USC's Tom Malone leads the nation in punting average and Ryan Killeen was named the Pacific 10 Conference's special teams player of the week after kicking three field goals against Arizona State.
So Coach Pete Carroll said he was feeling good about the ninth-ranked Trojans' kicking game going into tonight's Pac-10 game against Stanford.
"I think we're on the verge of being pretty solid," Carroll said. "I'm confident about the way we're kicking the ball in both phases."
Malone, a sophomore, is averaging 48.7 yards a punt. Sixteen of his 25 kicks have gone at least 50 yards and 15 have pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line.
Des Koch is the only USC player to have led the nation in punting. Koch averaged 43.5 yards in 1952. The USC record for punting average is 45.6 yards, set in 1996 by Jim Wren.
Killeen has made eight of 10 field-goal attempts and all 23 of his extra-point attempts. Five of his eight kickoffs against Arizona State were not returned and one was fielded at the goal line.
A victory tonight would make USC the 10th Division I school to win 700 games. The Trojans' all-time record is 699-297-54 in 111 years of competition.
Schools that have won 700 games are: Michigan, with 828 victories in 124 years; Notre Dame, 792 in 115 years; Nebraska, 776 in 114 years; Texas, 770 in 111 years; Alabama, 756 in 109 years; Penn State, 755 in 117 years; Ohio State, 752 in 114 years; Tennessee, 730 in 107 years, and Oklahoma, 730 in 109 years.
A crowd of 65,000 to 70,000 is expected for the Trojans' only night home game.
USC averaged 74,485 for home games against Brigham Young and Hawaii.
USC's series against Stanford dates to 1905. The Trojans hold a 54-24-3 lead, but Stanford has won three of the last four games and four of the last seven.
Stanford's coaching staff includes three former USC assistants.
Co-defensive coordinator A.J. Christoff coached Trojan linebackers in 2000. Offensive line coach Steve Morton coached USC tight ends in 1999 and offensive linemen in 2000. Running backs coach Wayne Moses held the same position at USC in 2001.