Notes from the Pressbox

Lincoln, Neb. - The Trojans were the first top-ranked team to visit Lincoln since 1978. After a dominant performance Saturday night the Trojans let everyone know that the top team in the country still resides in Los Angeles.

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Watching a game from the press box one runs into many well-known national sports writers. But one of the real highlights of the night was watching the game while sitting next to Cornhuskers great Johnny Rodgers. Rodgers won the Heisman trophy for the Huskers in 1972….

On the very impressive first drive for the Trojans Stanley Havili and CJ Gable both established new career long runs. Havili started the action with a 50-yard gain and one play later Gable broke a run for 40 yards. Later in the game Stafon Johnson became the third Trojan tailback to establish a career long run when he had a 32-yard gain….

Rey Maualuga was flagged for a disconcerting penalty early in the first half. For all the fans wondering what the heck a disconcerting penalty is. The rules state: No player shall use words or signals that disconcert opponents when they are preparing to put the ball in play. No player may call defensive signals that simulate the sound or cadence of offensive starting signals ….

Sophomore tight end Anthony Mc Coy scored his first career touchdown as a Trojan on a 2-yard pass from John David Booty….

After sidelined the last few weeks with an injured shoulder. Chauncey Washington rebounded with a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs in the 3rd quarter. With Washington healthy Pete Carroll has a full stable of healthy tailbacks to choose from for the first time this season….

The play of Stafon Johnson continues to be the story of the season thus far. Johnson followed up an impressive performance against Idaho with a game high 144 yards against the Cornhuskers….

For the second week in a row the Trojan secondary delivered bone jarring hits. Last week Shareece Wright supplied the big hits and this week USC Kevin Ellison and Taylor Mays got in on the action….

Stanley Havili continues to be one of the Trojans most dangerous threats on offense. The multi-dimensional fullback rushed for a touchdown and also added a touchdown reception. On the night Havili ended with 74 all-purpose yards….

Freshman tailback Joe McKnight fumbled again tonight. McKnight now has two fumbles in as many games. The flashy freshman is going to have to be more careful with the ball before Pete Carroll will give him significant playing time….

To say the Trojans controlled the line of scrimmage would be a major understatement. USC rushed for 313 yards, while holding Nebraska to just 31 yards on the ground….

Even the top coach in the country occasionally makes a mistake. In case you didn't notice or thought you had lost your mind the Trojans did indeed kickoff to begin the game and the second half. When I asked about the peculiar decision Pete Carroll simply stated "We made a mistake." For those scoring at home it doesn't happen often….

The Trojans suffered three injuries on the night. Alfred Rowe suffered a concussion, linebacker Clay Mathews broke his left thumb and Vincent Joseph bruised his larynx….

Saturday Night's victory over Nebraska certainly followed the Pete Carroll script; stop the run early, force the opposition into third and long situations and capitalize on turnovers….

The convincing victory over Nebraska was a great way to celebrate Pete Carroll's 56 th birthday.

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