QB John David Booty

2006 Statistics

Coach: Pete Carroll
65-12, 6 years
2006 Record: 11-2
at Arkansas WON 50-14
at Arizona WON 20-3
at Washington State WON 28-22
at Oregon State LOST 31-33
at Stanford WON 42-0
at UCLA LOST 9-13
Michigan WON 32-18

2006 Final Rankings
AP-4, Coaches-4, BCS-5

2007 Outlook

Same story, different year…the CD seems to be skipping when we talk annually about Southern Cal’s football superlatives. But 2006 revealed a chink in the Trojan armor with two Pac-10 foes breaking through after Pete Carroll’s men had won 27-consecutive league tilts, and USC had to subsequently share its title with Cal. OK, so they finished at No.4 when they had only four returning starters on each side of the ball (and were breaking in all new starters at RB, DB and QB). For this campaign, well-groomed John David Booty is seasoned with confidence, the TBs are huge and stacked (at least) seven high, and defense coordinator Nick Holt lost just two LBs from his starting 11. The only interpreted weak spots are found on special teams, where both net punting and punt returns fell short last time. Ostensibly, it is hard to argue that another team looks better overall on paper heading into the new season than this team. The only real hurdle looks like the scheduling sequence – their six easier early games (save Nebraska) give way to four of their last six on the road, which starts in South Bend and ends at “home” (is UCLA in L.A. ever truly at home?) in a revenge game against an upstart Bruin squad. Overall, the conference is improving (seven Pac-10 teams made our top 50 this year, compared to only five in ’06), which helps SC raise their level(s) of play for their (eventual) biggest game - the bowl they earn. It also means this juggernaut could again fall if they look past foes who haven’t seemed as good these past few years…exaggerated by the fact that everyone will still be gunning to knock off the Trojans, especially with their (likely consensus) top ranking. Such pressures never seem to bother Pete Carroll, and his modest confidence permeates throughout USC’s coaches and therefore their players. The recent recruiting classes all contain mostly four- and five-star prospects - the range of how dangerous this team becomes can land anywhere from where their momentum left them off after ’06, to going undefeated and making the rest of the nation look silly in thinking they can keep up (ala 2004). We think they land somewhere between the two, though the men of Troy will really roll until bowl season. A top five finish seems assured, but teams like LSU, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, Michigan and/or Ohio State have the talent to stay with USC in the postseason, keeping this team from being guaranteed much beyond a BCS birth. Oh my, the trials and tribulations of a one- or two-loss season…most schools would kill for such, but with this much potential and expectation(s), anything short of a spot in the title game won’t satisfy their spoiled fan-base.

Projected 2007 record: 12-0
QB - 4.5 DL - 5
RB - 4 LB - 4.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 4
OL - 4 ..

Passing: John David Booty, 269-436-9, 3347 yds., 29 TD

Rushing: Chauncey Washington, 157 att., 744 yds., 9 TD

Receiving: Fred Davis, 38 rec., 352 yds., 3 TD

Scoring: Chauncey Washington, 9 TD, 1 2-pt. conv., 56 pts.

Punting: Greg Woidneck, 48 punts, 38.3 avg.

Kicking: David Buehler, 1-1 FG, 3 pts.

Tackles: Keith Rivers, 85 tot., 47 solo

Sacks: Brian Cushing, Sedrick Ellis, 4.5 each

Interceptions: Taylor Mays, 3 for 40 yds.

Kickoff Returns: C.J. Gable, 16 ret., 27.0 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Desmond Reed, 20 ret., 5.4 avg., 0 TD


LB Keith Rivers
OFFENSE: Steve Smith-WR, Chris McFoy-WR, Mike Brittingham-FB, Ryan Kalil-C, Kyle Williams-OT, Mario Danelo-K, Jody Adewale-FB, Dwayne Jarrett-WR (NFL)
DEFENSE: Dallas Sartz-SLB, Oscar Lua-MLB

Heisman candidate Josh David Booty has learned well the ins and outs of being Pete Carroll's field general. The subtleties and complexities of this sophisticated offense now seem mastered by the senior, but this 6'3 pure passer has to step up his leadership to another level with all of the new faces and needs on this side of the ball if USC is to make it back to the BCS title game. Backup Mark Sanchez, once the top QB prospect (2005) who now has coaches intensively procuring his raw talent, has so far failed to live up to his hype. Senior Michael McDonald may not be the program's future, but he deserves real game reps with his apparent grasp of all things offensive. Since all three QBs reside in the pocket, the return of All-Pac 10 left tackle Sam Baker is critical for USC's more intricate pass plays to develop. Rachal and Radovich returning inside provide security, but even more exciting is the likely return of former Gatorade and EA Sports National Player of the Year (2003) Jeff Byers from two seasons of injuries as he shifts to the critical center slot. Though their line's two-deep is more than solid, an injury rash would affect the quality of play up front. The biggest focus for these giants has to be in reestablishing their superior running game - in both of USC's two losses, they ran for less than 100 yards. As long as senior Chauncey Washington remains academically eligible (which he wasn't from 2004 through spring of last season), the senior leader will plow over tacklers as he leads the backfield charge. C.J. Gable remains high on the depth chart due to his huge potential (that wasn't close to being realized as a true frosh), though classmate Emmanuel Moody did impress with more yards than Gable with about one-third less carries. All three rotated and started at some point in '06. Did we mention that coach Carroll landed the nation's top two RB prospects this recruiting season, and the No.2 guy last year? Also, forgotten senior Hershel Dennis, who was a starter in 2003 before slipping out of favor due to injury and internal competition (Bush and White), is back after a great spring. Similar ample rotations at fullback mean there are always fresh, capable legs for plowing holes. There just is no excuse for this much talent to finish 68th in all of I-A while ranking sixth in the conference for their rushing offense. The same wealth of riches abounds at receiver, but the searches for new starters and role players could take time as real game reps sort the men from the boys. 6'5 Patrick Turner, a consummate prep All-American, will likely break out of his role as a "possession" guy underneath, while Vidal Hazelton is poised to prove why he was the No.2 receiving recruit last year. Ex-long jumper and RS frosh David Ausberry was the No.5 snarler in 2006's class, and when you add in sprinter (100m) Travon Patterson's strong spring (scrimmage), you get a corps that has as much youth as it does talent. Look for TEs Fred Davis and Dale Thompson to have breakout campaigns as the receivers rotate and distract DBs. What was the No.21 total offense has a chance to rank in the top five if they can get the running game back up to speed.


OT Sam Baker


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB John David Booty-Sr (6-3, 210) Mark Sanchez-So (6-3, 225)
FB Stanley Havili-Fr (6-1, 220) Michael Coleman-So (6-1, 230)
TB C.J. Gable-So (6-1, 190) Chauncey Washington-Sr (6-1, 220)
Emmanuel Moody-So (6-1, 195)
WR Vidal Hazelton-So (6-3, 200) Travon Patterson-So (5-11, 180)
WR Patrick Turner-Jr (6-5, 230) David Ausberry-Fr (6-5, 215)
TE Fred Davis-Sr (6-4, 260) Dale Thompson-Sr (6-4, 255)
OT Sam Baker-Sr (6-5, 305) Butch Lewis-Fr (6-7, 300)
OG Jeff Byers-Jr (6-3, 285) Alatini Malu-Sr (6-4, 330)
C Nick Howell-So (6-5, 265) Matt Spanos-Sr (6-5, 305)
OG Chilo Rachal-Jr (6-5, 300) Thomas Herring-So (6-6, 330)
OT Drew Radovich-Sr (6-5, 305) Charles Brown-So (6-6, 285)
K David Buehler-Jr (6-2, 225) ..



Though offensively stacked, it is what will happen on this side of the line that has so many touting USC as preseason favorites. Only Michigan allowed less rushing TDs, so we will start up front with the best DL in the land on paper…hey, three DL starters with All-Pac 10 status has to mean something, eh? Senior Sedrick Ellis and junior Fili Moala use athleticism to augment their clogging ability, and along with well-versed senior backup Chris Barnett and ex-sprinter Averell Spicer (11.2 sec in the 100m), prospects Da'John Harris (No.3 in 2007) and Alex Parsons (No.9 last year) will be seen predominantly on special teams. Sizable All-American Lawrence Jackson contains his end with the same thorough ability he uses to penetrate backfields, and single blockers cannot usually succeed against him for more than one or two play(s) per drive. Former Georgia Defensive Player of the Year (prep '04) Kyle Moore is slated for the other end, but Alex Morrow and a bevy of talented, accolade-ridden recruits (like top strongside end prospect Everson Griffen) await their chance(s) to earn playing time. All of the big guys up front seem almost interchangeable, so expect lots of speed and pain when double-teams from opposing linemen are exploited early and often. Often used as an augmented rush end in USC's special 3-4 "Elephant" alignment, junior Brian Cushing (who won the John McKay Award for team's most competitive spirit) will still be found around the line of scrimmage as he commands his strongside linebacking position. WLB Keith Rivers (led team with three FFs) and former Freshman All-American (FWAA) MLB Rey Maualuga quietly earned All-conference honors by cleaning up whatever and wherever necessary. Quality backup here also go colossally deep (got last year's No.3 ILB and this year's top OLB recruit). Maualuga and Cushing are best in run support, while the rest of this light, fast corps will cover underneath and be utilized on passing downs en mass with great effect. Corner Terrell Thomas is as strong in run support as he is at smothering receivers; the same toughness comes with non-brother nickel back Kevin Thomas and other starter Cary Harris, though neither has shown the brilliance of Terrell in coverage...yet. Junior JUCO-transfer Mozique McCurtis has a huge unrealized upside, but there are only a few guys behind him ready for the start. Freshman All-American Taylor Mays will again be found all over the gridiron; the Seattle-native led the team in INTs and commanded the start at safety by his second collegiate game. Mays teams with junior Kevin Ellison to form a pair of deep cover guys who will only get better and better as they compliment each other. These two find the least amount of developed depth behind them, constituting the lone marginal area that could affect Nick Holt’s superior schemes. If 2006 was any indication, Holt has brought a swagger back to Troy – this was a top 25 team in every major stopping category. With almost every important starter back, this D can win games if the offense can just get USC a lead.


NT Sedrick Ellis


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Lawrence Jackson-Sr (6-5, 265) Lawrence Miles-Jr (6-2, 265)
NT Sedrick Ellis-Sr (6-1, 295) Averell Spicer-So (6-2, 195)
DT Fili Moala-Jr (6-4, 295) Chris Barrett-Sr (6-5, 265)
DE Kyle Moore-Jr (6-6, 260) Alex Morrow-Sr (6-6, 270)
SLB Brian Cushing-Jr (6-4, 245) Thomas Williams-Sr (6-3, 240)
MLB Rey Maualuga-Jr (6-3, 250) Luthur Brown-So (6-3, 235)
WLB Keith Rivers-Sr (6-3, 230) Kaluka Maiava-Jr (6-0, 225)
CB Cary Harris-Jr (6-0, 180) Kevin Thomas-Jr (6-1, 180)
CB Terrell Thomas-Sr (6-1, 200) Shareece Wright-So (6-0, 185)
SS Kevin Ellison-Jr (6-1, 220) Mozique McCurtis-Jr (6-1, 225)
FS Taylor Mays-So (6-4, 225) Josh Pinkard-Jr (6-1, 215)
P Greg Woidneck-Jr (6-0, 195) ..




The punting game needs help after finishing 83rd – there is no excuse for netting only 33+ with so many great defensive recruits vying for reps. Dave Buehler will allow coach Carroll to convert for three points from further back than he could last year, and his linebacker pedigree means even better results on kickoffs. C.J. Gable was a Freshman All-American as a kick returner (27 yards per try), so how/why Cary Harris (15.5 average) passes him on the depth chart would be beyond us. Again, there is no reason that this many speedy talent-position guys should equal USC only earning about six yards per punt return…replacing and/or inspiring Desmond Reed here will surely help.