USC Football Goes To Cal For Annual Bay Area Trip

Nov. 4, 2007

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It's a meeting of Top 25 teams as No. 12/15 USC makes its annual Bay Area trek and visits No. 24 California in sold-out Memorial Stadium. Troy has had recent success against the Golden Bears and has also fared well in Berkeley lately. This is the Trojans' 95th meeting with California, the team Troy has played more than any opponent. But it is USC's first-ever night game in Berkeley. The Trojans then have a bye before going to No. 9 Arizona State on Thanksgiving night. This is the 75th consecutive game that USC has been in the AP Top 25. The Trojans have won 70 of their last 79 games. USC head coach Pete Carroll, the nation's winningest active coach, remains unbeaten in November (he's 21-0). He has won 78% of his games against Top 25 teams. USC had a bounce-back victory at home over Oregon State last Saturday, while Cal ended its 3-game losing streak with a 3-point home win over Washington State. QB John David Booty, who is in the school's career Top 10 in passing and total offense, has re-assumed the USC starting job after missing 3 games with a broken finger. TBs Chauncey Washington and exciting Joe McKnight have helped USC's running game improve from a year ago. TE Fred Davis, a Mackey Award candidate, and WR Patrick Turner are in USC's career receiving Top 25. Two-time All-American OT Sam Baker, a 2007 Lombardi Award semifinalist, could return to the lineup after a hamstring injury. USC's defense--the Pac-10's best--remains the club's strength, as statistically the Trojans are in the national Top 10 in every category (including third in total defense). It features All-American DT Sedrick Ellis and DE Lawrence Jackson (he has 25.5 career sacks) on the line, the nation's premier linebacking corps led by LB Keith Rivers (a 2007 Butkus Award semifinalist) and a secondary with CB Terrell Thomas, S Taylor Mays and S Kevin Ellison. USC, which had 9 sacks last week against Oregon State and is averaging 3.2 per game, goes against a Cal offense that is third nationally in sacks allowed (0.9). Coach Jeff Tedford's California squad got off to a 5-0 start this year and was within minutes of climbing into the No. 1 ranking in the polls before dropping those 3 games. Cal features some talented skill position players on offense, including dangerous WR/RET DeSean Jackson (6 career TDs on punt returns), plus QB Nate Longshore, 1,000-yard TB Justin Forsett (25th nationally in rushing) and WR Lavelle Hawkins. The Bear defense features LBs Anthony Felder and Worrell Williams and FS Thomas DeCoud. The game will be shown live nationally on ABC-TV. The Trojans and Bears also battle in men's water polo on Saturday in Berkeley.

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