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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contibutor 

_MCG8177.jpgOn the first day of 2015 USC Fall Camp, every member of the football team was handed a coin inscribed with a complicated word and its simple definition.

Palinoia: The compulsive repetition of an act until it is perfect.

The word was one that no player had heard before, but it soon became entrenched in the identity of the team as they prepared for the upcoming season. To achieve the lofty goals the Trojans have for themselves this fall, it's going to require a mentality far above the status quo. Each coin serves as a reminder of what it takes to become the championship-caliber team USC believes it can be, and as a source of motivation that will stretch beyond the grueling two-a-days of Fall Camp.

USC Pass

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New this season, the Trojan Family can sign-up for USC Pass to get last-minute notifications about USC football tickets. Simply, enter your name, email and mobile phone number at, and they will text you before the game when tickets become available.

Click here to sign up!

To purchase, click the link in the text. You will immediately receive a mobile barcode for entry into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Sign up now and you will receive special discounted offers for the first two USC home games, including tickets as low as $25 for the season opener against Arkansas State on Saturday.

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Bricio Leads Ranking Surge

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USC women's volleyball rocketed up the national rankings from No. 22 to No. 8 after winning the Baden Invitational this past weekend at Galen Center. Tournament MVP Samantha Bricio was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week for leading the charge.

Click here for more.

Bricio is no stranger to Pac-12 weekly honors, picking up her fourth career nod. In three matches last week, Bricio hit .320 and picked up 58 kills (5.80 kps).


Bench Boost

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

No. 17 USC women's soccer's bench came up big in the team's second win of the season this weekend, with freshman Mckenzie Taylor and sophomore Sydney Johnson scoring one goal apiece in the second half to put away UC Riverside, 2-0. The hard-fought game went scoreless until the 75th minute when the freshman turned a pass from Dominique Johnson into her first collegiate goal, scoring from 13 yards out to give the Trojans the lead.

Click here for a complete recap of the game.

"The motto is 'One Moment, One Now', and we had two women come into the game today that took their moments and helped their team win," head coach Keidane McAlpine said after the game.

With two road victories under their belts, the Women of Troy are off to a promising start in 2015. Their away slate continues this weekend against two, top-ranked opponents in No. 21 Duke and No. 6 North Carolina. The Trojans take on the Blue Devils on Friday at 4:30 p.m. PT before facing the Tar Heels on Saturday at 8 a.m. PT.

Here are Saturday's two goal scorers, as well as junior goalie Sammy Jo Prudhomme, after the victory...

Photo Gallery: WVB Wins Baden Invitational

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No. 22 USC women's volleyball can expect to surge up the national rankings this week after a spectacular start to the 2015 season, winning the Baden Invitational at Galen Center by defeating No. 7 North Carolina, Chicago State and No. 11 BYU in a two-day span.

Click here for the UNC highlights.

Click here for the BYU highlights.

The Women of Troy dropped just one set over three matches, needing four sets to top the Tar Heels on Friday before sweeping both of Saturday's opponents. The Trojans placed three student-athletes on the All-Tournament Team led by MVP Samantha Bricio, plus senior Alicia Ogoms and sophomore Brittany Abercrombie.

Here are the John McGillen photos from the Top 10 win over UNC:

Season Opening Depth Chart

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USC head coach released the depth chart for the season opener against Arkansas State.

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2015 Football Captains

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USC football announced the 2015 team captains: QB Cody Kessler, C Max Tuerk, LB Su'a Cravens, LB Anthony Sarao and DT Antwaun Woods.

Click here for the captain's press conference.

Kessler and Tuerk are the 13th and 14th multiple-time captains in USC history. Three defensive captains were chosen because the vote was so tight.


2015 Mock Game: Notes

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The Trojans simulated game day today, arriving two hours early, getting dressed at the Coliseum, and then playing a mock game against the scout team.
  • While nothing noteworthy happened on the field during the non-contact practice, head coach Steve Sarkisian's press conference was full of juicy tidbits.
  • First, he brought out the 2015 team captains: QB Cody Kessler, C Max Tuerk, LB Su'a Cravens, LB Anthony Sarao and DT Antwaun Woods.
  • Because the voting was so close, the coaching staff settled on three defenders.
  • And then, Sarkisian announced that offensive coordinator Clay Helton will take over the primary play-calling responsibilities. After assessing his first season at USC, Sarkisian developed the plan, starting in spring football, to transition the offense over to Helton, so he can focus on his duties as a head coach. Helton will call plays from the sideline.
  • Sarkisian: "I want to be a great head coach. I don't want to set offensive records and be 8-5 or 9-4. I want to win 14 games."
  • Finally, Sarkisian announced the winners of a pair of camp battles. Alex Wood will be the starting placekicker for the season opener, while senior Tre Madden was named the starting tailback. Junior RB Justin Davis, who is dealing with a rib injury, is questionable for the first game, so the Trojans could rely on three freshmen, Ronald Jones II, Aca'Cedric Ware and Dominic Davis, to backup Madden.
  • Here is Sarkisian's lengthy and newsworthy press conference:

Get to Know: Cody Kessler

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Beyond the recruiting bios, stat columns, post-game quotes and jersey numbers, every one of USC's elite student-athletes possesses a unique personality. Whether it's their life motto, hidden talent or spirit animal, there's more that makes up each of our Trojan athletes than what's put on display come game day.

For our final "Get to Know" graphic of the series, we learn more about QB Cody Kessler. The redshirt senior has a big season ahead as ESPN already has him third in its preseason Heisman poll.

But, Kessler is able to handle the hype because he lives a balanced life. He is an accomplished student, working towards a master's degree, and when things get really tense, he can chill out and pick at his guitar.


Finding Her Voice

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Written by Grace DeWitt, USC blog contributor

USC_WVB_UCLA_092414_MCG5285.JPGWith a laundry list of accolades, including AVCA All-America Second Team, Pac-12 All-Conference Team, and Pac-12 All-Star Team in 2014 alone, it's hard to find something senior Samantha Bricio has not accomplished, but this year's USC women's volleyball captain still has a couple of goals in mind for her final season with the Trojans.

First, reclaim the title of No. 1 server in the country, which she held as a sophomore in 2013. Add in winning a national championship, and Bricio has her work cut out for her. Her greatest challenge, however, has nothing to do with aces or W's.

"Normally, I'm a really quiet player. I don't really like to talk a lot, but now that I'm the captain, I know I have to talk more to help my teammates," explained the Mexican native, for whom English is a second language.

While a language barrier may have excused her from being more vocal in the past, the veteran knows it's time to shake her shyer disposition.

"I'm still working on it. When I'm playing, I don't like to be cheering and jumping, I'm not like that. I'm more like a quiet player," she said. "Now I have to communicate more, I have to talk more. It's going to be hard for me."

Bricio admits that as a young volleyball star growing up in Guadalajara, she had not even heard of the NCAA. That lack of awareness is something she hopes to change as she considers the legacy she'll leave behind when her time at USC comes to a close. 

"For me, it's really important to give an example of someone from a different country, from Latin America, who can come here and do [what I've done]," said Bricio. "I don't know of a lot of players from Mexico, Guatemala, places like that in Central America or South America, so I think that's something that I really want to leave as a legacy. Letting little girls know they can do it--even in the U.S., even in collegiate volleyball--that's something I'm really excited about. That's something I really play for."

Bricio and the No. 22 ranked USC women's volleyball team host the Baden Invitational at the Galen Center this weekend, and start their season tonight against No. 7 North Carolina (Pac-12 Networks at 8 p.m. PT).