Marshall of the Secondary

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On the biggest stage of his young career, freshman cornerback Iman Marshall rose to the occasion with his best performance, picking off UCLA's Josh Rosen twice in the second half. For his efforts, Marshall was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week.


No. 1 and Ready to Run

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

USC football wasn't the only team with a victorious weekend. On Friday, the No. 1 USC women's volleyball team took down Cal, 3-0, to capture a share of the 2015 Pac-12 title. The Women of Troy's work is far from finished this season however, as they now hold the No. 1 seed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament that begins on Thursday.

Click here for a complete recap of the Cal match.

This is the Trojans' eighth conference championship, fifth Pac-12 crown and first Pac-12 title since 2011. The victory also signified Senior Night for three terrific Trojans, Eve Ettinger, Alicia Ogoms and Samantha Bricio. Wrapping up her regular season Trojan career in dominant fashion, Bricio recorded 16 kills, two aces and eight digs. With 2,005 total kills in her career, the senior is the first Trojan to ever break the 2,000 kill threshold and is currently sixth all-time in conference history.

And click here for a preview of this weekend's tournament action

USC hit .452 in the match and produced 45 kills on just 84 swings. The Trojans hope to keep that high-intensity offense going this weekend as postseason play begins. First up, USC faces Cleveland State at 7:30 p.m. PT at the Galen Center on Thursday. Be sure to follow @uscwomensvolley on Twitter for in-match updates, photos and more this postseason.

Winning Like It's 1993

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor 

The Women of Troy are off to their best start since 1993 after winning their first six games of the season, including an overtime thriller over West Virginia in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Challenge. USC wrapped up the Thanksgiving week tournament on Sunday with a dominating, 76-56, win over Iona thanks to four players finishing with double digits, including tournament MVP Temi Fagbenle.

Click here for a recap from Sunday's victory over Iona.

This USC women's basketball team feels completely refreshed with the inclusion of seven new players including Fagbenle, who has made an immediate impact in the paint to replace graduated seniors Alexyz Vaioletama and Kaneisha Horn. The graduate transfer shares captain responsibilities with redshirt junior Jordan Adams, who has launched herself into the spotlight this year, drastically improving her line in the stat sheets with three double-doubles in just six games. Sophomore Kristen Simon has also stepped up her game, averaging 15 points per game which is more than double what she averaged in her debut season last year.

Click here to meet all the new faces on this Women of Troy team.

The Trojans finally return home for a six-game home stint beginning on Friday at 5:00 p.m. PT in the North Gym of the Lyon Center against Southern Utah before heading back to the Galen Center on Sunday against UNLV at 2:00 p.m. PT.


SooHoo Galleries: USC vs. UCLA

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USC's win over UCLA was so impressive that Jon SooHoo needed three galleries to capture the contest.

11/28/15-USCvUCLA-1 - Images by Jon SooHoo

11/28/15-USCvUCLA-2 - Images by Jon SooHoo

11/28/15-USCvUCLA-3 - Images by Jon SooHoo

Fast Future

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

The USC Track & Field program just keeps getting faster and faster. With eight stellar additions announced in the two weeks since National Signing Day, both the Trojan men and women are poised to be contending for the Pac-12 Title in 2016.

Click here for more on USC's talented recruiting class

Leading the way for the Class of 2016 is 200m and 400m runner Michael Norman (pictured), the California state record holder in both events with times of 20.3 (+0.7) and 45.19, respectively. The 2015 Gatorade National Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year led Vista Murrieta High School to the 2015 state title by clinching both events and then finished second at the USATF Junior Championships in the 200m in 20.24. Joining Norman will be T.J. Brock, the current CIF 100m champion with a PR of 10.34 (+1.8). He finished second to Norman in the 200m dash at the CIF state meet with a time of 21.16 and holds a wind-aided PR of 20.78 (+2.3w) in the event.

The Women of Troy added six talented athletes to their already impressive team which finished seventh at the NCAA Championships last season, including two of the nation's top hurdlers. Anna Cockrell, the 2015 North Carolina Gatorade Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year won the state 3A title in the 100m with a PR of 11.93, the 100m HH with a time of 13.53 and the 300m IH with a PR of 41.31. She also won the 400m IH with the second-fastest high school time in the country of 56.67 at the USATF Junior Championships. Her standing PR in the 100m HH, a mark of 13.21, was third among high schoolers trailing fellow Trojan recruit Mecca McGlaston, whose mark was 13.18. McGlaston's time was the World Junior leader, the third-fastest in state history and the sixth-fastest ever by a high school hurdler.

Courtney Corrin, the 2015 CIF long jump champion, will also be joining the Trojan Family. She won the USATF Junior Championships with a wind-aided mark of 21-6.25/6.56m and earned a silver medal at the Pan Am Junior Championships with a jump of 20-1.50. Fellow CIF champion, Zaria Francis, who owns the 100m and 200m title, will be donning Cardinal & Gold as well. Francis has a legal 100m PR of 11.26, ranking fourth among high schoolers, and a 23.09 PR in the 200m. Twins, Kayla and Kyla Richardson complete the class as two talented 100m and 200m sprinters from Walnut, California.  Kayla has wind-aided PRs of 11.65 in the 100m and 23.45 in the 200m.

Norman Signing Graphic.jpg

Play For Clay

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

As soon as Clay Helton was announced as USC's permanent head coach on Monday, the Trojan Family erupted with support. From former players to current players to fans around the country, people were eager to take to social media to voice their elation at athletic director Pat Haden's selection.

The Trojans found out about Helton's hire first thing Monday morning and there was no shortage of excitement in the team meeting room. Check out the awesome video...

Helton at the Helm

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Clay Helton was officially named the USC head coach by athletic director Pat Haden at a press conference this morning, also featuring Helton's family and president Max Nikias.

As Haden said, "Simply, Clay Helton is the right man at the right time for the USC football program."

Here is Helton's press conference in its entirety:

Clay Helton Named USC Head Coach

Clay Helton, who led USC to the Pac-12 South title as interim head coach this season, has been named the Trojans' permanent head coach by athletic director Pat Haden.

"After weeks of searching the collegiate and pro ranks, interviewing candidates, and speaking with head coaches, athletic directors, NFL executives, and very knowledgeable football people, and after observing Clay in action the past seven weeks, it became abundantly clear that what we were searching for in a coach was right here in front of us," said Haden. "Choosing a coach is an inexact science. In Clay's case, there is exactness. We have a man with unquestioned integrity. He is a fantastic person and he is real. Clay is a leader of young men. He is a terrific communicator. He brings high character, stability, continuity, consistency, toughness and resiliency to our program.

"We have known Clay well for the past six years. He earned this opportunity. He has been positive and upbeat handling adversity. He was built to be a head coach. Football is his family business. He is a coach on the rise and he will be coaching a team on the rise. As our interim head coach, Clay brought back USC's style of physical football. I have been impressed with how hard and how inspired our team has played for him, as well as the support they have shown for him.

"Clay was not hired because his team defeated UCLA Saturday. He was not hired because many current and former players voiced their support for him. And he was not hired because he is a Trojan. He is our choice because we believe he can win Pac-12 and national championships here. Clay Helton is the right man at the right time for the USC football program."

Said Helton: "I am extremely humbled and grateful to Max Nikias, Pat Haden and the Trojan Family for having the opportunity to be the head football coach at the University of Southern California. During my six years here, I have learned the standard of excellence that it takes to be a Trojan.I understand the expectations of this great university and welcome the challenge. I am so proud to have the chance to lead what I feel is the pinnacle of college football and to represent our Trojan Family.

"Through the hard work and resiliency of this year's team, we have put ourselves in position to play for a Pac-12 Championship. I would like to thank our players and coaches for the effort and dedication that they have given to this season. It has been my most memorable as a coach. We look forward to representing the Pac-12 South in Santa Clara this Saturday."

The 43-year-old Helton was named USC's interim head coach on Oct. 12 after serving as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach. In USC's 7 games since then (including wins over a pair of Top 25 teams), the Trojans have outrushed opponents in each game (by an average of 263 to 124 yards) and have been plus-9 in turnovers (14 to 5).

Helton, who has been at USC since 2010, has a 6-2 Trojan coaching record. He also served as Troy's interim head coach in the 2013 Las Vegas Bowl, a victory over Fresno State. At USC, he coached record-setting quarterbacks Matt Barkley and Cody Kessler.

He previously served as an assistant for 10 seasons (2000-09) at Memphis, where he was the Tigers' interim head coach for several months in early 2006 when head coach Tommie West had off-season heart surgery, as well as 3 years (1997-99) at Houston and 2 years (1995-96) at Duke.

His father, Kim, was a longtime assistant coach in college and the NFL, and was head coach at the University of Houston. His brother, Tyson, is a longtime collegiate assistant (currently the offensive coordinator at Western Kentucky).
Helton was a quarterback at Auburn (1991-92) and Houston (1993-94), where he played under his father.


Trojan of the Game: Iman Marshall

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The Trojan Family voted freshman Iman Marshall the Trojan of the Game for his two phenomenal interceptions against UCLA on Saturday. The cornerback, alongside the entire Trojan defense, applied pressure to UCLA QB Josh Rosen all afternoon long to force three turnovers in the game. 


Photo Galleries: USC vs UCLA

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USC reclaimed the Victory Bell, city bragging rights and a spot in the Pac-12 Championship game with a convincing victory over crosstown rival UCLA on Saturday. John McGillen, with guest photographers Rachel Bennett and Ryan Kang, was on hand in the Coliseum to capture the best of the big victory.