USC Football To Open 2009 Season At Home Versus San Jose State|
Aug. 29, 2009
No. 4-ranked USC, with high hopes for another successful season, begins its 2009 slate at home against in-state foe San Jose State. The Trojans--who went 12-1 and won the Rose Bowl last fall--have been on quite a run recently, with 7 consecutive AP Top 4 finishes, BCS bowl trips, Pac-10 titles and 11-win seasons. USC not only has won its past 11 openers, it also has captured its past 13 non-conference home games, 12 non-conference games, 10 overall games and 9 home games. Troy has also fared extremely well against Western Athletic Conference opponents. This is the 92nd consecutive game USC has been ranked in the AP Top 25, extending its school record. USC head coach Pete Carroll, who began his Trojan coaching career with a win over San Jose State, is the nation's winningest active coach. It will be a historic debut for QB Matt Barkley, who will become the first USC true freshman to start an opener at quarterback.
He'll be surrounded by loads of talent, including TBs Stafon Johnson, Joe McKnight and C.J. Gable, WR Damian Williams, FB Stanley Havili, TE Anthony McCoy, OG-C Jeff Byers and C Kristofer O'Dowd. Although Troy lost 8 starters (all were NFL draftees) from its dominating 2008 defense, the 2009 version--led by 2-time All-American S Taylor Mays, a leading Thorpe Award candidate--could surprise. New USC defensive line coach Jethro Franklin will be coaching against the team from his boyhood hometown. San Jose State head coach Dick Tomey--the 2009 American Football Coaches Association president--is very familiar with USC, having coached (with some success) against the Trojans while at Arizona and Hawaii. And both Spartan coordinators once were on the USC coaching staff. The Spartans return 15 starters off a 6-6 team that lost its final 3 games. QB Kyle Reed, among 3 SJSU quarterback starters last fall, is back after completing 64.0% of his passes in 2008. WR Kevin Jurovich and WR Jalal Beauchman have 142 career receptions and 11 touchdowns between them. Six SJSU offensive linemen have started at least 10 games in their careers. Seven starters return on a Spartan defense that was in the Top 25 nationally in 6 categories in 2008, including 21st in total defense. Top defenders include the Ihenacho brothers--DE Carl and S Duke, a 2008 All-WAC first teamer--plus DT Adonis Davis and LB Travis Jones (SJSU's 2008 tackle leader). Police, fire and military personnel will be in attendance as part of Joint Forces Day. Former USC head coach John Robinson will be saluted for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame and the life of late 16-year-old uber Trojan fan Ryan Davidson will be honored during a pre-game ceremony. The game will be shown live nationally on FSN.