2006 USC Trojans football team
|2006 USC Trojans football|
Pac-10 Conference Co-Champions
Rose Bowl Champions
|2006 record||11–2 (7–2 Pac-10)|
|Head coach||Pete Carroll|
|Offensive coordinator||Lane Kiffin/Steve Sarkisian|
|Offensive scheme||Pro Style|
|Defensive coordinator||Nick Holt|
|Captain||John David Booty|
|Home stadium||Los Angeles Coliseum (c. 92,000, grass)|
|2006 Pacific-10 football standings|
|#4 USC †||7||–||2||11||–||2|
|#21 Oregon State||6||–||3||10||–||4|
|† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
The 2006 USC Trojans football team represented the University of Southern California during the 2006 NCAA Division I FBS football season, winning the Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10) and playing in the Rose Bowl. The team was coached by Pete Carroll, led on offense by quarterback John David Booty, and played their home games in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The previous year's team had played for the national championship, however, with many starters gone, including two Heisman Trophy-winners, there were doubts the team could repeat the success. With a highly ranked recruiting class, however, the Trojans were ranked in the top-5 in many pre-season polls. USC's 13-9 loss to rival UCLA snapped its NCAA-record streak of 63 consecutive 20-point games, and eliminated their hopes of playing in the BCS National Championship game. The team finished the regular season with a 10–2 record and were invited to the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) to play at the 2007 Rose Bowl, where they beat the Michigan Wolverines. With a final record of 11–2, they finished the season ranked fourth in both the Associated Press (AP) and Coaches Polls. Following the season, a number of players won national awards, while five players left the team as they were selected in the 2007 National Football League (NFL) Draft.
- 1 Before the season
- 2 Season
- 3 Game notes
- 4 Legacy
- 5 2006 Team Players in the NFL
- 6 Deaths
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Before the season
The four previous Trojan teams were very successful. Since the 2002 season, the Trojans won four Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10) titles, two national championships, and three players won the Heisman Trophy. The 2003 team won the Associated Press (AP) national championship, while the 2004 team won the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and AP championships. Additionally, the 2005 team, named by some of the media as one of the best offenses in the history of college football, played for the national championship where they lost to the Texas Longhorns. Eleven starters returned from that team, and the Trojans were picked by the Pac-10 media to win the conference. The team began the season ranked sixth in the AP Poll and third in the Coaches Poll.
After the 2005 season, defensive coordinator, Jethro Franklin, took an assistant coaching position with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Idaho coach, Nick Holt, a former assistant at USC, was hired to replace him. Holt had previously served as linebackers coach for three years at USC.
Although returning 11 starters from 2005, the team lost eleven players to the National Football League (NFL), including 2004 Heisman Trophy winner, Matt Leinart, and 2005 Heisman winner, Reggie Bush. Bush, who had one year left of eligibility, announced his plans to skip his senior season a week after the team's loss in the Rose Bowl. Bush was eventually selected as the second pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, while Leinart was the second Trojan selected in the first round. In all the team lost eight players on offense and three on defense.
The Trojans signed 25 recruits for the new class. Included in the top ranked class were four five-star recruits on defense, three five-star recruits on offense, and another thirteen four-star recruits.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||40‡||Commit date|
|Venice, CA||Venice Senior High School||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)||205 lb (93 kg)||4.47||Jan 28, 2006|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 74|
|Eden Prairie, MN||Eden Prairie High||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)||300 lb (140 kg)||4.96||Feb 3, 2006|
|Scout:N/A Rivals: ESPN grade: 40|
|Lemoore, CA||Lemoore High School||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)||214 lb (97 kg)||4.65||Jan 7, 2006|
|Colton, CA||Colton High School||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)||220 lb (100 kg)||4.55||Jan 7, 2006|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 87|
|Sylmar, CA||Sylmar Senior High School||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)||185 lb (84 kg)||4.55||Jan 19, 2006|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 84|
|Sherman Oaks, CA||Notre Dame High School||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)||190 lb (86 kg)||4.5||Feb 1, 2006|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 78|
|Salt Lake City, UT||Cottonwood High School||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)||210 lb (95 kg)||4.52||Jan 14, 2006|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 71|
|Chatham, VA||Hargrave Military Academy||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)||195 lb (88 kg)||4.5||Dec 30, 2005|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 93|
|San Pedro, CA||San Pedro Senior High School||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)||277 lb (126 kg)||5.1||Jun 12, 2005|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 77|
|Woodland Hills, CA||William Howard Taft High School||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)||175 lb (79 kg)||4.35||Feb 1, 2006|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 82|
|Los Angeles, CA||Susan Miller Dorsey High School||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)||200 lb (91 kg)||4.45||Jan 27, 2006|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 90|
|Long Beach, CA||Polytechnic High School||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)||175 lb (79 kg)||4.5||Jan 29, 2006|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 81|
|Aurora, CO||Regis Jesuit High School||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)||280 lb (130 kg)||5.0||Jan 7, 2006|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 81|
|Seattle, WA||O'Dea High School||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)||220 lb (100 kg)||4.55||Aug 14, 2005|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 92|
|Fresno, CA||Bullard High School||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)||230 lb (100 kg)||4.6||Dec 9, 2005|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 79|
|Coppell, TX||Coppell High School||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)||190 lb (86 kg)||4.5||Jan 7, 2006|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 85|
|Dallas, TX||Skyline High School||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)||190 lb (86 kg)||4.55||Jan 31, 2006|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 82|
|Irvine, CA||Woodbridge High School||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)||255 lb (116 kg)||4.85||Dec 18, 2005|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 75|
|Long Beach, CA||Polytechnic High School||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)||165 lb (75 kg)||4.45||Jan 26, 2006|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 79|
|Camden, NJ||Woodrow Wilson High School||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)||200 lb (91 kg)||4.5||Sep 25, 2005|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 91|
|Long Beach, CA||Polytechnic High School||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)||195 lb (88 kg)||4.5||Jan 31, 2006|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 68|
|Fairfield, CA||Armijo High School||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)||270 lb (120 kg)||4.9||Jun 28, 2005|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 78|
|Oakland, CA||McClymonds Senior High School||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)||220 lb (100 kg)||4.6||Dec 11, 2005|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 82|
|Rancho Cucamonga, CA||Chaffey||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)||253 lb (115 kg)||4.6||May 29, 2005|
|Colton, CA||Colton High School||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)||182 lb (83 kg)||4.51||Dec 31, 2005|
|Scout: Rivals: ESPN grade: 76|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: #1 Rivals: #1|
Eleven Trojan players were named to pre-season national award watchlists.
- Sam Baker–Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy
- John David Booty–Maxwell Award
- Brian Cushing–Chuck Bednarik Award
- Fred Davis–John Mackey Award
- Lawrence Jackson–Lombardi Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award, Ted Hendricks Award, and Lott Trophy
- Dwayne Jarrett–Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award
- Ryan Kalil–Lombardi Award, Outland Trophy, and Dave Rimington Trophy
- Oscar Lua–Chuck Bednarik Award
- Rey Maualuga–Butkus Award
- Keith Rivers–Chuck Bednarik Award and Butkus Award
- Steve Smith–Maxwell Award
In addition to the awards, five players were named to various pre-season All-America teams. Playboy, Athlon, Lindy's, Street & Smith's, Rivals.com, and NationalChamps.Net each named Jarrett and Baker to their first teams, with Jarrett also named to Sporting News, Blue Ribbon's, Phil Steele's, and Collegefootballnews.com first teams. Both ESPN.com and Street & Smith named Jackson and Kalil to their first teams, and Jackson was additionally named to Sporting News Athlon, and Phil Steele's first teams. Rivers was named to various second teams.
|(as of August 21, 2006)|
|† Starter at position Injured; will not play in 2006|
The Trojans went into the 2006 campaign having suffered many season-ending injuries. Redshirt senior and 2003 starting fullback Brandon Hancock tore his knee ligaments in fall camp, ending his career. Hancock was expected to start at fullback. Redshirt senior running back and 2003 starter Hershel Dennis re-tore his knee ligaments in spring practice after initially tearing them during the 2005 FedEx Orange Bowl, finishing his time at USC unless he gets a sixth year of eligibility. Dennis was expected to compete for the starting tailback job with redshirt junior Chauncey Washington and a host of talented freshmen. Sophomore safety Will Harris suffered torn knee ligaments during the off-season while recovering from a 2005 knee injury and was not expected to return in 2006. Senior defensive end Rashaad Goodrum suffered a back and rib injury in 2005 and was not expected to play again for USC. Redshirt sophomore defensive end Lawrence Miles missed the season while recovering from shoulder surgery and was expected to miss the season. Redshirt senior walk-on linebacker Lou Ferrigno, Jr. suffered a season-ending knee injury in spring practice and is out of eligibility. Freshman wide receiver Jamere Holland was lost for the season with a shoulder injury. Freshman linebacker Joshua Tatum suffered a knee injury. Redshirt junior offensive lineman Matt Spanos was academically ineligible.
By the Trojans' first game at Arkansas, the starting lineup had undergone some revisions from the expected one from the summer. True freshman tailback C.J. Gable beat out talented freshmen Emmanuel Moody, Allen Bradford, and Stafon Johnson along with upperclassmen Desmond Reed and Michael Coleman for the starting job after junior Chauncey Washington was not ready to go due to injuries. Redshirt junior fullback Ryan Powdrell won the starting job after Hancock's season ended before it began. Redshirt junior Drew Radovich beat out Jeff Byers for the starter's job at left guard. Sophomore linebacker Brian Cushing was installed in Kyle Moore's starting spot at defensive end. Redshirt junior cornerback Terrell Thomas became the other starter with Kevin Thomas. Redshirt senior linebacker Oscar Lua was the first starting middle linebacker. Finally, redshirt sophomore walk-on Greg Woidneck won the starting punter's job.
|Alma mater (Year)|
|Pete Carroll||Head Coach||6th||Pacific (1973)|
|Lane Kiffin||Offensive Coordinator
|6th||Fresno State (1998)|
|Steve Sarkisian||Assistant Head Coach
2005 – present
|Nick Holt||Defensive Coordinator
2006 – present
|Todd McNair||Running Backs
Special Teams Coordinator
|Brennan Carroll||Assistant Head Coach
|Ken Norton Jr.||Linebackers||3rd||UCLA (1988)|
|Pat Ruel||Offensive Line||2nd||Miami (1972)|
|Rocky Seto||Secondary||8th||USC (1999)|
|David Watson||Defensive line||2nd||Western Illinois (2001)|
|Chris Carlisle||Strength and Conditioning||6th||Chadron State (1985)|
|September 2||5:45 pm||at Arkansas*||#6||Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium • Fayetteville, AR||ESPN||W 50–14||76,564|
|September 16||5:00 pm||#19 Nebraska*||#4||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum • Los Angeles||ABC||W 28–10||92,000|
|September 23||5:00 pm||at Arizona||#3||Arizona Stadium • Tucson, AZ||ABC||W 20–3||58,801|
|September 30||4:00 pm||at Washington State||#3||Martin Stadium • Pullman, WA||TBS||W 28–22||35,117|
|October 7||12:30 pm||Washington||#3||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum • Los Angeles, CA||FSN||W 26–20||90,282|
|October 14||5:00 pm||Arizona State||#3||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum • Los Angeles, CA||ABC||W 28–21||91,126|
|October 28||12:30 pm||at Oregon State||#3||Reser Stadium • Corvallis, OR||FSN||L 33–31||42,871|
|November 4||4:00 pm||at Stanford||#9||Stanford Stadium • Palo Alto, CA||FSN||W 42–0||49,371|
|November 11||7:15 pm||#21 Oregon||#7||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum • Los Angeles, CA||FSN||W 35–10||92,000|
|November 18||5:00 pm||#17 California||#4||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum • Los Angeles, CA||ABC||W 23–9||91,672|
|November 25||5:00 pm||#6 Notre Dame*||#3||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum • Los Angeles, CA||ABC||W 44–24||91,800|
|December 2||1:30 pm||at UCLA||#2||Rose Bowl • Pasadena, CA||ABC||L 13–9||90,622|
|January 1||2:00 pm||vs. #3 Michigan*||#8||Rose Bowl • Pasadena, CA (Rose Bowl)||ABC||W 32–18||93,952|
|*Non-conference game. Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll. All times are in Pacific Time.|
- 27 straight home games (Pac-10 and school record)
- 23 straight Pac-10 games (Pac-10 and school record)
- 19 straight Pac-10 home games (Pac-10 and school record)
- 15 straight road games
- 11 straight Pac-10 road games
- 8 straight non-conference home games
- 5 straight non-conference road games
- 16 straight October games
- 16 straight November games
- 52 straight 20-point games
Although both ESPN and Arkansas asked for the game to be moved, the Trojans opened their season playing at the Arkansas Razorbacks, who were led by ninth-year head coach Houston Nutt and by running back Darren McFadden. Although USC won the game in 2005, 70–17, this game looked to be closer as the Trojans had to replace two Heisman Trophy winners, Leinart and Bush. However, with John David Booty taking over for Leinart and C.J. Gable becoming the first true freshman to start at running back in USC history, the Trojans outmatched the Razorbacks. Although Razorback freshman quarterback, Mitch Mustain, ran for the first touchdown of his career and one Razorback running back ran for a touchdown, Booty threw three touchdowns, three Trojan running backs ran for a touchdown each, and Mario Danelo kicked two field goals to outscore them, 50–14. A crowd of 76,564, a record in Razorback Stadium, attended the game. With the win, the Trojans extended their record-setting streak of games where they scored at least 20 points to 53.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers, led by second-year head coach, Bill Callahan, next traveled to face the Trojans in the Coliseum, where the Trojans held a 27 home-game winning streak. Although the Cornhuskers had an early 3–0 lead, three unanswered touchdown passes by Booty gave the Trojans a 21–3 lead in the third quarter. Although quarterback, Zac Taylor, ran for a touchdown to cut the Trojan's lead, a rushing touchdown by Chauncey Washington sealed the win for the Trojans, 28–10. During the game, wide receiver, Dwayne Jarrett, with two receiving touchdowns, became USC's all-time leader in touchdown receptions, with 31. With the win, the Trojans extended their streak of games where they scored at least 20 points to 54 and extended their Pac-10-record home winning streak to 28.
The Trojans next traveled to face the Arizona Wildcats, led by third-year head coach, Mike Stoops. Both offenses struggled early in the game, and the Trojans took a 3–0 lead before half-time. The Trojans finally increased their lead in the third quarter when Jarrett scored the first touchdown of the game to tie the Pac-10 record for career receiving touchdowns with 32. A fourth-quarter field goal by the Wildcats brought them within a touchdown, but the Trojans answered with a Danelo field goal. Emmanuel Moody ran for the last score of the game to give the Trojans a 20–3 win and extend their streak of games where they scored at least 20 points to 55. With the conference win, the Trojans increased their winning streak over conference foes to 24 games.The win did not come without a price, however, as the Trojans, who had already lost fullbacks, Brandon Hancock and Ryan Powdrell to season-ending injuries, lost freshman fullback, Stanley Havili, to an ankle injury.
The Trojans next traveled to face the Washington State Cougars, led by fourth-year head coach, Bill Doba, and quarterback, Alex Brink. Although Jarrett came into the game tied for the Pac-10 career record of receiving touchdowns, he would sit out the game with an ankle injury. Steve Smith took his place, however, and scored two touchdowns to lead the Trojans in the 28–22 win. Although the Cougars lost their only lead in the first quarter, they had a chance to score and tie the game on the final play of the game before Brink's pass was intercepted. The Trojans continued their conference winning streak and moved to 25 games and increased their streak of scoring 20 points to 56 games.
The Washington, led by first-year head coach, Tyrone Willingham, and quarterback, Isaiah Stanback, next visited the Trojans. Willingham was the last coach to beat the Trojans at the Coliseum in 2001 with Stanford, but the Huskies were large underdogs. Despite this, the Huskies kept the game close, as, after two early Trojan touchdowns, their only other scores came from four Danelo field goals. The Huskies scored on two Stanback touchdown passes and two field goals, but the time clock ran out during their final drive, giving the Trojans a 26–20 win. With the win, the Trojans continued their home winning streak, their conference winning streak, and their streak of games scoring over 20 points.
The Arizona State Sun Devils, led by sixth-year head coach, Dirk Koetter, and quarterback, Rudy Carpenter, next visited the Trojans. Though the Sun Devils started the season with three wins, they had been blown out in both of their next two games and were a three touchdown underdog to the Trojans. The Trojans dominated the first half with three touchdowns before the Sun Devils could score. Their third touchdown, a pass to Jarrett, made him the Pac-10 leader in career touchdown receptions with 33. The Sun Devils, however, finally answered with a rushing touchdown before half-time. The Sun Devils tied the game in the third quarter with Carpenter's touchdown pass and a returned interception for a touchdown, however, Chauncey Washington ran for the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter to give the final score of 28–21 in favor of the Trojans. Once again scoring over 20 points, they won another home conference game to extend their streaks.
The Trojans next visited the Oregon State Beavers, led by head coach, Mike Riley. The Beavers took an early lead, and, after the Trojans tied the game, scored three field goals to take a nine-point lead. A Danelo field goal at the end of the first half brought the Trojans within six points at half-time. The Beavers took control of the game in the second half, passing for a touchdown, returning a punt for a touchdown, and kicking another field goal to take a 33–10 lead. The Trojans finally answered at the end of the third quarter to bring their deficit to 16 points. In the fourth quarter, Booty threw his second touchdown of the game, and, after a two-point conversion, brought the score to 33–25 in favor of the Beavers. Booty threw his third touchdown of the game with seven seconds remaining, however, their second two-point conversion attempt was batted away by the Beavers to preserve their 33–31 win. Though the Trojans continued their streak of games scoring over 20 points, they ended their streaks of, among others, 38 wins in the regular season, 27 wins against Pac-10 opponents, and 18 wins on the road.
Notre Dame visited the Coliseum with a four-game losing streak to the Trojans, however an eight-game winning streak in the season. After the epic 2005 game, the Irish thought they might break the losing streak, and would be assured of a BCS Bowl game. With a win, the Trojans knew that they would still be in the national title hunt. The game started with the Irish receiving the ball and Brady Quinn throwing a quick 38-yard pass to Rhema McKnight. The Irish drive stalled afterwards and turned the ball over after Quinn's fourth down pass flew errantly into the endzone. The Trojans took over and quarterback John David Booty led them on a 61-yard drive that ended with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Jarrett. After the next Irish drive ended with a punt and a return by the Trojans to the Irish 26, Booty completed another touchdown pass to Jarrett to put the Trojans ahead 14–0. On the ensuing Irish drive, Quinn and Darius Walker brought the Irish downfield, allowing Carl Gioia to kick a field goal. The first quarter ended with the Trojans winning 14–3. In the first drive of the second quarter, Booty led the Trojans to the Irish 1-yard line where he snuck the ball in for USC's third touchdown of the game. On the ensuing drive for the Irish, on a third down, Quinn scrambled for 59-yards, Notre Dame's longest run of the season, to bring the Irish to the USC 17-yard line. Four plays later, a Darius Walker fumble was recovered by the Trojans giving them the ball back. The Irish defense, however, held the Trojans for the first time forcing a punt. The punt was partially blocked giving the Irish the ball back on the 7-yard line. On the next play, Quinn threw a touchdown to Marcus Freeman. The next two drives by the Trojans both ended when Booty threw an interception, but the Irish couldn't capitalize on either, turning the ball over on downs two more times. The half ended with the Trojans leading 21–10.
The second half began with a Trojan drive of 65-yards capped with a Chauncey Washington 2-yard touchdown run. The only other score of the third quarter came on Notre Dame's second drive of 58-yards, when Quinn hit Rhema McKnight for a 2-yard touchdown pass on fourth down. The fourth quarter began with the Trojans driving to an eventual 32-yard field goal by Mario Danelo. After the Irish were held, Booty threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Jarrett to give the Trojans a 37–17 lead (Danelo missed the extra point). Quinn drove the Irish 78-yards and threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Samardzija to put the Irish deficit to 13 points. However, the onside kick attempt, was recovered by Brian Cushing, who ran it back to give the Trojans a 20-point lead again. Notre Dame's last drive would end on another failed fourth down attempt, giving the Trojans the 44–24 win.
UCLA's defensive performance snapped USC’s NCAA-record streak of 63 consecutive 20-point games.
In the month leading to the Rose Bowl, starting kicker Troy Van Blarcom was dismissed by the university because of his grades, leaving all duties to Mario Danelo.
The Rose Bowl crowd marked USC's 11th sell out, a single season school record.
USC's popularity continued to remain high, setting a school record with 11 sold-out games over the season and a total attendance of 995,778, shy of the all-time record set in 2005 of 1,037,565—attributable to the smaller stadiums at away games in the 2006 season.
At the end of the 2006 season, with only Dwayne Jarrett departing early for the NFL and returning many of the starters from the 2006 team, major media sources projected the 2007 USC Trojans football team as the presumptive pre-season No. 1 team and national title contender for the 2007 season.
2006 Team Players in the NFL
- Sam Baker
- John David Booty
- Fred Davis
- Sedrick Ellis
- Ryan Kalil
- Lawrence Jackson
- Dwayne Jarrett
- Oscar Lua
- Chris McFoy
- Ryan Powdrell
- Drew Radovich
- Chilo Rachal
- Keith Rivers
- Dallas Sartz
- Steve Smith
- Matt Spanos
- Terrell Thomas
- Chauncey Washington
- Kyle Williams
- Thomas Williams
- David Buehler
- Brian Cushing
- Kevin Ellison
- Cary Harris
- Kaluka Maiava
- Clay Matthews III
- Rey Maualuga
- Fili Moala
- Kyle Moore
- Mark Sanchez
- Patrick Turner
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