John David Booty dialed up nine different receivers as he completed 28 of 35 passes for 279 yards and four TDs as USC poured it on Washington State 47-14 on a drizzly Saturday evening. Booty who had passed for 350 yards and had 5 TDS in his first two games of the season nearly doubled his output as he vaulted himself back into the Heisman race. If his performance against the Cougars is any indication John David should be getting a call from the Heisman committee come December.


Booty wasn’t the only player with gaudy numbers as TE Fred Davis had a career high nine receptions, 124 yards, two TDs and was named the player of the game. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound senior loomed large and even leaped over an oncoming defender for a huge gain in the second half.

Coach Carroll comments, “He’s had a really steady career. He’s always been a great blocker. It’s great when we know we can go to him in tough situations and tonight was just that night for him. His athleticism was on display, just running by guys and over guys. He’s another guy who stayed around and worked hard and stayed with it.”

Davis adds, “It has been a long time coming. I felt like a wide receiver tonight. I was just glad to do anything I could to help us win, whether it was blocking, catching or whatever, as long as I help us win.”

The unselfish senior leader also notes, “I’m trying to do things right on and off the field staying on top of my studies. I just want to show the young guys how to do it.”


Interestingly enough there was another tight end on the field that caught the eye of USC and Washington State. Freshman Trey Henderson, who originally committed to becoming a Cougar, then switched his allegiance last year, noting, “I had always wanted to go to USC, so it was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up.”

While the two-timer didn’t see any time on Saturday it should be interesting to see how Henderson develops as the powers that be at SC hope to move the TE to Defensive Line.


The other Trojan who hails from the state of Washington is Taylor Mays. You might remember last year that the Cougars were on the brink of scoring a major upset against USC when QB Alex Brink was intercepted by Mays at the four yard line on the very last play of the game. Though Mays didn’t have an INT this year, the Trojan’s safety broke up a number of Brink’s passes limiting the QB to barely a 50 percent completion percentage (17 for 33).


After opening up conference play with Washington State at home, the Trojans head to Washington Sept. 29 to face the state’s other Pac 10 foe. Although the contest versus the Huskies shouldn’t prove to be that much of a dog fight … one USC coach hopes to fly under the radar as the Trojans travel to Seattle.

During the recent Michael Vick debacle, the L.A. Times broke a story describing how USC running backs coach and lead recruiter Todd McNair had been previously charged with dog fighting. Whether or not headlines like “Husky Killer” will be bulletin board material for Ty and his Pac 10 Pack, our guess is that you probably won’t hear phrases like “Let’s kill the Huskies” from the USC side.


O.J. was caught turning heads at the Coliseum … O.J. Mayo, that is. The frosh phenom and Coach Floyd were on hand to remind the football crowd that Trojan basketball will tip off their practices on Oct. 12 with Midnight Madness. Come by and judge for yourself which O.J. has the best backdoor cut in Southern California.


Campus Circle had the opportunity to rub elbows and talk shop with some notable area sportscasters in USC press box. The always-smiling Rob Fukuzaki proved to be just as genial in person as he shared the following joke making the rounds in the media with this sports scribe.

“How many batteries does it take to shock Carr and Michigan?”

Answer: 1-AA


Chris Rix, the former Florida State QB and Southern California high school standout also proved to be pretty approachable as he prepped for the ABC “Sportszone” show. We quizzed the QB on his thoughts on the heir apparent to Booty, asking him if he thought a QB controversy loomed in Troy this spring between hometown hero Mark Sanchez and transfer Mitch Mustain.

Rix quickly answered saying, “I would go with Mark all the way. He actually used to be my ballboy and I’ve followed him for a while and I think he’s got all the tools.”

No sooner had Rix issued his support for Sanchez, Mark was off his mark throwing an interception. Chalk it up to bad timing; we have to agree that Sanchez looked strong driving the team all the way to the goal line before getting picked.


As a picturesque rainbow formed over the Coliseum during the first half we couldn’t help but be reminded of USC’s future schedule as it was recently revealed that the Trojans open up in Hawaii in 2010.

It also brought to mind another USC rainbow connection … Booty’s biggest completion for the Heisman looks to be Hawaii’s Colt Brennan, who happened to be the high school backup QB for none other than Matt Leinart at Mater Dei.


While flipping through the USC magazine we noted an ad celebrating the 100th birthday of John Wayne. For those who don’t know … Marion Morrison (who would later become known as John Wayne) was a member of Howard Jones' legendary USC football squad of the mid 1920’s until an injury sidelined Morrison, forcing him to trade in his athletic dreams for a career in Hollywood.

We did some quick research on the Duke’s movie history and Sept. 25 actually marks the 80th anniversary of the opening of The Drop Kick in which a 20-year-old Wayne plays … of all roles … a USC Football player. In his early years Wayne would take on a number of uncredited roles as a football playing extra in movies like Brown of Harvard in which he played a Yale footballer, Salute in which he portrayed a midshipman in the Army-Navy Game before finally landing 1929’s The Forward Pass.

Shane Igoe writes on the convergence of sports and pop culture on www.thewadeblogs.com.