USC Football Returns Home To Host Stanford
Sept. 30, 2007
USC returns home to host the last team to beat the Trojans in the Coliseum, Stanford. The Cardinal did so in 2001, but since then Troy has recorded a Pac-10 record 35 consecutive home wins (including a league record 24 straight Pac-10 home victories). USC has been in the AP Top 10 for its last 59 games, but the Trojans fell out of the AP No. 1 spot this week (by the slimmest of margins) for the first time in 2007. But USC is still No. 1 in the USA Today coaches poll. Stanford is USC's oldest current rival, with the first meeting held in 1905. It's the first of back-to-back home games for the Trojans, the only time that will happen in 2007. Troy has defeated the Cardinal 5 games in a row. USC will be looking to sharpen its game after it survived a sloppy outing last week at Washington, but the Trojans must overcome an injury bug that has hit a number of key areas. Troy also continues to struggle uncharacteristically in the turnover margin department. USC's offense is in the national top 25 in rushing, scoring and total offense and the ground attack--behind TBs Chauncey Washington and Stafon Johnson--is up more than 100 yards per game from a year ago. USC QB John David Booty, a Heisman Trophy candidate, is moving up the Trojan Top 10 in passing and total offense. Two-time All-American OT Sam Baker anchors a Trojan line that has allowed just 3 sacks, while TE Fred Davis and WR Patrick Turner bolster the young receiving corps. USC's defense--which is ranked in the nation's top 20 in rushing, total (tops in the Pac-10) and pass efficiency defense--features All-American DT Sedrick Ellis and DE Lawrence Jackson (he is ranked among the nation's sack leaders) on the line, the nation's premier linebacking corps in Keith Rivers (a leading Butkus Award candidate) and Rey Maualuga and a secondary featuring CB Terrell Thomas, S Taylor Mays and S Kevin Ellison. USC head coach Pete Carroll, the nation's winningest active coach, has led the Trojans to 5 consecutive AP Top 4 finishes, BCS bowls, Pac-10 titles and 11-win seasons. New Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh gets his first in-person look at what earlier this season he called 'the best team in the history of college football.' It's the Cardinal's first road game of the year and third straight outing against an unbeaten team. Stanford has had a slow start to the 2007 season, including a big home loss to Arizona State last week. However, its pass-oriented offense--with QB T.C. Ostrander at the controls--is averaging 150 yards more per game than a year ago. There is a trio of talented pass catchers in WRs Richard Sherman, Mark Bradford and Evan Moore, while RB Anthony Kimble is 16th nationally in all-purpose running. But the Cardinal defense is surrendering 454 yards per outing, nearly 70 more than last season's 1-11 squad. The game--which could be sold out--will be shown live nationally on the Versus cable network, the 30th different television outlet on which USC has appeared. The schools also meet in men's water polo on campus earlier on Saturday.