This was Paul Hackett's inaugural year as head coach as the Trojans head coach as well as his only winning season and bowl appearance with the team. It was also the Trojans' 75th anniversary playing at the Coliseum.
After three wins, including an opener against Purdue in the Pigskin Classic, USC was ranked as high as 18 in the AP Poll, but lost two of its next three and dropped out of the rankings permanently.
During halftime of the game against UCLA, 91-year-old USC "Super Fan" Giles Pellerin died while watching his 797th consecutive USC football game.
Quarterback Carson Palmer led the team in passing, completing 130 of 235 passes for 1,755 yards with seven touchdowns and six interceptions. Chad Morton led the team in rushing with 199 carries for 985 yards and six touchdowns. R. Jay Soward led the team in receiving yards with 44 catches for 679 yards and six touchdowns; Billy Miller also had 49 catches for 623 yards and six touchdowns.