USC Football Looks To Bounce Back Against Arizona At Home
Oct. 7, 2007
No. 7/10 USC will try to rebound from its stunning home loss to Stanford last week when it hosts Arizona in the sold-out Coliseum. Troy has defeated the Wildcats 5 times in a row. USC remains in the AP Top 10 (as it has for the last 62 games), but barely. However, the last time USC was ranked as low as 10th in the AP poll (in 2003), the Trojans then went on a school-record 34-game winning streak. Statistically, the Trojans are in the national Top 20 in 6 key categories, including both total offense and defense. USC QB John David Booty continues to move up the Trojan Top 10 in passing and total offense, but his status this week is uncertain after fracturing the tip of a finger on his throwing hand versus Stanford. Among Booty's go-to guys are record-setting TE Fred Davis, who has been playing like the Mackey Award candidate that he is, and WR Patrick Turner. Two-time All-American OT Sam Baker anchors a Trojan line that has been nagged by injuries. The Trojan run game, featuring the likes of TB Chauncey Washington, is much-improved from a year ago. USC's defense features All-American DT Sedrick Ellis and DE Lawrence Jackson (he has 24 career sacks) on the line, the nation's premier linebacking corps in Keith Rivers (a leading Butkus Award candidate) and Rey Maualuga and a secondary with CB Terrell Thomas, S Taylor Mays and S Kevin Ellison. USC head coach Pete Carroll is the nation's winningest active coach and has led the Trojans to 5 consecutive AP Top 4 finishes, BCS bowls, Pac-10 titles and 11-win seasons. Arizona has sprinkled a couple 40-point wins among its 4 losses, including falling at Oregon State last Saturday. Wildcat head coach Mike Stoops brought in offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes to install a spread offense and UA is now highly-ranked nationally in passing offense. QB Willie Tuitama is a veteran signalcaller whose top target is dangerous WR Mike Thomas. CB Antoine Cason, a 2006 All-Pac-10 first teamer, is among the college game's premier defensive backs. P Keenyn Crier is the Pac-10 punting leader. The game will be shown live regionally on ABC-TV. USC women's volleyball and soccer will be in action at home this coming weekend and the Trojan men's and women's hoops teams will begin practice with 'Midnight Madness' on Friday (Oct. 12).