USC Trojans 2008 College Football Team Preview


USC finished the 2007 campaign with an 11-2 record capped off by a convincing 49-17 win over Illinois in the Rose Bowl. Southern Cal ranked second in the nation in scoring defense, as they allowed just 19 points per game. They also ranked second nationally in total defense, as they allowed only 273.2 yards per game. Two October losses (home against Stanford and at Oregon) ruined their bid for a perfect season and national championship.

This season, the quarterbacking duties will be handled by junior Mark Sanchez. Sanchez won the job in spring over Arkansas transfer Mitch Mustain. Sanchez has started just three games coming into this season. The former National Prep Player of the Year threw seven touchdown passes and five interceptions in limited duty last season.

USC possesses a deep corps of talented running backs, including Stafon Johnson, experienced junior C.J. Gable and super sophomore Joe McKnight. Johnson ran for 673 yards on just 98 carries  ราคาบอลสเต็ป ufabet last season for a 6.9-yard average. He also tallied five touchdowns. Fullback Stanley Havili, a solid receiver and blocker, should also help the USC rushing attack.

Vidal Hazleton and Patrick Turner return as the starting wide receivers. This unit needs to improve from last season’s performance. They should get help from Damian Williams, another Arkansas transfer, and Ronald Johnson. All-America tight end Fred Davis has gone to the NFL, leaving junior Anthony McCoy to try to fill the huge void left by Davis’ departure.

Only one starter returns from last year’s offensive line and that is left guard Jeff Byers. The good news is many of the new starters in this group saw extensive playing time last season due to injuries to last year’s starters. Center Kristofer O’Dowd played extremely well last season filling in for the injured Matt Spanos. Charles Brown, Zack Heberer and Butch Lewis also received plenty of playing time due to starters’ injuries.

Head coach Pete Carroll’s specialty is defense. I mentioned some of USC’s 2007 defensive accomplishments earlier. This year’s group has speed and athleticism at every level and should also put up some impressive numbers.