Stanford Heads To L.A. For Date With No. 9 USC
Oct. 5, 2003
2003 STANFORD FOOTBALL
Game #4 - Stanford (2-1, 0-1) at No. 9 USC (4-1, 1-1)
October 11, Los Angeles Coliseum, 7:00 pm
The Cardinal: Stanford is coming off its second bye week of theseason. The Cardinal last played on September 27, losing its Pac-10opener at Washington, 28-17. The Cardinal is now 2-1 overall and 0-1in conference play. Last week, Stanford practiced Tues-Weds-Thurs(Sept. 30, Oct. 1-2) and had Friday and Saturday (Oct. 3-4) off. TheCardinal began the season Sept. 6 vs. San Jose State, then had a byeweek on Sept. 13, back-to-back games at BYU (Sept. 20) and Washington(Sept. 27), and a second bye on October 4. Stanford will finish theseason with games on eight consecutive Saturdays. The Trojans (4-1,1-1) are ranked ninth in the nation after beating Arizona State 37-17last Saturday in Tempe.
Media Coverage: The Stanford-USC game will be televised live to anational cable audience on Fox Sports Net beginning at 7:00 pm at theLos Angeles Coliseum. Stanford's flagship radio station, Talk 910KNEW, will carry the game live with Ted Robinson and Bob Murphy. Thepre-game show begins at 6:30 pm. Live game audio and live in-gamestats are available at www.gostanford.com. In addition, the StanfordFarm Report is broadcast every Saturday at 8:30 am on Fox Sports BayArea.
Octoberfest: Stanford will play three games in the month of Octoberagainst three of the top teams in college football. The Cardinalwill play at USC this Saturday, the nation's ninth ranked team inthis week's USA Today/Coaches Poll. The Cardinal returns home forits second game in Stanford Stadium on Oct. 18 to face No. 12Washington State in the Homecoming Game. Stanford will then travelto Eugene to play at Oregon in Autzen Stadium on Oct. 25. InNovember, however, Stanford's schedule is much more favorable. TheCardinal will play four of five games at home. Only one of thosefive teams are currently ranked in the national polls.
Quick Notes: Despite giving up a season high 165 yards rushing toWashington, the Cardinal still leads the Pac-10 and is third in thenation in rushing defense, giving up an average of 56.3 yards pergame. Stanford allowed nine yards rushing to San Jose State in theseason opener, then (-5) in game two at BYU. Those two games rankamong the top eight all-time at Stanford in fewest rushing yardsallowed. The Cardinal will play eight consecutive Saturdays toconclude the regular season. Stanford leads the conference this weekin kickoff coverage and red zone defense and is third in net punting. USC is the Cardinal's third longest rival having begun their seriesin 1905. Only Cal (1892) and Washington (1893) have had longerrivalries.
The Head Coach: Forty-six year old Buddy Teevens is in his secondseason at Stanford after being named the Cardinal's head coach onJanuary 9, 2002. Teevens' 23-year career prior to coming to Stanfordincluded 12 seasons as a head coach. A 1979 graduate of DartmouthCollege, he had previously held the head coaching position at theUniversity of Maine, Dartmouth and Tulane. Teevens spent threeseasons at Florida (1999-2001) working under Steve Spurrier. Teevenswas the head coach at Maine for two years (1985-86), Dartmouth forfive years (1987-91) and at Tulane for five seasons (1992-96).
Washington Game Notes
L.A. Connection: The Cardinal has three members of its coachingstaff who have previously coached at USC and nine players from theLos Angeles area. Co-Defenssive Coordinator A.J. Christoff coachedlinebackers at USC in 2000, offensive line coach Steve Morton was onthe Trojan staff for two years, coaching tight ends in 1999 andoffensive line in 2000, and running backs coach Wayne Moses coachedTrojan running backs during the 2001 campaign. The nine players fromthe greater Los Angeles area include: WR Mark Bradford (LosAngeles/Fremont HS), TE Michael Horgan (Pasadena/Loyola HS), QB ChrisLewis (Long Beach/Long Beach Poly), QB Kyle Matter (Newhall/Hart HS),FS Marcus McCutcheon (Huntington Beach/Edison), LS Brent Newhouse(Los Angeles/Harvard-Westlake), OLB Michael Okwo (Redondo Beach/MiraCosta HS), DE Will Svitek (Newbury Park/Newbury Park HS) and CBStanley Wilson (Carson/Bishop Montgomery HS).
More McCutcheon: Redshirt freshman FS Marcus McCutcheon knows allabout USC and Los Angeles football history. His father, Lawrence, isone of the great running backs in Los Angeles Rams history and iscurrently Director of Player Personnel for the St. Louis Rams. Hisbrother, Daylon, was a star cornerback for the Trojans from 1995-98and is now playing for the Cleveland Browns. Marcus is a backup atfree safety and a member of the Cardinal special teams.
Young Guns: Stanford may be the youngest team in the nation.Consider that of the Cardinal's 94 players, 47 are either true orredshirt freshman. Stanford has just 14 seniors and 14 juniors onits 2003 roster. The Cardinal has a true freshman class of 30 and aredshirt freshman class of 17.
Rush Defense: Stanford gave up a season high 165 yards on the groundagainst Washington in its last game, but still leads the conferenceand ranks third in the nation with an average of 56.3 yards rushingallowed per game. Opponents have scored just two rushing touchdownsthrough three games and are averaging 2.1 yards per carry. TheCardinal defense has recorded two of the top eight games in schoolhistory by giving up (-5) yards to BYU,which ranks fourth, and nineyards to San Jose State, which ranks eighth. Stanford's defense hasaccounted for eight sacks and 25 tackles for loss for (-116) yards.
Compared to Last Year: Stanford's defense has shown markedimprovement from last year in virtually every statistical category.A year ago, the Cardinal opponents were averaging 34.3 points, 385yards in total offense, 133 yards rushing and 3.7 yards per rush.Through three games this season, Cardinal opponents are averaging17.3 points, 324 yards in total offense, 56 yards rushing and 2.1yards per carry. In 2002, Stanford's defense gave up 30 or morepoints in eight of 11 games. This season, the Cardinal has not givenup 30 in its first three games.
Powell's Play: FL Luke Powell began the year in impressive fashion ashe caught 12 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns in the seasonopener vs. San Jose State. He continues to be one of Stanford's topoffensive threats and one of the most dangerous players in collegefootball. He leads the team and is among the best in the Pac-10 with19 receptions for 216 yards and two touchdowns through three games.Against BYU, he had a career-best 68-yard punt return. Powell, whowas limited last year with an ankle injury, recorded career highs inboth receptions and receiving yards against San Jose State in theseason opener . His 12 catches tied for the ninth best single gameperformance in school history while his 172 receiving yards rankedtied for 15th. He caught touchdown passes from 20 and 30 yards outfrom quarterback Trent Edwards against the Spartans, giving him 13career receiving TDs. Powell now has 102 career receptions for1,776 yards and 14 touchdowns (13 by receiving, one punt return).His 17.4 yards per reception average is seventh on Stanford'sall-time list. A former First-Team All-American (as a KOR in 2001),Powell is the only player in school history to have three touchdownreceptions of 75 yards or more.He also has 17 catches over 30 yardsin his career, which include two from 50-59 yards and two others from60-69 yards. As a kick returner, he is among the school's all-timebest in punt returns (63), punt return yards (696) and punt returnaverage (11.0).
Captain Kirk: The leader of the Cardinal's offensive line is alsothe only player with starting experience heading into the 2003campaign - senior Kirk Chambers. With a young and inexperiencedoffensive line, Chambers is the unquestioned leader of a group thatwill need his maturity and knowledge to help it develop into aquality unit. Chambers, who is the oldest player on the team at 24,has started all 37 games in his Cardinal career and is attempting todo what few players in school history have accomplished - and that'sto start every game. He has been the team's No. 1 left tackle thepast three seasons (2000-02). After an All-American prep career atProvo High School, Chambers signed with Stanford then spent the 1998and '99 seasons on a Mormon Mission in Berlin, Germany. He marriedMarilyn Ord on June 23, 2001 and the couple gave birth to their firstchild, Marianne Deniece, on July 7, 2003.
Tolon's Tale: Junior running back Kenneth Tolon ranks second in thePac-10 averaging 86.3 yards rushing per game. In the past two gamesvs. BYU and Washington, he has carried the Cardinal running game onhis back as he has recorded 61 carries for 228 yards and one TD. Inthose two games, all other Cardinal running back have had six carriesfor 15 yards. Tolon, a junior from Albuquerque, New Mexico, isclosing in on 1,000 career yards rushing. He has gained 951 yards on187 carries (5.1 ypc) in his Stanford career. He established careerbests in carries (32) and yards rushing (141) at BYU on Sept. 20.Tolon became the team's top offensive threat against the Cougars,gaining 141 of the team's 144 yards on the ground and accounting formore than half of Stanford's 200 yards in total offense. His 32carries were also the most on The Farm since the Big Game in 1991,when Tommy Vardell set a school record with 39 carries. His 141yards rushing were the most at Stanford since Brian Allen gained 143vs. Arizona in 2001. A week later at Washington, he carried 29times for 87 yards. Tolon was limited in the season opener vs. SanJose State (6 carries, 31 yards) due to an injury. He is also tiedfor second on the team with seven receptions and he has three kickoffreturns for 75 yards.
Trent's Time: Redshirt freshman quarterback Trent Edwards earned thestarting quarterback assignment after his performance in the seasonopener vs. San Jose State on Sept. 6. Three days later, head coachBuddy Teevens named Edwards the team's starter. Edwards, whocompleted 21-of-37 for 278 yards and two touchdowns against theSpartans, made his starting debut on September 20 at BYU. He led theteam to an 18-14 victory, becoming the first freshman quarterback atStanford to win his starting debut since Steve Stenstrom beat Cornellin 1991. Edwards, who redshirted as a true freshman in 2002, madehis Cardinal debut vs. San Jose State in the season opener. He cameoff the bench in relief of starter Chris Lewis and led the Cardinalto 31 unanswered points. Against the Spartans, he threw touchdownpasses of 20 and 30 yards to Luke Powell. In the second quarter, inwhich the Cardinal outscored SJS 21-0, Edwards completed nine-of-11for 130 yards and two TDs. In his starting debut at BYU, Edwardsscored the game winning touchdown on a 14-yard run with 3:51 to playï¿½ A second-year player from Los Gatos High School, Edwards came toStanford a year ago as one of the most highly sought-after preps inthe nation. He was ranked by some as the No. 1 prep QB in thecountry in 2001. During his junior and senior seasons, he completed279-of-373 for 5,064 yards, 58 touchdowns and just seveninterceptions. His completion percentage was an eye-opening .747.
Special Teams Are Special: The Cardinal's special teams have beenquite special through the first three games of the year. Stanford iscurrently first in the conference and 10th in the nation in kickoffreturns, averaging 26.3 yards per return. The Cardinal has hadkickoff returns of 52 yards by Nick Sebes against BYU and 45 byKenneth Tolon vs. San Jose State. Against BYU, Luke Powell returneda punt 68 yards. Stanford is also No. 1 in the conference in kickoffcoverage, giving up just 12.1 yards per return. Senior Eric Johnsonis averaging 44.4 yards per punt, good for second in the Pac-10 and13th nationally. As a team, the Cardinal's 39.1 net punting averageis third in the conference and 21st in the NCAA. PK Michael Sgroi isaveraging 1.3 field goals per game, ranking him No. 4 in the Pac-10.O-Line Story: The story of the Cardinal's offensive line can besummed up in one word: young.Senior Kirk Chambers is back at lefttackle for his fourth season in the starting lineup, but theremaining starters are young and inexperienced. Here were the hardfacts prior to the 2003 campaign: of the 16 offensive lineman on theStanford's roster, 12 (five true freshman, seven redshirt freshman)had never played for the Cardinal, two had seen limited playing time(senior Mike Sullivan and sophomore Brian Head) and one (senior DrewCaylor) had received some playing time as an offensive lineman, buthad been a defensive lineman the past two years. Stanford has hadthree redshirt freshman start in each of the past two games.Stanford's current two-deep with game experience listed below:
Pos - Starter, backup (game experience prior to 2003)
LT - Kirk Chambers (three-year starter), Matt McClernan (RFr., no experience)
LG - Ismail Simpson, David Beall (both RFr., no experience)
C - Brian Head (limited), Drew Caylor (played DE last 2 years)
RG - Jeff Edwards, Josiah Vinson (both RFr., no experience)
RT - Mike Sullivan (limited), Jon Cochran (RFr., no experience)
Starting Tight Ends: A glance at the Cardinal's depth chart willfind two starting tight ends - Brett Pierce and Alex Smith - and nofullback. That's because the Cardinal is utilizing its talentedtight end corps in its 'basic' offensive formation. Pierce is listedas one starting tight end with redshirt freshman Matt Traverso No. 2ï¿½ At the other tight end spot, Smith's backup is true freshmanPatrick Danahy. Against San Jose in the season opener, Pierce caughttwo passes for 33 yards while Smith had one reception for nine yardsï¿½ Smith caught three passes against BYU and, last Saturday atWashington, Smith caught three balls, including two touchdowns, whilePierce added one reception. A year ago, Pierce and Traverso sufferedthrough injury-riddled seasons while Smith came to the forefront toput together an outstanding year (30 receptions, 380 yards, two TDs)as the team's only true tight end. Now, both Pierce (ACL) andTraverso (ankle) are healthy and, combined with Smith and Danahy,helps give the Cardinal four talented tight ends. Pierce caught 19balls for 258 yards and three TDs in 2001, but suffered aseason-ending knee injury in the first quarter of the season openerlast year at Boston College. Both Pierce and Smith receivedpre-season honors as being among the top tight ends in the conferenceand the nation. Pierce, who has caught 30 passes in his career for345 yards and three TDs, was a pre-season First-Team All-Pac-10selection while Smith garnered Second-Team pre-season All-Americahonors.
True Freshman: Seven true freshman have played for the Cardinal in2003. . FL Mark Bradford (Los Angeles, Calif.) has four receptionsfor 77 yards while David Marrero, 5-10, 190-pound RB from Parkland,Fla., has nine carries for 28 yards. Michael Okwo, a 6-0, 215outside linebacker from Redondo Beach, Calif., has recorded threetackles while NT Nick Frank (6-2, 260, New Orleans, Louis.) has addedtwo tackles. Patrick Danahy, a 6-5, 230 pound tight end fromSarasota, Fla., Evan Moore, a 6-7, 235 pound wide receiver from Brea,Calif., and Brandon Harrison, a 6-2, 200 strong safety from BatonRouge, Louis., have also seen playing time in reserve roles.
Defensive Leader: In his second season in the starting lineup,junior Oshiomogho Atogwe has earned the reputation as not only one ofthe Cardinal's defensive leaders, but one of the top safeties in thePac-10 Conference. As a strong safety in 2002, Atogwe led the teamwith 71 total tackles, three interceptions and three forced fumbles.After making the switch to free safety, Atogwe is once again a forcefor the Stanford defense. He posted a season high 12 tackles againstWashington last Saturday while also accounting for a forced fumble,fumble recovery and pass break up. He is currently second in thePac-10 and 11th in the NCAA in interceptions (0.67 per game). He isalso second on the team with 21 total tackles.
Baba: Sophomore nose tackle Babatunde Oshinowo, nickname Baba, isproving to be one of the best young, defensive lineman in the Pac-10. Now in his first season as a starter, Oshinowo has made hispresence known in the middle of the Cardinal's defensive line. Heleads all defensive lineman with nine total tackles, four tackles forloss and three sacks. He is the team leader in quarterback sacks andtied for the team lead in tackles for loss. Against Washington,Oshinowo had five tackles, including one sack and two tackles forloss. A third year player out of Naperville, Illinois, Oshinowostarted one game and played in all 11 a year ago as a redshirtfreshman, accounting for 23 tackles, six tackles for loss and threesacks.
Schimmelmann Shines: When spring practice began in April, theCardinal had all six of its linebackers returning from the 2002 squadand it appeared that the group was one of the strengths of the team.Enter sophomore Kevin Schimmelmann, a backup strong safety andspecial teams player who coaches felt might be a better fit at OLB.Not only has Schimmelmann made the transition a smooth one, but hewon a starting berth for the 2003 season and his play thus farindicates he may have found a home at OLB. After three games, theMarietta, Georgia native leads the team with 22 total tackles and istied for the team lead with four tackles for loss.. He recorded acareer high 11 tackles, including two for loss, in last Saturday'sgame at Washington.
Local Boys Make Good: The 2003 Stanford roster features three BayArea products who came into the program as walk-ons, but have quicklymoved their way up the depth chart. Redshirt junior wide receiverGreg Camarillo (Menlo Park, CA/Menlo-Atherton HS), who caught eightpasses for 92 yards last season, has three catches for 30 yards in2003. Fifth-year senior Eric Johnson (Antioch, CA/Antioch HS), whois also a member of the Stanford golf team, is in his third year asthe team's starting punter. Redshirt sophomore Timi Wusu (PaloAlto, CA/Palo Alto HS), who went to high school across the streetfrom Stanford Stadium, made an impact on special teams last year andhas put himself in position to make a significant contribution in2003.
Walking Into The Starting Lineup: The 2003 Stanford Cardinal has fourformer walk-ons either starting or playing key roles. The groupincludes outside linebacker Jared Newberry (redshirt junior), punterEric Johnson (fifth-year senior), flanker Greg Camarillo (redshirtjunior) and strong safety Timi Wusu (redshirt sophomore).
The Need For Speed: Sophomore defensive back T.J. Rushing and widereceivers Gerren Crochet (redshirt sophomore) and Nick Sebes(redshirt junior) made up three-fourths of the Stanford 4x100 relayteam that won the prestigious Texas Relays last spring in thethird-fastest time in school history (40.25). Besides excelling onthe track, all three are playing key roles for the Cardinal in 2003.Rushing is a key member of the Cardinal's secondary (six tackles, onetackle for loss), while Sebes (52-yard KOR) and Crochet (tworeceptions, 29 yards) are playing pivotal roles at receiver andspecial teams.
In the Zone: Stanford leads the conference in red zone defense havingallowed opponents to score at a rate of .400. Cardinal opponentshave reached the red zone only five times in 2003 and have come awaywith two touchdowns. The other three possessions have twice ended ondowns and once on a fumble. Offensively, Stanford has scored 11times in 13 trips to its opponents' red zone and is third in thePac-10 with an .846 scoring percentage. The Cardinal has sevenouchdowns and four fields to go along with two turnovers. AgainstBYU and Washington, the Cardinal has converted all seven of itsscoring opportunities inside the 20, including four touchdowns andthree field goals.
Georgia On Their Minds: Stanford has 94 players on its 2003 roster,and an amazing 11 have traveled nearly 3,000 miles from the state ofGeorgia to make their homes on The Farm. The total is the secondhighest of any state, behind only California's 28. Seven of the 11are expected to play big roles this fall: Soph. DE Julian Jenkins(Atlanta), Soph. RB J.R. Lemon (Fayetteville), Soph. CB CalvinArmstrong (Decatur), Jr. CB Leigh Torrence (Atlanta), Soph. OLB KevinSchimmelmann (Marietta), RFr. RG Jeff Edwards (Atlanta) and RFr. OTMatt McClernan (Norcross). In addition, four true freshman are fromGeorgia: DE Emmanuel Awofadeju (Roswell), RB Jason Evans (Acworth),DL David Jackson (Dunwoody) and OL Amir Malayery (Lawrenceville).The Cardinal coaching staff also has ties to the state of Georgia.Associate Head Coach David Kelly coached at Georgia Tech (2000-01),Georgia (1994-95) and Dunwoody (GA) HS (1981-93), while defensiveends coach Peter McCarty was at Georgia Tech in 2001.
Against the Pass: The Cardinal is ranked third in the Pac-10 and16th in the nation in pass efficiency defense. Stanford has limitedits opponets to just a 48.3 completion percentage while interceptingthree passes and breaking up 17. FS Oshiomogho Atogwe is among thenational and conference leaders in interceptions (0.67 per game)while CB Leigh Torrence is among the Pac-10's best with six passbreak ups through three games. As a team, Stanford has alreadybroken up 17 passes, compared to 28 all of last year. Cardinalopponents have thrown 147 passes in the three games, an average of 49per game. A year ago, Stanford ranked ninth in the Pac-10 in passefficiency defense with a rating of 131.2 and opponent completionpercentage of 56.0. Through three games, Stanford's pass efficiencydefense rating stands at 99.03.
J.R.'s TDs: Sophomore running back J.R. Lemon has made a career ofplaying San Jose State. He recorded the first 100-yard rushing dayof his career against the Spartans in the season opener as he gained103 yards on 18 carries while scoring two touchdowns. In his career,he has scored five touchdowns - all coming against SJS (he had threetouchdowns in 2002). Lemon has rushed for 195 yards in his career,172 of which have come against the Spartans. Lemon took over as theteam's top rushing threat after starter Kenneth Tolon went out withan injury. Lemon responded by scoring touchdowns from six and threeyards out. While his carries have been limited the past two gamesagainst BYU and Washington, Lemon helps give the Cardinal a veryformidable one-two combination out of the backfield.
About the Trojans: USC is now 4-1 overall and ranked ninth in thenation in the latest USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll after lastSaturday's 37-17 win at Arizona State. The Trojans have been rankedin the nation's top 10 the entire season. They began the year withimpressive wins over Auburn, BYU and Hawaii before losing in tripleovertime at Cal, 34-31. USC has the conference's No. 1 scoringoffense, averaging 37.4 points per game. Defensively, they are thirdin the Pac-10 and ninth in the nation in rushing defense, giving upjust 71.2 yards per game on the ground.
Stanford-USC Series: The Cardinal and Trojans have been playingfootball against each other since 1905. The two teams will meet forthe 84th time on October 11 at the L.A. Coliseum. USC leads theall-time series 53-27-3, although the two teams have split theirprevious 12 meetings since 1991. In fact, the Cardinal has won threeof the last four despite losing last year's game 49-17. Stanford,which has also won the last two played at the Coliseum, beat theTrojans in 1999 (35-31) and 2001 (21-16) in L.A. and in 2000 atStanford (32-30). Since 1991, the two teams are 6-6 against eachother overall, 3-3 at Stanford Stadium and 3-3 at the Coliseum.Prior to '91, the series was very one-sided in favor of the Trojansfrom 1958-90. During that time, Stanford went 3-29-1 against USC.Stanford and USC have met every year in football, with the exceptionof the WWII years (1943-45), since 1925.
Last Year's Game: The Trojans had their way with Stanford a yearagok, beating the Cardinal 49-17 at Stanford Stadium (Nov. 9).Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer completed 22-of-32 for 317 yardsand four touchdowns to lead the Trojans. After USC took an early 7-0lead, the Cardinal tied the score at 7-7 on a six-yard pass TD passfrom Kyle Matter to Ryan Wells with 4:50 to play in the first quarterï¿½ Michael Sgroi hit a 25-yard field goal with 11:12 to play in thesecond quarter, pulling the Cardinal to within four at 14-10. But,four consecutive touchdowns by the Trojans put the game out of reach.
Head Coach Pete Carroll: USC head coach Pete Carroll is 21-9 in histhird season at the the helm of the Trojan program. Carroll was thehead coach of the New York Jets (1994) and New England Patriots(1997-99) before coming to USC in 2001. He has led the Trojans totwo bowl games.