University president Steven Sample and athletic director Mike Garrett provided opening re
Football coach Pete Carroll came to the podium and began by talking about the victory over UCLA in the Rose Bowl "we scored a bunch of points and left them writhing in the Rose Bowl….It's four in a row right now but we want to keep beating them until they give up." At that point the Victory Bell was brought out and Carroll asked Shaun Cody and Brandon Hancock to step forward and ring the bell. Predictably, the large crowd went nuts and after the bell was rung the Trojan Marching Band immediately launched into "Tusk". You can guess which part of the song included audience participation.
As soon as they finished Carroll said "a band can't get any better than that" and then he brought game MVP Carson Palmer and his center Norm Katnik to the front of the stage for the presentation of the UCLA game trophy.
Carroll then talked about the game against the Fighting Irish and how "93,000 people were in the crowd having the time of their life kicking the snot out of Notre Dame". It came time for the presentation of the Shillelagh and Carroll brought out walk-ons Jay and Alex Bottom to do the honors. It was a touch of class to allow the brothers such a nice moment at an event like that.
Before introducing the Heisman winner Coach Carroll, whose daughter had played on last year's team, took a moment to praise the accomplishments of the volleyball team and at one point even called USC "a volleyball school".
The coach ended his comments by talking about the Orange Bowl "we all had a big celebration after winning that game" and his thoughts on the future "we said after the game that we're just getting started and I'll say it again, we're just getting started". Lee Webb and Travis Watkins were then brought on stage for the presentation of the Orange Bowl trophy.
It came time for the final award and Carroll called Carson Palmer an example of "everything this season was about" and at that point he introduced the senior quarterback to the delight of the crowd.
It was a wonderful way to cap as a season to remember for all Trojan fans.