2012 USC Trojans football
Sun Bowl, L 7–21 vs. Georgia Tech
ConferencePac-12 Conference
DivisionSouth Division
2012 record7–6 (5–4 Pac-12)
Head coachLane Kiffin (3rd season)
Offensive coordinatorKennedy Polamalu (3rd season)
Offensive schemeWest Coast, pro-style offense with multiple formations
Defensive coordinatorEd Orgeron (3rd season)
Base defense4–3
CaptainMatt Barkley
CaptainKhaled Holmes
CaptainT. J. McDonald
CaptainNickell Robey
Home stadiumLos Angeles Memorial Coliseum (Capacity: 93,607)
← 2011
2013 →
Template:2012 Pac-12 football standings

The 2012 USC Trojans football team represented the University of Southern California in the 2012 NCAA Division I FBS college football season. The Trojans were led by third-year head coach Lane Kiffin, played their home games at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and were members of the South Division of the Pac-12 Conference. USC returned 18 starters and 13 All-Conference performers from a team that finished the 2011 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 two-year-post-season ban mandated by the NCAA, the Trojans could not claim the 2011 Pac-12 South Division title, participate in the conference championship game or play in a bowl game. The 2012 season was the first year under Kiffin that the Trojans were eligible for post-season play. They started the season ranked #1 in the AP Poll, but finished unranked—the first team to do so since the 1964 Ole Miss Rebels[1] and the first to do so in the BCS-era.[2] The Trojans finished the season 7–6, 5–4 in Pac-12 play, tied for second in the Pac-12 South Division. They were invited to the Sun Bowl where they were defeated 21–7 by Georgia Tech.

Before the seasonEdit


On December 22, 2011, All-American quarterback Matt Barkley announced that he would be returning to USC for his senior season to complete some "unfinished business" for the Trojans.[3]

Along with Barkley, who was a leading Heisman candidate,[4][5] the Trojan offense returns nine starters, including 2011 All-Conference center Khaled Holmes, a thousand-yard rusher from 2011 in senior running back Curtis McNeal, and two thousand-yard receivers in Robert Woods and Marqise Lee. In addition, former Penn State running back Silas Redd transferred to USC and will be immediately eligible to play during the 2012 season.[6] The addition of Redd means the USC offense now boasts two thousand-yard rushers, two thousand-year receivers, and a 3,500-yard passer from the 2011 season.

On defense, the Trojans return seven starters and four All-Conference players, including first-team All-Conference performers in safety T. J. McDonald and cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, senior defensive end Wes Horton, and the team's co-leading tacklers in sophomore linebackers Hayes Pullard and Dion Bailey, who was named the Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year in 2011.[7]

USC returns 18 starters and thirteen All-Conference performers in 2012.[8] The most significant loss on offense came with the early departure of left offensive tackle Matt Kalil, who was drafted No. 4 overall in the First Round of the NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. Kalil is expected to be succeeded at left offensive tackle by true sophomore Aundrey Walker. USC also graduated fullback Rhett Ellison, who was also drafted by the Vikings at No. 128 overall in the Fourth Round. Redshirt freshman Soma Vainuku is the leading contender to start at the fullback position.[9] The most significant loss on defense came with the early departure of defensive end Nick Perry, who was drafted No. 28 overall in the First Round by the Green Bay Packers. Perry is expected to be replaced at Right Defensive End by senior Wes Horton.[10] The Trojans also graduated defensive tackles DaJohn Harris and Christian Tupou, who are expected to be replaced in the starting lineup by sophomore George Uko and redshirt freshman Antwaun Woods.[11]

On July 30, starting Left Defensive End Devon Kennard underwent surgery for a torn pectoralis major muscle.[12] Team doctors told him that it would take approximately four months to fully recover from the surgery, which would make him a redshirt candidate and allow him to return to USC for a fifth year in 2013. Sophomore J.R. Tavai was moved to defensive end from nose tackle in fall camp, and will compete with redshirt freshman Greg Townsend to start at Left Defensive End.

On July 31, former Penn State running back Silas Redd announced his intent to transfer to USC in the wake of the NCAA sanctions given to the Nittany Lions relating to the Penn State child sex abuse scandal.[6] Redd will be immediately eligible to play at USC during the 2012 season due to those sanctions. On August 5, Redd officially enrolled at USC.

On August 24, starting cornerback Isiah Wiley was declared academically ineligible by the NCAA. Sophomore Anthony Brown replaced Wiley in the starting lineup.

USC was ranked number one in The Associated Press’ preseason college football poll for the seventh time in school history and the first time in five seasons, edging out No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 LSU.[13]


Coaching StaffEdit

File:Lane Kiffin 4249.jpg
Name Position Seasons at
Alma Mater
Lane Kiffin Head coach 3 Fresno State (1996)
Monte Kiffin Assistant Head Coach 3 Nebraska (1963)
John Baxter Associate Head Coach, Special Teams 3 Loras (1985)
Ed Orgeron Defensive Coordinator, Recruiting Coordinator, Defensive Line 3 Northwestern State (1984)
Kennedy Polamalu Offensive Coordinator, Running Backs 3 USC (1985)
James Cregg Offensive Line 3 Colorado State (1995)
Scottie Hazelton Linebackers 1 Fort Lewis College (1994)
Clay Helton Passing Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks 2 Houston (1994)
Tee Martin Wide Receivers 1 Tennessee (2000)
Marvin Sanders Defensive Backs 1 Nebraska (1989)
Justin Mesa Tight Ends (graduate assistant) 3 USC (2006)
Shawn Howe Defensive Line (graduate assistant) 2 Rocky Mountain College (2005)
Aaron Ausmus Strength and Conditioning 3 Tennessee (1998)

Returning startersEdit

USC returns 18 starters in 2012, including nine on offense, seven on defense, and both the starting kicker and punter.[8] Key departures included offensive tackle Matt Kalil, fullback Rhett Ellison, running back Marc Tyler, defensive end Nick Perry, linebacker Chris Galippo, defensive tackle DaJohn Harris, and nose tackle Christian Tupou. Before the season, starting cornerback Isiah Wiley was declared academically ineligible, and starting left DE Devon Kennard suffered a pectoral injury that could force him to redshirt this season.[11]

Offense (9)Edit

Player Class Position
Matt Barkley Senior Quarterback
Curtis McNeal Senior Running Back
Robert Woods Junior Wide Receiver
Marqise Lee Sophomore Wide Receiver
Randall Telfer Sophomore Tight End
Marcus Martin Sophomore Left Guard
Khaled Holmes Senior Center
John Martinez Junior Right Guard
Kevin Graf Junior Right Tackle

Defense (7)Edit

Player Class Position
T. J. McDonald Senior Safety
Jawanza Starling Senior Safety
Hayes Pullard Sophomore Linebacker
Lamar Dawson Sophomore Linebacker
Dion Bailey Sophomore Linebacker
Nickell Robey-Coleman Junior Cornerback
Wes Horton Senior Defensive End

Special teams (2)Edit

Player Class Position
Andre Heidari Sophomore Placekicker
Kyle Negrete Senior Punter


2012 USC Trojans Football


Running Back

Offensive Lineman

Wide Receiver


Tight End

Defensive Tackle

  • 58 J.R. Tavai – Sophomore
  • 64 Cody Temple – Redshirt Freshman
  • 90 George Uko – Redshirt Sophomore
  • 92 Zack Kusnir – "Redshirt Senior"
  • 97 Christian Heyward – Redshirt Freshman
  • 99 Antwaun Woods – Redshirt Freshman

Defensive End


  • 10 Hayes Pullard – Redshirt Sophomore
  • 18 Dion Bailey – Redshirt Sophomore
  • 28 Luke Freeman – Redshirt Junior
  • 39 Simione Vehikite – "Redshirt Junior"
  • 45 Doug Scott – Redshirt Senior
  • 47 Scott Starr – Freshman
  • 51 Will Andrew – Redshirt Junior
  • 52 Dallas Kelley – Senior
  • 53 Marquis Simmons – Redshirt Junior
  • 55 Lamar Dawson – Sophomore
  • 56 Anthony Sarao – Redshirt Freshman
  • 59 Kyle Yatabe – Redshirt Junior



Long Snappers



  • 45 Joshua Alswang – Redshirt Freshman
  • 46 Craig McMahon – Redshirt Sophomore
  • 48 Andre Heidari – Sophomore

Sources: 2012 USC Trojans Football Spring Prospectus

Depth chartEdit

Defensive Starters

Nickell Robey-Coleman
Kevon Seymour

Joshua Shaw (American football)
Torin Harris
Offensive Starters
Robert Woods
George Farmer
Aundrey Walker Marcus Martin Khaled Holmes John Martinez Kevin Graf
Max Tuerk Abe Markowitz Abe Markowitz Jeremy Galten Nathan Guertler
Xavier Grimble
Randall Telfer
Marqise Lee
Nelson Agholor
Matt Barkley
Max Wittek
Silas Redd
Curtis McNeal
Soma Vainuku
Jahleel Pinner
Special Teams
PK Andre Heidari
P Kyle Negrete
P Kris Albarado
KR Robert Woods/ Marqise Lee
PR Nickell Robey-Coleman
LS Peter McBride
H Matt Barkley

Recruiting classEdit

Prior to National Signing Day on February 1, 2012, one junior college player and two high school players that graduated early enrolled for the spring semester in order to participate in spring practice. These early enrollments included: defensive end Morgan Breslin from Diablo Valley Community College, linebacker Scott Starr from Norco High School, and offensive tackle Chad Wheeler from Santa Monica High School. Safety/cornerback Joshua Shaw, who started three games at free safety for Florida in 2011, transferred to USC in the spring.

USC's recruiting class was highlighted by six players from the "Rivals 100": No. 16 Zach Banner (OT), No. 18 Nelson Agholor (WR), No. 29 Jordan Simmons (G), No. 40 Jabari Ruffin (LB), No. 46 Max Tuerk (OT), No. 53 Leonard Williams (DE), and No. 82 Kevon Seymour (CB). Despite being hampered by a 10-scholarship reduction imposed by the NCAA, USC still signed the No. 8 recruiting class according to, the tenth-consecutive year that USC has had a class ranked in the Top 10.


September 14:30 p.m.Hawaii*No. 1FOXW 49–1093,607
September 812:30 p.m.vs. Syracuse*No. 2ABC/ESPN2W 42–2839,507
September 154:30 No. 21 StanfordNo. 2FOXL 14–2150,360
September 223:00 p.m.CaliforniaNo. 13
  • Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
  • Los Angeles, CA
P12NW 27–983,421
October 46:00 UtahNo. 13ESPNW 38–2846,037
October 134:00 WashingtonNo. 11FOXW 24–1466,202
October 203:00 p.m.ColoradoNo. 11
  • Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
  • Los Angeles, CA
P12NW 50–683,274
October 2712:30 ArizonaNo. 10ABC/ESPN2L 36–3947,822
November 34:00 p.m.No. 2 OregonNo. 18
  • Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
  • Los Angeles, CA
FOXL 51–6293,607
November 1012:00 p.m.Arizona StatedaggerNo. 21
  • Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
  • Los Angeles, CA
P12NW 38–1780,154
November 1712:00 No. 17 UCLANo. 21FOXL 28–3883,277
November 245:00 p.m.No. 1 Notre Dame*
ABCL 13–2293,607
December 3111:00 a.m.vs. Georgia Tech*CBSL 7–2147,922
  • *Non-conference game
  • daggerHomecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game
  • All times are in Pacific time

Game summariesEdit


1 2 3 4 Total
Warriors 0 0 10 0 10
#1 Trojans 20 15 7 7 49

USC, ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll, defeated Hawaii, 49–10. Matt Barkley kicked off his Heisman Trophy campaign with 372 yards passing and four touchdowns. Marqise Lee caught 10 passes for 197 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, and returned a kickoff 100 yards for another score. Robert Woods added two touchdown catches.

1st quarter scoring: USC – Marqise Lee 75 Yd Pass From Matt Barkley (Andre Heidari Kick); USC: Robert Woods 20 Yd Pass From Matt Barkley (Andre Heidari Kick); USC: Hayes Pullard 27 Yd Interception Return (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed)

2nd quarter scoring: USC: Silas Redd 31 Yd Run (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed); USC: Robert Woods 2 Yd Pass From Matt Barkley (Two-Point Run Conversion Failed); USC: Andre Heidari 28 Yd FG

3rd quarter scoring: HAW: Scott Harding 18 Yd Pass From Sean Schroeder (Tyler Hadden Kick); USC: Marqise Lee 100 Yd Kickoff Return (Andre Heidari Kick); HAW: Tyler Hadden 36 Yd FG

4th quarter scoring: USC: Randall Telfer 11 Yd Pass From Matt Barkley (Andre Heidari Kick)


1 2 3 4 Total
#2 USC 0 14 7 21 42
Syracuse 0 3 13 13 29

The game was played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Matt Barkley tied his own school record with six touchdown passes, Marqise Lee caught three touchdown passes, Robert Woods had two, and Xavier Grimble had one. Dion Bailey had two interceptions on defense.

1st quarter scoring: None

2nd quarter scoring: USC: Marqise Lee 13 Yd Pass From Matt Barkley (Alex Wood Kick); USC – Robert Woods 29 Yd Pass From Matt Barkley (Alex Wood Kick); SYR – Ross Krautman 37 Yd FG

3rd quarter scoring: USC – Robert Woods 4 Yd Pass From Matt Barkley (Alex Wood Kick); SYR – Marcus Sales 3 Yd Pass From Ryan Nassib (Ross Krautman Kick); SYR – Prince-Tyson Gulley 8 Yd Run (Two-Point Conversion Failed)

4th quarter scoring: USC: Xavier Grimble 22 Yd Pass From Matt Barkley (Alex Wood Kick); USC – Marqise Lee 4 Yd Pass From Matt Barkley (Alex Wood Kick); SYR – Marcus Sales 17 Yd Pass From Ryan Nassib (Two-Point Conversion Failed); USC – Marqise Lee 3 Yd Pass From Matt Barkley (Alex Wood Kick); SYR – Ryan Nassib 1 Yd Run (Ross Krautman Kick)


1 2 3 4 Total
#2 Trojans 7 7 0 0 14
#21 Cardinal 7 0 7 7 21

The Cardinal have won four of the last five meetings (the Trojans won the 2008 game), with USC seeking to avenge close losses to the Stanford Cardinal over the last two seasons. In 2010, Stanford defeated USC, 37–35, on a last-second field goal that was made possible when the clock operator mistakenly stopped running the clock on Stanford's game-winning drive. In 2011, Stanford defeated USC, 56–48, in triple overtime when USC running back Curtis McNeal fumbled in the red zone. With the game tied, 34–34, at the end of regulation, USC attempted to call a timeout in order to attempt a game-winning field goal, but time had run out .

1st quarter scoring: USC – Silas Redd 1-yard run (Alex Wood kick); STAN – Stanfan Taylor 59-yard run (J. Williamson kick)

2nd quarter scoring: USC – Redd 1-yard run (Wood kick)

3rd quarter scoring: STAN – Taylor 23-yard pass from J. Nunes (Williamson kick)

4th quarter scoring: STAN – Z. Ertz 37-yard pass from Nunes (Williamson kick)

Stanford's running back Stepfan Taylor and defensive back Ben Gardner were named Pac-12 Conference Player-of-the-Week following this contest.[15]


1 2 3 4 Total
Golden Bears 0 3 6 0 9
#13 Trojans 7 10 0 10 27

The Trojans have won the past 8 meetings against the California Golden Bears. In 2011, the Trojans defeated the Bears, 30–9.

1st quarter scoring: USC – Silas Redd 33-yard run (Andre Heidari kick)

2nd quarter scoring: CAL – Vincen D'Amato 24-yard field goal; USC – Marqise Lee 11-yard pass from Matt Barkley (Heidari kick); USC – Heidari 40-yard field goal

3rd quarter scoring: CAL – D'Amato 26-yard field goal; CAL – D'Amato 35-yard field goal

4th quarter scoring: USC – Heidari 41-yard field goal; USC – Lee 3-yard pass from Barkley (Heidari kick)


1 2 3 4 Total
#13 Trojans 7 17 0 14 38
Utes 14 7 0 7 28

USC won the teams' last meeting in 2011, 23–14.


1 2 3 4 Total
#11 Trojans 10 14 0 0 24
Huskies 7 0 7 0 14

In 2011, USC beat Washington by a score of 40–17. USC came out strong in the 1st half with a 24–7 lead at halftime. The Trojans held off the Huskies 24–14 to win the game.


1 2 3 4 Total
Buffaloes 3 3 0 0 6
#10 Trojans 19 14 7 10 50

USC beat Colorado, 42–17, in 2011 with Matt Barkley setting a school record with six touchdown passes. Both Matt Barkley and Robert Woods had record setting days as the Trojans cruised to a 50–6 victory.


1 2 3 4 Total
#10 Trojans 0 21 7 8 36
Wildcats 10 3 13 13 39

USC won the teams' last meeting in 2011, 48–41.


1 2 3 4 Total
#2 Ducks 14 20 14 14 62
#18 Trojans 3 21 14 13 51

In 2011, USC defeated the Oregon Ducks, 38–35.

1st quarter scoring: ORE – De'Anthony Thomas 16-yard pass from Marcus Mariota (Rob Beard Kick); USC – Andre Heidari 39-yard Field Goal; ORE – Josh Huff 21-yard pass from Mariota (Beard Kick)

2nd quarter scoring: ORE – Kenjon Barner 27-yard run (Beard kick); USC – Marqise Lee 75-yard pass from Matt Barkley (Heidari kick); ORE – Kenjon Barner 5-yard run (PAT blocked); USC – Robert Woods 7-yard pass from Barkley (Heidari kick); ORE – Daryle Hawkins 14-yard pass from Mariota (Beard kick); USC – Nelson Agholor 76-yard pass from Barkley (Heidari kick)

3rd quarter scoring: USC – Silas Redd 2-yard run (Heidari kick); ORE – Kenjon Barner 9-yard run (Beard kick); USC – Silas Redd 3-yard run (Heidari kick); ORE – Josh Huff 36-yard pass from Mariota (Beard kick)

4th quarter scoring: ORE – Kenjon Barner 5-yard run (Beard kick); USC – Randall Telfer 3-yard pass from Barkley (Heidari kick); ORE – Kenjon Barner 22-yard run (Beard kick); USC – Lee 3-yard pass from Barkley (Two-point conversion failed)

Arizona StateEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Sun Devils 7 7 3 0 17
#21 Trojans 7 7 14 10 38

USC seeks to avenge a loss to the Arizona State Sun Devils in 2011.


1 2 3 4 Total
#21 Trojans 0 14 6 8 28
#17 Bruins 17 7 7 7 38

File:UCLA vs. USC 2012.JPG

The matchup was the first time since 2005 that UCLA and USC met as ranked teams. It was also the first time since 2001 that the Bruins entered the game ranked higher than the Trojans.[16][17]

1st quarter scoring: UCLA – Brett Hundley 1-yard run (Ka'i Fairbairn kick); UCLA – Fairbairn 23-yard field goal; UCLA – Joseph Fauria 17-yard pass from Hundley (Fairbairn kick).

2nd quarter scoring: UCLA – Johnathan Franklin 16-yard run (Fairbairn kick); USC – Nelson Agholor 33-yard pass from Matt Barkley (Andre Heidari kick); USC – Randall Telfer 2-yard pass from Barkley (Heidari kick).

3rd quarter scoring: USC – George Uko 0-yard fumble recovery (Heidari kick failed); UCLA – Hundley 3-yard run (Fairbairn kick).

4th quarter scoring: USC – Marqise Lee 14-yard pass from Barkley (Robert Woods pass from Barkley); UCLA – Franklin 29-yard run (Fairbairn kick).

Notre DameEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
#1 Fighting Irish 10 6 3 3 22
Trojans 0 10 0 3 13

In 2011, USC defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 31–17. USC has won nine of the last ten meetings against Notre Dame. ESPN's "College GameDay" show was at the game.

Georgia Tech (Sun Bowl)Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
Trojans 0 7 0 0 7
Yellow Jackets 0 7 7 7 21

Reports surfaced weeks after the game of a postgame altercation in the locker room which may have started over the younger players criticizing Matt Barkley for not playing in the game and his leadership in general, which led to several upperclassmen, including T.J. McDonald, coming to his defense.[18] It was another incident that marked the close of a disappointing season for USC.


Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
NR = Not ranked. RV = Received votes. ( ) = First place votes.


AP 1 (25) 2 (11) 2 (8) 13 13 13 11 11 10 18 21 21 RV RV

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Coaches' 3 (19) 2 (14) 3 (11) 12 13 12 9 9 8 17 22 21 RV RV

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Harris Not released 10 11 9 16 18 18 RV RV

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BCS Not released 10 9 17 19 18 NR NR

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Scores by quarter (Pac-12 opponents)Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
USC 14 17 0 10 41
Pac-12 Opponents 7 3 13 7 30


  1. "Sorry, USC coach Lane Kiffin doesn't deserve fast track out of L.A.". The Sporting News. November 19, 2012.
  2. [1]
  3. Klein, Gary (December 22, 2011). "Matt Barkley Will Return to USC for Senior Season". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 22, 2011.
  4. Gemmell, Kevin (February 15, 2012). "Matt Barkley tops Heisman odds". Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  5. Gould, Izzy (February 14, 2012). "Famed Odds Maker Danny Sheridan Thinks Alabama QB AJ McCarron Has a Shot at the Heisman Trophy". Retrieved February 14, 2012.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Moore, Jordan (July 31, 2012). "Silas Redd to USC". USC Athletics. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  7. "All-Pac-12 Conference Football Team". Pac-12 Conference. November 28, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Moura, Pedro (April 23, 2012). "Analyzing the 2012 depth chart". Retrieved April 23, 2012.
  9. "Player Bio: Soma Vainuku". USC Athletics. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
  10. "Wes Horton Profile". USC Athletics. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Lev, Michael (April 17, 2012). "Dissecting USC’s Depth Chart: Defense, Specialists". The Orange County Register. Retrieved April 17, 2012.
  12. Moura, Pedro (July 31, 2012). "An update on Devon Kennard's options". Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  13. "USC No. 1 In AP Top 25 Rankings, Alabama No. 2 And LSU No. 3". WCBS-TV. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
  14. Lev, Michael (April 17, 2012). "Dissecting USC’s Post-Spring Depth Chart: Offense". The Orange County Register. Retrieved April 17, 2012.
  15. Stanford's Taylor, Stanford's Gardner and Utah's Hackett named Pac-12 players of the week, Pac-12 Conference, September 17, 2012
  16. "Southern Cal-UCLA Preview". November 17, 2012. Archived from the original on November 19, 2012.
  17. Bishop, Greg (November 16, 2012). "The Back and the Coach Behind U.C.L.A.’s Revival". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 19, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  18. "Matt Barkley: No Punches Thrown." ESPN Los Angeles. Retrieved January 16, 2013.

External linksEdit

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