Meet the Trojans

HA -- as if we have to introduce them .... The USC Trojans have arguably been the preeminent team in college football for the past four years. Here in a nutshell is the Trojan's 2006 season ... just slightly below the level of the previous two seasons.

The past four years have been good to Head Coach Pete Carrol's USC Trojans.

After beating Michigan 28-14 in the 2004 Rose Bowl game, the Matt-Leinart-led Trojans went on a two year tear through college football, going 12-0 and winning it all in the 2004-05 season (overwhelming an overmatched Oklahoma team in the '05 Orange Bowl 55-19), and in 2005-06 making it back to the title game where they lost in the Rose Bowl to Texas (in a wild 41-38 affair).

This past 2006 season proved to be a bit rougher for USC, but just a bit. With Leinart in the NFL and fielding a team with just four senior starters (only one on defense), the Trojans nonetheless started the season strong, beating Arkansas 5014 on the road, and following that up with a 28-10 home win over Nebraska.

However, after those two opening game, the Trojans struggled in most of the rest of their games.

-- Winning at Arizona 20-3 by scoring 17 2nd half points.
-- Winning at Washington State 28-22 by surviving a late WSU comeback.
-- Beating Washington 26-20 at home.
-- Beating ASU 28-21 at home by scoring a winning TD with 4:30 to go in the game.
-- Losing at Oregon State 33-31, after trailing 33-17 after 3 quarters.
-- Winning at Stanford, 42-0.
-- Beating Oregon at home, 35-10.
-- Beating Cal 23-9 at home, breaking a 9-9 tie after 3 quarters.
-- Spanking Notre Dame 44-24 at home.
-- Losing 13-9 to UCLA in the Rose Bowl, going scoreless in the 2nd half.

Looking back, USC had convincing performances against their most highly regarded opponents (Arkansas, Nebraska, Oregon, Notre Dame), but struggled offensively at times against some of the teams they were favored to beat.

Still, the Trojans had 14 All-American and All-Pac-10 performers:

-- QB John David Booty, 1st Team All-Pac-10.
-- WR Dwayne Jarrett, consensus 1st Team-All American.
-- WR Steve Smith, 1st Team All-Pac-10.
-- TE Fred Davis, 2nd Team All-Pac-10.
-- OC Ryan Kalil, consensus 1st or 2nd Team-All American.
-- OG Chilo Rachal, 2nd Team All-Pac-10.
-- OT Sam Baker, consensus 1st or 2nd Team-All American.
-- DT Cedric Ellis, 1st Team All-Pac-10.
-- DE Lawrence Jackson, 2nd Team All-Pac-10.
-- LB Rey Mauluga, 1st Team All-Pac-10.
-- LB Keith Rivers, 1st Team All-Pac-10.
-- LB Brian Cushing, 2nd Team All-Pac-10.
-- S Taylor Mays, Sporting News 2nd Team-All American.
-- S Terrell Thomas, 2nd Team All-Pac-10.

USC Statistically:

-- Offensively in 2006, USC currently is 17 nationally in passing offense (253.3, third in Pac-10) and 20th in scoring offense (30.3, third in Pac-10).

-- Defensively in 2006, USC currently is 12 nationally in scoring defense (14.9, first in Pac-10), 17th in rushing defense (97.7, second in Pac-10), 20th in pass efficiency defense (107.9, first in Pac-10) and 23rd in total defense (293.8, first in Pac-10). USC allowed just one running back to rush for 100 yards in 2006, Oregon State's Clinton Park who managed 100-even.

-- USC has not allowed a pass completion longer than 45 yards in 125 quarters (since the 2004 season).

-- USC had turnover margin of +0.3 in 2006.

-- John David Booty (6-3, 210) in 2006: appearing in all 12 games, he completed 242-of-391 passes (61.9%) for 2,956 yards and 25 TDs with 9 interceptions.

-- Chauncey Washington (6-1, 220) was USC's rushing leader in 2006 after missing the previous 2 seasons because of ineligibility. Overall in 2006 while appearing in all 12 games, he ran for 736 yards on 155 carries (4.7 avg.) with 9 TDs, caught 9 passes for 93 yards (10.3 avg.) and had a tackle. After being nagged early in the 2006 season with a hamstring injury, he led USC in rushing in 6 midseason games, averaging 90 yards per game in those contests, before being hampered by a knee sprain the last 3 games of the season.

-- C.J. Gable (6-1, 190) started at running back for USC's last 3 games of the season, averaging 83 yards per game in those three contests.

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