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Track and Field Early Signings

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Director of Track and Field Caryl Smith Gilbert signed another talented group of six athletes to NLIs in the class of 2015 early signing period.

The group includes Nathan Bultman, one of the most gifted all-around throwers in the country who was ranked nationally as a junior in the shot put, discus and hammer, as well as Mikaela Smith (pictured) who ranks second in the U.S. among returning 800m runners.

All six athletes attend high school in California and compete in a range of events from the 100m to long jump. Along with Bultman and Smith, the group features Margaux Jones, Jasmyne Graham, Eric Sloan and Myles Valentine.

To read all the highlights from this group of signees, click here:

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Striving for Seven

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Despite falling 10-5 to UCLA on Sunday in the MPSF Tournament third place game, the Trojans are headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the 10th consecutive time after receiving an at-large bid as the No. 3 seed. USC will look to defend its six consecutive national championships beginning on Saturday November 29 against Whittier at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center.

The Trojans have been in the NCAA title match every year since 2005, but to keep the streak alive they must first win the play-in match against Whittier before facing MPSF Tournament-champion Stanford in the semifinal.

Kostas Genidounias (pictured) provided a bright spot for the Trojans in their Sunday loss by notching his 254th career goal to tie Nikola Vavic as the USC all-time leader. The senior will have his chance to take sole possession of the top spot as his team strives for their seventh straight NCAA championship.

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Happy Homecoming

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USC women's basketball started the season with three consecutive road games, and the Women of Troy fared well on their journey going 2-1 with the lone loss at No. 1 South Carolina.  Nevertheless, the Trojans were happy to celebrate their home opener Sunday with a 68-50 win over Fresno State.

Click here for the recap.

The Women of Troy are thriving thanks to a balanced attack paced by Alexyz Vaioletama (12.8 points per game) who is one of three Trojans averaging double figures (Jordan Adams and Brianna Barrett) and six contributing eight points or better per contest (Courtney Jaco, Kaneisha Horn and McKenzie Calvert).

USC gets right back on an airplane now with Dallas as the next destination for the SMU Classic. The Trojans will play Sam Houston St. on Friday and either SMU or Florida A&M the next day.

Horn is the team's leading rebounder at 5.5 per game.
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Notre Dame Kickoff at 12:30

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USC's Coliseum curtain call for 2014 against Notre Dame will kick off at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.  The game will be broadcast live on FOX.

The Trojans have not beaten the Irish at home since 2008, and they are looking to avenge back-to-back losses in the series. Notre Dame comes limping into the match-up having lost four out of its last five games after a 6-0 start.

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McGillen Galleries: USC vs. UCLA

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The Trojans fell to the Bruins on Saturday but John McGillen was there to capture every moment from the rivalry at the Rose Bowl. Here are his photos...



6-Points: UCLA 38, USC 20

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The Trojans lose their third straight to UCLA.

Click here for the recap and final stats.

Click here for the Rapid Reaction.

FINAL-ucla-score.jpgHundley the Hero

Brett Hundley will not only go down as one of the greatest Bruins of all-time, but he has sealed his spot in rivalry lore with a third win in three tries. "He played really well tonight," said head coach Steve Sarkisian. "I thought Brett took advantage of things." Hundley used his diverse skill set to burn the Trojans with his arm (22/31 for 326 yards and 3 TDs) and legs (15-yard TD run). 

Losing the Line

The Trojans offense never got out of the starting blocks because they lost the battle up front. "The thing that jumped out to me was the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball," said Sarkisian. "Their defensive front was particularly effective in defending the run, and then when we got into some obvious passing situations, putting pressure on Cody [Kessler]." The USC QB was sacked six times and never found his rhythm.

Missed Moments

The Trojans seized the moment early when Anthony Sarao started the scoring with his first career pick-six, but then a series of missed opportunities doomed the effort. On the second offensive play of the second half, Sarao jumped Hundley's throw again, but dropped a second potential score. "I just put that to the coaches. They had a great scheme the whole game," said Sarao about being in the right spot twice. "We fell short executing a couple plays and a couple busts." The other notable regrets include Nelson Agholor's muffed punt, coverage busts in the secondary and Kessler's interception.

Turning Point

Kessler's lone interception came at the end of the first half when the Trojans were on the move down 17-14.  After the pick, which was a tremendous, although disputable, catch made by Eric Kendricks, the Bruins ran off three consecutive touchdowns with the Trojans only touching the ball once, a quick three-and-out. "When you look at the game, the 21 points are sitting right there when they had three possessions and we had one. That was a big factor in it," said Sarkisian.

Shaw's Return

Josh Shaw's return was the story of the week, but he had little impact on the game playing as a third corner. While Shaw has the versatility to play any secondary position, he did not have enough time this week to reintegrate as a safety. "The safety position in any system is pretty intricate. We felt like to be fair to Josh to give him the best chance to be successful and where he could help us the most was out at corner," said Sarkisian, who wanted Shaw to alleviate the depth issues at cornerback.

Notre Dame Next

The Trojans have responded to losses well all season, and now they will have to get off the mat one more time. "I was very proud of our guys' effort late in the game," said Sarkisian, who noted that many teams would have quit. "We're going to need to hang together because we have a big one next Saturday night against Notre Dame." As for this rivalry, birthday boy JuJu Smith knows there will be better days ahead. "As my first UCLA game, I learned a lot from it," Smith said. "I'm going to take this in very personally and get ready for next year."

Here are the SnappyTV highlights:


2014: UCLA Friday Night Video

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The Trojans have been waiting all year to take back the Victory Bell at the Rose Bowl on Saturday. On the eve of the 84th installment of the legendary rivalry between USC and UCLA, here is your Friday Night Video:

2014 Game 11: USC vs. UCLA

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No. 19 USC Trojans (7-3, 6-2) at No. 9 UCLA Bruins (8-2, 5-2)

Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena at 5 p.m. PT on ABC and WatchESPN

Bruin to Watch: RS Junior QB Brett Hundley

Hundley.jpgThe Crosstown Showdown is not only going to determine city dominance, but it may also settle the debate about the best quarterback in Los Angeles. Hundley has worn out the Trojans in each of his first two rivalry starts with his dual threat ability. In 2012, he controlled the game with his arm (22/30 for 234 yards and 1 TD), and in 2013, he won it with his legs (13 carries for 80 yards and 2 TDs). This season, Cody Kessler has put up better stats, although Hundley has made crucial plays late in games to save the Bruins from some potentially embarrassing losses. He is also remarkably accurate (72.1% completions) and running more of late (89+ yards in four of the last five games).

Click here for more on the Bruins.

3 Keys

4.0

Four yards per carry is the magic number.  In conference play, only Utah has held the Bruins under four yards per carry over the course of the game. The Utes sacked Hundley 10 times, which is remarkable given his size and agility, in their upset of UCLA in the Rose Bowl. Since then, the Bruins' rush offense has surged up the Pac-12 rankings into second on the season. After being gashed by Boston College, the USC run defense has become one of the best in the nation, and no opponent has cracked 4.0 yards per game in that time. Given the "pick your poison" that Hundley represents, the Trojans would rather force him to beat them from the pocket and eliminate Paul Perkins.

Front Runners

If this game plays out like the rest of the season, USC will surge to a big early lead and then UCLA will come back to force a dramatic finish. The trend is typical of both teams. The Trojans are first in the nation in first quarter scoring margin (129-22), while the Bruins have trailed at some point in eight of their 10 games.  No USC fan will feel safe with a lead, but the truth is that the Trojans need another fast start. They fell into huge holes in each of the last two years (24-0 in 2012 and 14-0 in 2013), which enabled UCLA to grind out victories with the run game. If Cody Kessler and the offense can find an early rhythm, the Trojans can dictate how the game will be played and put scoreboard pressure on the Bruins.

Put on for Your City

The nation will be watching, but this is a local feud. The Trojans admitted this week that they did not handle the emotions of the rivalry well last season. "Play with emotion, but don't let your emotions play you," said sophomore Su'a Cravens. The atmosphere will be second to none Saturday night, which is exactly why these players chose to come to USC and UCLA. Schemes and talent will play a major role, but the Victory Bell will go to the team willing to lay it all on the line.

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Photo Gallery: Peter Daland Celebration of Life

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On Friday, the public celebration of life was held for legendary USC men's swimming coach Peter Daland who died on October 20 at the age of 93. Hundreds gathered at the Uytengsu Aquatic Center to commemorate the coaching great who led the Trojans to nine NCAA team championships during his 35-year tenure (1958-92).

Here is Pierson Clair's photo gallery of today's celebration:

Happy Birthday JuJu

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USC freshman wide receiver JuJu Smith will turn 18 on Saturday at the Rose Bowl. He could not vote in the midterm elections this November, but he sure can play some football.

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