USC Football Stays On The Road To Play At Washington State
Sept. 24, 2006
No. 3/2 USC is back on the road for the third time in its first 4 games of 2006 when it visits Washington State. The Trojans, who have won 48 of their past 50 games, are riding several impressive winning streaks: a Pac-10 record 24 straight league games, plus school records for consecutive road wins (17) and Pac-10 road victories (12). The series with the Cougars has been decidedly in USC's favor (USC has won 85% of the meetings and Troy has lost only 3 times in Pullman), but one of Trojan coach Pete Carroll's rare defeats came in the Palouse in 2002. USC is coming off a hard-fought Pac-10 opening victory at Arizona, where it barely kept alive its NCAA record of 55 consecutive 20-point outings. It's looking more and more like defense is the heart of this Trojan team, as Troy shows up high in every national defensive statistical category, including first in turnover margin. That unit is led by the likes of LBs Rey Maualuga, Brian Cushing, Keith Rivers and Dallas Sartz and DE Lawrence Jackson. On offense, true freshman TB Emmanuel Moody appears to have moved to the top of the running back stable, as he rushes behind a line led by 2005 All-American OT Sam Baker and Rimington Award candidate C Ryan Kalil. QB John David Booty continues to efficiently command the Trojan attack, throwing at a 66% clip. But this week he might be without his favorite aerial target, 2005 Biletnikoff Award finalist and All-American first team WR Dwayne Jarrett, who is nursing a shoulder sprain. Jarrett's 32 career touchdown receptions give him a share of the Pac-10 record. Carroll is the nation's winningest active coach (with at least 5 years experience), at 85.1%. In each of his past 4 seasons, the Trojans claimed an AP Top 4 finish (including national championships in 2003 and 2004) and a BCS bowl appearance. Coach Bill Doba's Washington State club has won its last 3 games, including its Pac-10 opener last week at Stanford. QB Alex Brink directs an offense that is 18th nationally in total offense and features WRs Michael Bumpus and Jason Hill, who is only 4 career TD grabs behind Jarrett. The Cougar defense features the national leader in sacks, DE Mkristo Bruce. If the game sells out, it'll be USC's 10th straight contest at capacity. The game will be shown live nationally on TBS.