USC vs. Illinois Notes
USC, making its record 32nd Rose Bowl appearance and, improves to 23-9 in Rose Bowls and 30-16 in all bowls. USC's 23 Rose Bowl wins is the most wins by any school in a single bowl in NCAA history ... USC improves to 11-2 against Illinois in the first meeting since 1996 and is 65-27-2 against the Big Ten and 17-9 against the Big Ten in bowls
USC, making its record sixth straight BCS bowl game appearance, improves to 5-1 in BCS bowls ... USC is also 30-18 in all games played in the Rose Bowl, 23-9 in New Year's Day games, 32-12 in January and 26-11 in January bowls ... USC has also won 56 of its past 61 games.
USC now has six straight 11-win seasons, becoming the first school to achieve that feat. Nebraska (1993-1997), Florida State (1996-2000) and Oklahoma (2000-04) shared the previous record for consecutive 11-wins seasons at five.
Pete Carroll is now 76-14 in seven years at USC with a winning percentage of 84.4%, the best of any current Division I head coach with at least five years of experience ... He now has 28 wins over AP Top 25 teams (28-7 overall).
With today's attendance of 93,923, USC broke its overall attendance record of 1,037,565 with 1,056,685. USC's 2007 overall average attendance of 81,283 broke the previous record of 80,230. Both previous records came in 2005.
USC Defensive Notes:
USC, which had nine tackles for loss in the first half, finished with a season-high 15. It was USC's most in a game since having 19 tackles for a loss on Sept. 27, 1997 vs. California.
Junior LB Rey Maualuga's 1st-quarter interception (off a tip from LB Brian Cushing) was the first of the season, third of his career. He returned it 19 yards. His three second-quarter sacks (including two that were back-to-back) gave him six sacks in 2007 and 10.5 tackles for loss. He also had a forced fumble, his first of the season.
Senior DE Lawrence Jackson recorded his team-best 10.5 sack on the first series of the game. Including that sack, he had two first-half tackles for loss, giving him a team-best 16 for the season. Junior S Kevin Ellison and junior CB Cary Harris each posted tackles for loss in the first quarter, giving Ellison 8.0 on the year, Harris 2. Senior LB Thomas Williams now has 5.0 TFL after a second-quarter tackle for loss and senior CB Terrell Thomas has 4.5 after a second-quarter TFL.
Junior LB Kaluka Maiava recorded his first forced fumble of the season when he stripped Illinois WR Jacob Willis deep in USC territory in the third quarter. LB Brian Cushing recovered the ball in the end zone for his first fumble recovery of the season.
Junior CB Cary Harris' 3rd-quarter interception was his first of the season, second of career. On the next possession, he recovered a fumble forced by junior CB Terrell Thomas. It was Harris' first fumble recovery this season, Thomas' third forced fumble.
USC's defense entered the game allowing 3.87 yards per play, its lowest since allowing 3.93 in 1982. It allowed Illinois 6.1 today. USC also entered the game allowing 258.8 yards per game, its lowest since allowing 238.4 in 1989. It allowed 445 today.
USC has given up the fewest passing TDs in the country ... Rashard Mendenhall's 79-yard TD run was the longest against USC since an 82-yard run by Stanford's J.R. Lemon in 2004. USC's previous longest rush allowed this season was 39 ... Illinois' 55-yard pass reception by Mendenhall was the longest against USC since allowing a 69-yard pass against BYU in 2004.
USC Offensive Notes:
USC rushed for a season-high 344 yards today, the seventh time this season it eclipsed the 200-yard rushing mark this season. The last time the Trojans rushed for more net yards in a game was when they had 430 vs. UCLA on Dec. 3, 2005.
Senior QB John David Booty improved to 9-0 as a starter against AP Top 25 ranked teams. He now has at least one TD pass in 22 of 23 career starts and at least two TD passes 16 times and at least three TDs 11 times (three times in 2007). His first-quarter interception was the 10th of the season (coming when intended receiver Vidal Hazelton slipped on the play) ... With his three TD passes today and four TD passes last year, Booty now has seven overall, breaking the Rose Bowl career TD pass record (which was five) ... Booty also moved into fourth on USC's career TD pass list with 55. His 255 yards gave him 5962 for his career.
Sophomore WR-QB Garrett Green's first-quarter 34-yard TD pass to senior TB Desmond Reed was Green's first career pass attempt and Reed's first career TD reception. Green came to USC as a quarterback in 2006. It is Reed's third career TD overall and first since the season-opening Hawaii game in 2005.
Senior TB Chauncey Washington's 1st-quarter TD catch was his second TD reception of the season (and career). His 2nd-quarter 3-yard TD run was his 10th rushing TD this season and 19th of his career. He has 21 career touchdowns at USC ... With 75 rushing yards today, he finished with 1778 career rushing yards, good for 22nd on USC's prestigious career rushing chart.
With his 6 receptions, senior TE Fred Davis extended his USC record for career receptions by a tight end to 116. His 3rd-quarter TD reception was his team-best eighth TD catch of the season, 13th of his career.
USC freshman TB Joe McKnight's 3rd-quarter 65-yard rush (off a dropped backward's pass) was a career long. He finished with a season-best 125 yards, rushing for more than 100 yards for the first time this season. His 6-yard touchdown run was his third this season, fourth overall.
USC sophomore TB Stafon Johnson's 63-yard run in the fourth quarter was the longest of his career.
USC senior TB Hershel Dennis' 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was his first of the season and first since the 2004 season.
USC freshman WR David Ausberry's 4th-quarter TD reception was the second of this season.
USC's 49 points today were the most in school history in the Rose Bowl. The Trojans' previous high for points in the Rose Bowl came in a 47-14 win over Pitt in 1930. The 49 points also ties (3rd time) for the most points ever scored in a Rose Bowl. Michigan scored 49 points in the 1902 and 1948 Rose Bowls.
The two second-quarter sacks allowed by USC was only the 16th and 17th allowed all season. USC entered the game tied for 17th nationally in sacks allowed at 1.25 per game.
USC has now scored at least 20 points in 78 of the past 81 games, at least 30 points in 53 of the last 71 games and at least 40 points for the 38th time under Pete Carroll ... USC scored 21 unanswered points twice today, first to start the game and then after Illinois closed to 21-10. That makes it the eighth time this season Troy has scored 20 or more unanswered points (USC did it five times in 2006, 13 times in 2005, 12 times in 2004 and 11 times in both 2003 and 2002).
The 633 total yards by the Trojans today were a season high and the most since racking up 679 yards in a 66-19 defeat of UCLA on Dec. 3, 2005.
USC scored 28 points off turnovers today. USC entered the game having scored 78 points off turnovers.
USC average score in last 6 BCS games is 40 points (240 total) ... USC's total today was the most points Illinois allowed this year. Its previous most allowed was to Missouri (40).