What year it's been. SC's 2005 football season was just part of an incredible run that ended with what many people consider the greatest football game ever played. Coming off a dominant 55-19 win over OU in the Orange Bowl to finish the 2004 season. SC was the subject of a lot of hype; could they hit the Three-Pete? How did they stack up with some of the greatest college football teams of all-time? Would Matt Leinart win another Heisman Trophy? Obviously these were big questions in regards to off the field. But what about on the field, there were a lot of questions there too.
While its undeniable that USC had a stellar year in 2005. They had a few moments that scared the living daylights out of their fans. The Notre Dame game was one of the most anticipated games of the season and it lived up to the hype and more. From the Irish coming out in their green jerseys, the Zibokowski punt return, the Leinart-to-Jarrett on 4th and 9 and the Bush Push I was thoroughly exhausted from that game but exhilarated by the win.
...That Was Grace Under Pressure...
The Fresno State game was another nail biter. Back and forth it went. Fresno state took all they could handle. Every time SC would pull away Fresno St. would come right back. Then there was the Rose Bowl. In my eyes the greatest college football game I have ever seen.
I still have a lot of nightmares with this guy in them
So where do we go from here?
Well, the offense will have a whole lot of new faces both on the line and in the backfield. John David Booty is now at he helm and has big shoes to fill. It's not like SC hasn't been here before, they went through the same thing when Carson Palmer graduated and Matt Leinart to his place. Of course now there is no Reggie Bush or LenDale White in the backfield. SC has some up and coming RB's but they are unproven on the field of play. The receiving corps is one of the best in the country and the will continue to shine as long as JDB can get the ball to them.
The defense is a more solid unit this year and now has some big game experience under its belt. Where they were last year's question mark they will now be the anchors of the teams success. The line has some new faces but will be backed up by one of the best linebacking corps in the country. The defensive backs will have a lot asked of them this year. New faces at the corners and replacing Darnell Bing at safety will be a tall order.
Off the field issues will also come into play. If we ever get a ruling on the Bush family rent issue how will it affect SC's past records? Will Jarrett have to sit a few games for his own rent issue? How will JDB's back hold out and if it doesn't is Sanchez ready to go? Can Sanchez overcome the taunts that are sure to come?
The Mad Scientist
There is no doubt that SC is stacked with talent and Pete Carroll continues to be a masterful recruiter. Now that Kiffin and Sarkisian have a solid year in their respective positions without the Mad Scientist looking over their shoulder can they mold all that new talent into something we've seen before? Will Nick Holt further solidify a defense that has had some tremendous players on it in the past few years?
A lot of questions are sure to be answered...