No. 1 USC Football Begins Pac-10 Play At Home Versus Washington State

Sept. 16, 2007

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It's the Pac-10 opener for No. 1 USC, as it returns home to host Washington State. Troy begins its quest for an unprecedented sixth consecutive league crown. It's the 1,100th game in Trojan history. USC--which plays 3 of its next 4 games in the Coliseum--has won its past 34 home games and its last 23 Pac-10 home games, both league records, as well as its past 12 September contests. The series with the Cougars has been decidedly in USC's favor (USC has won 85% of the meetings), especially in L.A. games. The Trojans scored more points than anyone in Lincoln since 1945 in their convincing 49-31 win at No. 14 Nebraska last Saturday. USC head coach Pete Carroll, the nation's winningest active coach, has directed the Trojans to 5 consecutive AP Top 4 finishes, BCS bowl trips, Pac-10 titles and 11-win seasons. Troy has been in the AP Top 10 for its last 58 games. USC QB John David Booty is a Heisman Trophy favorite. The Trojans' offense--directed by QB John David Booty-showcases a number of good tailbacks (Stafon Johnson had a 100-yard outing at Nebraska) who run through holes opened by a line that is anchored by 2-time All-American OT Sam Baker. That has helped Troy's rushing attack more than double is average output from 2006. USC's all-star defense features All-American DT Sedrick Ellis and DE Lawrence Jackson on the line, the nation's premier linebacking corps in Keith Rivers, Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing and a secondary featuring S Taylor Mays, CB Terrell Thomas and S Kevin Ellison. Head coach Bill Doba's Washington State team has rebounded from its season-opening loss at Wisconsin with a pair of home wins, including last week over Idaho (the Trojans also beat the Vandals this season). The Cougars feature a high-powered aerial attack on offense, with veteran QB Alex Brink at the controls. Brink, who has started the past 31 games and is completing nearly 75% of his aerials this season, is in the school's career top 3 in 5 passing categories. WR Michael Bumpus highlights a dangerous WSU receiving corps. The Coliseum could be sold out. The game will be shown live nationally on ABC-TV.

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