2004 USC TROJANS
by Ken Brown
The defending national champions were ranked number 1 in every poll all year,and as such had a huge target on their backs.
They still went 13-0 with a winning margin of 25 points per game. Everyone remembers the great and explosive offense with twin Heisman winners Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush which averaged 38 points per game.
But it WAS the defense that made this team really great. Tops in the nation against the rush number 9 against the pass number 3 in scoring defense giving up just 13 points per game and ranked 6th in total defense. When you add number 1 in the country in turnover margin this is an awesome set of stats.
But I will continue and explain they also had excellent special teams,punter Tom Malone was an all-american the year before and ranked ninth in the nation in 2004 with a 43.8 yard average.
Reggie Bush ranked ninth in punt returns and was always dangerous on kick returns too. Senior place kicker Ryan Killeen set school and conference records for extra points and career field goals.
At least 12 starters on this team were first team all-americans sometime during their career. During the regular season they did have 2-3 close calls, but as truly great teams do they won the close ones.
In the national championship game against number 2 Oklahoma (a very good team in its own right), USC put on the greatest all around performance this writer has ever seen in 35+ years of watching and loving the college game.
Stats provided from the College Football Encyclopedia. And all this from a guy from Big Ten country!