USC: Kai Forbath

Pac-12 all-BCS-era team

January, 13, 2014
Jan 13
10:00
AM PT
We're looking back at the BCS era, which lasted from 1998 to 2013, so it made sense to make an all-Pac-12 BCS-era team.

Here's our shot at it. You surely will be outraged over the player from your team who got left out.

With our evaluation, NFL careers came into play with only the offensive linemen because they are so difficult to compare.

Offense

[+] EnlargeMatt Leinart
Jeff Lewis/USA TODAY SportsFormer USC QB Matt Leinart, the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner, threw 99 career TD passes.
QB Matt Leinart, USC: Nearly won three national titles. Won 2004 Heisman Trophy and placed third in 2005. Threw 99 career TD passes.

RB Reggie Bush, USC: The 2005 Heisman Trophy winner was one of the most dynamic players in college football history. (Bush returned the Heisman in 2012.)

RB LaMichael James, Oregon: Two-time first-team All-Pac-12, 2010 Doak Walker Award winner and unanimous All-American finished his career ranked second in Pac-12 history in rushing yards (5,082) and TDs (53). Nips other stellar RBs such as Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey, Stanford's Toby Gerhart and USC's LenDale White.

WR Mike Hass, Oregon State: Two-time first-team All-Pac-12 and 2005 Biletnikoff Award winner was the first Pac-12 player to record three consecutive seasons over 1,000 yards receiving. His 3,924 receiving yards ranks third all time in the conference. This, of course, could have been fellow Beaver Brandin Cooks or USC's Marqise Lee, who both also won the Biletnikoff Award.

WR Dwayne Jarrett, USC: A two-time consensus All-American, he set the Pac-12 standard with 41 touchdown receptions.

TE Marcedes Lewis, UCLA: A 2005 consensus All-American and John Mackey Award winner as the nation's best tight end. Caught 21 career TD passes.

OL David Yankey, Stanford: A unanimous All-American in 2013, he was a consensus All-American and Morris Trophy winner as the Pac-12's best offensive lineman in 2012.

OL Sam Baker, USC: A 2006 consensus All-American and three-time first-team All-Pac-12 performer.

OL Ryan Kalil, USC: Won the 2006 Morris Trophy. Two-time first-team All-Pac-12.

OL David DeCastro, Stanford: A unanimous All-American in 2011 and two-time first-team All-Pac-12 performer.

OL Alex Mack, California: A two-time winner of the Morris Trophy as the Pac-12's best offensive lineman (2007 & 2008).

K Kai Forbath, UCLA: Consensus All-American and Lou Groza Award winner in 2009. Made 84.16 percent of his field goals, which is nearly 5 percent better than any other kicker in conference history.

Defense

LB Rey Maualuga, USC: Was a consensus All-American and won the Bednarik Award as the nation's top defensive player in 2008. Three-time first-team All-Pac-12.

LB Trent Murphy, Stanford: 2013 consensus All-American and two-time first-team All-Pac-12 performer.

LB Anthony Barr, UCLA: Consensus All-American 2013 and two-time first-team All-Pac-12.

DL Will Sutton, Arizona State: Two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and Morris Trophy winner in 2012 and 2013. Consensus All-American in 2012.

DL Haloti Ngata, Oregon: A consensus All-American and Morris Trophy winner in 2005.

DL Rien Long, Washington State: Won the Outland Trophy and was a consensus All-American in 2002.

DL Terrell Suggs, Arizona State: A unanimous All-American in 2002 after setting NCAA single-season record with 24 sacks. Won the Lombardi Trophy. Two-time first-team All-Pac-12.

CB Chris McAlister, Arizona: Unanimous All-American in 1998. Three-time first-team All-Pac-12.

CB Antoine Cason, Arizona: Won the Thorpe Award as the nation's best defensive back in 2007. Two-time first-team All-Pac-12.

S Troy Polamalu, USC: Two-time All-Pac-10 and consensus All-American in 2002.

S Taylor Mays, USC: A three-time All-American, he was a consensus All-American in 2008. Two-time first-team All-Pac-12.

P Bryan Anger, California: A three-time first-team All-Pac-12 selection and two-time Ray Guy semifinalist.

Heidari gets Lou Groza watch list honor

July, 11, 2012
7/11/12
1:31
PM PT
USC kicker Andre Heidari became the ninth Trojan named to a preseason watch list this week when he was placed on the Lou Groza Award list Wednesday.

Heidari, a sophomore, was a semifinalist for the trophy a year ago after he went 15-of-17 on field-goal attempts and 50-of-50 on point-afters. He's considered one of a select few favorites to win the award this time, although he may not get as many opportunities to kick field goals as some of his competitors.

USC has never had a Groza winner; UCLA's Kai Forbath won it in 2009.

Kyle Negrete, the Trojans' senior punter, did not make the watch list for the punting trophy, the Ray Guy, which was also announced Wednesday. UCLA's Jeff Locke made it for the third straight year.

Negrete averaged only 40.1 yards per punt in 2011 but made his name as a directional punter and did not have a touchback in 39 punts.

First, first look: UCLA

August, 3, 2011
8/03/11
5:49
PM PT
As the weeks counted down until USC football fall camp, we offered up an early first look at the 12 scheduled opponents for the 2011 season, in chronological order. We began back in May with Minnesota, Utah, Syracuse and Arizona State, continued the next three weeks with Arizona, Cal and Notre Dame and added Stanford, Colorado, Washington and Oregon recently. We now present UCLA, who the Trojans will play at home in their season finale on Nov. 26:

That's it for this week. Our final first look, at UCLA, comes next Wednesday, the day before 2011 fall camp kicks off for the Trojans.

History: There's a common belief that USC has faced UCLA more than any other school in the conference or country, but that's actually not true -- the Trojans have faced Cal, Stanford and Washington more than they've matched up against the Bruins.

What is true, though, is that the Bruins have had more success against the Trojans than any other Pac-12 school, historically. In 80 all-time matchups, UCLA has a .350 winning percentage, good enough for best in the conference against USC.

Of late, the Bruins have struggled. They've won just one of the last dozen games between the schools, a stretch in which they've been outscored 384-176. Last year's game at the Rose Bowl, a 28-14 final, wasn't all that lopsided, but, until UCLA scored with less than a minute to go in the game, it was going to be the fourth straight time the Bruins failed to put up more than one score against the Trojans.

USC hasn't lost at the Coliseum to UCLA since 1997.

Offense: The top player for the Bruins on this side of the ball is running back Johnathan Franklin, a local kid from L.A. Dorsey who ran for over 1100 yards in 2010. He was UCLA's representative at Pac-12 media day last week and is likely going to be the most recognizable Bruin throughout the season.

Surrounding him are receivers Nelson Rosario, Randall Carroll, Taylor Embree and Ricky Marvray, fullback Anthony Barr and tight end Cory Harkey and Joseph Fauria -- plus a potential-filled offensive line that includes senior center Kai Maiava and sixth-year senior Sean Sheller, who could play either guard or tackle. Junior Jeff Baca is expected to miss the early part of the season while recovering from a broken ankle he suffered in spring ball.

Quarterback is still a question mark, with Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut set to compete against each other in fall camp for the spot. Both players are capable starters, but Prince is known to be the more dedicated player -- which means he's probably the favorite to win the job. Brehaut played organized baseball this summer. It's also worth noting that Prince is what's commonly known as injury-prone. By the time Thanksgiving weekend comes around, there's a significant chance he could be out, with Brehaut or even freshman Brett Hundley replacing him.

Former San Francisco 49ers' offensive coordinator Mike Johnson will be in his first season working with the Bruin offense.

Defense: Safety Tony Dye is talented and has been productive in the past, as has Sean Westgate, a former special-teams standout who made the successful transition to outside linebacker last season. Defensive end Datone Jones is the top lineman, with sophomore Cassius Marsh a nice prospect at tackle.

Junior cornerbacks Aaron Hester and Sheldon Price each had some success starting in 2010. Middle linebacker Patrick Larimore was impressive in the first half of last season before he got hurt, but he's expected to make a full recovery this year and return to lining up the defensive unit. The other projected starting linebacker, Glenn Love, is a converted safety. It'll be interesting to see how sophomore Dietrich Riley performs at safety across from Dye. He made a Signing Day decision to pick UCLA over USC and has been vocal in supporting his decision since.

Defensive coordinator Joe Tresey spent last season in the United Football League after a combined three years at Cincinnati and South Florida. He's known for an aggressive, turnover-inducing style.

Special teams/special circumstances: 19-year-old Kip Smith, a Colorado native who was rated the No. 1 kicker in the 2010 class by some recruiting services, takes over for the departed Kai Forbath, who recently signed as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys.

Redshirt junior Jeff Locke missed spring practice while recovering from hip surgery but is again expected to challenge for the Ray Guy award in 2011, as he has in each of the past two seasons. At returner, Embree was sixth in the conference in punt-return average and Colorado transfer Josh Smith was eighth in kick-return average.

Both players are expected to resume their roles.

That concludes our 12-part series. USC fall camp coverage begins tomorrow.

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2014 TEAM LEADERS

PASSINGATTCOMPYDSTD
C. Kessler100718468
RUSHINGCARYDSAVGTD
J. Allen603185.31
J. Davis26602.31
RECEIVINGRECYDSAVGTD
N. Agholor232129.23
J. Smith1117015.50
TEAMRUSHPASSTOTAL
Offense151292443
TEAMPFPAMARGIN
Scoring322012