Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Carroll has vivid memory of trip to Notre Dame
LOS ANGELES -- Pete Carroll has a vivid memory of the first
time he came through the tunnel with the Southern California
Trojans and onto the field at Notre Dame.
"It's just a magnificent part of history that you know you are
part of," the USC coach said. "You know that this may be one of
those classic games that will be remembered because of the legacy
of the matchup.
"I was blessed with a relationship that Marv Goux that really
presented the whole game to me for the first time."
Goux was a two-way player for the Trojans in the early 1950s who
later became an assistant at USC. Goux, who died last year at 69,
was known for his inspirational speeches to the players the week
leading up to the Notre Dame game.
"The USC-Notre Dame game was one of the first topics he brought
up when I met him at USC," said Carroll, in his third year as
coach. "I got a feel for it right off the bat from the guy that
really exemplifies what this matchup is all about.
"The first time I came up the tunnel, I remembered Marv's story
about the first time he took the field there, where you come up the
tunnel and can see the scoreboard, see USC and Notre Dame on it."
In a way, Carroll took Goux along with him his first trip to
Notre Dame two years ago.
"I had Marv on the cell phone while I was doing it," Carroll
said. "I was really lucky to get a feel for this and what it's all
about through Marv."
The Trojans lost that game, 27-16 in Carroll's first season. USC
hasn't beaten the Irish in South Bend since 1997. Last Year, Carson
Palmer threw for four touchdowns as the Trojans defeated Notre Dame
44-13 in the Los Angeles Coliseum.
The No. 5 Trojans (5-1) jumped up four notches in The Associated
Press poll this week after a 44-21 win over Stanford, with Matt
Leinart throwing three TD passes to Mike Williams.
Carroll said it's too early for the rankings to mean much, but
he appreciates the notice.
"It's a wonderful sign of respect," he said. "At this early
date, you have to kind of go with a feeling because all the
information is not there yet. I'm really appreciative of the
respect that other people have shown us.
"I think it certainly is a tribute to last year's team. We
grabbed the attention of a lot of people last year. The
consideration early in the year and our position now is definitely
a result of that."
After losing 34-31 in triple overtime to California on Sept. 27,
USC has bounced back with one-sided wins over Arizona State and
Carroll, of course, hopes they keep rolling this weekend.
"We're going to try to put together a heck of a football game
and keep our season moving forward," he said.