USC Football Returns Home To Host Hot Washington
Oct. 1, 2006
After playing 3 of its first 4 on the road, No. 3/2 USC returns to the comforts of the Coliseum for a 2-game homestand, with hot Washington up first. The Trojans, who have won 49 of their last 51 games, bring in some awe-inspiring winning streaks: 28 home games, 25 Pac-10 games and 19 Pac-10 home games (all are Pac-10 records), as well as 16 consecutive October victories. Troy has also scored at least 20 points in an NCAA-record 56 straight contests. It's USC's only day game in the Coliseum this season, the fewest in 100 years. The 92,000-seat stadium is sold out for an unprecedented sixth consecutive contest...and it's Troy's 11th consecutive sellout, home and away. The Trojans, who are playing one of the nation's toughest schedules, are coming off a closer-than-they'd-like win at Washington State. QB John David Booty has proven to be an efficient (67%, just 2 interceptions) and productive (10 TDs) leader of the offense. WR Steve Smith had a career outing at WSU, stepping up huge for injured fellow WR Dwayne Jarrett, the 2005 Biletnikoff Award finalist and All-American first teamer who sat out with a shoulder injury (the status of the Pac-10's career TD reception recordholder is uncertain this week). The Trojans are getting a good 1-2 rushing push from TBs Emmanuel Moody and Chauncey Washington, who run behind a line featuring 2005 All-American OT Sam Baker and Rimington Award candidate C Ryan Kalil. The USC defense--led by the likes of LBs Rey Maualuga, Brian Cushing, Keith Rivers and Dallas Sartz and DE Lawrence Jackson--continues to show up in every NCAA statistical ranking. PK Troy Van Blarcom has emerged as a weapon, with only 2 of his 24 kickoffs returned past the 20-yard line (19 were touchbacks). Trojan head coach Pete Carroll remains the nation's winningest active coach, at 85.3%. 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. Second-year head coach Tyrone Willingham has rejuvenated the Washington program, which has won 5 of its past 7 games after going 2-18 before that. The Huskies have captured their past 3 contests, including at Arizona last Saturday. However, Willingham only has beaten USC 3 times in 11 tries at 3 schools. Speedy QB Isaiah Stanback (he was fifth in last year's Pac-10 100 meters) is a dual threat through the air and on the ground while directing the Huskies' offense and is nationally ranked in total offense. SS C.J. Wallace and OLB Scott White are among the Pac-10's top tacklers. P Sean Douglas ranks alongside the nation's best punters. Four Huskies have relatives who played football at USC. The game will be shown live nationally on FSN cable.
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