|No. 6 USC doesn't need early BCS poll|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 19 October 2008 14:12|
``I couldn't care less,'' USC's coach said after his Trojans (5-1, 3-1 Pac-10) destroyed woeful Washington State 69-0 on Saturday for their biggest shutout victory since 1931.
``It doesn't matter,'' he said before Sunday's BCS rankings had his team fifth. ``It doesn't have any factor on anything right now.''
Carroll believes every team in the country will, as he put it last week, ``get caught'' before this regular season ends - unless there is what he calls a rare, special year brewing for top-ranked Texas, No. 2 Alabama or third-ranked Penn State to stay undefeated into the BCS title game in January.
``We have a chance to really make this turn here with a lot of things going in our favor,'' he said. ``I'm really fired up about where we are. I'm fired up because of the way the defense is playing, front to back.''
tive times. USC's defense leads the nation by allowing just 7.8 points per game.
USC has recorded consecutive shutouts for the first time since 1971, and since losing to Oregon State has won three games by a combined 141-10.
``We knew that after that game that our season was far from over,'' quarterback Mark Sanchez said. ``We had a great chance to bounce back And that's exactly what we wanted to do, bounce back and prove that we are a great team. And I think we are doing that.''
Sanchez said the players will notice the early BCS standings. But then he added, ``It's going to be something we'll care about come December.''
The Pac-10's passing efficiency leader with 19 touchdowns and six interceptions this season became the first USC quarterback to throw five touchdown passes in a half on Saturday. He completed 15 of 20 passes for 253 yards and tied the school record of five scoring throws for a game - shared with Rodney Peete, Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart - with 4:51 still remaining in the second quarter.
Then again, it's all relative this season when it comes against Washington State (1-7, 0-5)
uting for his starters after the first defensive series.
Carroll tried to throttle down the onslaught by running almost exclusively - backup quarterback Matt Mustain threw just one pass over the final 1 1/2 quarters. But running further fed the domination. C.J. Gable, Stafon Johnson and freshman Broderick Green each rushed for 100 yards, with Gable scoring three times and Green scoring twice.
It was the first time USC had three 100-yard rushers in a game since 1977.
The Cougars also made history - the bad kind. They absorbed their largest margin of defeat since they began playing in 1894.
One month removed from that stunning loss at Oregon State, the Trojans believe they are again as good as any team in the country. And following this week's potentially tricky trip to Arizona, the November schedule appears friendly. Home games against winless Washington, then California, which was upset at Arizona Saturday night, and Notre Dame bracket a date at Stanford. Then comes the regular-season finale at UCLA.
``Oh, I think we're on the up and up. We're ready to be peak at the right time,'' Sanchez said. ``A couple more games in October, and then once we get to November, we haven't lost in November since Coach Carroll has been here.
``And then we'll get a shot some time at the end of the year to play in a big bowl game.''
Maybe even the biggest game of all.