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University of Southern California
Mission Viejo, California
Mission Viejo High School
Santa Margarita High School
Despite starting just one season for the Trojans, Sanchez etched his name in the school record books, alongside Carson Palmer and Matt Leinhart, other blue chip passers that came into their own during Pete Carroll's tenure as the team's head coach. Known for his passion for the game, the junior hopes that even though he lacks the experience of the other two, that MFL teams regard him in the same class as the former All-American Trojans.
Having just sixteen games as a starter, Sanchez nevertheless managed to complete 64.27% of his passes at Southern California. His 313 pass completions rank ninth in school history and his 3,998 yards in total offense rank twelfth. He registered 41 touch-down passes in only 27 collegiate games, including at least two scoring tosses in thirteen of those contests (including seven games with at least three scores, four with four TDs and one with five). He gained at least 200 aerial yards in nine 2008 appearances.
Sanchez received excellent tutoring as the heralded quarterback at Mission Viejo High School, where his coach was Bob Johnson, the father of former USC and NFL quarterback Rob Johnson. He was named 2004 Parade All-American Player of the Year, Super Prep All-American Player of the Year, EA Sports All-American first-team, Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star Top 100 Dream Team, Student Sports Top 100, Rivals 100, Prep Star All-American, Tom Lemming All-American and Scout.com All-American first-team as a senior.
Sanchez also added Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first-team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Orange County Register Fab 15 first-team, Gatorade California Player of the Year, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, All-CIF Southern Section, All-CIF Division II Co-Offensive Player of the Year and Los Angeles Times All-Star honors. The Los Angeles Times All-Orange County Back of the Year was also named Orange County Register All-Orange County.
The All-South Coast League Co-Offensive MVP completed 151-of-245 (61.6%) passes for 2,441 yards with 24 touchdowns and four interceptions in 2004, despite sitting out the equivalent of four games (eight halves), because Mission Viejo was winning handily on the way to capturing the CIF Division II championship. He would finish his career with a 27-1 record as a starter.
As a junior in 2003, he made the Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass second-team, All-CIF Division II, Orange County Register All-Orange County first-team and All-South Coast League first-team. That year, he connected on 161-of-211 passes (76.3%) for 2,460 yards with 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also ran for 90 yards and caught a touch-down pass in 2003. In one game, he was 12-of-12 for 326 yards and four scores.
Sanchez also played basketball and baseball at Mission Viejo. He spent his freshman and sophomore years at Santa Margarita High in Rancho Santa Margarita, where his first varsity pass as a 2002 sophomore went 55 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
Sanchez enrolled at Southern California in 2005, red-shirting as a freshman. That year, he was the recipient of the team's Service Team Offensive Player of the Year Award. In 2006, he took over starting chores for an injured John David Booty throughout the preseason, but was relegated to six games of reserve action once the schedule began. He was limited to 3-of-7 passes for 63 yards and one interception, but drew praise from Booty, who stated, "Mark is going to have an awesome career at USC. I promise you, Mark is going to do well at USC. Waiting a while to play is not necessarily a bad thing."
Sanchez again served as the second-string quarterback in 2007. He appeared in eight games, including replacing an injured Booty in the Arizona, Notre Dame and Oregon clashes. He went on to gain 695 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions, as he completed 69-of-114 attempts (60.53%), proving that he has the high caliber arm to "air" the ball out in USC's vertical attack.
"There's no doubt Mark has that gunslinger mentality, said his father, Nick Sanchez. "He wants to come out and make a play. The last thing you want to do is to take that out of him. You don't want to give him a 'gunslinger-otomy.' But it's got to be tempered to a degree. He has to learn when to and when not to."
Sanchez worked hard during the 2008 off-season, beating out highly regarded Arkansas transfer Mitch Mustain for the starting job. He suffered a dislocated left knee cap prior to the season opener, affecting his mobility, but proved to be capable of handling the team's high powered offense. "Once you get the [starting] nod, your mentality totally changes, Sanchez noted. "It's like a heavyweight fighter—you win the title and that's it, you don't want to look back and you don't want to change. That the way I feel and I'm working to keep the job."
The junior passer was a finalist for the Manning Award (nation's top passer) and semi-finalist for both the Davey O'Brien Award and Maxwell Award (nation's top player). He led the Pac-10 Conference in total offense (247.92 ypg) and passing efficiency (164.64), as his 34 touchdown passes rank second among quarterbacks (Matt Leinhart had 38 in 2003) during the Pete Carroll era.
Sanchez generated 3,207 yards with ten interceptions on 241-of-366 attempts (65.85%), adding three more scores on the ground. His 2008 performance prompted head coach Pete Carroll to note, "Mark has shown he has the ability to be a really big-time quarterback in our system. He has the strongest arm we've had since Carson Palmer. He is a resourceful quarterback, able to take off and move and make some plays with his legs and our players really respond to him. Once he was named the starter, he came out more energetic, more demonstrative and took on more of a leadership role, which is what we expected."
After the 2008 campaign, Sanchez surprised everyone, including family and his head coach, when he announced that he would forgo his senior season and enter the 2009 NFL Draft. Carroll tried to convince his quarterback that another year of college experience would help him in the pro game, but Sanchez said he had carefully weighed all the considerations before deciding to leave.
"It has been my dream since I was just a little kid to play in the NFL and thanks to this great academic institution and football program, I have the opportunity to realize that dream," said Sanchez. "It was with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to this university. But I can't tell you how excited I am for this dream to come true."
Heisman Trophy winners Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart, along with John David Booty, all returned for their final year of eligibility with the Trojans. Palmer was the first overall pick in the 2002 NFL draft and Leinart was selected 10th in 2005. Carroll, who said he considers Sanchez as talented as any of those three, discussed the pros and cons with him. "We've talked at great depth and great length. We've covered this from A to Z ... going until late last night," Carroll said. "We don't see this decision the same. (But) I'm thrilled for Mark. For any of our kids to live the dream and do what they want to do with their football career, this is a great place to do this."
2007 Best Games Notre Dame, Oregon.
2007 Worst Games Arizona.
Sanchez shows good upper and lower body bone structure, with solid chest, shoulder and arm thickness. He has a strong bubble and thighs, with well-defined calves and a frame that could develop to 240 pounds with no loss in quickness.
Sanchez displays good quickness and mobility for his position. He is equally effective throwing on the move as he is standing in the pocket. He has good flexibility and leg drive moving back from center to his past set point. He has functional playing speed and while he won't win many foot races, he does show good balance to break arm tackles on the move. While not fast, he does show adequate change of direction agility and good strength. He runs with a normal stride and shows good movement retreating in the pocket. His balance and body control allow him to throw on roll-outs and he displays good lateral agility, evident by the way he slides to avoid pocket pressure. While more of a drop-back passer, he has the arm strength to throw on the move. With his feet, he did produce 17 first downs on his 52 carries in 2008, scoring three times…GRADE-7.2
Despite having just one season as a starter under his belt and a bit of inconsistency in his play calling, he is a good student of the game, raised in a pro style passing attack during both his prep and college playing days. There is no question that he could have greatly benefited with another year in college, but he is a smart passer with keen eyes scanning the field, doing a nice job of making reads and following through with his progressions, evident by the minimal amount of his passes that were intercepted (2.73% in 2008). He has those innate instincts, along with developing decision making skills that makes one feel he can handle a pro offense in a short time (with patient coaching). He can't be called a "student of the game," as he is not the type who will shut off the lights in the film room, but he does well in school and should not have problems digesting a complicated play book. Sanchez reads coverages well and makes proper checks, showing football savvy and field smarts. He is quick to retain plays and takes the plays from the board to the field with no problems…GRADE-7.0
Sanchez is well-liked by his teammates and is a "yes sir, no sir" type, but did draw the angst of head coach Pete Carroll, who feels that Sanchez made the wrong decision to enter the draft, feeling he would have greatly benefited with another year as a starter. He gets very good family support, as one of his brothers also serves as his agent. He did have one off-field issue of concern, as he was arrested in June, 2006 after being accused of sexually assaulting another USC student, but prosecutors decided not to file charges against him, citing a lack of sufficient evidence…GRADE-5.9
Sanchez might play an elite position, but he takes pride in his blue-collar work ethic. He is a good team leader, serving as captain in 2008. He has good huddle command and is both mentally and physically tough in the trenches. He is not really considered a coach on the field, but he does keep his mistakes to a minimum. He is confident in his leadership role and is rarely rattled, especially under pressure. He does the little extras to improve and shows good emotion on the field. He will step up and stand tall in the pocket rather than force the ball into traffic, a trait that shows he is maturing (most young players, given that opportunity to start, try to do too much, only to press on the field)…GRADE-7.3
Sanchez works hard in the off-season, but unlike other USC quarterbacks, was not one that you had to kick out of the film room or see him spending all his spare hours with his position coach. He does have good work ethic and is a good student, and is a good vocal leader in the huddle and locker room. He will play with pain and continues to gain poise and confidence working within a pro-style system. He has a team-first attitude and his leadership ability, takes control in the huddle and is a good leader-by-example type… GRADE-6.6
Sanchez shows good balance and body control driving back from center, displaying the quick feet to get into position to make all of his throws. He has good upper and lower body mechanics, as he also displays enough functional strength to break arm tackles on the move. He is a classic drop back passer, most comfortable in a five-step drop. He does a nice job of scanning the field and looks comfortable setting up in the pocket and executing his follow-through. He shows good fluidity and quickness when he sets up and is a pretty athletic mover. Despite a lack of sustained speed to go long distances, he sets up quickly and is ready to throw in an instant. He shows the ability to reach his throwing point while maintaining body control and his balance allows him to stand tall in the pocket…GRADE-7.2
Even though he had just one season as a starter, Sanchez proved to be very capable of handling the mental aspect of the game. He is a quick decision maker and even when he makes the wrong move, he does not allow his mistakes to linger. He is a good field technician, knowing how to operate within the framework of the offense, which is predicated on him making quick reads and getting the ball out to his receivers even before his targets are able to break, as this prevents the opponents from getting into position to defend. It is rare to see him force the ball into a crowd, or hold on to it too long that it leads to a costly sack. He is good at reading defenses and when he shows patience, he can pick apart zones. When he forces some into coverage, it is because he holds the ball too long, but he is learning to look for his secondary targets. The thing that stands out is his ability to throw with touch and good timing. When flushed out of the pocket, he has enough agility to throw on the run, but will more often throw the ball away than force the pass into traffic…GRADE-7.5
Sanchez has that classic over-the-top, smooth delivery with a high release. As soon as he gets to his throwing point, he is ready to throw. His overall throwing mechanics are very good and he shows good quickness and snap in his release. Because of his solid mechanics, he can launch the ball with accuracy, even when he does not have his feet set. With his compact, quick delivery over the top and a smooth motion getting rid of the ball, defenses have little time to settle under his throws, as he excels at hitting his receivers before they come out of their breaks…GRADE-7.5
Sanchez has good arm strength to make all his throws, even when firing on the move or throwing off his back foot. He is very good at varying the speed on his tosses, showing good zip firing into tight areas. His ball speed is excellent, as it comes off his fingertips easily and receivers don't have to make too many adjustments, as he leads his targets well. He generates a lot of velocity and ball speed, doing a nice job of throwing the ball across his body while displaying good hip flexibility. He has very good accuracy going long (50-of-241 pass completions were for 20 yards or longer in 2008) and a lively snap on the short tosses. He demonstrates very good arc on his long outs, as receivers settle over those throws to effortless secure over their outside shoulder. The thing he does best is to generate velocity behind his long throws, as he has a very easy and smooth release…GRADE-7.4
Sanchez not only completed 65.85% of his passes in 2008, 147-of 241 completions produced first downs. He has very good touch and velocity on short and intermediate throws. When playing the vertical game, he leads the receivers well, giving them the space they need to adjust. He is accurate at all levels both from the pocket and on the move. He throws a catchable ball with zip or touch, making it easy for his receivers to be successful without breaking off their routes. He will generally throw a tight spiral with good zip on his deep throws and does a nice job of hitting his receivers in stride, as he knows how to adjust the velocity on his short tosses so his target does not have to work back for the ball. He gets good touch and has improved his trajectory on his deep throws, along with showing the ability to stick the ball in tight areas…GRADE-7.5
Sanchez excels at anticipating the receivers routes and knowing when they will come open. He has very good overall timing and knows when to throw the ball. He will not hesitate to tuck and run with it when his receivers are covered. He knows when to take some heat off his short throws, resulting in better accuracy. His timing is good from the three- and five-step drop backs, but when he holds on to the ball a little too long at times, it will result in a sack (see 2008 Arizona, Stanford and California games). He gets good trajectory on his deep throws and displays the ability to anticipate and made adjustments at the line to challenge the soft areas on the field…GRADE-7.3
Sanchez is cool under pressure and will never be confused for a player with "happy feet" (won't run at the first sign of pocket pressure). He is never flustered, even when having to hold the ball and throw in the face of a fierce pass rush. He does a nice job of setting his feet so he would not sail his deep passes high. He knows he does not have the foot speed to tuck the ball and run with it, so he stands tall in the pocket and will absorb the hit. He keeps his cool when forced to roll out and will throw the ball away if it takes too long for his targets to get open rather than force the pass into a crowd…GRADE-7.3
In the short time he took snaps under center as USC's starter, Sanchez showed that he has good command in the huddle. He is a vocal leader, but not one that will scream just to make a point. He has a strong desire to win and the team seemed to respond well to him, especially when he struggled early, but rallied the team in the 2008 Arizona game…GRADE-6.8
Sanchez moves well in the pocket, but even though he scored three times and generated 17 first downs on 52 carries in 2008, he will never be confused for being a scrambler. He has a good feel for pocket pressure and knows when to step up or escape when his protection breaks down, as he does a nice job of buying time with his feet. He was sacked 17 times in 2008, mostly due to protection breakdowns behind a young offensive line, but he also coughed up the ball seven times and needs to do a better job of securing the pigskin when on the move. He maintains his focus downfield, feeling the pressure well. He is more comfortable when dropping back, but has enough arm strength to roll out and throw…GRADE-6.3
Sanchez shows good movement, but is really not a great scrambler. He moved around gingerly early in the 2008 season while recovering from a dislocated knee cap, but did show he has the ability to throw on the move. He just can run for big yardage. He has the anticipation skills to know when to step up in the pocket and buy time. With his strong lower frame, he can break tackles and move the chains, but isn't a fast or elusive threat to run. He has good body control rolling out in either direction and can throw with decent accuracy on the move…GRADE-6.3
TRENT EDWARDS-Buffalo…Sanchez, like Edwards, is just starting to come into his own. He was groomed in a pro-style offense since his prep days and while he might lack the game experience of Matthew Stafford or the Georgia passer's incredible arm strength, he does show a lot of moxie on the field, along with good patience and excellent timing and touch. He needs to be in a strong vertical attack, as he is best when firing the ball deep, where he does a great job of anticipating his receivers before they come out of their breaks.
In 27 games, Sanchez completed 313-of-487 passes for 3,965 yards, 41 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, gaining 3,998 yards in total offense while being responsible for 45 touch-downs…His pass completion percentage of 64.27 ranks third on the school career-record list, topped by Matt Leinart (64.82%, 2002-05) and Rob Johnson (64.63%, 1991-94)…His 41 touchdown passes rank sixth on USC's all-time list behind Leinart (99), Carson Palmer (72, 1998-2002), Johnson (58), John David Booty (58, 2003-07) and Rodney Peete (54, 1985-88)…Also ranks ninth in school annals in pass completions (313), eleventh in yards passing (3,965) and 12th in total offense yardage (3,998)…Threw for 3,207 yards in 2008, joining Carson Palmer (3,942 in 2002), Rob Johnson (3,630 in 1993) and Matt Leinart (3,815 in 2005; 3,556 in 2003; and 3,322 in 2004) as the only players in Trojans annals to throw for over 3,000 yards in a season…Only Leinart (38 in 2003) had more touchdown passes in a season than Sanchez' 34 in 2008, as his 34 scoring strikes also rank second in Pac-10 annals…His 241 pass completions as a junior rank seventh on the school season-record list…His 3,223 yards in total offense in 2008 rank sixth on the USC annual record chart behind Matt Leinart (3,851 in 2005; 3,494 in 2003), Carson Palmer (3,820 in 2002), Rob Johnson (3,425 in 1993) and John David Booty (3,294 in 2006)…Threw for five touchdowns vs. Washington State in 2008, tying the school game-record that is held by Rodney Peete (in 1987 vs. Stanford); Carson Palmer (vs. Oregon in 2002); Matt Leinart, (in 2003 vs. Oregon State and in 2004 vs. Notre Dame and Oklahoma, Orange Bowl).
All-American Dream Team third-team choice by The NFL Draft Report…Added All-American honorable mention from Pro Football Weekly and Sports Illustrated…All-Pac 10 Conference first-team selection…Finalist for the Manning Award and semi-finalist for the Davey O'Brien Award, both given to the nation's top quarterback…Semi-finalist for the Maxwell Award (nation's top player)…Suffered a left kneecap dislocation during preseason camp, but went on to start all thirteen contests…Led the conference and ranked sixth in the nation with a 164.64 passing efficiency rating…Also led the league and finished 13th in the nation in points responsible for (17.08 ppg)…His 3,207 yards passing also paced the Pac-10…Completed 241-of-366 passes (65.85%) for 3,207 yards, as his 34 touchdowns rank second in both school and league season annals…Threw ten interceptions, but scored three times on the ground, as he was responsible for 37 touchdowns and a league-best 247.92-yard average in total offense (3,223 yards)…Produced 147 first downs among his 241 completions, as 50 of those throws were good for 20 yards or longer…In addition to his ten interceptions, Sanchez had 35 passes deflected, as he fumbled seven times, losing the ball three times…Threw for over 200 yards in nine games, including three contersts for over 300 yards and one for over 400…Helped the team rank eleventh nationally and second in the Pac-10 with an average of 454.69 yards per game in total offense…The Trojans also led the conference in passing offense (259.85 ypg, 22nd in the nation) and finished third in rushing (194.85 ypg, 22nd nationally)…Helped convert 69-of-149 third-down plays (46.31%).
2008 GAME ANALYSIS
Virginia…Seeing action for the first time and the Trojans' true starting quarterback and only three weeks removed from a dislocated kneecap, Mark Sanchez proved to USC's faithful that the program will see no drop-off in production at the quarterback position… Sanchez completed 26-of-35 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns, with just one interception, in USC's 52-7 throttling of the Cavaliers…Said Sanchez: "It's exciting to know I got one under my belt with this whole knee deal. I'm back to 100 percent. I feel good and we're ready to start preparing for Ohio State"…On a drive that began with 9:04 remaining in the first quarter, Sanchez completed passes of 10 and 11 yards to tight end Anthony McCoy over the middle, before dumping off a pass to running back Stafon Johnson for 10-yard touchdown that put the Trojans on top, 14-0…Later in the first quarter, Sanchez completed seven passes, including one third-down conversion, on a drive that set up kicker David Buehler's 20-yard field goal, increasing USC's lead to 24-7…On the first drive of the second half, the USC quarterback connected with Patrick Turner on two big pass plays, a 42-yarder on 3rd-&-6 and a 20-yard touchdown in the middle of the end zone, capping a 7-play, 82-yard drive and increasing USC's lead to 31-7…At the 3:28 mark in the third quarter, Sanchez ducked an oncoming pass rush, stepped up, and hit Ronald Johnson, who was wide open in the end zone for a 49-yard touch-down…After getting the ball back quickly via Kevin Thomas' interception of a pass from Virginia QB Peter Lalich, Sanchez returned the favor, throwing a pick to Cavalier linebacker Antonio Appleby…At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Sanchez led the Trojan offense on an 8-play, 46-yard drive, during which the USC quarterback completed a 28-yard pass to wide receiver Damian Williams on a 3rd-&-10 play to set up a 2-yard touchdown run by tailback Allen Bradford.
Ohio State…Despite all of the hype, the No. 1 Trojans easily defeated the No. 5 Buckeyes, 35-3, thanks in large part to USC quarterback Mark Sanchez, who finished the game 17-of-28 for 172 yards and four touchdown, with only one interception…Sanchez got the scoring started on USC's second offensive series of the game, when he completed a 35-yard touchdown pass to fullback Stanley Havili with 0:33 left in the first quarter, a play that was made possible by a 5-yard pass completion from Sanchez to wideout Patrick Turner on a 3rd-&-4 play earlier in the drive…With 11:00 remaining in the second quarter, and following a successful conversion of a 3rd-&-6 play via a 9-yard pass to receiver Patrick Turner, Sanchez found freshman tight end Blake Ayles open in the end zone for a 1-yard touch-down, capping a 7-play, 63-yard drive and increasing USC's lead to 14-7…With just seconds remaining before halftime, Sanchez was picked off by Buckeye defensive back Chimdi Chekwa one third down in the Ohio State end zone to keep USC from putting up more points before heading to the locker room…At the 6:02 mark in the third quarter, on 3rd-&-10, Sanchez connected with wide receiver Damian Williams on a 24-yard touchdown toss that increased USC's lead to 28-3…Sanchez's final touchdown toss of the game occurred with 1:33 remaining in the third quarter, when the junior quarterback connected with Williams again, this time for a 17-yard touchdown completion and a 35-3 lead.
Oregon State…Sanchez continued his torrid touchdown pace vs. Oregon State, hitting on 18-of-29 passes for 227 yards and three touchdown, but his one interception would prove costly, as the top-ranked Trojans fell to the Beavers, 27-21…In the early minutes of the third quarter, Sanchez completed a 14-yard pass to receiver Damian Williams on a 4th-&-9 play and, on the next play, tossed a 26-yard touch-down to wideout Ronald Johnson to narrow the OSU lead to 21-7…Later in the third quarter, after having completed passes of 15 and 11 yards, Sanchez connected with Williams, who flew down the sideline and into the end zone for a 29-yard score, narrowly avoiding safety Greg Laybourn's attempt to push him out of bounds, and trimming the Beavers' lead to 21-14…With less than three minutes left in the game, Sanchez was intercepted at the USC 30-yard line by Laybourn, who return the ball 28 yards to the Trojans' 2-yard line, leading to a short touchdown run by Beaver tailback Jacquizz Rodgers and increasing OSU's lead to 27-14…While attempting to bring the Trojans back from a 13-point deficit, Sanchez completed a 14-yard touchdown toss to Patrick Turner with 1:19 left on the game clock, decreasing OSU's lead to 27-21, but time eventually run out on USC and the Beaver faithful rushed the field in triumph.
Oregon…For the fourth straight game, Sanchez threw at least three touchdown passes, finishing the game 19-of-28 for 332 yards and three touchdowns, as part of the Trojans' 598-yard offensive explosion…"It was a good victory for us and I'm excited about the way this offense and defense bounced back and how special teams played," said Sanchez…On USC's first drive of the game, Sanchez converted a 3rd-&-1 play with a 5-yard run and completed 5-of-6 passes, including a 24-yarder to tailback Joe McKnight, to set up kicker David Buehler's 21-yard field goal, which narrowed the Ducks' lead to 7-3…On the first play of the second quarter, Sanchez fumbled the ball on a run play that was recovered by the Ducks' Ra'Shon Harris at the USC 38-yard line, setting up field goal that increased Oregon's lead to 10-3…Sanchez atoned for his mistake by hitting Damian Williams on 4th-&-1 with a 34-yard touchdown toss with 7:47 left in the second quarter, a play that was preceded earlier in the drive by a 1-yard rush by Sanchez that converted a 3rd-&-1 play… On the next USC possession, Sanchez needed just two plays for the Trojans to take the lead for the first time in the game, 17-10, completing a 17-yard pass to wideout Patrick Turner, followed by a 63-yard touchdown toss to receiver Ronald Johnson…With less than two minutes remaining in the first half, Sanchez orchestrated a drive that set up Buehler's 36-yard field goal to give USC a 20-10 lead, completing a pass of 18 yards to McKnight and a pass of 19 yards to Williams…Following a fumble recovery by USC defensive back Josh Pinkard, Sanchez need just one play, an 11-yard touchdown toss to Patrick Turner, to give USC a 27-10 halftime lead…On USC's first offensive series of the second half, Sanchez set up tailback Stafon Johnson's 22-yard touchdown run by completing a 30-yard pass to Tuner and converting a 3rd-&-4 play with an 8-yard completion to McKnight…On the Trojans' next drive, Sanchez completed an 11-yard pass to Turner and a 14-yard pass to Williams, both of which converted third-down plays, and hooked up with McKnight for a 32-yard completion to set up Buehler's 42-yard field goal and push USC's lead to 37-10.
Arizona State…Despite throwing a touchdown and rushing for another in USC's 28-0 victory over the Sun Devils, quarterback Mark Sanchez was disappointed in his personal performance, which, along with completing 13-of-26 passes for 179 yards, included three interceptions and a fumble…"It was a tough outing for me and the offense as a whole. I think that we beat ourselves. We didn't see anything that we weren't prepared for. We just didn't execute the way we would have liked," said Sanchez…On the first possession of the game, Sanchez sneaked into the end zone from the 1-yard line on third down for a 7-0 USC lead, a play that was set up by the quarterback's 34- and 19-yard completions to receivers Ronald Johnson and Damian Williams, respectively…Midway through the second quarter, Sanchez completed a 22-yard pass to wideout Patrick Turner, a 29-yard pass to Johnson on 3rd-&-3, and a 4-yard scoring toss to Williams, Sanchez's only touchdown pass of the game, to increase USC's lead to 14-0…On USC's first drive of the second half, the USC quarterback was sacked by Sun Devil defensive end Dexter Davis and lost control of the football, which was recovered by linebacker Morris Wooten at the Trojan 21-yard line…On the second play of the next series, Sanchez was intercepted by ASU linebacker Mike Nixon, who returned the ball to the USC 14-yard line…The turnovers kept coming for Sanchez, whose third-down pass on USC's next possession was picked off by ASU cornerback Omar Bolden…Sanchez's nightmare third-quarter was capped with his fourth straight turnover of the frame, an interception by Sun Devil free safety Troy Nolan of the quarterback's third-down pass.
Washington State…Sanchez became the first USC quarterback to throw five touchdown passes in a half, which contributed significantly to the Trojans' 69-0 throttling of the lowly Washington State Cougars…The quarterback finished the game 15-of-20 for 253 yards and five touchdowns before being benched after two-and-a-half quarters…"It's supposed to look that way when you prepare that way," said Sanchez, who leads the PAC-10 in passing efficiency, with 19 touchdowns and six interceptions…Sanchez was 3-of-3 for 50 yards on the Trojans opening drive, which culminated in the quarterback's 23-yard touchdown pass to receiver Patrick Turner…He followed his first touchdown toss with a relatively short 14-yard touchdown strike to Turner on the Trojans' next drive, a play that was set up by a 29-yard completion to wideout Ronald Johnson earlier in the drive…Sanchez made it three straight possessions with a touchdown toss when he found Johnson open for a 4-yard score on 3rd-&-goal, a play that was preceded by a 35-yard completion on third down to Johnson earlier in the drive…Though Sanchez failed to throw a touchdown on a fourth consecutive drive, he did set up tailback C.J. Gable's 17-yard touchdown run with a 32-yard pass completion to fullback Stanley Havili and a conversion of a 3rd-&-1 play with a 3-yard sneak earlier in the drive…At the 10:59 mark in the second quarter, Sanchez converted a 3rd-&-2 play with a 3-yard completion to Havili, threw a 32-yard pass to Damian Williams, and finished off the drive with a 16-yard touchdown toss to Johnson on 4th-&-7 that increased USC's lead to 34-0…Sanchez' fifth, and final, touchdown toss of the afternoon occurred at the 4:51 mark in the second quarter, when he found tight end Anthony McCoy open for a 21-yard score on a 3rd-&-3 play.
Arizona…Southern Cal had to lean on its dominant defense on a night when its offense and star quarterback, who finished 21-of-36 for 216 yards and one touchdown, struggled to put points on the board in the Trojans' narrow 17-10 victory over the Wildcats… Sanchez's night also included one interception and one fumble…On the Trojans' second offensive series of the game, Sanchez's third-down pass was picked off by Arizona cornerback Marquis Hundley, who returned the ball 5 yards to the USC 33-yard line… Sanchez help to set up tailback Stafon Johnson's 2-yard second-quarter touchdown that capped a 17-play, 80-yard drive and increased USC's lead to 10-3 by converting three third-down plays, twice through the air and once with his feet…On USC's first drive of the second half, Sanchez was sacked on a third-down play by Wildcat defensive end Brooks Reed, who caused the quarterback to cough up the ball, which was recovered by defensive tackle Donald Horton at the USC 15-yard line and led to a Wildcat touchdown that tied the game at 10-10…Sanchez atoned for his mistake on USC's next drive, converting two third-down plays through the air before throwing a game-deciding 30-yard touchdown toss to fullback Stanley Havili to cap a 9-play, 80-yard drive and give the Trojans' a 17-10 lead. On the play, Sanchez avoided the blitz, stepped up in the pocket, and hit Havili, who was caught the pass at the 15-yard line and rumbled the rest of the way to the end zone.
Washington…Sanchez completed 15-of-19 passes for 167 yards and two touchdown, and added four rushes for 15 yards and one touchdown, before hitting the showers early in USC's 56-0 rout of the Washington Huskies…With 10:14 remaining in the first quarter, Sanchez found wide receiver Patrick Turner open in the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown on 3rd-&-goal and a 7-0 USC lead…Sanchez increased the Trojans' lead to 14-0 with 4:29 remaining in the first quarter when he completed a 32-yard touchdown toss to Turner, a play that was preceded one play earlier by a 4-yard pass from Sanchez to wideout Ronald Johnson that converted a 4th-&-1 play…He was 6-of-6 for 54 yards on a drive that he capped with a 1-yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown on 4th-&-1 with 10:37 remaining in the second quarter, increasing USC's lead to 28-0…Later in the second quarter, the USC quarterback scamper for a 15-yard gain in the red zone, setting up tailback Stafon Johnson's 1-yard touchdown run…Sanchez set up another touchdown, this time via a 28-yard completion to Turner on 3rd-&-5 that led to running back C.J. Gable's 6-yard scoring run and capped a 9-play, 71-yard drive with 3:04 remaining in the first half.
California…The USC quarterback finished the game 18-of-29 for 238 yards and two touchdowns, as the Trojans held off No. 21 Cal for a 17-3 victory…On USC's first offensive drive, Sanchez completed a 25-yard pass to tight end Rhett Ellison and a 14-yard pass to receiver Damian Williams to set up kicker David Buehler's 27-yard field goal and give the Trojans a 3-0 lead…Midway through the second quarter, Sanchez completed a 20-yard pass to tight end Anthony McCoy, a 30-yard pass to Williams on 3rd-&-6, and a 19-yard touchdown toss to wideout Patrick Turner, who made a diving catch, to give USC a 10-3 lead...Midway through the fourth quarter, Sanchez completed a 6-yard scoring pass to wide receiver Ronald Johnson on 3rd-&-2 from the Cal 6-yard line, capping a 13-play, 73-yard drive. Sanchez came up big early in that drive when he connected with Tuner for 16 yards on a 3rd-&-3 play that set up the Trojan offense at midfield.
Stanford…The Trojans atoned for last season's shocking 24-23 home lost to the Cardinal with a decisive 45-23 victory…Sanchez completed 11-of-17 passes 136 yards and two touchdown versus Stanford…After falling behind Stanford, 10-3, Sanchez engineered a 12-play, 80-yard drive that culminated in his 5-yard touchdown toss to wideout Damian Williams to tie that game at 10-10 with 6:47 remaining in the first half…Sanchez's 8-yard rush in the red zone in the final minutes of the third quarter set up tailback Stafon Johnson's 7-yard touchdown run that put USC out front, 24-17…Sanchez was able to put the game out of reach midway through the fourth quarter, when he completed a 50-yard touchdown toss to fullback Stanley Havili to increase USC's lead to 38-17.
Notre Dame…On the strengths of its defense and Sanchez's 267 yards and two touch-downs, the No. 5 Trojans steamrolled Notre Dame on its way to an easy 38-3 victory… Sanchez completed 22-of-31 passes, with two interceptions…On the second play of USC's first offensive series, he was picked off by Notre Dame cornerback Robert Blanton at the Fighting Irish 42-yard line…Sanchez atoned for his mistake on USC's next drive, engineering a 12-play, 79-yard drive that culminated in a 2-yard touchdown run by tailback Stafon Johnson. The score was set up by two Sanchez passes that converted third-down plays on the drive, including a 24-yarder on 3rd-&-9…With 4:38 remaining in the second quarter, the USC quarterback found wide receiver Damian Williams open for a 12-yard touchdown, a score that was set up two plays earlier by a 39-yard completion from Sanchez to fullback Stanley Havili…A couple of minutes before halftime, Sanchez found wideout Patrick Turner open for a 30-yard completion on a 3rd-&-15 play, which set up kicker David Buehler's 35-yard field goal and increased USC's lead to 24-0…Following completions of 17 and 20 yards early in the third quarter, Sanchez was intercepted in Notre Dame's end zone by strong safety Kyle McCarthy…Sanchez finished of the game's scoring when he found an open Patrick Turner for a 17-yard touchdown completion on a 3rd-&-10 play.
UCLA…Sanchez played a prominent role in the fifth-ranked Trojans' easy 28-7 victory over crosstown rivals UCLA, completing 18-of-33 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception, and adding 24 yards on four carries…After falling behind UCLA, 7-0, early in the first quarter, Sanchez completed a 31-yard pass to receiver Damian Williams and converted a 4th-&-4 play with an 8-yard pass to tight end Anthony McCoy to set up tailback Joe McKnight's 12-yard touchdown run and tie the score at 7-7…With a couple of minutes remaining in the first quarter, Sanchez completed passes of 25 and 23 yards to receivers Williams and Patrick Turner, respectively, setting up the quarterback's 12-yard touchdown toss to Williams to give USC a 14-7 lead…In the opening minutes of the second quarter, Sanchez was intercepted by Bruin cornerback Michael Norris at the UCLA 11-yard line…He atoned for his mistake by engineering a 16-play, 70-yard drive that set up running back Stafon Johnson's 2-yard touchdown run and increased USC's lead to 21-7. The score was set up by 13- and 12-yard completions by Sanchez that converted third-down plays earlier in the drive…On USC's opening drive of the second half, Sanchez preceded his 18-yard touchdown toss to Turner with a 23-yard completion to Ronald Johnson and an 11-yard rush that converted a 3rd-&-11 play.
Penn State (Rose Bowl)…Sanchez was named Offensive MVP and was selected to ESPN's All-Bowl Team, as he finished the 38-24 victory over the sixth-ranked Nittany Lions with 413 yards and four touchdowns on 28-of-35 passing, becoming just the third player to throw from more than 400 yards in Rose Bowl history…He also added 16 yards and one touchdown on seven carries and was named the Offensive Player of the Game…Sanchez passed for 276 yards in the first half alone, which was 108 yards more than the Nittany Lions' defense allowed on average during the regular season for a full game…After Penn State had a Sanchez sack-and-fumble overturned because of an offside penalty early in the first quarter, the Trojan quarterback made them pay by connecting with Damian Williams for a 27-yard touchdown and a 7-0 USC lead…Following back-to-back 26-yard completions to wide receiver Patrick Turner and tight end Anthony McCoy, respectively, Sanchez rushed into the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown on a 3rd-&-3 play, giving USC a 14-7 lead with 12:27 remaining in the second quarter…Kicker David Buehler's 30-yard field goal at the 7:00 mark in the second quarter was set up by Sanchez's 35-yard completion to wideout Damian Williams earlier in the drive…Sanchez completed passes of 14, 15, and 17 yards, two of which converted third downs, before tossing a 19-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Ronald Johnson with 1:24 remaining in the first half and increasing USC's lead to 24-7…Sanchez found running back C.J. Gable open for a 20-yard touchdown completion with 0:36 remaining in the first half, a score that was made possible by the quarterback's 5-yard scramble on 3rd-&-1 earlier in the drive…USC's final points of the night came from Sanchez's 45-yard scoring toss to receiver Ronald Johnson with 12:02 remaining in the game, a play that was preceded by completions of 15 and 27 yards to wideouts Damian Williams and Patrick Turner, respectively.
Appeared in eight games, starting vs. Arizona, Notre Dame and Oregon for an injured John David Booty…Completed 69-of-114 passes (60.53%) for 695 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions…Also gained 22 yards on 14 carries (1.6 avg.)…Sat out the season opener vs. Idaho while recuperating from a broken right thumb suffered in fall practice.
2007 GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Arizona…Sanchez made his first-ever start and completed 19-of-31 passes for 130 yards with a 25-yard touchdown (the first of his career) and two interceptions.
Notre Dame…Started again and connected on 21-of-38 attempts for 235 yards and four touchdowns (all career highs) with no interceptions, earning USC's Player of the Game honors.
Washington State…Was 2-of-3 for 23 yards with an interception while playing the final series.
Oregon State…Completed his only pass attempt (a 30-yarder) while playing the final series.
Sanchez saw limited action in six games, hitting on 3-of-7 passes (42.86%) for 63 yards, no touchdowns and one interception…Also scored once on four carries.
2006 GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Sanchez hit 1-of-2 passes for 19 yards at Arkansas…Played the entire fourth quarter at Stanford and was 2-of-4 for 44 yards, as he also ran for a 4-yard touchdown…His only pass attempt vs. Oregon was intercepted…Also saw action vs. Arizona, Notre Dame and Michigan, but did not throw a pass.
Red-shirted as a freshman…Recipient of USC's Service Team Offensive Player of the Year Award.
2006-In early June, prosecutors decided not to file charges against Sanchez, who had been accused of sexually assaulting another USC student. Sanchez had been arrested for investigation of assaulting a 19-year-old woman at an apartment complex near the USC campus on April 26. Deputy District Attorney Richard Tacklander, who reviewed the case, concluded there was "a lack of sufficient evidence beyond a reasonable doubt." "From the outset of this investigation, I've been confident that the facts would come to light and that investigators would confirm that I was innocent of the allegations against me," Sanchez said in a statement issued by the university.
2007-Sat out the season opener vs. Idaho (9/01) after he suffered right thumb fracture in fall camp.
2008-Sanchez was carted off the field during fall camp (8/08) shortly after the start practice with a left knee cap dislocation. Sanchez, who won the starting job in the spring, fell to the ground before the Trojans began stretching exercises. Witnesses reported seeing him doing a carioca shuffle. He then went to throw a football, put weight on his left knee and collapsed. Sanchez was helped to the trainers' table, where ice was administered and his jersey and shoulder pads were removed. He was then carted to the locker room and was then taken for x-rays. An MRI revealed the damage. The injury was called a clean dislocation, with no complications (no ligament, cartilage or bone damage). The knee was immobilized through the weekend. "They put (the knee) back in (on the field)," said head coach Pete Carroll. "There are no other complications. He's real encouraged and the doctors are, too. It will be immobilized over the weekend, then he'll start rehab on Monday. It's day-to-day and we'll see how it responds."
CAMPUS AGILITY TESTS
4.85 in the 40-yard dash…1.71 10-yard dash…2.82 20-yard dash…4.35 20-yard shuttle…
7.28 three-cone drill…29.5-inch vertical jump…8'8" broad jump…335-pound bench press…470-pound squat…295-pound hang clean…31 ¾-inch arm length…9 5/8-inch hands.
Attended Mission Viejo (Cal.) High School as a junior and senior, playing for head coach Bob Johnson, father of former USC and NFL quarterback, Rob Johnson…Named 2004 Parade All-American Player of the Year, Super Prep All-American Player of the Year, EA Sports All-American first-team, Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star Top 100 Dream Team, Student Sports Top 100, Rivals 100, Prep Star All-American, Tom Lemming All-American and Scout.com All-American first-team as a senior…Added Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first-team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Orange County Register Fab 15 first-team, Gatorade California Player of the Year, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, All-CIF Southern Section, All-CIF Division II Co-Offensive Player of the Year and Los Angeles Times All-Star honors…The Los Angeles Times All-Orange County Back of the Year was also named Orange County Register All-Orange County…The All-South Coast League Co-Offensive MVP completed 151-of-245 (61.6%) passes for 2,441 yards with 24 touchdowns and four interceptions in 2004, despite sitting out the equivalent of four games (eight halves), because Mission Viejo was winning handily on the way to capturing the CIF Division II championship…
Would finish his career with a 27-1 record as a starter…As a junior in 2003, he made the Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass second-team, All-CIF Division II, Orange County Register All-Orange County first-team and All-South Coast League first-team…That year, he connected on 161-of-211 passes (76.3%) for 2,460 yards with 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also ran for 90 yards and caught a touch-down pass in 2003…In one game, he was 12-of-12 for 326 yards and four scores…Also played basketball and baseball at Mission Viejo…Spent his freshman and sophomore years at Santa Margarita High in Rancho Santa Margarita, where his first varsity pass as a 2002 sophomore went 55 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
Communications major, attaining a 3.14 grade point average, as he earned Pac-10 Conference All-Academic honorable mention…Brothers, Nick (Yale in 1992-93-94) and Brandon (DePauw in 1997) played football in college…Born 11/11/86…Resides in Mission Viejo, California.