2009 USC Football Team Preview

Aug. 27, 2009



    2009 Pac-10 Football Preview Series


    2008 Overall Record: 12-1
    2008 Pac-10 record/Finish: 8-1/1st

    Starters Returning/Lost: 12/12
    Offensive Starters Returning/Lost: 9/2
    Defensive Starters Returning/Lost: 3/8
    Starting Kickers Returning/Lost: 0/2

    First Year of Football: 1888
    All-Time Record: 766-303-54
    All-Time Pac-10 Record: 384-147-28
    All-Time Bowl Record/Appearances: 31-16
    Last Bowl Appearance: 2008 (def. Penn State in Rose Bowl)

    (Pacific 1973)
    Ninth Year at USC

    Record at USC: 88-13 (.871)
    Overall Career Record (Collegiate): Same

    Coaching Experience
    Has led the Trojans to an outright or shared Pac-10 title the last seven-consecutive seasons ... entering his ninth season in Los Angeles ... was head coach of the NFL's New York Jets before heading to USC ... has also coached with the Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills after spending time at Pacific, NC State, Ohio State and Iowa State.

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    O'Brien Award Watch List
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    Outland Trophy Watch List
    Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List


    Even with QB Mark Sanchez opting for an early entry to the NFL, the USC offense should be loaded with nine starters returning to a unit that averaged 37.5 points and 455 yards per game. The battle to replace Sanchez will be one of the most closely watched competitions in college football. Junior Mitch Mustain and sophomore Aaron Corp will both get good looks, with senior Garrett Green and incoming freshman Matt Barkley also in the mix. Whoever emerges at quarterback will have plenty of help around him. The Trojans’ seemingly never-ending supply of tailbacks is intact as veterans Stafon Johnson, Joe McKnight and C.J. Gable each rushed for more than 600 yards last year. Plus do-everything FB Stanley Havili is back. Damian Williams has emerged as a top-flight wide receiver and senior Anthony McCoy is solid at tight end. The entire offensive line returns intact. In fact, the Trojans have seven offensive linemen who have seen significant starting time on the line, led by C Kristofer O’Dowd and OG Jeff Byers.

    DEFENSE: While nine starters return on offense for USC, only three return to a defensive squad that led the nation in scoring defense last year at 9.0 points per game and ranked second in total defense at 221.8 yards per game. Along the way, SC posted three shutouts. The strength of this year’s defense will be in the secondary, which will be led by two-time All-America FS Taylor Mays and two-year senior starter CB Josh Pinkard. Up front, DT Christian Tupou is a returning starter and big things are expected from NT Jurrell Casey. While most of the eyes will be focused on the battle for the starting quarterback position, perhaps just as critical for the Trojans is who will line up at linebacker, replacing big shoes of the likes of departed backers Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing.

    THE SCHEDULE: The Trojans always take on quality non-conference opponents and this year is no exception with road games at Ohio State and Notre Dame. Four of the first six games are on the road, which could be a factor with a new quarterback lined up under center. Oregon and California are on the Conference road slate. On the other end, the final three regular season games come at home.




    2Taylor Mays (Pictured)
    SR • FS • 6-3 • 230

    61 • Kristofer O'Dowd
    JR • C • 6-5 • 300

    53 • Jeff Byers
    SR • OG • 6-4 • 285

    18 • Damian Williams
    JR • WR • 6-1 • 190

    36 • Josh Pinkard
    SR • CB • 6-2 • 210

    2009 SCHEDULE
    (6 home, 6 away)
    Sept. 5 San Jose State First meeting
    Sept. 12 at Ohio State USC leads, 12-9-1
    Sept. 19 at Washington USC leads, 49-26-4
    Sept. 26 Washington State USC leads, 56-8-4
    Oct. 3 at California USC leads, 61-30-5
    Oct. 17 at Notre Dame Notre Dame leads, 42-33-5
    Oct. 24 Oregon State USC leads, 58-10-4
    Oct. 31 at Oregon USC leads, 37-16-2
    Nov. 7 at Arizona State USC leads, 16-9
    Nov. 14 Stanford USC leads, 59-25-5
    Nov. 28 UCLA USC leads, 43-28-7
    Dec. 5 Arizona USC leads, 26-6
    2008 RESULTS
    (12-1, 8-1 Pac-10/1st)
    W, 52-7 at Virginia
    W, 35-3 Ohio State
    L, 21-27 at Oregon State
    W, 44-10 Oregon
    W, 28-0 Arizona State
    W, 69-0 at Washington State
    W, 17-10 at Arizona
    W, 56-0 Washington
    W, 17-3 California
    W, 45-23 at Stanford
    W, 38-3 Notre Dame
    W, 28-7 at UCLA
    W, 38-24 vs. Penn State (Rose Bowl)
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