboys for 3 years (1986-88) before returning to the college ranks at Pitt. A 3-year starting quarterback at UC Davis (1966-68), Hackett collects old music juke boxes filled with 1950s and 1960s rock ï¿½n roll music.
A rock music fan, he sat in the front row at the final Beatles concert, held in 1966 in Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Born on July 5, 1947 in Burlington, Vt., he shares a birthday with former USC head coach John McKay. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have 2 sons, David, 28, and Nathaniel, 20. David played on the 1988 Texas Division III state football champion while at Carroll High in Southlake, Tex., and then was an administrative assistant with the USC football program, while Nathaniel is a sophomore on UC Davis' football team. Hackett is 1-1 in his career against Stanford.
PALMER: Although he has struggled somewhat lately, there's little doubt that sophomore Carson Palmer (117-of-211, 55.5%, 1,497 yds, 7 TD, 9 int in 2000) is one of the nation's better quarterbacks. He currently is 21st nationally in total offense (248.8, second in Pac-10). He already ranks eighth on USC's career passing ladder (with 286 completions) with just 14 starts under his belt. He is also 13th on Troy's all-time total offense chart (3,624 yards). How valuable is he to the Trojans? With Palmer at the reins, USC started off the 1999 season undefeated as he completed nearly 75% of his passes. But when he broke his collarbone 2 plays before halftime in Troy's third game (at Oregon), USC hit a tailspin from which it took a while to recover. After missing the rest of the 1999 campaign while rehabilitating the injury (he was allowed to redshirt because he was knocked out so early in the season), he is fully healthy now.
- In his first game after an 11-month layoff, Palmer was 10-of-20 passing for 87 yards (with an interception) against Penn State.
- He bounced back from that shaky debut against Penn State by hitting 25-of-30 passes (83.3%) for 275 yards and a TD (3 of his passes were dropped) against Colorado. On USC's game-winning drive: a 9-play, 72-yard drive that began with 1:14 on the clock and culminated with a game-winning field goal with 13 seconds to play: he was 6-of-6 for 68 yards.
- For the second game in a row (and the first time since Rodney Peete did it in 1987 against Arizona and UCLA), he led USC on a late game-winning scoring drive: this time against San Jose State, he brought Troy back from a 12-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter by guiding the Trojans to 22 unanswered points. Overall, he hit 22-of-38 passes for a career-high 338 yards with 2 TDs, including 10-of-12 for 148 yards and a TD in the fourth quarter (he had 6 passes dropped).
- At Oregon State, he was 19-of-38 for 282 yards and 2 TDs, but threw a career-high 3 interceptions.
- He was 26-of-50 (a career-best in attempts) for 321 yards and a TD against Arizona, but for the second week in a row he threw a career-high 3 interceptions.
- He hit 15-of-35 passes for 194 yards with a TD and an interception against Oregon and also ran for 31 yards on 5 tries (with a career-long 28-yard scramble).
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT CARSON PALMER
Shana Newell, El Paso Times: 'Rarely has a Trojan quarterback demonstrated as much promise as Carson Palmer. He could become USC's biggest name yet.'
USC offensive coordinator Hue Jackson: 'He makes good things happen. Two things I've notice about Carson now (after the injury). He's maturing and he has a burning desire to show everyone he's the player we all think he is.'
USC wide receiver Kareem Kelly: 'I knew he was good from watching him in high school. But I had no idea he was this good. He's the nucleus of the team. We need Carson. He's a playmaker. He just adds so much to the offense. It's a totally different team when he's in. On the first day of (2000) spring practice, you could tell right away how bad he wanted to be back because usually he would just be walking to practice, but now he was sprinting out there.'
USC wide receiver Matt Nickels, Palmer's prep teammate: 'In high school, the whole varsity would watch his freshman games and just stand around in awe. I knew this guy was going to be big-time some day.'
Former USC safety David Gibson: 'He has, by far, the strongest arm I've played against. And it's just not how hard he throws, either. It's his accuracy and touch, too. He can put the ball anywhere. You can have a receiver covered, but he's going to find a way to get the ball to him.'
Former USC All-American quarterback Paul McDonald, now USC's radio analyst: 'He's so far ahead of the learning curve, it's scary.'
Former USC quarterbacks coach Ken O'Brien: 'He is such a talented young man, with the potential to be as great as anyone I've seen.'
Former UCLA cornerback Julius Williams: 'If a receiver has a little bit of room and the defensive back is not covering him completely, Carson is going to throw the ball right there and there's no way the defensive back is going to get the ball.'
Santa Margarita High coach Jim Hartigan: 'Carson has the size of Troy Aikman and the arm strength of John Elway. He's got the super quick release of Dan Marino and the ability to put zip on the ball or touch depending on what the situation calls for. He is extremely calm and poised and he always makes the right decisions. He thrives on pressure. The bigger the game, the better he performs.'
ALSO AT QUARTERBACK--USC might have the most experienced backup signalcaller in the nation in senior Mike Van Raaphorst. A 15-game starter in his career, he is 10th on USC's all-time passing list (232 completions) and 20th on the Trojans' career total offense chart (2,809 yards). He took over for 5 games in 1999 when Palmer went down before being replaced by John Fox. Against Stanford last year, he set USC single game passing yardage (415 yards) and total offense (390 yards) records. Also a star in the classroom, he has a team-best 3.72 GPA and is taking classes in USC's M.B.A. program this fall after receiving his bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism and political science this spring. He is applying for a Rhodes Scholarship.
RUNNING BACKS--One tailback usually carried the ball for Troy in 1999: Chad Morton, a 2-year starter who ended his career as USC's No. 8 rusher (2,511 yards), including a dozen 100-yard outings, and now plays in the NFL. Last fall, he ran for 1,141 yards (the most at USC since 1990) and 15 TDs (the most by a Trojan since 1981). In 2000, a combination of speed burners and power runners have seen time at tailback. Sophomore Sultan McCullough (124 tcb, team-high 572 yds, 4.6 avg, 2 TD in 2000, plus 5 rec, 3.4 avg), who has started all 6 games of 2000, is a legitimate speed merchant. The 1999 Pac-10 100 meters champion and eighth-place finisher in the 2000 NCAA 100 (he also ran a leg on USC's 400-meter relay which was fifth at the 2000 NCAA Meet), McCullough is the fastest Trojan footballer ever (10.17 in the 100, the best mark in the world in 1999 by an under-20 runner). He showed flashes of his gridiron potential last fall, even jetting 48 yards against UCLA for Troy's longest run of 1999.
The power guys are senior Petros Papadakis (40 tcb, 108 yds, 2.7 avg, team-high 5 TD in 2000, plus 1 rec, 11.0 avg), who ran for 365 yards and a team-best 8 touchdowns while starting 4 times in 1998 but missed all of 1999 and last spring's practice with a serious foot injury, and junior Malaefou MacKenzie (21 tcb, 108 yds, 5.1 avg in 2000, plus 13 rec, 8.9 avg and 1 KOR, 20.0 avg), who has 589 rushing yards and 2 starts in a career that has been injury-plagued. Look for Papadakis in USC's short-yardage formations (his 5 rushing TDs in 2000 have all been 5 yards or less). A pair of Trojans appear at fullback, led by returning starter Charlie Landrigan (3 tcb, 9 yds, 3.0 avg in 2000, plus 3 rec, 5.7 avg), an unheralded junior who performed solidly in 1999, and sophomore Chad Pierson (3 tcb, 16 yds, 5.3 avg in 2000, plus 4 rec, 15.2 avg, 1 TD and 1 KOR, 11.0 avg). Both are rugged blockers and good pass catchers, but none has been asked yet to prove his running ability. --In his first-ever career start, McCullough ran for 128 yards on 29 carries (both career highs) against Penn State (he also caught 3 passes for 16 yards) to gain Kickoff Classic MVP honors, while Papadakis had 29 yards on 11 carries (with a 2-yard TD on his first carry of 2000 after missing the 1999 season with a broken foot) and Pierson had 16 yards on 2 carries and another 28 yards on 2 catches.
- Against Colorado, McCullough ran for a team-best 91 yards on 28 carries and had a 5-yard TD run, while Papadakis had 23 yards on 5 tries, MacKenzie caught 2 passes for 16 yards and Landrigan caught an 11-yard pass.
- McCullough had 21 carries for a career-best 136 yards, both game highs, against San Jose State, while Papadakis ran for 52 yards and a career-best 3 TDs (1, 5 and 3 yards) on a career-high 15 carries (his 5-yard score was the game winner with 2:34 to play).
- At Oregon State, McCullough had a team-best 33 yards on 10 carries before leaving early in the second half with a knee injury, MacKenzie added 28 yards on 9 tries and another 68 yards on 4 catches and Pierson caught 2 passes for 33 yards (including a 1-yard TD grab).
- McCullough had just 32 yards on 13 tries against Arizona and Papadakis scored on a 1-yard run.
- Against Oregon, McCullough ran for a career-best and game-high 152 yards on 23 carries (his third 100-yard game of the season and his career) and raced a personal-best 59 yards for a TD, while MacKenzie added 47 yards on 3 tries (including a career-long 34-yarder) and caught 2 passes for 10 yards.
WIDE RECEIVERS--You'd think that USC would be in trouble at the wide receiver spots in 2000, since such high-caliber players as starters R. Jay Soward and Windrell Hayes are gone. After all, Soward finished his time at Troy as the school's No. 4 all-time pass catcher (161 grabs, including 51 last fall) and was an NFL first round draft pick. Hayes, another NFL draftee, caught 79 passes in his Trojan career, including a team-best 55 in 1999 with 4 TDs. But USC has an outstanding young wideout corps, led by experienced sophs Kareem Kelly (team-high 23 rec, 14.0 avg, 1 TD in 2000, plus 2 tcb, 1.5 avg), Marcell Allmond (16 rec, 15.2 avg in 2000, plus 2 tcb, 23.0 avg and 1 KOR, 16.0 avg) and Steve Stevenson (5 rec, 15.5 avg in 2000, plus 2 KOR, 15.5 avg). Kelly, the 1999 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and a Freshman All-American second teamer, was USC's second-leading receiver last fall. He set Pac-10 freshman records for most catches (54) and receiving yards (902) while starting twice. The only Trojan with a catch in every game in 1999, he had 4 outings with 100 receiving yards. He's on the 2000 Biletnikoff Award Watch List. He has caught a pass in every game he has played in since he arrived at USC (17, he sat out this year's Arizona game with an injury) and has 6 100-yard receiving games in his career. With 77 career receptions, Kelly is 20th on USC's all-time pass catching list.
Allmond, who broke his leg against Arizona and is out for the rest of the 2000 season, started 3 times in 1999, while Stevenson's start at Oregon in 1999 marked the first time that a true freshman started at wide receiver for USC since 1984. Kelly (sprints) and Allmond (hurdles, decathlon), former California state prep champs in their specialties, also compete for the Trojan tracksters. Kelly owns the world junior record in the indoor 50-meter dash, while Allmond was second in the 110-meter high hurdles and seventh in the decathlon at the 2000 Pac-10 Meet. Other wideouts who contribute are senior Matt Nickels (13 rec, 11.5 avg, 3 TD in 2000), an ex-walk-on who earned a scholarship this season and has started twice in 2000, and prep All-American Keary Colbert (17 rec, 16.0 avg in 2000), a true freshman who has 2 starts in 2000.
- Kelly had 2 catches for 15 yards against Penn State and Allmond added a 21-yard grab (Fletcher ran a blocked punt 6 yards for a TD on special teams).
- Kelly had a career-best 10 catches for 145 yards (both game highs) against Colorado, while Allmond (18 yards), Nickels (26 yards) and Colbert (34 yards) each had 3 grabs (Nickels caught an 8-yard TD).
- Against San Jose State, Kelly had a game-high 7 catches for 106 yards (including a 61-yard TD), Allmond made 4 grabs for a career-best 99 yards, Stevenson (28 yards) and Colbert (29 yards) each had big catches in USC's game-winning scoring drive (Colbert had 2 grabs for 40 yards in the game) and Nickels made a spectacular 2-point conversion grab.
- At Oregon State, Allmond had 5 catches for 75 yards (tying for game high and career best in receptions), Nickels had 2 grabs for 35 yards (including an acrobatic 12-yard TD on the side of the end zone, Colbert added 2 catches for 39 yards and Kelly had 1 for 11 yards.
- With Kelly sidelined against Arizona with quad and ankle injuries and Allmond suffering a season-ending broken leg (he had 3 catches for 31 yards before the injury, he did not start for disciplinary reasons), Nickels and Colbert both started and came through with career bests in receptions and yardage. Nickels caught a game-high 7 passes for 72 yards and Colbert had 6 receptions for a game-high 113 yards (joining Kelly and R. Jay Soward as the only Trojan true freshmen with 100-plus receiving yards).
- Against Oregon, Colbert had 4 catches for 46 yards, Kelly added 3 grabs for 45 yards and Nickels had 1 for 16 yards.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT KAREEM KELLY
Former USC tailback Chad Morton: 'He's going to be one of the game's greats. That's the Biletnikoff Award winner right there.'
Karen Crouse, Los Angeles Daily News: 'Kareem Kelly has more tools than a carpenter. Before he's through, he could add on another wing to Heritage Hall. He has height, heart, great hands, a gazelle's gait and as many gears as a Ferrari. He's just naturally equipped for success. He is an astute student of the game. On the field, the only thing churning faster than his legs is his mind.'
Long Beach Poly track coach Don Norford: 'His gait is so smooth and relaxed that you really can't judge how fast Kareem is. It's like when a cheetah attacks the gazelle. The gazelle doesn't realize how fast the cheetah is until it's right into him. With Kareem, a cornerback thinks he has an angle on him, then he shifts into another gear. And Kareem has about three or four more gears he can use.'
TIGHT ENDS: Look for USC's tight ends to be more prominent in 2000. Senior Antoine Harris (11 rec, 13.0 avg, 2 TD in 2000), a reliable veteran, starts at tight end for his fourth season in 2000. An accomplished blocker and able receiver, he has 42 receptions with 4 touchdowns in his career. Besides sophomore backup Scott Huber (he started the 2000 Arizona game for an injured Harris), a pair of top-quality recruits have entered the picture this fall: sophomore Doyal Butler (3 rec, 15.3 avg in 2000), who spent 1998 at Purdue, and freshman Alex Holmes (3 rec, 7.3 avg in 2000).
- Against Colorado, Harris had 2 catches for 28 yards.
- Harris had 2 receptions for 21 yards against San Jose State, including an 8-yard TD midway through the fourth quarter to start USC's comeback.
- At Oregon State, Harris had 3 catches for 21 yards.
- Harris missed the Arizona game with a neck injury (Huber started in his place), while Butler had 3 grabs for 46 yards and Holmes caught a 6-yard pass.
- Harris caught 4 passes for a career-best 73 yards against Oregon, including a 7-yard TD and a non-scoring 49-yard catch-and-run.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN--For the first time in Paul Hackett's 3 years, USC has solid depth on its offensive line. But, as has been the case the past 2 seasons, Troy's offensive success depends heavily on the performance of these blockers. Dependable senior Brent McCaffrey starts for his third season at left tackle.
Senior Trevor Roberts, who started 3 times at left tackle last year, entered the fall as the starting left guard, but was slowed with a foot injury. He didn't see his first action until being a backup against Arizona and then he started versus Oregon.
Redshirt freshman Lenny Vandermade started for Roberts at left guard for the first 5 games of 2000, then moved to center and played there in the second half against Arizona and started there versus Oregon.
The right side of USC's line suffered the loss of 1999 All-Pac-10 first team tackle Travis Claridge, last year's Pac-10 Morris Trophy winner who started all 48 games of his USC career (the first Trojan offensive lineman ever to do so without redshirting) and is now in the NFL. But junior Faaesea Mailo, who started 5 times last fall at guard, has moved out to right tackle. He also was used as a fullback in short yardage situations at times last year and proved to be a devastating blocker, watch for him in the backfield again in 2000.
Sophomore Zach Wilson, who started the final 7 games of 1999 at right guard and was impressive enough to earn Freshman All-American second team notice, starts there once again.
Senior Eric Denmon returned at center after starting there most of last year at center, but his Trojan career has been marked by nagging injuries (he sprained an ankle against Arizona this year and missed the Oregon game).
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN--The defensive line is the most veteran unit on the entire USC team. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better pair of tackles than USC's returning starters, senior Ennis Davis (25 tac, 7 for losses, 3 sac, 1 dfl, 1 FF in 2000), a 2-year starter and on the Bronko Nagurski Trophy 'Watch List,' and junior Ryan Nielsen (12 tac, 2 for losses, 2 dfl, 1 FF in 2000).
Davis, a 1998 All-Pac-10 first teamer, was never quite himself last season after suffering a knee injury in the 1998 Sun Bowl, but he still showed his big-play potential often, tying for the team lead in sacks (5) and even intercepting a pair of passes (returning one 30 yards for a TD as he hurdled his 300-pound body over an opponent to get into the end zone). The underrated Nielsen was named USC's Defensive Lineman of the Year in 1999.
Sophomore Bernard Riley (8 tac, 2 for loss, 1 FR, 1 BLK in 2000), who appeared mostly in short yardage situations last fall, will push this duo for time (he started against Arizona and Oregon for an injury-slowed Nielsen).
USC's already-deep group of ends was bolstered by the return of senior Sultan Abdul-Malik (9 tac, 4 for loss, 1 sac in 2000) to the position. He was USC's sack leader in 1997 and 1998 while starting at end, but started at strongside linebacker last fall. He was moved back to the line to take advantage of his pass rushing skills (he has 20 sacks in his career). Abdul-Malik started USC's first 4 games of 2000 and then backed junior Lonnie Ford (10 tac, 3 for losses, 2 sac, 2 dfl, 1 FF in 2000), who started at end in 1999 after playing tight end earlier in his USC career. Ford's 5 sacks last fall gave him a share of the Trojan lead. The other end spot again is manned by Matt Childers (20 tac, 4 for loss, 2 sac, 1 FR, 1 FF in 2000) and his often-used backup, Shamsud-Din Abdul-Shaheed (8 tac, 3 for loss, 1 sac in 2000), both seniors. They are an interchangeable pair as Childers started 7 times last season and Abdul-Shaheed had 5 starts. Childers tied for the team lead in sacks (5) in 1999.
- Davis had 4 tackles (2 for losses, with a 17-yard sack) against Penn State, Childers added 3 stops and Ford had 2 tackles (with a 4-yard sack) and a deflection.
- Against Colorado, Davis had 5 tackles (2 were sacks), Abdul-Malik and Childers each added 3 stops (with 1 sack apiece, Childers also forced a fumble which USC recovered), Nielsen had 3 tackles and Riley made 2 stops and blocked a field goal.
- Abdul-Malik had 3 tackles (2 for losses) against San Jose State, Davis and Childers added 2 stops each (1 for losses, with Davis also getting a deflection), and Nielsen and Abdul-Shaheed 1 each (Abdul-Shaheed's was for a loss).
- At Oregon State, Childers had 8 tackles (2 for losses), Davis and Nielsen both added 5 tackles and forced fumbles which USC recovered (Nielsen's was returned 80 yards for a TD by Zeke Moreno, he also deflected 2 passes), Abdul-Shaheed had 4 tackles (1 sack) and Abdul-Malik had 2 stops.
- Davis had 4 tackles (1 for a loss) against Arizona, Riley started for an injury-slowed Nielsen and added 2 stops (1 for a loss) and recovered a fumble, Ford had 2 stops (both for losses, including a sack) and forced a fumble and deflected a pass, and Childers had 2 tackles.
- Against Oregon, Ford and Davis had 5 tackles, while Riley and Childers had 2 (Childers also recovered a fumble).
MORENO/STEELE--USC's 2 returning starters at linebacker are good enough to merit consideration for the Butkus Award (both are on the Butkus Award 'Watch List'): seniors Zeke Moreno (45 tac, 11 for losses, 3 sac, 3 dfl, 1 FR for a TD, 1 FF in 2000) in the middle and Markus Steele (45 tac, team-best 14 for losses, 2 sac, 1 dfl, 1 FR in 2000) on the weak side. Both share the USC lead in tackles (45). Steele currently leads the Pac-10 in tackles for losses (14) and Moreno is second (11). Moreno, who is starting for his third year and is also on the Bronko Nagurski Trophy 'Watch List,' was USC's leading tackler in 1999. He was third in the Pac-10 in tackles (9.0), tied for first in forced fumbles (5) and tied for third in fumble recoveries (2). Steele, who made an immediate impact in 1999 after transferring from a junior college, topped Troy in tackles for losses last season and was second in total tackles. He was third in the Pac-10 in forced fumbles (3) and tied for third in fumble recoveries (2). Each found the end zone in 1999, Moreno twice (on an interception and fumble recovery against Oregon State) and Steele once (on a fumble recovery at Hawaii).
- Moreno led USC with 6 tackles (including 3 for losses) against Penn State, while Steele added 3 stops.
- Against Colorado, Steele tied for the game high in tackles with 9 (2 were sacks) and Moreno added 7 stops and broke up a pass.
- Steele had a game-high 12 tackles (4 for losses) against San Jose State and Moreno added 6 stops (2 for losses).
- At Oregon State, Moreno had a game-best 11 tackles (3 for losses, including 2 sacks) and returned a fumble 80 yards for a TD (the second year in a row he has done so against the Beavers), while Steele added 7 stops (1 for a loss) and also recovered a fumble.
- Moreno had 8 tackles (2 for losses, with a sack) against Arizona and Steele had 5 stops (4 for losses) with a deflection.
- Steele had 9 tackles (3 for losses) against Oregon, while Moreno added 7 stops (1 for a loss), 2 deflections and forced a fumble which USC recovered.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT ZEKE MORENO & MARKUS STEELE
San Jose State head coach Dave Baldwin: 'The best pair of tandem inside linebackers that I have ever seen. We've watched film and one moment you'll think Zeke Moreno is the better one, then you watch Markus Steele and think he looks better. They are tremendous together.'
Penn State fullback Mike Cerimele: 'A great linebacking corps. They fly to the ball.'
Tom Reynolds, USC Report: 'On the field, Moreno: USC's ferocious inside linebacker: stalks every play, searching for a ball carrier to pounce on. He is like a cat searching for prey. Off the field, Moreno couldn't be any more the opposite of his on-field demeanor. He is a soft-spoken, God-fearing momma's boy (by his own admission). But don't call him soft.'
David Cisneros, Daily Trojan: 'Ask anybody who knows him. They'll tell you what a wonderful guy he is. They might tell you how he has become a role model. And they'll tell you he's a hell of a middle linebacker. Moreno displays character rarely seen in sports.'
Arizona head coach Dick Tomey: 'He's an incredible player. There was nobody in our conference who was as outstanding at linebacker in 1999.'
USC cornerback Kris Richard: 'Markus can play. He had a lot of hype coming in and he backed it up. When you watch him on film, it's pretty amazing. To be as fast as he is at that position. He plays fast and he hits hard. And he is so intelligent on the field.'
Former USC tailback Chad Morton: 'He's fast, real fast. People try comparing him to (ex-USC Butkus Award winner) Chris Claiborne, but they're not the same type of players. Chris would run through people and rough you up. Markus' game is to get to the ball and cover well. He's very fast. He'll catch you if you're not running your fastest.'
USC safety DeShaun Hill, Steele's junior college teammate: 'The first time I saw him with pads on, I knew what the deal was. I started calling him ï¿½freak' because he has freaky athletic ability. He's fast enough to play defensive back but strong enough to take on offensive tackles. He's just amazing. He's just scratching the surface.'
Phil Collin, South Bay Daily Breeze: 'He makes numerous highlight film-type plays with his relentless pursuit and ability to slither away from blocking schemes designed to slow him down.' Scott Wolf, Los Angeles Daily News: 'His speed and size make him attractive. He could probably even play strong safety in the NFL because of his athleticism.'
Former USC linebackers coach Shawn Slocum: 'He's a guy with the ability to make plays all over the field. He's just plain fast. He comes off the edge and slithers through. What stands out is his range and that he plays with violence.'
USC football television analyst Craig Fertig, a former Trojan player and assistant coach: 'People are starting to run away from him. But, hey, go ahead. He'll catch them.'
Long Beach City College head coach Larry Reisbig: 'He's the best player I've ever had. Sure, he's got great athletic ability, but he's much more than just a great athlete. He has a real feel for the game and how the position is supposed to be played. He'd constantly talk to the coaches and watch as much film as he could. He's a great leader and a wonderful kid to coach.'
THE OTHER LINEBACKER--Even though one of 1999's starting linebackers--Sultan Abdul-Malik--moved to the defensive line, there's no cause for concern at the Trojans' strongside linebacker position in 2000. The new starter there is junior Kori Dickerson (14 tac, 1 FF in 2000), who played defensive end earlier in his career (even starting once there last fall). He also high jumps for the USC track squad, with a best of 6-8, because of his hops, he was used as a wide receiver on a Hail Mary pass against Oregon this year (it fell incomplete).
- He made 2 tackles against Penn State.
- He had 2 stops versus Colorado.
- He had 2 tackles against San Jose State.
- He made 1 tackle at Oregon State.
- He had 6 tackles against Arizona.
- He had 1 tackle and forced a fumble against Oregon.
DEFENSIVE BACKS--If it's competition you're looking for, watch USC's secondary throughout the 2000 season. The Trojans are well-stocked here, particularly at the cornerback spots, so expect all the players to be going all out all the time to get into the lineup. Both cornerbacks who started in 1999 came back, although only one will see the field in 2000. Junior Kris Richard (4 tac, 3 dfl in 2000, plus 12 PR, 7.8 avg) led USC in interceptions (6, tied for 17th nationally) last season (he returned 2 for scores), opening some eyes in the process. However, he has been slowed much of the 2000 season with a knee sprain suffered against Colorado.
Senior pre-season All-American Antuan Simmons, a 3-year starter who has blocked 6 kicks in his career (including 2 field goals and a PAT last year), missed spring drills while recovering from late-season back surgery. He then had surgery in May to remove a benign abdominal tumor and will redshirt the 2000 season while recuperating. He returned a fumble 44 yards for a TD at Arizona in 1999.
Sharing Simmons' corner spot have been a trio of players: sophomores Darrell Rideaux (16 tac, 4 dfl in 2000) and Kevin Arbet (18 tac, 1 for a loss, 2 dfl in 2000, plus 6 KOR, 22.7 avg), and junior Chris Cash (20 tac, 1 int, 3 dfl, 2 FF in 2000).
Rideaux, who started USC's last 2 games of 1999 for an injured Simmons and was named a Freshman All-American second teamer, has started 5 games in 2000 (all but Arizona). He doubles as a sprinter for the Trojan tracksters (in the spring of 2000, he was fifth in the 100 meters at the Pac-10 Meet and ran leadoff for the 400-meter relay squad which was fifth at the NCAA Meet).
Arbet, a one-time walk-on who made such an immediate impression in 1999 that he earned a scholarship during his initial fall camp, started against Arizona and Oregon this year. He also started twice in 1999 as an extra defensive back (returned an interception 75 yards for a TD against Louisiana Tech last season).
Cash, a junior college transfer who enrolled at USC last spring and participated in spring practice, started the San Jose State game for an injury-slowed Richard. Last season's starting free safety, senior Ifeanyi Ohalete (29 tac, 1 for a loss, 3 dfl in 2000) is back and joins with new starting strong safety Troy Polamalu (30 tac, 2 for losses, 1 sac, 4 dfl, 2 int with 1 for a TD, 1 FR in 2000), a sophomore. Ohalete led USC in deflections (15) and was third in tackles (84) in 1999, and also tied for first in the Pac-10 in forced fumbles (5) and fumbles recovered (3). Polamalu is filling the shoes of USC's only departed defensive starter from last season, 1999 All-Pac-10 first teamer David Gibson, a 3-year starter who had 241 career tackles (81 last fall).
Two other safeties see playing time, junior Frank Strong (7 tac, 1 BLK in 2000, plus 7 KOR, 21.9 avg and 2 PR, 19.0 avg), a one-time tailback who was moved to defense in the middle of last season, and sophomore DeShaun Hill (21 tac, 3 for a loss, 1 sac, 1 int, 1 dfl in 2000), who was able to redshirt last fall after suffering an early-season back injury and started at free safety against Oregon this year.
- Ohalete had 5 tackles versus Penn State, Arbet and Rideaux had 2 apiece (Rideaux also broke up 2 passes), Polamalu had a 43-yard scoring interception return to go along with 2 tackles, Strong blocked a punt which USC returned for a TD, Cash forced a fumble and Richard broke up 2 passes.
- Against Colorado, Ohalete tied for the game high in tackles with 9, Polamalu made 5 stops and returned a fumble 19 yards to set up a USC TD, Arbet had 4 tackles, Cash made 3 stops and Richard had 2 stops and a deflection before leaving with a knee sprain.
- Cash, who made his first start in the San Jose State game, and notched 9 tackles and intercepted a pass late in the contest to seal the win, while Ohalete added 5 stops (1 for a loss) and a deflection, Polamalu had 4 tackles with a deflection, Hill made 3 stops (1 for a loss), Rideaux had 3 tackles and 2 deflections, Strong and Richard had a tackle each and Arbet broke up 2 passes.
- At Oregon State, Ohalete had 7 tackles and 2 deflections, Polamalu and Arbet had 5 stops each (Polamalu also had a sack), Rideaux and Cash had 2 tackles each, and Strong, Richard and Hill added 1 stop apiece.
- Hill had a game-high 9 tackles (2 for losses, with a sack) and also intercepted a pass (to set up a USC TD) against Arizona, Ohalete and Rideaux had 2 stops each (Ohalete injured an ankle mid-game), and Arbet started for Rideaux and got a tackle.
- Against Oregon, Polamalu had a game-high and personal-best 13 tackles (2 for losses) and intercepted a pass, Hill added 7 stops, Rideaux, Cash and Arbet had 5 each, and Strong had 2 (plus returned 4 kickoffs for 94 yards).
SPECIALISTS--Junior Mike MacGillivray (40.1 avg in 2000) is back for his third season as USC's punter and is listed on the 'Watch List' for the Ray Guy Award. An effective placement punter (67 of his 189 career punts have pinned opponents inside the 20) with an above-average leg (23 of his career punts have traveled at least 50 yards), he has become more consistent in 2000. Although junior David Newbury (4-of-9 FG, 9-of-12 PAT in 2000) was USC's placekicker last fall, a 3-way battle for the job was waged this fall between Newbury, senior David Bell and 1999 prep All-American John Wall (2-of-2 FG, 2-of-3 PAT in 2000), a true freshman.
Newbury, who regained his job for 2000 before faltering and being replaced by Wall in the middle of the Arizona game, began his first year at Troy by nailing a season-long 48-yard field goal on his first attempt at Hawaii in 1999, but then struggled with consistency the rest of the way.
Bell, who is in his fourth season as USC's strong-legged kickoff man, has had touchbacks on 17 of his 28 kickoffs in 2000 (4 others were not returned past the 20, another 5 didn't advance past the 26 and 2 were unsuccessful on-side kicks). Last year, he took over the placement chores for Newbury in the third quarter of the season-ending Louisiana Tech game and nailed a 38-yard field goal and both extra point kicks (he could be used on field goal attempts over 40 yards in 2000).
- Newbury, who missed 9-of-20 field goals in 1999, hit all 3 attempts (47, 27 and 44 yards) against Penn State to tie a Kickoff Classic game record, MacGillivray averaged 46.3 yards punting (but had 1 blocked for a safety) and 5 of Bell's 6 kickoffs were touchbacks.
- Newbury, who had missed a pair of field goals earlier in the Colorado game, nailed a game-winning 24-yarder with 13 seconds to play (it was the latest in a game that a Trojan kicked a game-winnign field goal since Don Shafer did so at the gun at Baylor in 1986), for his performance, he was named the Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week. MacGillivray averaged 48.0 yards on his 2 punts against the Buffs and 3 of Bell's 4 kickoffs were touchbacks (the other was not returned past the 20).
- Against San Jose State, 3 of Bell's 6 kickoffs were touchbacks (2 others weren't returned past the 20) and MacGillivray averaged 40.0 yards on his 4 punts (but had another blocked for a TD).
- At Oregon State, MacGillivray averaged 40.3 yards on his 6 punts (2 were pinned OSU within the 20) and 2 of Bell's 4 kickoffs were touchbacks.
- After Newbury missed a pair of field goals and had a PAT kick blocked against in the first half of the Arizona game, Wall assumed the placekicking duties in the second half and nailed a 27-yard field goal on his first kick as a Trojan (he had a PAT kick blocked). Bell had 2 of his kickoffs land as touchbacks (another wasn't returned past the 25 and the fourth was an unsuccessful on-side kick), while MacGillivray averaged 37.0 yards on 7 punts (with 3 pinning the Wildcats within the 20).
- Against Oregon, Wall hit his only field goal attempt (a 25-yarder) and both PATs, Bell had touchbacks on 2 of his kickoffs (another was returned to the 21 and the other to the 8) and MacGillivray averaged 37.7 yards on his 6 punts (with 3 pinning the Ducks within the 20).
TO THE RESCUE: Four USC players--DT Bernard Riley and Malcolm Wooldridge, WR Steve Stevenson and S Kyle Matthews--have received quite a bit of national attention for their role in coming to the aid of an injured USC student early in the season. In the early morning hours on Sept. 1, USC sophomore Danielle Dauenhauer accidentally fell head first out of the second floor window of her campus apartment, only to get impaled in the buttocks by a pair of spikes on a security fence.
The players, who were in the downstairs apartment, heard her screams and rushed outside. For the next 20 minutes, they supported the 165-pound woman (her feet were sticking in the air, her head was pointed down) to relieve the pressure of the spikes while paramedics were summoned. They also kept talking with her to help calm her down. When the paramedics arrived, the bars were cut off the fence still sticking in her, she was taken to a local hospital where the bars were removed, and unbelievably she was released the following day in good condition. (If she hadn't been impaled, she likely would have landed on her head and broken her neck).
The players subsequently appeared on such national television shows as NBC's 'Today,' ABC's 'Good Morning America' and ESPN's 'College GameDay.' They also received a commendation from California lieutenant governor Cruz M. Bustamante.
STATS OF NOTE: USC, which had 25 turnovers in 1999 (2.1 a game), already has 17 in 2000 (2.8 a game), including 15 in the past 4 games (with 4 each versus San Jose State and Oregon State and 5 against Arizona). USC, which had a national-best 39 takeaways in 1999 (3.3 a game), has just 10 in 2000 (1.7 average). In points off of turnovers, USC has scored 5 TDs off the opponents' 10 giveaways, while foes have 5 TDs and 3 field goals off of Troy's 17 miscues.
USC is converting a Pac-10 leading 42.7% (38-of-896) of its third downs and holding opponents to 27.8% (25-of-90)...USC has allowed opponents to return only 10 of 28 kickoffs (fewest in the Pac-10). USC has decisively outscored opponents in the second (41-28) and fourth (51-27) quarters, but the Trojans have been drastically outscored in the first quarter (55-28).
In 3 consecutive games (San Jose State, Oregon State and Arizona), USC spotted opponents a cumulative 45-0 lead before scoring (10-0 versus SJSU, 14-0 versus OSU and 21-0 versus UA). USC is outgaining its opponents (392.5 total yards to 333.8).
USC has had 2 punts blocked in 2000 (one for a safety and another for a TD).
USC, which was penalized an average of 10.7 times for 91.1 yards a game in 1999, has improved somewhat in that area in 2000, where it has had 8.0 penalties for 71.0 yards per outing.
- A pair of senior former walk-onsï¿½WR Matt Nickels and LB Ryan Shapiroï¿½earned scholarships in 2000.
- Quarterback Mike Van Raaphorst has 15 career starts, is 10th on USC's all-time passing list, owns the USC single game passing record (415 yards), has a team-best 3.72 GPA, already earned his bachelor's degree and is taking courses in USC's M.B.A. program this fall. Not bad for a backup!
- OT Brent McCaffrey, who worked on his grandfather's Fresno farm as a youngster, was named to the 2000 All-American Farm Team by Successful Farming magazine (he was similarly honored in 1999).
- James Pursell, USC's oldest living football letterman, turned 100 on Aug. 20. He lettered in 1921-22-23 as a 156-pound guard and was a member of USC's first Rose Bowl team (Troy beat Penn State, 14-3, in the 1923 Rose Bowl).
- Marcus Allen, USC's 1981 Heisman Trophy-winning tailback, will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame this Dec. 12. USC has 29 representatives in the College Football Hall of Fame, including 22 players.
- This year's San Jose State contest was USC's 500th football game in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
- The 2000 season is the 50th anniversary of the adoption of 'Conquest' as USC's battle cry and the 100th anniversary of the birth of the song's composer, Alfred Newman.
This might be one of the fastest teams USC has fielded. In fact, the Trojan men's track team (which won the 2000 Pac-10 title and was seventh at the NCAA meet) has benefited greatly from the USC football squad.
TB Sultan McCullough (bests of 10.17 in the 100 meters, 20.61 in the 200 meters) won the 100 at the 1999 Pac-10 meet, placed eighth in the 100 in the 2000 NCAA meet and 3 times has clocked 10.17 in the 100 to become the fastest Trojan footballer ever.
WR Kareem Kelly (10.28, 20.53), who set the world junior record in the indoor 50-meter dash (5.67) and ran a best of 10.33 in the 100 in 2000, won the 100 and 200 at the 1999 California state meet after capturing the 200 in 1998.
CB Darrell Rideaux (10.30, 21.03), who clocked a best of 10.37 in the 100 in 2000, won the California state 100 in 1998 (he was second in 1999 and third in 1997) and was fourth in the 200 in 1999.
CB Miguel Fletcher (10.47, 20.94), who went a best of 10.61 in the 100 and 21.06 in the 200 in 2000, was the runnerup in the California state 100 in 1997 and 1998 and in the 200 in 1998.
The Rideaux-McCullough-Fletcher-Kelly quartet even ran an early-season 400-meter relay in 2000, winning in 40.08.
WR Marcell Allmond (13.54 in the 110-meter high hurdles) won the California state high hurdles in 1998 and 1999 (he was sixth in the 1999 intermediates), and also set a National Junior Olympics record in the decathlon in 1999. In 2000, he was second in the high hurdles in the Pac-10 meet and the U.S. Junior Nationals, and ran a best of 13.89.
And speaking of track, another Trojan footballer contributes in the field portion of the sport. LB Kori Dickerson (6-8 high jump) placed third in the high jump at the 1999 and 2000 USC-UCLA dual meets.
- OT-OG Faaesea Mailo, a 6-4, 330-pound Hawaiian, participated in the sumo club in high school, where he won the Hawaii state championship. He even went to Japan in 1996 to train with pro sumo wrestlers, who tried unsuccessfully to convince him to take up the sport as a profession. He missed the 1997 and 1998 USC seasons while on a Mormon mission in Sapporo, Japan (imagine opening your door and seeing him!). In short yardage situations last season, he lined up at fullback a la Refrigerator Perry and proved to be a devastating blocker (USC converted all but one try in that formation), he's doing that again in 2000.
- LB John Cousins is deaf in one ear and impaired in the other. He wears a hearing aid. That handicap could present some unique challenges on the football field. Incidentally, PK John Wall knows sign language, having volunteered with deaf and hearing impaired youth programs while in high school.
- OT Phillip Eaves spent part of 1997 in the Army at Fort Jackson, S.C.
- Four Trojans have fathers who played on national championship USC football squads: DE Sultan Abdul-Malik (father, Ed Powell (now Wali Abdul-Malik) was on 1972 and 1974 teams, OT-OG Derek Graf (father, Allan, was on 1972 team), OT Brent McCaffrey (father, Bob McCaffrey, was on 1972 and 1974 teams), and S Kyle Matthews (father, 1977 All-American Clay, was on the 1974 team). Matthews' uncle, Bruce, was a 1982 All-American offensive guard at USC.
Two other Trojans have dads who lettered at Troy in 1970 and 1971: TB Petros Papadakis (father, John) and S John Morgan (father, Mike). And S-CB Kevin Arbet is the stepson of ex-Trojan (1980-82) Jeff Simmons. Papadakis also has a brother (Taso, 1994 and 1996) who played at USC, as does LB Darryl Knight (Ryan, 1984-87, and Sammy, 1993-96).
Two Trojans have cousins who played at USC--WR Kareem Kelly (Rashard Cook, 1995-98) and TE-SNP Joe Boskovich (Martin Boskovich, 1993)--and two have uncles who were Trojan footballers: S Troy Polamalu (Kennedy Pola, 1982-85, now USC's running backs coach) and OG-C Norm Katnik (John Katnik, 1986-87).
- Speaking of genes, DE Sultan Abdul-Malik's brother, Hassan, is a junior safety on Cal State Northridge's football team, while brother Saeed is a senior defensive end at UNLV. S-CB Kevin Arbet's cousin, Lamarr Arbet, is a freshman defensive lineman at San Jose State and his uncle, Darren Arbet, is the head coach of the San Jose SaberCats of the Arena Football League.
TE Alex Holmes' father, Mike, lettered at defensive end at Michigan in 1974 and 1975. Besides his 2 brothers who played at USC, another of LB Darryl Knight's brothers, Greg, played defensive line at Colorado, and his father, Sam Sr., played on the California state championship basketball team in the early 1960s at Riverside (Calif.) Community College that was coached by Jerry Tarkanian.
TB Sultan McCullough's brother, Saladin, was a tailback at Oregon, while his late father, Bruce, ran track at San Jose State in the 1960s.
OT-OG Faaesea Mailo's father, James, played football at Hawaii, while brother, Anipati, is a sophomore linebacker at Hawaii and brother, Fulutusi, is a freshman linebacker at Montana State.
LB Zeke Moreno's brother, Moses, was a 3-year (1995-97) starting quarterback at Colorado State who now plays for the San Diego Chargers, his mother, Arcinia Arenas, played fullback and linebacker with the Mighty Mommas in a San Diego women's tackle football league for a season when Zeke was little.
PK David Newbury's father, Gerry, played professional soccer in England.
S Ifeanyi Ohalete's half brother, Earl Simpson, played football at Texas A&M and another, Carl, plays pro basketball overseas.
S Troy Polamalu's uncle is former USC fullback Kennedy Pola (1982-85), now the Trojans' running backs coach, while another uncle, Al Pola, played football at Penn State, a cousin, Nicky Sualua, was a running back with the Cincinnati Bengals and the Dallas Cowboys who attended Ohio State, another cousin, Leie Sualua, was a defensive lineman at Oregon, and another cousin, Joe Polamalu, played for Oregon State in 1987 and 1988.
LB A.J. Single's father, Doug, played at Stanford, then was the Cardinal's offensive line coach before serving as athletic director at Northwestern and SMU.
QB Mike Van Raaphorst's brother, Jeff, was a record-setting quarterback at Arizona State (1983-86) and the 1987 Rose Bowl MVP, his dad, Dick, was a kicker with Ohio State and the San Diego Chargers, while another brother, Bill, was an offensive lineman at San Diego State.
TE coach Brian Schottenheimer is the son of ex-Kansas City Chiefs head coach Marty Schottenheimer.
DB coach Dennis Thurman's brother, Junior, was a USC defensive back (1985-86).
LB coach A.J. Christoff's son, Rob, is an assistant football coach at Montana State.
- Two Trojans have Hollywood connections. OT Derek Graf's father, Allan, is a stuntman, stunt coordinator and second unit director who has been involved in many noted Hollywood films, most recently 'On Any Given Sunday' and 'The Replacements.' TE Antoine Harris' late stepfather was comedian/actor Robin Harris, who appeared in movies such as 'Mo' Better Blue,' 'House Party,' 'Do The Right Thing,' and 'Harlem Nights.' The cartoon series, 'Bebe's Kids,' is based on characters in Robin's comedy routine.
- USC head coach Paul Hackett is a rock music fan. He sat in the front row at the final Beatles concert, in 1966 in Candlestick Park in San Francisco. He still goes to concerts quite frequently. As a hobby, he collects old music juke boxes filled with 1950s and '60s rock 'n roll music.
ROSTER UPDATES -- There are several personnel updates that are not listed in the 2000 USC football media guide: Malcolm Wooldridge, a 6-2, 300-pound first-year freshman defensive tackle (he'll wear #96), joined the Trojans midway through training camp as a scholarship player. He played at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va., in 1999 after spending the 1997 and 1998 seasons at Olympic Heights High in Boca Raton, Fl. (he was a 1998 All-Palm Beach County Athletic Conference Class 5-A first teamer and made 80 tackles with 9 sacks in 1997)...OT Nate Steinbacher is now #71, SNP-TE Joe Boskovich is now #64 and S Danny Bravo is now #47...Ten walk-ons have joined the Trojan squad: #5, QB Richie Wessman (6-1, 195, San Clemente, San Clemente HS/Orange Coast JC), #13, CB Peter Polk (5-10, 175, Los Angeles, St. Bernard HS/West Los Angeles CC), #15, QB Matt Harris (6-4, 210, Las Vegas, NV, Meadows HS), #18, P Tommy Huff (6-1, 225, Bellevue, WA, Bellevue HS, U. of Michigan), #31, P-PK Drew Thomas (6-3, 200, Johnson City, TN, Westlake HS), #41, P-CB Matt Lemos (5-10, 165, Redwood City, St. Francis HS), #46, WR Forrest Mozart (6-1, 195, Los Altos Hills, St. Francis HS), #48, S Kyle Matthews (6-0, 170, Agoura, Westlake HS), #61, LB Aaron Orndorff (6-1, 235, Bakersfield, Stockdale HS), and #70, OG Spencer Torgan (6-1, 265, Calabasas, Harvard-Westlake HS). Wessman and Polk are sophomores, Huff is a redshirt freshman and the others are first-year freshmen...A trio of walk-onsï¿½#40 Michael Torres, #47 Spencer McCroskey and #82 D. Haleï¿½has quit the team, as has #57 Carlos Acosta...Freshman DT Sagan Atuatasi did not meet USC admission standards and is not with the Trojans in 2000.
USC: COLLEGE OF THE YEAR 2000--USC was named the 'College of the Year' by the 2000 edition of the Time/The Princeton Review College Guide. USC was chosen because of the remarkable bonds the university has forged with local schools, community residents, police, businesses and community organizations. 'More institutions might do well to emulate USC's enlightened self-interest,' according to the guide's editors. 'For not only has the 'hood dramatically improved, but so has the university.' The editors cited the university's model of service learning -- the practice of applying academic theory to real-life situations through public service -- as their main reason for choosing USC as college of the year, saying USC has one of the most ambitious social-outreach programs of any university in the nation. USC also has seen its undergraduate applications nearly double over the last few years and enrolled the most academically accomplished freshman class in its history. And USC is the only university in history to have received three individual gifts of $100 million or more.
USC: 'HOT SCHOOL' OF 2001--USC has been chosen as one of America's nine 'hottest schools' by the 2001 edition of the Newsweek/Kaplan College Guide. USC was selected because it lives up to its reputation as a top-notch institution of higher education. 'Just as East Coast students go for New York and NYU, the West Coast is gravitating to USC in Los Angeles,' according to the guide's article. 'USC has morphed from a jock school to a serious contender for top students.' Students quoted in the article said Los Angeles' ethnic diversity, the offer of scholarships, the small classroom sizes and USC's standing in academe attracted them to the university.
ACADEMICS--USC's official 2000 NCAA football graduation rate is an all-time high 80%...and the 2001 rate will rise to 82%. That rate is more than 20 points higher than the national football average for Division I schools. Among the top scholars on the 2000 Trojan squad are QB Mike Van Raaphorst and LB Ryan Shapiro, who both sport a team-best 3.72 GPA. Both received their bachelor's degrees last spring and are taking graduate courses this fall (Van Raaphorst: who is applying for a Rhodes Scholarship--received his degree in broadcast journalism/political science and is now taking M.B.A. classes, while Shapiro was a business administration grad who is going after his master's in communication). Other USC footballers who star in the classroom are: FB Brennan Ochs (3.12, political science), TE Scott Huber (3.10, business), TE Chad Cook (3.00, business), OG-OT Trevor Roberts (2.96, public policy and management), OT Brent McCaffrey (2.82, planning and development), DT-DE Bobby DeMars (2.82, business administration) and OT Phillip Eaves (2.80, business). Van Raaphorst and Ochs made the 1999 Pac-10 All-Academic first team (Van Raaphorst was an honorable mention selection in 1997 and 1998 and Ochs was an honorable mention pick in 1998), while Huber was an 1999 Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention pick. In its history, USC football has produced 22 Academic All-American first teamers (tops in the Pac-10 and tied for fifth in the nation), 20 NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship winners, 12 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes, 4 NCAA Today's Top Six winners, 1 Rhodes Scholar and 1 Academic All-American Hall of Famer.
IN THE NFL--USC is always well-represented in the NFL. There were 31 ex-Trojans on 2000 opening day NFL rosters (tied for seventh among all schools), including players such as LB Junior Seau, OLs Tony Boselli and Bruce Matthews, DLs Willie McGinest and Darrell Russell, WRs Keyshawn Johnson, Curtis Conway and Johnnie Morton, QB Rob Johnson, and DBs Jason Sehorn and Mark Carrier. Six NFL head coaches have USC ties (either as former players or assistants): New York Giants' Jim Fassel, Tennessee's Jeff Fisher, Seattle's Mike Holmgren, San Francisco's Steve Mariucci, Washington's Norv Turner and San Diego's Mike Riley. Seven current USC players have relatives with NFL playing backgrounds: C Eric Denmon (cousin, Rod Jones), WR Kareem Kelly (cousin, Rashard Cook), LB Darryl Knight (brother, Sammy), S Kyle Matthews (grandfather, Clay Sr., father, Clay Matthews, uncle, Bruce Matthews), OT Brent McCaffrey (father, Bob McCaffrey, uncle, Mike McCaffrey), S Troy Polamalu, (cousin, Nicky Sualua), QB Mike Van Raaphorst, (father, Dick Van Raaphorst). Additionally, head coach Paul Hackett and assistants Dennis Thurman and Brian Schottenheimer were NFL assistants (Thurman also played in the NFL).
ON TV--USC is one of America's most televised teams. The Trojans have appeared on live national, regional or local telecasts 278 times, including all 12 games in 1998 and 1999. In fact, USC had an amazing streak of 111 consecutive games on some form of live television from 1988 to 1997.
SCOUTING STANFORD: Defending Pac-10 champion Stanford, under sixth-year head coach Tyrone Willingham, has lost its last 3 games (to Arizona, Notre Dame and last weekend at Oregon State, 38-6). However, the Cardinal is 10-3 in its last 13 Pac-10 games. After losing a pair of senior quarterbacks earlier this season (Joe Borchard to pro baseball and Randy Fasani to a knee injury), sophomore QB Chris Lewis (64-of-144, 44.4%, 824 yds, 5 TD, 5 int in 2000) has taken over. The senior Fasani (37-of-71, 52.1%, 664 yds, 6 TD, 1 int in 2000) could return to action this week. Cardinal quarterbacks have been sacked only 10 times all season. Stanford's top pass catcher is senior WR DeRonnie Pitts (38 rec, 11.9 avg, 5 TD in 2000), No. 7 on the Pac-10 career receptions list (189, fourth in Stanford history) and currently tied for 14th nationally in receptions (6.3, tied for first in Pac-10). On the Stanford career charts, he also is second in receiving yardage (2,594, 11th all-time Pac-10) and third in TD receptions (21). Eleven of Stanford's 12 offensive touchdowns this year have been through the air. Soph TB Kerry Carter (93 tcb, 345 yds, 3.7 avg in 2000) and junior TB Brian Allen (59 tcb, 288 yds, 4.9 avg in 2000) share the running attack. Among those headlining the Cardinal defense are senior SS Aaron Focht (41 tac, 3 for losses, 1 int in 2000), senior RB-turned-ILB Coy Wire (38 tac, 7 for losses, 4 sac, 1 FR in 2000), junior CB Ryan Fernandez (30 tac, 3 int in 2000), who is tied for 22nd nationally in interceptions (0.5, tied for third in Pac-10), senior DT Willie Howard (25 tac, 5 for losses, 3 sac in 2000), a 1999 All-Pac-10 first teamer and among 12 Lombardi Award semifinalists in 2000, and senior OLB Riall Johnson (26 tac, 10 for losses, 8 sac in 2000), the Pac-10's current leader in sacks.
HACKETT SAYS: 'The Oregon game was very exciting right into the fourth quarter. We felt we played well enough to be in the game and have a chance to win. But we didn't play smart football, at least not smart enough to win. So the focus as we begin the second half of the season is to find a way where we can put all three phases of our play--offense, defense and special teams--together to win. We've been sporadic at times in certain areas and good at times in certain things. We still haven't shown the ability to put a complete game together, offensively, defensively and on special teams. That'll be the focus this week. USC and Stanford are two teams that are struggling. It's always difficult to go on the road, but we have a great rivalry with Stanford and our players always look forward to playing up there. The big issue is how are we going to respond from our third loss in row. Are we going to be able to bounce back? Defensively, we'll face a very good passing attack. And offensively, we'll face a powerful front seven with some of the best defensive linemen in the conference. This will be a real challenge for us, particularly because it's on the road. But it's time to start the second half of the season with a victory.'
OUT: DT Bobby DeMars (knee), WR Marcell Allmond (leg), S Matt Grootegoed (mono), Joe McGuire (back), Gregg Guenther (back), TB Chris Howard (knee), CB Antuan Simmons (abdominal tumor), TE Chad Cook (knee), DE Jamaal Williams (leg), S John Morgan (knee).
PROBABLE: Kris Richard (knee).
POSSIBLE: C Eric Denmon (ankle), S Ifeanyi Ohalete (ankle).
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