Mike Goforth said the team has fewer injuries than before any of his four previous seasons as trainer. Of most concern is tailback Cedric Humes's left ankle, which was surgically repaired after a bone in his leg was broken during the first scrimmage of spring ball and kept him from all but the final preseason scrimmages. Defensive tackle Jim Davis will be making his first appearance since 2002. A torn pectoral muscle sidelined him all last season.
Versatile Mike Imoh (Robinson) will miss the first three games while on suspension for being convicted in mid-May of three misdemeanor charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. His retrial is scheduled for mid-September. Imoh last season carried the ball 22 times, caught nine passes and was third nationally in kickoff returns with an average of 30.5 yards on 18 tries.
Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer cannot like a few bits of Trojans history from last season, starting with USC outscoring opponents 148-45 in the first quarter and 147-45 in the third quarter.
Also last season, then-sophomore quarterback Matt Leinart helped lead 15 drives in the last six games that went more than 80 yards. Of 77 scoring drives in regulation during the season, 59 took less than three minutes and 35 were less than two minutes. And the Trojans have scored at least 20 points in their last 26 games.
The Trojans have five players who graduated a semester early from high school and enrolled at USC later that spring; 10 of Tech's 19 seniors already have graduated.
For Pete's Sake
Since starting his USC career 2-5 in 2001, Coach Pete Carroll has gone 27-4. His nine losses have come by a total of 42 points, with 11 being the largest margin of defeat. He also is the team's defensive coordinator.