A Fitting Salute
Probably one of the more touching moments of the evening came when children with cancer were treated to the festivities. Some 25 children with cancer shared Trojan Walk with the football team along with members of the "The Herd," a USC spirit organization. An additional 35 children with cancer were in the stadium stands.
Cheers to The Herd, (also known as "The Thundering Herd") also presented the football team with an electric motor cart previously during Fall Camp. The Herd is at the forefront of what it means to be a Trojan. So, kudos to you, Thundering Herd!
One thing noticeable in the Coliseum this year are the new scoreboards at both ends of the stadium. A second is the vision board-which is in need of repair, facelift or a new one altogether.
Old Injuries/Did Not Play
Sitting out of practice: Marc Tyler, Jordan Campbell, Damian Williams, Travon Patterson, Caleb Nelan, Trey Henderson, Mark Sanchez, Kevin Thomas, Sam Baker and Hershel Dennis. Broderick Green was held out due to NCAA Clearinghouse issues. Prior to kickoff, Charles Brown pulled out of the game because of back spasms.
At 32:00 minutes to kickoff, a beautiful voice, that of the honorable Dennis Packer welcomed the crowd to the Coliseum and the return of USC Football. At 23:06, The Spirit of Troy entered the stadium with a thunderous "Tunnel Run." Like all other facets of Trojan Football, the membership in the band has mushroomed to over 300 members. Everyone loves a winner, don't they? A few short years ago, the band membership numbered 250 or less.
Why Are There Two Sets of Song Girls?
A welcome addition to the Marching Band, that of the "Spirit Leaders" a tradition started just last year, is a coed squad of cheerleaders whose goal is to incite the crowd to delirious levels of noise that gives the Trojans true home field advantage. Elyse Avila (pictured) is a second year Assistant Captain on the squad. While the Song Girls are usually attired in white sweater outfits, Spirit Leaders don more traditional cardinal and gold attire.
Highlights and Lowlight
On an evening where John David Booty (8-11, 98 yards, 1 touchdown) continues to show his leadership abilities, the Cardinal (first team) put up 42 points. The defense, while off to a slightly shaky first series (which ended in a field goal), held the White (second team) to 10 points.
For the first play of the evening, Senior tailback Chauncey Washington scampered for a 64 yard run. Washington followed it up with a one yard run for a touchdown. Not to be undone, the White team challenged the Cardinal defense before being stalled and settling for a 35 yard field goal by Joe Houston.
Game balls could be given to Stafon Johnson (four carries for 89 yards and 2 touchdowns) and Washington (three carries for 74 yards and a touchdown). David Ausberry shined brightly with four receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown. Garrett Green continues to impress in his role as a wide receiver, with three grabs for 29 yards and a touchdown. Michael McDonald was 8-20, 68 yards, 1 touchdown. Vidal Hazelton caught two passes for 16 yards and scored the last touchdown of the game.
The hiccup of the night was when Washington went down on his right shoulder and laid on the ground for a few moments. There was noticeable gasp from the crowd as Washington hit the turf. The preliminary report is that Washington will undergo an X-ray to evaluate the extent of his injury.
In contrast to the first scrimmage held two weeks ago, the offense played a stellar game. The defense, while bending at times performed well, allowing only one touchdown on the last play of the scrimmage.
Note of the day: nine days to opening kickoff!
Trojans prepare for battle
John David Booty and the rest of the quarterbacks out of their yellow jerseys.
Stafon Johnson finds a lot of running room.
Mitch Mustain winds up for a long pass.
Ronald Johnson turning the corner.