USC Football Travels To California, Site Of Its Last Loss

Nov. 6, 2005

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Top-ranked, 2-time defending national champion USC visits California, the site of the Trojans' last loss (in triple overtime in 2003). The last 3 meetings between Troy and the Golden Bears have been classics. This is USC's last regular-season road trip of 2005. It's also USC's 93rd meeting with California, the team Troy has played more than any opponent. The Trojans, who have been AP's top-ranked team for a national-record 29 straight polls, bring into the game an impressive list of winning streaks: 31 overall games (a win Saturday would give Troy the sixth longest streak ever), 21 Pac-10 games (a win would equal the Pac-10 record set by Cal in 1947-50), 14 road games, 10 Pac-10 road games (a win would equal the school record) and--a specialty for head coach Pete Carroll--14 November games. USC overwhelmed Stanford last Saturday by scoring 50-plus points for a school-record fifth time in 2005. The potent Trojan offense, which is on pace to score more points than any team in history and also to have a 3,000-yard passer, a pair of 1,000-yard runner and a pair of 1,000-yard receivers (an NCAA first), tops the nation in total offense, scoring offense and pass efficiency (and is in the top 510 in passing offense and rushing offense). Red-hot QB Matt Leinart leads the country in passing efficiency and is putting up--believe this!--better numbers than his 2004 Heisman Trophy season, exciting Heisman aspirant TB Reggie Bush already has hit the 1,000-yard rushing barrier (and he's No. 2 in the NCAA in all-purpose running), fellow TB LenDale White is closing in on the USC career TD mark, WR Dwayne Jarrett is a leading Biletnikoff candidate and is approaching the school marks for season and career TD catches (his 14 scoring grabs is most in the nation), and WR Steve Smith is climbing USC's all-time pass catching ladder. Troy's defense, which continues to find ways to overcome a plethora of injuries because of the plays of leaders like S Darnell Bing and DEs Frostee Rucker and Lawrence Jackson, is staunch against the run and has pushed USC among the nation's best in turnover margin. Trojan P Tom Malone maintains a career punting average equal to the Pac-10 mark, while rookie PK Mario Danelo is on the verge of breaking the 2-year-old Pac-10 season PAT record. Cal started its season 5-0, but has dropped 3 of its last 4, including in overtime at Oregon last weekend. But the Bear offense, under the eye of head coach Jeff Tedford, is among the nation's elite. The TB tandem of Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett, along with a veteran o-line, help Cal average nearly 450 total yards (245 on the ground) and 36 points a game. Cal's defense is strongest against the pass. The game, which could sell out, will be shown live regionally on ABC-TV. The Trojans and Bears also battle in men's water polo on Saturday morning in Berkeley.

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