2011 USC Trojans football
ConferencePac-12 Conference
DivisionSouth Division
APNo. 6
2011 record10–2 (7–2 Pac-12)
Head coachLane Kiffin (2nd season)
Offensive coordinatorKennedy Pola (2nd season)
Offensive schemeWest Coast, pro-style offense with multiple formations
Defensive coordinatorMonte Kiffin (2nd season)
Base defense4–3
CaptainMatt Barkley
CaptainRhett Ellison
CaptainTJ McDonald
CaptainChristian Tupou
Home stadiumLos Angeles Memorial Coliseum (Capacity: 93,607)
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Template:2011 Pac-12 football standings The 2011 USC Trojans football team represented the University of Southern California in the 2011 NCAA Division I FBS college football season. The Trojans were led by head coach Lane Kiffin in his second season. They played their home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and are members of the South Division of the Pac-12 Conference. After a triple-overtime loss to Stanford, the Trojans won their last four games, including a 50–0 win over rival UCLA in the regular-season finale. USC ended their season ranked No. 6 in the AP Poll with a 10–2 record overall and finished first in the South Division with a 7–2 record in Pac-12 play. However, as part of a post-season ban mandated by the NCAA, the Trojans could not participate in the conference championship game or play in a bowl game. USC concluded their season with two thousand-yard receivers (Robert Woods and Marqise Lee), a thousand-yard rusher (Curtis McNeal), and a 3,000-yard passer (Matt Barkley) for the first time since the 2005 season, when Kiffin served as offensive coordinator.

Coaching staff

Name Position Seasons at
Alma Mater
Lane Kiffin Head coach 2 Fresno State (1996)
Monte Kiffin Assistant Head Coach 2 Nebraska (1963)
Joe Barry Linebackers 2 USC (1994)
John Baxter Associate Head Coach, Special Teams 2 Loras (1985)
James Cregg Offensive Line 2 Colorado State (1995)
Ted Gilmore Wide Receivers 1 Wyoming (1989)
Clay Helton Quarterbacks 1 Houston (1994)
Sammy Knight Defensive Backs Coach 2 USC (1997)
Justin Mesa Tight Ends 2 USC (2006)
Ed Orgeron Defensive Coordinator, Recruiting Coordinator, Defensive Line 2 Northwestern State (1984)
Kennedy Polamalu Offensive Coordinator, Running Backs 2 USC (1985)
Aaron Ausmus Strength and Conditioning 2 Tennessee (1998)


September 312:30 p.m.Minnesota*No. 25ABC/ESPN2W 19–1768,273[1]
September 104:30 p.m.Utah
  • Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
  • Los Angeles, CA
VersusW 23–1473,821[2]
September 175:00 p.m.Syracuse*
  • Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
  • Los Angeles, CA
FXW 38–1765,873[3]
September 247:15 p.m.at Arizona StateNo. 23ESPNL 22–4361,495[4]
October 112:30 p.m.Arizona
  • Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
  • Los Angeles, CA
FSNW 48–4163,707[5]
October 136:00 p.m.at CaliforniaESPNW 30–944,043[6]
October 224:30 p.m.at Notre Dame*NBCW 31–1780,795[7]
October 295:00 p.m.No. 4 StanfordNo. 20
ABC/ESPN3L 48–56 3OT93,607[8]
November 46:00 p.m.at ColoradoNo. 21ESPNW 42–1750,083[9]
November 1212:45 p.m.WashingtondaggerNo. 18
  • Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
  • Los Angeles, CA
FXW 40–1764,756[10]
November 195:00 p.m.at No. 4 OregonNo. 18ABC/ESPN3W 38–3559,933[11]
November 267:00 p.m.UCLANo. 10
FSNW 50–093,607
  • *Non-conference game
  • daggerHomecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game
  • All times are in Pacific time


Game summaries


Minnesota at #25 USC
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Minnesota 0 3 7 7 17
USC 6 13 0 0 19

Robert Woods caught 17 passes – the most ever for a USC player – gained 177 yards, and had 3 touchdowns as USC defeated Minnesota 19–17 on September 3. Quarterback Matt Barkley also set a USC record by completing 34 passes during the game; Barkley had 45 attempts and finished with 304 yards passing. Despite those offensive records, Minnesota nearly completed a second half comeback. After trailing 19–3 at the half, Minnesota kept the Trojans scoreless in the second half. The Golden Gophers narrowed USC's lead to 2 points with 8:03 left in the game when their backup quarterback, Max Shortell, passed the ball to Brandon Green for a touchdown. Minnesota prevented USC from scoring on the ensuing possession. On their final possession, Minnesota started their drive at their own 9-yard line with 2:04 left to play. Cornerback Torin Harris intercepted a pass by Shortell to end the threat and preserve the win for USC.[13]

After the game, the Pac-12 Conference named Woods as its offensive player of the week. In addition to his record-breaking 17 receptions, Woods returned three kickoffs for 73 yards.[14]


by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Utah 0 7 7 0 14
USC 10 0 7 6 23

The contest between USC and Utah, the first between the two teams since Utah's win in the 2001 Las Vegas Bowl, was the first conference game in the history of the new Pac-12. A game between California and Colorado was scheduled earlier in the day, but since the game was scheduled as a non-conference game years ahead of time, it did not count as a conference game in the official standings.

The Trojans pulled ahead in the first quarter 10 to zero, but Utah scored two touchdowns off of USC turnovers to close the gap to 17–14. The fourth quarter remained scoreless until the final seconds, when the Utes lined up for a 41-yard field goal to tie. The kick was blocked by Matt Kalil and recovered by Torin Harris, who returned it for a touchdown. The USC sideline rushed the field, which netted the team an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Though such penalties are dead-ball fouls and are assessed on the following play, the officials erroneously negated the touchdown and the final score was initially reported as 17–14.[15]

Two hours after the game ended, Pac-12 officials corrected the score to 23–14. The correction was particularly significant for gambling, as the nine-point victory allowed the Trojans to narrowly edge the 8.5 point spread. Some bettors were able to cash in on either score, while some were limited to the original score, depending on casino house rules.[16]


by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Syracuse 3 0 7 7 17
USC 7 10 14 7 38

Arizona State

by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
USC 3 6 13 0 22
Arizona State 7 14 7 15 43

USC had won the last 11 meetings, with Arizona State last defeating USC in 1999. In this game, USC led 22–21 in the third quarter, but Arizona State then scored 22 unanswered points to win 43–22.


by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Arizona 0 12 15 14 41
USC 17 10 7 14 48


by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
USC 3 17 3 7 30
California 0 0 9 0 9

USC pulled out to a 20–0 halftime lead over the Golden Bears. Matt Barkley threw two touchdowns in the first half, to Brandon Carswell and Marqise Lee. USC tested out the No. 1 national wide receiver recruit George Farmer at running back. He gained 4 yards on 4 carries and caught 1 pass for 14 yards in the game. In the second half, Cal quarterback Zach Maynard, who struggled in the first half, heated up a little bit. He ran for a 3-yard touchdown, but it was not nearly close enough to outscore the Trojans. USC won by a final score of 30–9. Barkley finished with 195 yards and 2 touchdowns, Curtis McNeal lit up the Golden Bears defense for 86 yards and a touchdown, Lee caught 4 passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. USC star receiver Robert Woods only finished with 36 yards.

Notre Dame

USC at Notre Dame
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
USC 14 3 7 7 31
Notre Dame 0 10 0 7 17



by Quarter 1 2 3 4 OT Total
Stanford 7 3 14 10 7 41
USC 3 3 14 14 7 41


#21 USC at Colorado
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
USC 7 21 7 7 42
Colorado 7 3 0 7 17

Colorado jumped off to a surprising lead after a Toney Clemons 37-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Hansen. USC then scored 28 unanswered points in the 1st half. Matt Barkley threw all 4 touchdowns in the first half. Two were to freshman wide receiver Marqise Lee (33 and 25 yards), one to freshman tight end Xavier Grimble (5 yards), and one to sophomore superstar Robert Woods (15 yards). Colorado kicker Will Oliver added a 30-yard field goal right before the half. At halftime, USC led 28–10. In the third, Barkley hit Woods again for a 45-yard bomb that put the Trojans up 35–10. Clemons and Hansen connected again in the 4th quarter, followed by a 19-yard screen pass to USC freshman running back Amir Carlisle that sealed the win for the Trojans. Barkley broke the all-time USC record in this game for most touchdown passes in a single game with 6. He finished 25/39 with 318 yards, 6 touchdowns, and 1 INT. USC running backs Curtis McNeal and Carlisle picked up the slack with normal tailback Marc Tyler out. Both had 10 carries, with McNeal picking up 90 yards and Carlisle getting 86. Woods and Lee were amazing though with 9 catches and 2 touchdowns each! Woods finished with 130 yards, while Lee tallied 124 yards. USC climbed to a 7–2 record, with a 4–2 record in the Pac-12. Colorado still has not picked up a conference win as they fell to 1–9 (0–6).[18]


by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Washington 0 3 7 7 17
USC 7 16 14 3 40

After Southern California lost to Washington on last-gasp field goals in each of the last two years, the Trojans made sure the final seconds of the latest meeting did not matter at all. Marqise Lee caught a touchdown pass and returned the second-half kickoff 88 yards for a score, and Curtis McNeal had a 79-yard touchdown sprint among his career-high 148 yards rushing in USC's 40–17 victory over Washington. Matt Barkley passed for 174 yards and one touchdown while running for an early score for the Trojans, who made sure Huskies kicker Erik Folk played no significant role, as he did in each of Washington coach Steve Sarkisian's first two meetings with his former employer.


USC at Oregon
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
USC 7 14 17 0 38
Oregon 0 7 13 15 35


by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
UCLA 0 0 0 0 0
USC 14 15 14 7 50

Matt Barkley tied his own school record by once again completing six touchdown passes and surpassed the conference record for total touchdown passes in a season with 39 total. He passed for 423 yards, completing 35 of 42 passes (83.3 percent), and no interceptions. Robert Woods set the conference's single-season receptions record while catching 12 passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns. True freshman Marqise Lee had 13 catches for 224 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Curtis McNeal rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries (10.3 avg) to eclipse 1,000 yards on the season. This marked the first time that USC had two thousand yard receivers, a three-thousand yard passer, and a thousand-yard rusher since 2005, when Kiffin was the offensive coordinator. The Trojans' defensive effort was led by safety T. J. McDonald, who had a game-high 10 tackles, including one for loss, a pass breakup, and an interception that he returned for 25 yards. Cornerback Nickell Robey, linebacker Hayes Pullard, and safety Jawanza Starling each had nine tackles. Robey also had two sacks and two pass breakups.

The Trojans, who finished first in the South Division, were not eligible for the post-season due to NCAA-imposed sanctions, so the Bruins were declared the South Division champions.


Ranking Movement
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking. ██ Not ranked the previous week.
Poll Pre Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4 Wk 5 Wk 6 Wk 7 Wk 8 Wk 9 Wk 10 Wk 11 Wk 12 Wk 13 Wk 14 Final
AP 25 RV RV 23 RV RV RV RV 20 21 18 18 10 9 5 6
Coaches Ineligible for ranking
Harris Not released Ineligible for ranking
BCS Not released Ineligible for ranking

Depth Chart

Defensive Starters

Nickell Robey
Tony Burnett

Isiah Wiley
Tony Burnett
Offensive Starters
Robert Woods
Brice Butler
Matt Kalil Marcus Martin Khaled Holmes John Martinez Kevin Graf
Nathan Guertler Martin Coleman John Martinez Aundrey Walker Jeremy Galten
Xavier Grimble
Randall Telfer
Marqise Lee
Brandon Carswell
Matt Barkley
Jesse Scroggins
Curtis McNeal
Marc Tyler
Rhett Ellison
Ross Cumming
Special Teams
PK Andre Heidari
PK Craig McMahon
P Kyle Negrete
P Kris Albarado
KR Robert Woods
PR Nickell Robey-Coleman
LS Chris Pousson
H Matt Barkley


  • May 26, 2011 – NCAA upheld all findings and penalties against USC in their infractions case on former players Reggie Bush and O. J. Mayo. The USC football team will not participate in this season's Pac-12 Football Championship Game and bowl games.[21]
  • July 18, 2011 – Running back Marc Tyler has been suspended for the season opener against Minnesota for making inappropriate comments to the media.[22]
  • October 25, 2011 – Sophomore running back Dillon Baxter is no longer a member of the football team, however he is still being supported by USC Academic Support Services.[23]
  • November 27, 2011 – Lane Kiffin announces that Dillon Baxter will no longer be a member of the football program moving forward. Baxter is expected to transfer.[24]
  • December 4, 2011 – USC is ranked No. 5 in the AP Poll despite being on NCAA probation.[25]


  1. "Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. USC Trojans Box Score". ESPN. September 3, 2011. http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=312460030. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
  2. "Utah Utes vs. USC Trojans Box Score". ESPN. September 10, 2011. http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=312530030. Retrieved September 10, 2011.
  3. "Syracuse Orange vs. USC Trojans Box Score". ESPN. September 17, 2011. http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=312600030. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
  4. "USC Trojans vs. Arizona State Box Score". ESPN. September 25, 2011. http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=312670009. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
  5. "Arizona Wildcats vs. USC Trojans Box Score". ESPN. October 1, 2011. http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=312740030. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  6. "USC Trojans vs. California Golden Bears Box Score". ESPN. October 13, 2011. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=312860025. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  7. "USC Trojans vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Box Score". ESPN. October 22, 2011. http://espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=312950087.
  8. "Stanford Cardinal vs. USC Trojans Box Score". ESPN. October 29, 2011. http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=313020030. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
  9. "USC Trojans vs. Colorado Buffaloes Box Score". ESPN. November 4, 2011. http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=313080038. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  10. "Washington Huskies vs. USC Trojans Box Score". ESPN. November 12, 2011. http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=313160030. Retrieved November 12, 2011.
  11. "USC Trojans vs. Oregon Ducks Box Score". ESPN. November 19, 2011. http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=313232483. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  12. "USC 2011 Schedule". University of Southern California Department of Athletics. Archived from the original on May 26, 2011. https://web.archive.org/web/20110526025714/http://www.usctrojans.com/sports/m-footbl/sched/usc-m-footbl-sched.html. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
  13. "Robert Woods Has Record-Setting Day as USC Holds off Minnesota". ESPN. September 3, 2011. http://espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=312460030. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  14. "First Pac-12 Player of the Week Winners". Pac-12 Conference. September 6, 2011. http://www.pac-12.org/SPORTS/Football/Tabid/1452/Article/136620/First-Pac-12-Player-of-the-Week-Winners.aspx. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
  15. "USC Edges Utah in Wild Finish of Inaugural Pac-12 Game". ESPN. September 10, 2011. http://espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=312530030. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
  16. Shapiro, Michael (September 15, 2011). "Sports Betting: Quirky Utah-USC Finish". San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/14/NSLN1L1ILB.DTL. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
  17. "Matt Barkley Throws for 3 TDs as USC Drops Notre Dame". ESPN. October 22, 2011. http://espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=312950087. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  18. "Matt Barkley Breaks School Record with 6 TDs as Trojans Bounce Back". ESPN. November 4, 2011. http://espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=313080038. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  19. Smith, Erick (May 26, 2011). "USC 'Vehemently' Disagrees with NCAA's Rejection of Appeal". USA Today. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/campusrivalry/post/2011/05/usc-reaction-vehemently-disagree-ncaa-appeal-denied/1. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
  20. Fornelli, Tom (July 18, 2011). "USC Suspends Marc Tyler for at Least One Game". CBS Sports. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. https://web.archive.org/web/20110721054747/http://eye-on-collegefootball.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/24156338/30693912. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  21. Moura, Pedro (October 25, 2011). "More on Dillon Baxter". ESPN. http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/USC/post/_/id/9771/more-on-dillon-baxter. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
  22. Moura, Pedro (November 27, 2011). "Coach: Dillon Baxter Done with USC". ESPN. http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/ncf/story/_/id/7288503/usc-trojans-lane-kiffin-says-dillon-baxter-never-program. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
  23. Lev, Michael (December 4, 2011). "USC Football:Trojans Climb To No. 5 in AP Poll". Orange County Register. http://usc.ocregister.com/2011/12/04/usc-football-trojans-climb-to-no-5-in-ap-poll/102764/. Retrieved December 4, 2011.

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