Top-Ranked USC Football Opens 2007 Season At Home Against Idaho

Aug. 25, 2007

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The USC football team, everybody's pre-season No. 1 squad (for the third time in the past 4 years), opens its 2007 season against a long-ago foe, Idaho. It's been almost 80 years since the Trojans and Vandals, then league rivals, have met. But Idaho will be familiar to USC defensive coordinator Nick Holt, who was head coach of the Vandals in 2004 and 2005. Troy has never lost in 7 games against Idaho (with a near 200-point scoring margin) and is 27-1 against current Western Athletic Conference teams. USC is on quite a run recently, with 5 consecutive AP Top 4 finishes, BCS bowl trips, Pac-10 titles and 11-win seasons. Troy went 11-2 and won the Rose Bowl last fall. Look for an 11th straight sellout in the 92,000-seat Coliseum, where the Trojans have won their last 33 games (a Pac-10 record). Seventh-year USC head coach Pete Carroll is college football's winningest active coach (84.4%). USC QB John David Booty begins his quest for the Heisman Trophy. His offense features a multi-headed tailback attack, a young receiving corps looking to replace the top pass catching duo in Trojan history and a line featuring 2-time All-American OT Sam Baker. USC's defense is loaded and deep, including All-American DT Sedrick Ellis and DE Lawrence Jackson up front, the nation's top linebackers in Keith Rivers, Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing and a secondary featuring S Taylor Mays, S Kevin Ellison, S-CB Josh Pinkard and CB Terrell Thomas. PK David Buehler will attempt to fill the shoes of the late Mario Danelo, who died tragically this past January and who will be honored prior to kickoff. Former Washington State defensive coordinator Robb Akey will be making his head coaching debut as he leads Idaho into the Coliseum. The Vandals, coming off a 4-8 season in which they lost their final 5 games, will be breaking in a new quarterback, redshirt freshman Nathan Enderle. Three talented running backs--Brian Flowers, Jayson Bird and Deonte Jackson--highlight Idaho's offense, while the defense (with its new 3-4 scheme) features a pair of 2006 All-WAC first teamers: LB David Vobora, who topped the league in tackles last year, and CB Stanley Franks, the nation's interception leader in 2006. The game will be nationally televised live by FSN. The USC women's volleyball and soccer teams also are in action at home this weekend.