Trojans Prepare For Orange Bowl Showdown Against Iowa Hawkeyes
Dec. 21, 2002
|2002 USC FOOTBALL SCHEDULE (10-2)|
|Sept. 2||Auburn||W 24-17|
|Sept. 14||at Colorado||W 40-3|
|Sept. 21||at Kansas State||L 20-27|
|Sept. 28||Oregon State||W 22-0|
|Oct. 5||at Washington State||L 27-30 (1OT)|
|Oct. 12||California||W 30-28|
|Oct. 19||Washington||W 41-21|
|Oct. 26||at Oregon||W 44-33|
|Nov. 9||at Stanford||W 49-17|
|Nov. 16||Arizona State||W 34-13|
|Nov. 23||at UCLA||W 52-21|
|Nov. 30||Notre Dame||W 44-13|
|Jan. 2||Iowa||8 p.m. (ABC)
(FedEx Orange Bowl)
Live national TV: 5 p.m. (PST), ABC-TV, Tim Brant, Ed Cunnigham, Samantha Ryan-Herbst.
Live national radio: 5 p.m. (PST), ESPN Radio, Dave Barnett, Bill Currie, Mike Golic.
Live local radio: 4 p.m. (PST), KMPC-AM (1540), Pete Arbogast, Paul McDonald, Petros Papadakis, Jeff Kopp and Mark Carrier (includes 1-hour pre-game and 2-hour post-game shows). Five other stations are included on the USC radio network: KPLS-AM 830 in Orange, XEMM-AM 800 in San Diego, KXPS-AM 1010 in Palm Springs, KGEO-AM 1230 in Bakersfield and KVEN-AM 1450 in Ventura. Fans also can hear the live KMPC broadcast on the Internet as a 'cybercast' on www.usctrojans.com or can pay to listen to it live by dialing 1-800-846-4675 ext. 5933.
Local Spanish-language radio: 5 p.m. (PST), XPRS-AM (1090), Jorge Villanueva, Efren Dominguez, Victor Duarte.
USC Insider Show: 7 p.m. (PST), Tuesdays during football season, KMPC-AM (1540) and KPLS-AM (830), Pete Arbogast, Petros Papadakis.
USC Trojan Talk: 7 p.m. (PST), Sundays from late August through Memorial Day, KDWN-AM (720), Harvey Hyde, Chuck Hayes.
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.
NO. 5 USC FOOTBALL, ONE OF AMERICA'S TOP BOWL TEAMS, FACES NO. 3 IOWA IN FEDEX ORANGE BOWL
USC (10-2 overall, 7-1 Pac-10 for first place tie) vs. Iowa (11-1 overall, 8-1 Big Ten for first place tie), FedEx Orange Bowl, Thursday, Jan. 2, 5 p.m. PST, Pro Player Stadium, Miami, Fla.
Two of the nation's Top 5-ranked teams Pac-10 co-champion USC and Big Ten co-champ Iowa--will meet in perhaps the most competitive post-season bowl, the 69th FedEx Orange Bowl. It's the first meeting between the Trojans and Hawkeyes in 26 years and the first ever in a bowl. Troy, one of the nation's premier bowl teams, will be making its 41st post-season appearance. The Trojans have played in 11 different bowls, but this will be their first appearance in the Orange Bowl (USC is only the second Pac-10 team in that game) and their first participation in the BCS. It is also Iowa's first Orange Bowl trip. Troy is riding a 7-game winning streak and the Hawkeyes have won their last 9. USC, which has played the nation's toughest schedule, will be facing its ninth AP-ranked team of the season. The game features a match-up of All-American QBs Carson Palmer of USC (the Heisman Trophy winner who is the Pac-10's career passing and total offense leader) and Brad Banks of Iowa, the Heisman runnerup. Both schoolsfeaturing high-scoring offenses and stingy defensesare ranked high nationally in many team offensive and defensive statistical categories; in fact, the schools mirror each other statistically. Iowa also features 1,000-yard TB Fred Russell, while USC's defenseled by 2-time All-American Troy Polamaluhas not allowed any runner to gain 100 yards in a game this year. USC Freshman All-American WR Mike Williams is heading home to his native Florida, while fellow WR Kareem Kelly looks to take possession of the NCAA record for consecutive games with a catch and the USC career reception mark. Head coaches Pete Carroll of USC and Iowa's Kirk Ferentz have revived traditionally-strong programs. USC has never won a game in Florida (neither has Iowa), but has fared well whenever it plays on Jan. 2. Troy also has been successful in bowls in seasons that it has swept UCLA and Notre Dame. The game featuring the Orange Bowl's famous halftime extravaganzais sold out and will be televised live under the lights on ABC-TV.
USC is ranked fifth by AP and USA Today/ESPN. Iowa is ranked third by AP and USA Today/ESPN.
It's been 26 years since USC and Iowa last played. The Trojans hold a 6-2 series edge over the Hawkeyes, winning the last 5 meetings. None of the 8 matchups were in a bowl game. USC has outscored Iowa, 244-74. The teams last met in 1976 in Los Angeles, a 55-0 Trojan win behind QB Rob Hertel's school-record-tying 4 TD passes and 100-yard rushing performances by TBs Ricky Bell and Charles White (it was USC's biggest margin of victory since 1931). USC's other wins came in 1925 (18-0 at home), 1962 (7-0 on the road), 1970 (48-0 on the road), 1974 (41-3 at home) and 1975 (27-16 on the road). Iowa's victories were in 1950, when the Hawkeyes upset No. 12 USC, 20-14, in the Coliseum on a touchdown with 10 minutes to play (the first time USC lost a night game), and 1961, when the top-ranked Hawkeyes won, 35-34, in the Coliseum (Troy trailed 34-20 with less than 5 minutes to play before a pair of Bill Nelsen-to-Hal Bedsole TD passes closed the gap, but the Trojans failed on a 2-point conversion for the win with less than a minute left). USC came into the Iowa games ranked in the AP Top 13 in all but 2 of the 8 meetings (in the pre-ranking year of 1925 and then in 1961).
USC IN BOWLS
USC has a remarkable record in bowl games. The Trojans have the nation's sixth highest bowl winning percentage (.625) among the 61 schools that have made at least 10 bowl appearances (behind only Oklahoma State's .692, Penn State's and Georgia Tech's .667, Florida State's .655 and Oklahoma's .643). USC is just 4 wins behind Alabama for most bowl victories, 29 to 25. Troy's 40 bowl appearances rank fourth behind only Alabama (51), Tennessee (42) and Texas (41), and are tied with Nebraska. USC once won 9 consecutive bowl games; only Florida State has won more in a row (11). USC's overall postseason record is 2515. The Trojans were a bowl participant each year they were eligible from 1972 to 1990. Troy has appeared in an unprecedented 28 Rose Bowls, where it has a 208 mark. That's not only the most Rose Bowl wins of any team, but also the most wins by a school in a single bowl. USC has won 7 of its last 9 Rose Bowls. USC has also appeared in 10 other bowlsthe Christmas Festival, Liberty Bowl, Bluebonnet Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Aloha Bowl, Florida Citrus Bowl, Sun (John Hancock) Bowl (twice), Freedom Bowl (twice), Cotton Bowl and Las Vegas Bowl. Troy's last bowl appearance was in the 2001 Las Vegas Bowl, a 10-6 loss to Utah.
CARROLL, ORGERON IN ORANGE BOWL
USC head coach Pete Carroll was the secondary coach at Arkansas when it beat Oklahoma in the 1978 Orange Bowl. USC defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron was an assistant at Miami when it beat Nebraska in the 1989 and 1992 Orange Bowls and at Arkansas when it lost to Oklahoma in the 1987 Orange Bowl.
IOWA BOWL HISTORY
Iowa has a 9-7-1 record in bowls. The Hawkeyes have played in the Rose (5 times), Holiday (3), Alamo (3), Peach (2), Sun (2), Gator (1) and Freedom (1) Bowls, but never in the Orange Bowl. Iowa's last bowl appearance was a 19-16 victory over TexasTech in the 2001 Alamo Bowl.
ORANGE BOWL HISTORY
This will be the 69th version of the Orange Bowl, held in 75,540-seat Pro Player Stadium (home of the Miami Dolphins). USC will be the second Pac-10 team to appear in the Orange Bowl, following Washington's 28-17 victory over Oklahoma in 1985. Iowa will be making its first Orange Bowl visit. Current Big Ten teams have appeared in 8 previous Orange Bowls (Michigan State in 1938, Penn State in 1969-70-74-86, Ohio State in 1977, Michigan in 1976-2000).
USC's 7-game winning streak is its longest since capturing 7 in the 1994 and 1995 seasons (the last game of 1994 and the opening 6 in 1995). USC last won 7 in a row in the same season in 1988, when it won its first 10).
USC captured a share of the Pac-10 title in 2002. The Trojans now have won or split 32 conference championships, most recently tying for the crown in 1995.
USC's No. 5 AP ranking is its highest since the 1995 team reached No. 5 midway through that season. This is also USC's best ranking this late into a season since the 1979 team finished its 12-game season at No. 2. It is also the first season since 1995 that USC has been ranked in the AP poll each week (incidentally, Troy was never ranked in 2001). The is USC's highest ranking going into a bowl game since being No. 5 for the 1989 Rose Bowl. On the other hand, No. 3 Iowa is the highest ranked opponent USC has faced since it lost at No. 3 UCLA in 1998.
USC's 10-2 record is its first 10-win season and its best overall season since the 1988 squad finished 10-2.
USC has scored at least 30 points in its last 7 games (all victories), only the second time in USC history that has happened (the 1972 team did so in its first 7 contests). On the year, the Trojans have scored 30 points 8 times, the most since getting 10 in 1972. USC's 427 total points and 55 TDs in 2002 are the most since the 1972 club had 467 and 65.
USC VS. BIG TEN
USC is 61-27-2 against Big Ten competition. Troy has won 24 of its last 32 games (and 31 of its last 40) against Big Ten opponents. USC last faced a Big Ten foe in 2000 when it defeated Penn State, 29-5, in the Kickoff Classic. Iowa, on the other hand, is 27-31-1 against the Pac-10.
USC IN FLORIDA
USC has never won a game in the state of Florida, going 0-4 there. The Trojans lost at Miami in 1966, at Florida in 1982, to Auburn in the 1987 Citrus Bowl in Orlando and at Florida State in 1998. Incidentally, Iowa also is 0-4 in Florida.
USC is 58-40-11 (.583) in all season finales.
ON JAN. 2
USC has played 6 games on Jan. 2, posting a 4-2 record. The wins were over Santa Barbara AC in 1899 (the finale of the 1898 season), Pittsburgh in the 1933 Rose Bowl, Duke in the 1939 Rose Bowl and Texas Tech in the 1995 Cotton Bowl. The losses were to Purdue in the 1967 Rose Bowl and Michigan in the 1989 Rose Bowl.
USC VS. TOP RUNNERS, PASSERS, OFFENSES
USC is sixth nationally in rushing defense, allowing just 80.2 yards on the ground. No runner has rushed for 100 yards against USC in 2002 (1982 was the last time the Trojans went an entire season without allowing a runner to hit 100 yards).
USC also has faced 6 quarterbacksWashington's Cody Pickett, Arizona State's Andrew Walter, Oregon State's Derek Anderson, Washington State's Jason Gesser, California's Kyle Boller and Oregon Jason Fifewho have thrown for 2,500-plus yards in 2002 (Pickett has 4,000 yards and Walter has 3,500). The Trojans have held 6 teams under 200 yards passing. And 5 Trojan foesWashington, Washington State, Kansas State, Oregon State and Coloradorank in the top 30 nationally in total offense in 2002 (each averaging at least 400 yards). So, it is an accomplishment that USC currently is sixth nationally in total defense while allowing just 281.8 yards per game.
USC has been effective in the takeaway department under head coach Pete Carroll's 2 seasons. USC's +1.30 turnover margin over the past 2 regular seasons is the best in the nation and its +65 takeaways during that span is fourth most (slightly behind Virginia Tech's 69, Tulane's 67 and Oklahoma's 66). In 2002, the Trojans have 34 takeaways (18 fumbles and 16 interceptions) and rank ninth nationally in turnover margin (+1.3). Last year (including the bowl), Troy had 35 takeaways (20 picks, 15 fumbles) and ranked fifth in the nation in turnover margin at +1.3. USC's ball security is impressive, too, the past 2 seasons: only 19 turnovers in 2001 and just 18 this year.
USC does not have any players from Iowa, while the Hawkeyes have 3 playersP David Bradley, FB Edgar Cervantes and WR Ramon Ochoafrom California...Two TrojansWR Mike Williams (Plant HS in Tampa) and S Mike Ross (St Petersburg Catholic HS)are from Florida (in fact, USC has had only 2 other lettermen in its history from Florida)...USC head coach Pete Carroll was the secondary coach at Iowa State in 1978...USC strength and conditioning coach Chris Carlisle played offensive line at North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City, Ia., in 1980, after prepping at Mason City High...USC defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron was an assistant coach at Miami from 1988 to 1992...USC wide receivers coach Lane Kiffin was the defensive quality control coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2000 (his father, Monte Kiffin, is the defensive coordinator with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers)...USC associate athletic director in charge of student-athlete academic services Dr. Magdi El Shahawy was a 3-year (1986-89) letterman nose guard at Florida State, then he worked in the Seminole athletic department...USC video coordinator Joe Schrimpl held similar positions at Miami (1998) and at his alma mater, Drake (1994-98)...USC women's basketball coach Chris Gobrecht was Florida State's coach in 1997...Iowa women's volleyball assistant coach Lonise Norfleet played for USC from 1987 to 1990, earning All-Pac-10 honors in 1990.
NEW USC JERSEYS
In its first major uniform change in 30 years, USC are wearing jerseys in 2002 with a style that harkens back to the heyday era of the 1960s. The new jerseys are similar to those worn by Trojan teams from 1958 to 1969 (when Troy won 2 national titles and played in 5 Rose Bowls under coach John McKay). The jerseys feature a single crescent stripe on each shoulder pad and numbers on the sleeve (all stripes and numbers are sewn in). There also is an interlocking 'SC' logo on the bottom of the neckline. Per tradition, there will be no names on the back of the jersey. The last time USC underwent a uniform change of this magnitude was in 1972, when the jerseys worn up until last season (3 stripes on each sleeve) were first introduced. (In 1970 and 1971, USC's jerseys had no markings except for the front and back numeral.)
S Troy Polamalu (for the second consecutive year) and QB Carson Palmer have been selected by their teammates as season captains. Each game, they will join captains representing the special teams and the service (scout) team.
USC, as usual, is playing one of the nation's most difficult schedules. This week's rankings by the NCAA, USA Today/Sagarin and the BCS all again have USC playing the nation's toughest schedule. Coming into the season, Sports Illustrated listed Troy's slate as the nation's toughest. The cumulative record of USC's 13 opponents currently is 104-51 (67.1%); at the time they played USC, these 13 foes were 63-22 (only Stanford came in with a losing record) and 9 were ranked by AP (the most USC has ever faced in a season). Six of Troy's 2002 opponents currently are ranked in the AP poll and 11 are playing in a bowl this season. 'Nobody has played a tougher schedule since Germany in World War II,' said ESPN's Beano Cook. Seven opponents played in bowls last season and 5 were ranked in the final 2001 AP Top 20 (3 were in the Top 10).
QB Carson Palmer threw 4 touchdown passes to help the USC offense collect 610 total yards, while the Trojan defense limited the Irish to just 109 total yards, as No. 6 USC overwhelmed No. 7 Notre Dame, 44-13, before a sold-out Coliseum crowd of 91,432 and a split national ABC-TV audience. It was USC's most points and biggest victory margin over ND since 1974. USC's total yardagea season highwas the most ever allowed by the Irish, as were Palmer's 425 passing yards and TD throws. It was also the most points surrendered by ND since 1998. USC snapped a 3-game losing streak to the Irish. After a pair of first quarter field goals by PK Nicholas Setta (34 and 32 yards), USC got on the board in the second quarter on a 6-yard Palmer scoring toss to WR Mike Williams followed by PK Ryan Killeen's 22-yard field goal. Late in the first half, ILB Carlos Pierre-Antoine blocked a punt and recovered it for a TD. But USC took just 1:02 to counter the score on Palmer's 19-yard TD pass to Williams with 5 seconds left to go up 17-13. That started a run of 34 unanswered points for Troy. It was all USC in the second half as Palmer hit TB Malaefou MacKenzie with a pair of TD passes (15 yards early in the third quarter and then 10 yards midway through the fourth quarter), sandwiching a pair of Killeen field goals (27 and 29 yards in the third quarter) and an 11-yard scoring run by TB Sultan McCullough early in the fourth quarter. Palmer, who was 32-of-46 passing (one completion shy of the USC game record), became the Pac-10's career total offense leader and set a Pac-10 season record for passing yards, as well as USC season marks for TD passes and total offense. He also set a USC record with 147 consecutive passes without an interception before being picked off twice. WR Kareem Kelly tied the USC career receptions record, while Williams caught 10 passes for 169 yards (both game highs) to go over the 1,000-yard season barrier and WR Keary Colbert had 5 grabs for 75 yards. TB Justin Fargas ran for a game-best 120 yards on 20 carries (he also caught 4 passes for 41 yards) and McCullough added 44 yards on 8 tries. USC, which had 31 first downs and averaged 7.3 yards per play, had its most yards of total offense since getting 621 against Oregon State in 1996. USC did this against an Irish defense that was ranked second nationally in pass efficiency defense (85.9), third in scoring defense (13.2), fifth in total defense (170.6) and ninth in rushing defense (90.5). On the other side of the ball, USC's defense held ND to just 4 first downs, 0-of-13 on third down conversions, 2.1 yards on 51 plays and 21:55 possession time. The Irish, who rushed for only 39 yards in the game, had just 15 total yards (and no points) after halftime. ND QB Carlyle Holiday, who was just 10-of-29 for 70 yards with 3 interceptions, saw his school-record string of 126 passes without being picked off snapped. RB Ryan Grant, a 1,000-yard rusher, got only 16 yards on 10 tries. USC LB Melvin Simmons had 7 tackles, while LB Mike Pollard added 6 stops and an interception and S Troy Polamalu had 5 tackles. CB Darrell Rideaux and S DeShaun Hill also had picks. It was the first time USC beat UCLA and Notre Dame in the same season since 1981 (and the first time in back-to-back games since 1978); the combined 62-point margin of victory was the Trojans' highest ever against their 2 rivals. It gave Troy its first 10-win season since 1988. It was the highest-ranked opponent USC beat since No. 3 Northwestern in the 1996 Rose Bowl (and in the regular season since downing No. 5 Penn State in 1991).
|Heisman Trophy||QB Carson Palmer|
|Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award||QB Carson Palmer|
|Pop Warner Award||QB Carson Palmer|
|National Player of the Year||QB Carson Palmer (Sporting News)|
|All-American first team*||QB Carson Palmer (AP, FWAA, Sporting News, ESPN.com, CBS.Sportsline.com, CNNSI.com)|
|All-American first team||S Troy Polamalu (AP, FWAA, Walter Camp, ESPN.com, CBS.Sportsline.com)|
|All-American second team||S Troy Polamalu (Sporting News)|
|All-American honorable mention||S Troy Polamalu (CNNSI.com)|
|All-American honorable mention||WR Mike Williams (CNNSI.com)|
|Freshman All-American first team||WR Mike Williams (Sporting News), OT Winston Justice (Sporting News)|
|Freshman All-American second team||P Tom Malone (Sporting News)|
|Davey O'Brien Award finalist||QB Carson Palmer|
|Walter Camp Award finalist||QB Carson Palmer|
|Jim Thorpe Award finalist||S Troy Polamalu|
|All-Pac-10 Co-Offensive Player of the Year||QB Carson Palmer|
|All-Pac-10 Freshman of the Year||WR Mike Williams|
|All-Pac-10 first team||QB Carson Palmer, OT Jacob Rogers, LB Matt Grootegoed, S Troy Polamalu|
|All-Pac-10 second team||TB Justin Fargas, WR Keary Colbert, OG Zach Wilson, DE Kenechi Udeze, DT Mike Patterson, S DeShaun Hill|
|All-Pac-10 honorable mention||DT Shaun Cody, WR Kareem Kelly, TB Malaefou MacKenzie, P Tom Malone, LB Mike Pollard, CB Darrell Rideaux|
|All-Pac-10 Freshman Off. Player of the Year||WR Mike Williams (Sporting News)|
|Freshman All-Pac-10 first team||WR Mike Williams (Sporting News), OT Winston Justice (Sporting News), P Tom Malone (Sporting News)|
|Paul 'Bear' Bryant Coach of the Year Award||Head coach Pete Carroll|
|Broyles Award||Offensive coordinator Norm Chow|
*The 123rd and 124th times a Trojan has won All-American first team honors
LOOKING TO 2003
On USC's current 48-man 2-deep (including the punter and kicker), 26 players (10 offense, 13 defense, 3 specialists) are non-seniors, including 14 starters (6 offense, 6 defense, 2 kicker). And that does not include 4 usual underclass starters who are on the injured list.
FUN FACT I
Between them, USC's staff has coached in 67 bowl games at the major college level.
FUN FACT II
In years that USC beat UCLA and Notre Dame and then played in a bowl game, the Trojans are 8-1 (wins in 1938-62-67-72-74-76-78-79 and the loss in 1981).
Pete Carroll brought big doses of experience, enthusiasm and leadership in his quest to revive the USC football program when he was named the Trojans' head football coach on Dec. 15, 2000 (he signed a 5-year contract). In 2002, just his second season at USC, his Trojans thrived despite playing what was ranked by the NCAA, Sagarin and the BCS as the nation's most difficult schedule (facing 8 AP-ranked teams and 10 bowl-bound squads). USCheaded to a major bowlposted a 10-2 overall record and a No. 5 ranking in the polls, and won the Pac-10 championship while going 7-1. The Trojans also won their last 9 home games. It was USC's first 10-win season since 1988 and its highest ranking since 1995. Troy won its final 7 regular-season games (scoring at least 30 points in each), including blowouts of traditional rivals UCLA and Notre Dame (the first time USC beat both in the same season since 1981 and the first time in back-to-back games since 1978). USC led the Pac-10 in total offense (440.8) and total defense (281.8), as well as scoring offense (35.6) and scoring defense (18.6), and was in the NCAA's Top 25 in nearly every team statistical category on both sides of the ball. Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Carson Palmer and safety Troy Polamalu were first team All-Americans. He is 1 of 8 finalists for the 2002 Paul 'Bear' Bryant Coach of the Year Awards. After USC started off his opening 2001 season slowly at 1-4, Carroll stayed the course and got his troops to rally by winning 5 of their last 7 games (including the final 4 regular season contests) to finish at 6-6 overall. USC, which won its last 5 Pac-10 games after beginning league play at 0-3, placed fifth in the conference at 5-3 and earned a berth into the Sega Sports Las Vegas Bowl. Putting an exclamation point on the regular season was a 27-0 blanking of No. 20 UCLA, USC's first shutout in the crosstown rivalry since 1947 and the series' biggest margin of victory since 1979. The 51-year-old Carroll has 28 years of NFL and college experience, including 12 on the college level. He is 16-8 as a college head coach (all at USC); his losses were by a total of 39 points (4.9 average) and only 1 was by more than a touchdown (it was by 11 points). After starting off his Trojan career 2-5, he has gone 14-3. He is 7-0 in November. He was the head coach of the NFL's New England Patriots for 3 seasons (1997-99) and New York Jets for 1 year (1994). He guided the Patriots into the playoffs in his first 2 seasons, winning the AFC Eastern Division title at 10-6 in 1997 and advancing to the second round of the playoffs, then posting a 9-7 regular season mark in 1998. His overall record in New England was 27-21 in the regular season (including 8-8 in 1999) and 1-2 in the playoffs. He owns the franchise's second-best winning percentage (54.9%). After serving as the Jets' defensive coordinator for 4 seasons (1990-93), he became the team's head coach the following season. His 1994 Jets went 6-10. Only 3 other Jets head coaches won more games in their rookie campaign. He spent the next 2 years (1995-96) as the defensive coordinator with the San Francisco 49ers, who won the NFC Western Division title both seasons. The 49ers were 11-5 in the 1995 regular season when they had the NFL's top-ranked defense and then went 12-4 in 1996. Carroll began his coaching career at the college level, serving as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Pacific, for 3 years (1974-76), working with the wide receivers and secondary. He then spent a season each as an assistant in charge of the secondary at Arkansas (1977) under Lou Holtz as the Razorbacks won the 1978 Orange Bowl, at Iowa State (1978) under Earle Bruce (the Cyclones played in the 1978 Hall of Fame Bowl) and at Ohio State (1979) under Bruce. That Buckeye squad lost to USC in the 1980 Rose Bowl. He next spent 3 seasons (1980-82) as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at North Carolina State, then returned to Pacific in 1983 as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. He entered the NFL in 1984 as the defensive backs coach of the Buffalo Bills, then held a similar position with the Minnesota Vikings for 5 seasons (1985-89). The Vikings advanced to the playoffs his last 3 years there, getting to the NFC Championship game in 1987. The 1988 team was 11-5 in the regular season and the 1989 squad won the NFC Central Division crown with a 10-6 mark. His secondary averaged 25 interceptions a season and led the NFL in passing defense in 1989. Carroll spent the 2000 season as a consultant for pro and college teams, doing charitable work for the NFL and writing a column about pro football for CNNSI.com. Carroll was a 2-time (1971-72) All-Pacific Coast Conference free safety at Pacific and earned his bachelor's degree in 1973 in business administration. He received his secondary teaching credential and a master's degree in physical education from Pacific in 1976. He was a 3-sport (football, basketball and baseball) standout at Redwood High in Larkspur, Calif., earning the school's Athlete of the Year award as a senior. He played quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back. He then played football at Marin Junior College in Kentfield, Calif., in 1970. He was born on Sept. 15, 1951 in San Francisco. He and his wife, Glena, who played volleyball at Pacific, have 3 children: sons Brennan, 22, who played tight end at Pittsburgh (he previously played at Delaware) and is now an assistant at USC, and Nathan, 14, and daughter Jaime, 19, a junior at USC who played on the Women of Troy's highly-ranked volleyball team which competed in the 2000 NCAA Final Four. His late father-in-law, Dean Goranson, received his master's degree from USC.
Senior Troy Polamalu (68 tac, 9 for loss, 4 sack, 1 int, 6 dfl, 3 FF in 2002), in his third year starting at strong safety, is 1 of 3 finalists for the Thorpe Award in 2002. A 2-time All-American first team pick (USC's first 2-time honoree since offensive tackle Tony Boselli in 1992 and 1994), Polamalu made the 2002 AP, Football Writers, Walter Camp, ESPN.com and CBS.Sportsline.com All-American first teams, The Sporting News All-American second team and CNNSI.com All-American honorable mention after last fall becoming USC's first All-American first team safety since Thorpe recipient Mark Carrier in 1989. He also was a repeat All-Pac-10 first teamer in 2002. He was named USC's Most Inspirational Player. A 2002 pre-season All-American, he was on the 'Watch List' for the 2002 Walter Camp Award and Bronko Nagurski Award. Sports Illustrated named him as 1 of 5 'Terminators' in college football in 2002, a player 'boasting an otherworldly combination of speed, strength and athleticism...who can single-handedly kill off drives and wreak havoc on game plans.' His jersey currently is on display at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., in the 'Race for the Pantheon' exhibit that highlights the nation's 10 leading candidates for post-season individual honors. He was invited to play in the 2003 East-West Shrine Game. He has played with a nagging ankle sprain for the second half of 2002. In his career, he has 278 tackles (29 for losses), 6 interceptions (3 returned for TDs), 13 deflections, 2 fumble recoveries and 4 blocked punts. Polamalu, who twice won Pac-10 Player of the Week honors in 2001, made big plays in seemingly every game last season. Last year while making the All-Pac-10 first team, he had 118 tackles (13 for losses, with a sack), 6 deflections, 3 interceptions (2 for TDs), 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery and 3 blocked punts. His 118 tackles topped USC and were tied for second in the Pac-10. His tackle totals were game highs 7 times, including a Las Vegas Bowl record 20 against Utah.
--He had 7 tackles (1 for a loss) against Auburn.
--He had a team-high 11 tackles at Colorado, earning Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week honors.
--At Kansas State, he had 7 tackles (2 for losses, with a sack), a deflection and forced a fumble (which DT Mike Patterson picked up and ran 3 yards for a TD).
--He had 4 tackles and a deflection against Oregon State.
--He sprained his ankle on the first series at Washington State and saw only brief action late in the second half (he didn't make a tackle).
--He sat out the California game with the ankle sprain.
--He had 5 tackles, an interception (which he returned 33 yards to set up a USC field goal) and a deflection against Washington.
--At Oregon, he had 7 tackles (1 for a loss).
--He had a game-high 13 tackles at Stanford, including 2 for losses (with a sack).
--He made 5 tackles and had a deflection against Arizona State.
--He had 4 tackles (with a sack), a forced fumble and 2 pass deflections at UCLA.
--He had 5 tackles (2 for losses, with a sack) and forced a fumble against Notre Dame.
'Troy Polamalu is one of the best players I've ever coached,' said USC head coach Pete Carroll, who has tutored such star defensive backs as Ronnie Lott, Tim McDonald, Aaron Glenn, Merton Hanks, Eric Davis and Lawyer Milloy. 'He is a tremendous football player and it shows in every phase of the game: pass defense, run defense, blitzing and special teams. Pound for pound, he is our strongest player (600 pounds in the squat and 353 pounds in the power clean) and he has been a star in our off-season conditioning program. He is a team player, as shown by his desire and performance on special teams. He is also a humble, dedicated team leader who is respected greatly by his teammates, as evidenced by the rare feat of being voted a team captain as just a junior last year. I can't imagine a better safety in college football in 2002.'
THE CARSON SHOW
Senior quarterback Carson Palmer (288-of-458, 62.9%, 3,639 yds, 32 TD, 10 int in 2002, plus 45 tcb, -126 yds, -2.8 avg, 4 TD), the Pac-10's career passing and total offense leader, is the 2002 Heisman Trophy winner (USC's fifth). He also won the 2002 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award as the nation's top senior quarterback and the Pop Warner Award as the top senior on the West Coast. He was named the National Player of the Year by The Sporting News and to the 2002 AP, Football Writers, The Sporting News, ESPN.com, CBS.Sportsline.com and CNNSI.com All-American first teams (USC's first All-American quarterback since Rodney Peete in 1988). He was selected as the 2002 Pac-10 Co-Offensive Player of the Year and to the All-Pac-10 first team. He also was USC's team MVP. He currently is sixth nationally in passing efficiency (148.3, second in Pac-10) and eighth in total offense (292.8, second in Pac-10). In his last 6 games, he has thrown for 2,006 yards and 23 TDs (and in his last 8 games, he has gone for 2,676 yards and 27 TDs). He has thrown a TD pass in every game in 2002, including at least 2 in the past 9 outings (he has thrown at least 4 TDs in 5 of the last 6 games). His 32 TD passes are currently the second most in the country. His 62.9% completion rate is tops in the Pac-10. In 2002, he set USC season records for passing yards (3,639), passing TDs (32), pass attempts (458), total offense (3,513) and TDs rushing and passing (36), and his 288 completions is second on the USC season list (behind Rob Johnson's 308 in 1993). He threw a USC record 147 consecutive passes without an interception in 2002. He is 1 of 3 finalists for the 2002 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award and 1 of 5 finalists for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. He was named Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week 3 times in 2002. Now in his fourth year as a starter, he owns 7 Pac-10 career records and numerous USC career records, including: total offense (a Pac-10 record 11,314), plays (a Pac-10 record 1,788), passing yardage (a Pac-10 record 11,515), passing touchdowns (71, third on the Pac-10 ladder), completions (a Pac-10 record 906), attempts (a Pac-10 record 1,538) and interceptions (49). His 3 seasons with 2,500-plus yards of total offense ties a Pac-10 record. His 11,085 non-bowl career passing yards ranks eighth on the NCAA ladder and his 10,786 non-bowl career total offense yardage is 12th in the NCAA. In 2002, he has completed passes to 13 different receivers. With 44 career starts, he has completed at least 60.0% of his passes 23 times (including 9 contests at 70.0%-plus), with 8 of those coming in 2002, and has thrown for 300-plus yards in a USC-record 10 games in his career (a USC-record 6 in 2002, including 5 of the past 8), with a trio of 400-yard outings (a USC record). His 3 consecutive 300-yard outings (all this year) is a USC record and his 30 200-yard games is a Pac-10 mark (his 11 200-yard games in 2002 is a school record). He owns 3 USC game records: total offense (434), passing yards (448) and TD passes (5, shared with Rodney Peete), all set at Oregon in 2002. He is the first player to lead USC in passing for 4 years. Last fall, he was 221-of-377 (58.6%) for 2,717 yards with 13 TDs and 12 interceptions. His 58.6% completion rate in 2001 topped the Pac-10 and his 419 yards of total offense at Oregon was a since-broken USC game record (his 411 passing yards in that game were 4 shy of tying that school mark). He was invited to play in the 2003 East-West Shrine Game.
--He completed 23-of-32 passes (71.9%) for 302 yards with 1 TD and 2 interceptions against Auburn (he had 3 drops) and also scored the game-winning TD on a 1-yard sneak with 1:26 to play to earn Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week honors. He was 11-of-13 in the second half and completed passes to 8 different receivers in the game.
--He hit 22-of-30 passes (73.3%) for 244 yards with 1 TD at Colorado and also scored a TD on a 1-yard sneak. He hit his first 6 passes in the game and then was 8-of-8 in the second half. His completions went to 7 different receivers.
--At Kansas State, he hit 18-of-46 passes (8 throws were dropped) for 186 yards and a TD while setting USC career records for plays, completions and passing yards.
--He completed 23-of-41 passes for 231 yards with 2 TDs against Oregon State while setting the USC career total offense mark.
--At Washington State, he hit 32-of-50 passes (both career highs and just 1 completion short of the USC game record) for 381 yards and 2 TDs (with an interception), plus he scrambled for a 3-yard score.
--He was 25-of-39 for 289 yards with 2 TDs and 2 interceptions against California.
--He hit 21-of-34 passes for 348 yards with 4 TDs (equaling a then-career best) against Washington.
--He had a record-setting performance at Oregon: he set USC single game marks for passing yardage (448) and total offense (434) while hitting 73.8% (31-of-42) of his throws (he had 1 interception) and his 5 TD tosses equaled a USC record. He was 14-of-18 for 216 yards in the first half and then 12-of-14 for 183 yards in the third quarter. For this, he was named National Player of the Week by CNNSI.com, USAToday.com and SportingNews.com, as well as Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week.
--At Stanford, he threw 4 touchdowns while going 22-of-32 for 317 yards and no interceptions.
--He threw for 2 touchdowns (on 20-of-34 passing with no interceptions) and ran for another (2 yards) against Arizona State.
--At UCLA, he became the Pac-10's career leader in passing yards, completions and attempts as he was 19-of-32 for 254 yards and 4 TDs with no interceptions (he started off 7-of-7 for 128 yards with 2 scores) and he also had a 22-yard scramble where he somersaulted to the 1-yard line to set up a TD. He was named Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week.
--Palmer was 32-of-46 passing (one completion shy of the USC game record) for 425 yards and 4 TDs against Notre Dame (in the national Top 10 in every defensive category), the most yards and TDs ever against the Irish. In the process, he became the Pac-10's career total offense leader and set a Pac-10 season record for passing yards, as well as USC season marks for TD passes and total offense. He also set a USC record with 147 consecutive passes without an interception before being picked off twice.
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