Former USC RB Joe McKnight Killed

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Former USC RB Joe McKnight was killed in Terrytown, LA yesterday. He was 28 years old.

McKnight played for USC from 2007-09, leading the team in punt return yards his freshman season and in rushing yards in his final season. He ranks 15th all-time on USC's career rushing yards list. McKnight's 206 all-purpose yards and a TD were key in USC's 49-17 win over Illinois in the 2008 Rose Bowl, as were his 105 all-purpose yards in USC's 18-15 come-from-behind victory over Ohio State in Matt Barkley's first career start in 2009.

The Kenner, LA native was drafted in the fourth round (112th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. He played for New York from 2010-12, then for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014. After his NFL career ended, he moved on to the CFL, where he played for the Edmonton Eskimos and the Saskatchewan Roughriders this season.

According to local police, McKnight was shot at about 3 p.m. yesterday at an intersection in Terrytown, LA. The investigation into the incident is still ongoing.

Upon the news of his death, McKnight and his family received an outpouring of love from Trojans including Justin Davis, Matt Barkley, Cody Kessler, Robert Woods, Brian Cushing, Malcolm Smith, Frostee Rucker, Pete Carroll and many more.

Fight On Forever, Joe McKnight.


Leventhal Stat of the Week - End of Regular Season

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USC's 45-27 victory over Notre Dame was the latest of eight straight wins for the Trojans, marking the longest win streak for USC since the 2008-09 seasons.

USC's last loss came on Sept. 23 at Utah, in freshman QB Sam Darnold's first career start. Since then, the Trojans have racked up at least 400 yards of offense in each game and beaten opponents by an average of 20.5 points.

The Trojans' current eight-game win streak ranks among the longest in the nation, with only undefeated Alabama and Western Michigan having won more consecutive contests this season.

Back in 2008, USC won its last 10 games of the season, then carried its win streak over to 2009, winning its first two games of that year to make it a 12-game streak across two seasons.

The Trojans have a chance to extend their win streak in this year's bowl game. The team will learn its fate on Sunday, when bowl game selections are announced.


Straight to the Semis

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After winning the MPSF Tournament and finishing the regular season ranked No. 1 in the nation, USC men's water polo sets up for an NCAA semifinal game tomorrow at Cal's Spieker Aquatic Center in Berkeley, CA.

Click here for the full preview!

For winning their conference tournament, the Trojans earned a first-round bye and a trip straight to the semis, where they'll face the winner of today's match between UC Davis and Harvard. USC is 15-0 all-time against UC Davis and 1-0 against Harvard.

USC enters the semifinal matchup with a 23-1 record and a 15-game win streak, including two recent wins against UCLA, the two-time defending national champion. The Bruins are on the other side of the bracket, and will face the winner of Cal and Pomona-Pitzer in the semifinals tomorrow evening.

Should the Trojans win tomorrow, they'll advance to their 11th consecutive title appearance. After winning six straight national championships from 2008-13, USC fell to UCLA in each of the last two title games.

The Trojans begin their quest for a 10th national championship tomorrow at 3 p.m. Follow USC water polo on Twitter for more information and stream the games online by clicking here!


Finally Time for the Final Four

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Tomorrow, USC women's soccer faces fellow two-seed Georgetown in the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament.

It's been a long road for the Trojans, who lost their first two games before setting a school record with seven straight shutout wins and finishing the regular season on a 14-2-1 run.

Click here for the full preview.

No. 7 USC beat Eastern Washington, Texas A&M, Utah and Auburn to earn a spot in the NCAA Women's College Cup against Georgetown. The two programs have never met before, but they do share two common opponents this season. While the Hoyas lost, 3-0, to Stanford in August, the Trojans topped the Cardinal by the same margin in October. Most recently, the Hoyas advanced to the Final Four with a 1-0 win over Santa Clara, a squad that beat USC in the first game of the season, 3-2.

The Final Four matchup will be a battle between Georgetown's explosive offense and USC's stalwart defense. While the Hoyas average 2.44 goals per game (7th in the nation), the Women of Troy allow just .425 goals per game (8th in the nation) and have shut out their opponents in 65.2 pct of their games (8th in the nation). USC head coach Keidane McAlpine noted that the Hoyas have four players with 10+ goals this season but are also impressive defensively.

USC vs. Georgetown in the Final Four will kick off at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, CA. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU. Follow the team on Twitter for updates and check out USC Athletics on Snapchat to follow the team's journey.


Trojans Top Toreros

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USC men's basketball improved to 7-0 on the season with a 76-55 win over USD last night.

Click here for the full recap!

The Trojans persevered despite starting forward Bennie Boatwright's sustaining a knee injury in the third minute. The sophomore missed the rest of the game, after which head coach Andy Enfield said he believed it was an MCL sprain that he hoped would only keep the team's leading 3-point shooter out a few weeks.

In Boatwright's absence, the Trojans were dismal from beyond the arc (3-for-18) but found a way to win by 21. Chimezie Metu led the way with 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting and added 12 rebounds for his third career double-double.

USC is one of 15 programs still undefeated this season. The Trojans are off to their best start since they opened the 2001 season 8-0, and have the opportunity to match that start on Saturday. USC faces BYU at 5 p.m. at Staples Center as part of a double-header with Arizona and Gonzaga.


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Adoree's IMPACT

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USC DB Adoree' Jackson was named one of four finalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, the organization announced today.

The award, named after USC All-American Ronnie Lott, is given annually to a college football player who demonstrates Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity (IMPACT).

Jackson, who earned Lott IMPACT Player of the Week three times this year, joins Alabama's Jonathan Allen, Michigan's Jabrill Peppers and Air Force's Weston Steelhammer as this year's finalists.

The Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year has 51 tackles, 2 TFL, 11 passes broken up, 15 passes defended and 2 fumble recoveries this season. He's also scored 2 punt return TD, 2 kickoff return TD and a receiving TD this year.

The winner of the 2016 Lott IMPACT Trophy will be announced at The Lott IMPACT Trophy Awards Banquet in Newport Beach, CA on Sunday, Dec. 11.


Trojans Upset Texas A&M

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USC women's basketball knocked No. 19 Texas A&M in College Station today, handing the No. 19 Aggies their first loss of the season.

Click here for the full recap!

Despite trailing for most of the game, including a seven-point deficit at halftime, the Trojans mounted a comeback to win, 66-62. Forward Kristen Simon, who leads the team in scoring and rebounding this year, scored 10 points in 10 minutes to fuel USC's late push. She finished with 20 points, while guard Sadie Edwards added 18. Edwards (pictured) was key down the stretch, nailing a go-ahead bucket with 40 seconds to go in the game.

The win was USC's first over a ranked opponent opponent since beating No. 15 UCLA last year, and pushed the Women of Troy to 6-1 this season.

Next up for USC a trip to the state capitol to take on Sacramento State on Saturday at 7:35 p.m.


Sights and Sounds: USC vs. Notre Dame

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USC finished its regular season with a resounding 45-27 win over Notre Dame to claim back the Shillelagh. Despite the pouring rain, the Trojans put on a clinic on offense, defense and special teams to earn their eighth straight victory.

Darnold Tabbed Top 10 QB

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USC QB Sam Darnold has been named one of 10 finalists for the Manning Award, an annual trophy presented to the nation's best quarterback. Darnold, who recently earned Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year honors, is one of three Pac-12 QBs and one of just two freshmen to be named finalists for the award.

Darnold is 8-1 as a starter this year, having won the last eight straight after falling just short in his first career start at Utah. He ranks sixth in the nation in completion pct (68.1) and 10th in the nation in passing efficiency (161.01). He leads all freshmen in those categories, as well as in TD passes (26) and yards per attempt (8.4).

Not only is Darnold accurate through the air, he's dangerous on the ground. His 230 rush yards are the most by a USC quarterback in a single season since Reggie Perry had 254 in 1991, and he's scored 2 rush TD this year. His rushing ability has allowed the offense to open up --- the Trojans have racked up 400+ yards of offense in each of Darnold's nine starts.

Many of Darnold's accomplishments this year have stacked up next to those of USC QB Matt Leinart, the inaugural Manning Award winner. Darnold's current streak of eight games with multiple TD is the longest streak since Leinart posted 15 such games in a row over the span of two seasons. Darnold also became the first USC QB since Leinart in 2004 to pass for 230+ yards and rush for 40+ yards in a single game, doing it twice this season (Utah, Arizona).

Outside of Leinart, past winners of the Manning Award include Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Cam Newton, Matt Ryan and more.

This year's winner will be announced in January, after all the bowl games have concluded.

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