June 2016 Archives

Changing of the Guard

Today marks the end of Pat Haden's tenure as athletic director at USC. On Friday, Lynn Swann will officially take over the position.

Haden's era began in August 2010, and over the six years since, USC won 12 national championships, more than any other school in that time period. The Trojans also collected 29 conference titles.

With all that new hardware, USC needed to renovate Heritage Hall, and that's exactly what Haden did. He also oversaw four other major projects: John McKay Center, Buntmann Family Tennis Center, Uytengsu Aquatics Center and Merle Norman Stadium. He will continue to serve on to guide the renovation of the Coliseum.

While competitive success and fundraising are part of Haden's legacy, he always put the most emphasis on the student-athletes. He prioritized their overall experience over everything. To that end, USC athletics has enjoyed its greatest academic years and semesters on record under Haden and made community service a priority, including 99.6% student-athlete involvement and more than 4,000 hours of outreach.


#USC2RIO: Lauren Fendrick

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The countdown is on to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and once again, USC will be represented by a roster of Trojans that would match most countries. Time to unveil your USC Olympians...

Name: Lauren Fendrick

Country: United States of America

Event: Women's Beach Volleyball

The United States will be sending two women's beach volleyball teams to Rio. Yesterday, we profiled April Ross, who will be playing with Kerri Walsh Jennings, and today, we meet Lauren Fendrick, who is one half of the other pair with Brooke Sweat. Fendrick is an alum of the USC Gould School of Law.

Fendrick actually splits the crosstown rivalry as a UCLA undergrad, playing indoor volleyball in college before turning pro on the beach. In Rio, she is excited to represent the team that unites us all.

"Competing with USA on my back is always an honor, but to do it at the Olympics on the biggest stage and in a city with such a rich beach volleyball tradition is truly a dream come true," Fendrick told the LA Times. "I feel honored and privileged to get to compete for my country."


Top 100 Trojan at No. 12

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On Wednesday, former USC Heisman-winning quarterback Carson Palmer became the third Trojan and fifth Arizona Cardinal to make the 2016 NFL Top 100, coming in at No. 12.

The 36-year-old compiled his best statistical season ever in 2015, setting career highs and Arizona single-season records in passing yards, touchdowns and passer rating. Somehow defying the consequences of age, the quarterback is seemingly getting better with every year, boasting a .833 winning percentage since 2014 - the best in the NFL over that span. 


Speed is Coming

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USC's track & field season may be over, but the Trojans are getting faster and faster every day. On Tuesday, incoming freshman sprinter Michael Norman, the country's fastest 200m and 400m prep athlete, received his second consecutive National Gatorade Player of the Year honor, becoming just the 12th person in the history of the award to repeat and the first in men's track & field. 

This spring, Norman raced to state titles and records in four events and took home the national title in the 200m with a blazing time of 20.15, the third-fastest time in prep history and the sixth-fastest by any American this year. His season-best 45.51 in the 400m ranks first in the nation among high schoolers, while his season-best 10.27 in the 100m (not considered one of his main events) ranks second. He is the only prep men's sprinter ever to be ranked in the all-time Top 10 of both the 200m and the 400m. 

Norman, who will compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials this weekend, is headed to USC this fall where he will look to follow in the footsteps of former Trojan sprinting greats like Bryshon Nellum and Quincy Watts, the latter of whom will be coaching Norman soon. 

"Having him as not only a coach but as a mentor is huge for me. He's going to get me to the right place as a track athlete," Norman told USA Today. "Coach Caryl is also so great. I don't know what it is, but she always gets me so fired up to run. It feels like family there."

Norman joins the family officially as a student-athete this fall. Be sure to follow @USC_Track_Field for updates on Norman and the entire track & field team this upcoming season. 


#USC2RIO: April Ross

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The countdown is on to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and once again, USC will be represented by a roster of Trojans that would match most countries. Time to unveil your USC Olympians...

Name: April Ross

Country: United States of America

Event: Women's Beach Volleyball

Just like Haley Anderson, who we profiled yesterday, Ross heads to Rio 2016 with a silver medal already in her pocket from London 2012. Four years ago, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings kept Ross and fellow Trojan Jennifer Kessy from the top of the podium, but May-Treanor has since retired and Walsh Jennings will now team up with Ross to take on the rest of the world.

Ranked as the No. 1 pair in the world, the Americans will likely have to go through the hosts, Brazil, to achieve their golden dreams. In preparation, the duo has dominated the AVP Tour, winning all three events this year, including back-to-back victories in New York and San Francisco the last two weeks. Ross has won 27 career AVP titles.


In The Books

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With the spring collegiate athletics season winding down, USC is celebrating another stellar year of competition as well as academics in 2015-16. Along with winning two NCAA championships and eight Pac-12 titles, USC student-athletes earned 118 spots on the Dean's List and 109 Pac-12/MPSF All-Academic honors. Over half of USC's student-athletes posted GPAs of 3.0 or better with 18 Trojans boasting a perfect 4.0. 

Check out all the info from the impressive academic year here: 


#USC2RIO: Haley Anderson

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The countdown is on to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and once again, USC will be represented by a roster of Trojans that would match most countries. Time to unveil your USC Olympians...

Name: Haley Anderson

Country: United States of America

Event: Women's Swimming Marathon

Anderson was the first Trojan to officially qualify for Rio 2016, which will mark her second Olympic Games. The American open water swimmer brought home a silver medal from London 2012, finishing 0.4 seconds behind the winner. She is aiming for the top of the podium this time around. "That's definitely what has kept me going," Anderson said. "Getting a silver by that close, it's definitely been the biggest motivating factor for improving on that finish and going for gold this time."

In her corner once again, Anderson will have the familiar face of Catherine Vogt, Team USA's open water coach and now USC associate head coach. "You have to be smart, you have to be able to manage stress and you have to be able to change your speeds," Vogt said of Anderson. "A lot of it is like a chess game -- it's a mental match -- and that's the excitement of it. Haley is really tough, and I think that's what makes her so good on the world level."


All About Ball

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USC will open its season in the 80,000-seat AT&T Stadium. Until then, the Trojans work while no one is watching.

Tom Hansen Medal Duo

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Announced on Tuesday, men's tennis' Max de Vroome and women's volleyball's Samantha Bricio are this year's Pac-12 Tom Hansen Conference Medal Winners from USC, an annual award given to each institution's outstanding senior male and female student-athletes. Both Trojans displayed the ultimate combination of excellence on the court as well as in the classroom and community. 

This honor is the latest in a long list of accomplishments achieved in Bricio's final campaign, including the 2015 Honda Sports Award, Latino Spirit Award, 2015 AVCA National Player of the Year honors and All-American status. The outside hitter led the nation in four categories in her senior season and graduated in May with a degree in psychology. 

De Vroome capped off a very impressive Trojan career this spring, winning Pac-12 Men's Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year and leading USC to its 10th-consecutive NCAA appearance. His career singles record is 109-42 with an all-time best ranking of No. 18, but his success extends far beyond the court as he was also a three-time Pac-12 All-Academic honoree and received a 2016 Pac-12 Post-Graduate Scholarship to continue his education next year. 


#FightOnForever: Tom Kelly

The legendary "Voice of the Trojans", Tom Kelly, who called USC football and men's basketball games for five decades, died today at the age of 88 after a battle with cancer.

Click here for his complete obituary.

Kelly first broadcast USC football and men's basketball games in 1961 and he was behind the mic for Trojan games almost yearly until 2003. He did so on radio from 1961 to 1965 and 1973 to 1988, then on TV from 1989 until 2003. He described the action of five USC national championship football teams, five Heisman Trophy winners and 92 first team All-American football players. In 2001, he was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame.

Click here for Tom Hoffarth's reflections.

"[Kelly's] voice was something you could hear from a subway tunnel six blocks away," current USC football radio voice Pete Arbogast told Hoffarth. "He was the voice -- he was the guy."

In his 2007 biography, Kelly summed up his legendary career by saying, "There's no rhyme or reason how I managed to remain the 'Voice of the Trojans' except luck and good fortune." And continued, "I don't know how I qualified but I'm thankful. I enjoyed every moment and realize I was one of the fortunate ones."

Johnson Wins At Last!

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Former USC men's tennis All-American Steve Johnson did a lot of winning while at USC, leading the Trojans to four straight NCAA Team Championships, taking home two NCAA singles championships and winning the last 72 matches of his career. In his fourth year on the ATP World Tour, Johnson is finally finding that winning rhythm on the professional level, taking home his first-ever ATP title at the Aegon Open in Nottingham last weekend. 

The 26-year-old bested Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas, 7-6(5), 7-5, to take home the first singles trophy of his career in the final warm-up tournament before Wimbledon began on Monday. 

"It's special. There's no doubt about that," Johnson told on Saturday. "You've always hoped to be lifting the trophy at the end. Up until today, it hasn't been a reality. To play a very solid final, I'm very happy to win my first title. Hopefully there will be many more to come."

Johnson is hoping the positive momentum continues into competition in Wimbledon this week, and early on it's already looking that way as the Trojan defeated Malek Jaziri, 7-5, 7-6 (2), 6-4, on Monday to advance to round two for the second straight year. 


#USC2RIO: DeMar DeRozan

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The countdown is on to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and once again, USC will be represented by a roster of Trojans that would match most countries. Time to unveil your USC Olympians...

Name: DeMar DeRozan

Country: United States of America

Event: Men's Basketball

DeRozan is the first-ever USC alum to make the "Dream Team" and only the third Trojan to play in the Olympic men's basketball tournament. Wearing the Stars and Stripes is a fitting reward for the kid from Compton who has turned himself into a two-time NBA All-Star, peaking with an Eastern Conference Finals run this season for the Toronto Raptors. DeRozan played one year at USC (2008-09), earning Pac-10 Tournament MVP honors after leading the Trojans to the program's only conference tournament title.


Vote For Bricio!

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USC women's volleyball's Samantha Bricio won just about every accolade possible in the final season of her stellar, four-year Trojan career. The 2015 AVCA, Pac-12 and espnW Player of the Year, a recipient of the prestigious Honda Sports Award and a three-time AVCA All-American, the outside hitter finished her collegiate playing days on top. 

But there's one more award Bricio can add to her resume this year, and the Trojan needs your help to bring it home. The recent USC graduate is nominated for Best Female College Athlete of the Year at the 2016 ESPY Awards, which will be held on Wednesday, July 13 at 5pm PT at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles.  

Click here to vote for Bricio now!

This season, she led the nation in points (803.0), points per set (6.18) and service aces (86). She holds four career records at USC: kills (2,095), attacks (5,499) service aces (301) and points (2,546.5). Bricio is also the Pac-12 record holder for aces, is third in attacks and fifth in kills. 

Voting continues all the way up to the start of the show, so be sure cast your vote and spread the word!


With confetti still falling on the streets of Cleveland, it's time for the 2016 NBA Draft, where USC's most recent first team All-Pac-12 point guard, Julian Jacobs, will find out which city will reap the benefits of his striking athleticism next. Beginning at 4 p.m. PT at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Thursday, 30 NBA front offices will select what they hope to be the future of their organizations and Jacobs is hoping to be the first Trojan drafted since 2011. 

In the 2015-16 season, the versatile guard averaged 11.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.2 steals and a conference-leading 5.4 assists per game. At 6-foot-4 he possesses good height for his position with even better athleticism, showcased game after game last year as he compiled a dunk reel prime for SC Top 10 pickings. His leadership over the course of the last three seasons is impressive to NBA scouts as well, considering the point guard helped guide USC from a 11-21 record his freshman year to a 21-13 record this March and the Trojans' first NCAA Tournament berth since 2011. Jacobs did not receive an invite to the 2016 NBA Draft Combine, but is still projected to be a late second round pick. 

Also in the mix on Thursday night is former USC forward Nikola Jovanovic who averaged 12.1 points and 7.0 rebounds per game last season. The Serbian-native has reportedly worked out for the Pistons, but is projected to be on the bubble to be drafted in the late second round.  

#StartYourStreak: Jeff Schneider

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schneider.jpgThe Trojan Family has some of the most devoted fans in college football, including Jeff Schneider.

Each fall, Schneider takes the term "passion" to a new level as a dedicated USC fan who travels 2,300 miles almost every other weekend to watch his Trojans take the field in the Coliseum. He didn't go to USC, but the Florida resident understands the Trojan Family as true as anyone after being adopted in by USC alumni at the 2005 Orange Bowl. In the 11 years since, Schneider has bled Cardinal & Gold.

"I always get goosebumps when I step foot into the Coliseum," Schneider said. "This place is special."

Click here to Start Your Streak today with a customizable mini-plan!

Props to Peterson

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Junior USC women's water polo captain Avery Peterson leads a trio of Trojans receiving All-Academic honors from the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches for the 2016 season. In addition to Peterson, freshmen Courtney Fahey and Mackenzie Flath earned spots on the national academic list for their cumulative GPAs of 3.20 and above. 

This is the third ACWPC All-Academic selection for Peterson, a communications major with an impressive 3.41 GPA. Fahey leads the Women of Troy on the academic front, boasting a 3.47 GPA while Flath rounds out the talented group with a 3.28 GPA. The trio all contributed to the Trojans' remarkable, national championship-winning 26-0 season. 


Volleyball Set For 2016

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The defending Pac-12 co-champion USC women's volleyball team announced its schedule for the 2016 season on Tuesday, including 19 televised games with a pair set to be broadcast on ESPNU. 

Click here for USC's complete schedule

In addition to the regular 10 conference matches on the schedule, the Women of Troy will also host three pre-conference tournaments at the Galen Center, providing fans with plenty of opportunities to come out and cheer on the Trojans. The lineup in 2016 won't be an easy one in the ever-competitive Pac-12 Conference as the Trojans will face teams that made 2015 NCAA Tournament appearances 16 times this year. 

The Trojans open the season against crosstown rival UCLA on September 21 at home, and will host Senior Day on November 19 against Oregon. All but seven conference matches will be televised, the majority on the Pac-12 Networks, aside from both matches versus Stanford (October 23 and November 10) which will be aired on ESPNU. 

Be sure to follow @USCWomensVolley on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for season updates, photos and more!


The Best is Yet to Come

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

In this week's edition of First Look, NFL analyst Daniel Jeremiah's offseason breakdown of college football's best players, the former NFL scout profiled USC wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster who is looking to make an even bigger splash in his junior campaign. 

In reviewing film from three games in the 2015 season, Jeremiah highlights Smith-Schuster's aggressive style of play, ability to make "special catches" and consistent big play contribution. 

"Smith-Schuster has areas he needs to refine, but I love his overall toughness and competitiveness," writes Jeremiah. "He is already a great player, and he hasn't come close to reaching his ceiling. The future is bright for Smith-Schuster."

The bottom line: At just 19-years-old, Smith-Schuster likely has the most potential of any wide receiver in college football right now. Eager to join Robert Woods, Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor as the most recent Trojan All-American wideouts, the junior returns to action on September 3 in USC's season-opener against Alabama. 


Mini-Plans On Sale Now

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Starting today, USC fans can purchase mini-plan ticket packages for the 2016 football season, providing the ultimate flexibility to attend Trojan home games that fit their schedules.

Click here to purchase!!

Fans can choose mini-plans in increments of two to six games, including the Oregon and Notre Dame contests. Mini-plans allow fans to purchase only the games they want to attend, as well as save money off single game pricing and get priority seating over individual game ticket buyers.

Mini-plan packages start at just $70, with pricing options and seating locations available at all levels. Individual game tickets will not be available for purchase until late July.

USC has six home games in 2016. The Trojans play their home opener on Sept. 10 when they welcome Utah State of the Mountain West Conference, with fans receiving a Marcus Allen bobblehead. Troy next has back-to-back October games, Arizona State on Oct. 1 for its initial conference home opener and then Colorado on Oct. 8 as part of Trojan Family Weekend. USC follows by hosting California on Thursday night, Oct. 27 (just the fourth non-holiday Thursday game that Troy has played in the Coliseum). The Trojans remain at home the following week for Homecoming to face Oregon on Nov. 5, the Ducks' first appearance in the Coliseum in four years. USC then concludes its regular season by hosting traditional foe Notre Dame in a Thanksgiving weekend clash on Nov. 26.

Click here to customize your mini-plan!


Trojan Trio at 20

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

On Tuesday, a trio of Trojan greats were named to the WNBA's 20@20 list, a selection of the 20 greatest and most influential players in league history in celebration of the WNBA's 20th anniversary. With three players selected, USC was the second-most represented school on the list.

Tina Thompson, Lisa Leslie and Cynthia Cooper-Dyke made history in their respective careers at USC, but their legacies extend far beyond their time in Cardinal & Gold. As record-breakers and pioneers from the league's earliest days, the trio brought talent, energy and passion to the WNBA.  With six WNBA Championships, three gold medals and 33 years of WNBA experience between them, these Women of Troy paved the way for the next generation of women's basketball players.

Heading into her fourth season as head coach for the Women of Troy, Cooper-Dyke's legendary career is continuing to expand where it first started. A standout Trojan guard from 1982 to 1986, she led the Houston Comets to four straight WNBA titles in the first four seasons of the league, winning Finals MVP each time. A two-time WNBA MVP and 1988 gold medalist, Cooper-Dyke returned home as USC's head coach in 2013.

A three-time All-American and 1994 National Player of the Year while at USC, Lisa Leslie was poised for success from the first moment she hit the hardwood. The center was the heard of the Los Angeles Sparks for the entirety of her WNBA career (1997-2006, 2008-09), where she won two WNBA championships, three MVP honors and two gold medals for Team USA. Her incredible 12-year career earned her a spot in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 2015. 

Rounding out the trio is Thompson, who played 16 years in the WNBA, winning four consecutive WBNA championships alongside Cooper-Dyke with the Houston Comets. A three-time All-American (1994-97) at USC and three-time gold medalist as a member of Team USA, the forward boasts one of the most successful resumes in women's basketball history. 

Check out the WNBA's career retrospective on women's basketball pioneer and USC women's basketball head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke...

A Workout By The Waves

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

The Trojans escaped the heat on Tuesday morning, trading in their regularly-scheduled, player-run workout for a grueling beach fitness session at sunrise. From push-ups, to dune sprints to endless reps of squats, the team, led by head coach Clay Helton and joined by the new class of incoming freshmen, put in another hard day's work on the road to USC's September 3 season-opener against Alabama. 

Several of USC's position coaches documented their team's effort on Twitter. Check out their photos and videos here...

Times Square Takeover

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USC beach volleyball's two-time national champion duo Sara Hughes and Kelly Claes took a bite out of the Big Apple this weekend, competing in the AVP New York City Open. The amateurs made it all the way to the semifinals, narrowly losing to USC alum April Ross and three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings, who went on to win the tournament.

Hughes and Claes made the most of their time in Manhattan, including playing a little pepper in Times Square.

Announced on Friday, USC will host a three-game home series with Fresno State at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in the 2019, 2022 and 2025 seasons. The Trojans' previously-announced home game with UNLV in 2019 will now be the 2018 season opener on September 1. 

USC and Fresno State will face off on August 31, 2019, September 17, 2022 and August 30, 2025. The 2019 and 2025 games will be season openers. The Trojans are 3-1 against the Bulldogs, posting a victory most recently in the 2014 season opener in which USC won, 52-13. 

Fresno State is just one of a handful of non-conference teams slated to take on USC in the next nine years, joining Texas (2017 and 2018), BYU (2019, 2021, 2023), Western Michigan (2017), New Mexico (2020) and Rice (2022). 


Preseason Picks

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As we inch closer to September 3 and the start of the USC football season, more and more Trojans are beginning to pop up on preseason All-American and All-Conference watch lists around the country. This week, junior WR JuJu Smith-Schuster leads the pack as a pick for Phil Steele's preseason All-American First Team and Athlon Sports' preseason All-Pac-12 First Team.

Last season, Smith-Schuster cemented his position as the next in line in USC's recent lineage of record-breaking wide receivers when he accrued 1,454 total yards on 89 receptions with 10 touchdowns. He averaged 103.9 yards per game, good for 11th-best in the country. Even with a new quarterback at the helm in 2016, no one anticipates the talented wide receiver dropping off any time soon, and for that reason he's been pegged as a preseason First Team All-American and All-Conference member by both Steele and Athlon Sports.

Three Trojans earned recognition on Steele's All-American Second Team, led by do-it-all junior Adoree' Jackson who is on the list as both a cornerback and punt returner. Redshirt senior OL Zach Banner and senior long snapper Zach Smith made the list as well. Sophomore LB Cam Smith, eager to return to the field this fall after sustaining a season-ending knee injury in 2015, made the Third Team.

A similar cast of characters makes up Athlon Sports' All-Pac-12 First Team, with Smith-Schuster, Banner, Smith and Jackson all listed (Jackson as a CB). On the second team, sophomore RB Ronald Jones II, who last season broke the Trojans' freshman rushing record, leads the pack alongside OL Toa Lobendahn, OL Chad Wheeler, CB Iman Marshall and Jackson as a punt returner.

In total, 15 Trojans are listed on Steele's preseason All-Pac-12 first, second, third and fourth teams, while 11 Trojans earned spots on Athlon Sports' first through fourth teams.


Alabama Tickets On Sale

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Tickets are on sale now to the general public for USC vs. Alabama at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on September 3.

Click here to purchase tickets!

Fans in need of bus, limo or RV parking can also purchase those passes now by clicking here.

To buy regular parking passes in advance, click here.

For USC's game day page with all the necessary information for Trojans interested in attending the game, click here.


Men's Basketball Season Tickets

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Last year, the Trojan Family turned Galen Center into a fortress as USC men's basketball won a record-setting 15 consecutive home games to start the season. To continue building this program, the Trojans need the fans to step up again in 2016-17.

Click here for ticket information!

While the home schedule next year has not been officially released, it includes a non-conference showdown with SMU as well as a loaded Pac-12 slate.


Open Invitation

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USC men's golf rising sophomore Justin Suh advanced through U.S. Open qualifying to earn a spot in the field at Oakmont this week.

Suh, known to his teammates as "Boomer", fired back-to-back 67s to book his ticket to the 116th U.S. Open. He is grouped with fellow Americans T.J. Howe and Frank Adams III in the second to last threesome to go off on Thursday (11:42 a.m. PT).

Fans can follow @USCMensGolf on Twitter for live updates of Suh's adventures on golf's biggest stage. Here is a sampling of his experience so far:

Brotherhood in Buffalo

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Despite it being 2,500 miles from home, former USC CB Kevon Seymour wasn't concerned about making the adjustment to Buffalo when he was drafted by the Bills in the sixth round in April. Sporting new colors in a new city, the rookie had confidence in the only piece of familiarity that existed for him on the East Coast: his former teammate and mentor Nickell Robey. The fourth-year CB has been watching out for the rookie through his first six weeks in the NFL, bringing the Trojan Family alive in Buffalo. 

"I remember being at USC it was the exact same thing," Seymour told "He brought me under his wing. We'd sit together in the film room... Once I found out I was going to be here I was thinking I've already got a guy here to lean on... He's just trying to have my back and be that mentor and big brother here that I don't have."

Seymour earned first team reps at voluntary OTAs throughout the last month due to teammates' injuries, putting a premium on his ability to adapt to the NFL's tempo. According to the Bills, Robey has gone out of his way to make sure his fellow Trojan gets all the advice, feedback and encouragement he needs to get up to speed. 


Catch This Video

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The USC wide receivers let us stay after a spring practice to get a first-person look at a little extra hands session.

Fresh Forwards

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The USC women's soccer offensive will feature two new faces this fall in transfer forwards Alex Anthony, from Maryland, and Leah Pruitt from San Diego State the team announced on Monday. Both talented players are talented transfers who will be eligible to play immediately. 

"Overall we did not score goals with regularity last year and one of the goals of our staff was to improve that," explained head coach Keidane McAlpine. "We are excited that Alex and Leah will give us depth in that area."

A double major in sociology and psychology in just three years, Anthony showcased her proficiencies both on and off the pitch at Maryland. In her redshirt sophomore season, the forward started all 19 of the Terrapins' games, finishing tied for second in the Big 10 with 10 goals scored. She broke the school single-season record and led the Big 10 with 91 shots. 

Pruitt earned 2015 Mountain West Freshman of the Year honors after leading the Aztecs with 10 goals, nine assists, five game-winners and 62 shots in her rookie season. The All-Mountain West First Teamer started in all 18 of San Diego State's game and brings a season of experience with her to Troy. 

Reaching the Finish Line

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After four days in Eugene, the USC track & field team is returning to Los Angeles with one individual national champion, seven two-time All-Americans and a new school record in the women's 4x100m relay. Tynia Gaither and Deanna Hill each scored in three events, leading the group of repeat All-Americans on the women's side, while Randall Cunningham soared to an individual national title in the high jump, becoming the first Trojan since 2006 to win the event for the men. 

The USC women's team finished tied for ninth, but did feature impressive performances from several experienced Trojans in the midst of the somewhat underwhelming team outcome. The 4x100m relay team of Gaither, Hill, Destinee Brown and Alexis Faulknor was the highlight of the week, posting a second-place finish in a school record time of 42.90 on Saturday. Gaither and Hill also each scored in both the 100m and 200m, with Gaither, a redshirt senior finishing fourth and fifth respectively, and Hill, a sophomore, securing fifth and seventh, respectively. They are the only Trojan women to score in both the 100m and 200m since Carol Rodriguez in 2006, and are now both repeat All-Americans. Jaide Stepter wrapped up a strong Trojan career finishing sixth in the 400m IH, bettering her eighth-place finish in 2015. Tera Novy rounded out the group of individual event scorers, placing seventh in the discus to become a two-time All-American as well. 

Despite sending just four athletes to the NCAA Championships, the USC men's team earned a 12th-place finish at the meet thanks to Cunningham's dominating individual performance. The Trojan men have now finished in the Top 12 for 12 consecutive years. Cunningham seemingly breezed past the competition in the high jump, clearing all heights on his first five attempts en route to his winning mark of 7-4.50. He is USC's 11th high jump champion, and now a two-time All-American after finishing eighth in 2015. Sophomore Adoree' Jackson also performed well in the field, finishing fifth in the long jump to become a two-time All-American alongside Cunningham. Also scoring for the USC men was Ricky Morgan Jr. who placed seventh in the 400m.

"We came to the men's NCAA Championships with four sophomores. To leave here with three All-Americans and an NCAA Champion is quite a feat any way you look at it," said USC Director of Track & Field Caryl Smith-Gilbert on Friday. 

Here's Cunningham after winning the 2016 high jump title...

The Trojans wrapped up the 2016 NCAA Track & Field Championships with one individual national champion, a school record in the women's 4x100m relay and a ninth-place finish by the Women of Troy on Saturday. 

USC scored eight times in six different events on the meet's final day of competition and John McGillen was front row at Hayward Field to capture every moment. 

Check out his photos of high jump champion Randall Cunningham, the second-place 4x100m relay team and more...

MLB Draft Live Blog

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USC baseball players are coming off the board thick and fast at the 2016 MLB Draft.

Follow the selections below:

Smart Splash

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USC men's water polo's Mihajlo Milicevic is only a sophomore but he already has a resume that would give most collegiate athlete's a run for their money. A two-time All-American in the pool, Milicevic was named a second team Academic All-American on Friday, adding to his impressive list of accolades. 

The sophomore is a business administration major boasting a 3.71 GPA. He is the second USC men's water polo player to earn such a high national academic award, matching Matt Burton's second team placement in 2013. Milicevic also received the NCAA Elite 90 Award this December, given to the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport while also achieving the highest academic standard.
The 2016 NCAA Track & Field Championships began on Wednesday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon and both the USC men's and women's teams came ready to compete from the jump.

On Day One, sophomore Adoree' Jackson placed fifth in the long jump, becoming a two-time All-American and the first Trojan since 1984 to score in the event in consecutive years. Seven Women of Troy advanced to the finals in five events on Thursday including Tynia Gaither and Destinee Brown who both qualified in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relays.

The excitement continues today in the Pacific Northwest. Be sure to follow @USC_Track_Field for updates.

Check out John McGillen's photos from the start of the week here...

A Pair at the Pinnacle

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USC women's tennis' No. 1 pair, and the nation's sixth-best duo of Giuliana Olmos and Gabby Smith, capped off their 2016 season by receiving All-American honors for the first time in the doubles category. The senior-sophomore tag team compiled a 19-9 overall record this season, going 10-5 in dual matches.

A two-time All-Pac-12 First Team honoree and 2015 ITA All-American in singles, Olmos wrapped up her USC playing days this spring with a 105-44 record in singles and a 103-40 mark in doubles. Smith, her most recent partner, earned All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention this year and is receiving All-American status for the first time in her career. 

All-American Adoree'

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For the second straight year, USC sophomore Adoree' Jackson leaped into fifth place at the NCAA Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field, achieving All-American status once again and cementing his place as one of the most exciting and gifted individuals in all of collegiate athletics. Jackson's mark of 25-1.75/7.66m (+1.8) was unfortunately not enough to qualify the dual-sport star for the US Olympic Trials, but remains a remarkable achievement for the 20-year-old most recognized for his career on the football field.

With his finish, Jackson became the first Trojan to score in consecutive seasons in the long jump at the NCAA Championships since Ed Tave in 1983 and 1984. 

Nick Ponzio also competed in an event final on Wednesday, finishing 12th with a mark of 61-8.25 (18.8m) to earn second-team All-America honors. The action on day one also included sophomore Ricky Morgan Jr., who snagged the last spot in the men's 400m finals with a time of 45.67 in the event's semifinals. 

The Women of Troy begin competition on Thursday, with semifinal races in the 100m, 200m, 400m IH and relays. Click here to watch live starting at 4:30 p.m. PT

Here's Jackson after competition concluded on Monday...

Senior Scholar

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It's only Wednesday, but it's hard to imagine someone having a much better week than USC men's tennis' Max de Vroome who was named the Pac-12 Men's Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year just one day after earning a spot on the All-Pac-12 First Team. The senior graduated in May with a degree in business administration and an impressive 3.58 GPA while also leading his team to its 10th consecutive NCAA appearance this season. 

The postseason awards have poured in for de Vroome on and off the court. Along with his all-conference status, he is the ITA Southwest Region Senior Player of the Year, a 2016 Pac-12 Post-Graduate Scholarship Winner and a 2016 Pac-12 Tom Hansen Medal Winner.

The Final 14

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After five months of hard work and singular focus, hours of practiced hand offs and starting blocks set up, countless clearance bar resets and sand pit sweeps, the 2016 collegiate track & field season comes down to four days at historic Hayward Field. Beginning on Wednesday, 14 Trojans will compete on the sport's hallowed ground for All-American status and a shot at individual NCAA titles in 12 events. The No. 7 Women of Troy, strongly representing the Trojan Family in Eugene with 10 competitors, is looking to chase down it's first NCAA team title since 2001. 

Not only is the USC women's team deep, but its accomplished as well, as five members of the Eugene-bound group bring previous NCAA Championship experience into this year's meet. Three members of last year's second place 4x400m relay team return in sophomore Kendall Ellis, junior Amalie Iuel and senior Jaide Stepter (below). Returning from last year's 4x100m relay team, which took third and posted the fifth-fastest time in program history, is anchor Deanna Hill and multi-event competitor Alexis Faulknor (long jump). Iuel and Stepter are looking to better their finishes in the 400m IH in addition to their relays after the pair finished seventh and eighth, respectively, in 2015. Tera Novy, who placed fourth in last year's discus finals, returns as well, one of six Trojans competing in field events throughout the week.

Freshman long jumper Margaux Jones will make her inaugural NCAA Championships appearance, alongside juniors Destinee Brown (4x100) and Cameron Pettigrew (4x400) and redshirt senior Tynia Gaither (100m, 200m, 4x100m). 

The Trojan men are looking to make their mark in the field, with All-Americans Adoree' Jackson (long jump), Randall Cunningham (high jump) and Nick Ponzio (shot put) competing at the championships once again. In 2015, Jackson placed fifth, Cunningham eighth and Ponzio eighth in their respective events and the trio is eager to raise the bar in their second NCAA trip this week. Also returning to championship-week in Eugene is sophomore 400m sprinter Ricky Morgan, who placed 21st last season. 

Jackson will be the first Trojan in action, beginning the 2016 long jump finals at 6 p.m. PT on Wednesday. For the second year, the men and women will compete on alternate days. The entire meet will be televised on one of the ESPN network platforms beginning with coverage on June 8 from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. PT on ESPN2. On June 9, the meet will be shown on ESPNU from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. PT and then on ESPN from 5:30 to 8 p.m. PT. The broadcast will continue on June 10 from 5:30 p.m. PT to 8 p.m. PT on ESPN, and finishes on June 11 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. PT on ESPN. 

Be sure to follow @USC_Track_Field for meet updates, photos and more!


#FightOnForever: Ernie Hix

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Ernie Hix, known as "The Father of USC Men's Volleyball", died on Saturday, June 4, at the age of 80. The two-time national champion head coach is credited with building the Trojans into a national power over his eight-year tenure from 1974-81.

Click here for his complete obituary.

"It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Coach Ernie Hix, a Trojan legend," said current USC men's volleyball head coach Jeff Nygaard. "He singlehandedly grew USC Men's Volleyball from its infancy into an NCAA championship-winning program, and along the way he had a deep impact on those who played for him. I have profound respect and admiration for the Father of USC Men's Volleyball, and I am in awe witnessing his continued impact through the outpouring of love from those who knew him best."

Hix fostered the careers of some of the sport's great players, including All-Americans Tim Hovland, Dusty Dvorak, Celso Kalache and Bob Yoder (pictured left to right with Hix, center, below). He won 73.8% of his matches at USC, with an overall record of 138-49.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made in Hix's name to the USC Men's Volleyball Alumni and Boosters Club, c/o USC Men's Volleyball, Galen Center, 3400 So. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, Calif. 90089-2360.


Polar Pair

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A pair of USC men's tennis players on opposite ends of their Trojan careers received all-conference honors on Tuesday, as senior Max de Vroome earned a spot on the All-Pac-12 First Team and freshman Logan Smith was named Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year. A 2016 USC graduate and Pac-12 All-Academic First Team honoree, de Vroome capped off his collegiate career as a winner both on and off the court. 

Just the second Trojan to be named Pac-12 Men's Newcomer of the Year, Smith finished the year with a 27-13 record playing the majority of the season at the No. 3 singles spot. He earned his place on the Pac-12 Honorable Mention team after his breakout season alongside fellow freshman Jake DeVine and sophomore Thibault Forget. Junior captain Nick Crystal earned All-Pac-12 Second Team honors as well.

De Vroome steadily improved throughout his career at USC, receiving a spot on the Pac-12 Honorable Mention team as a sophomore, the All-Pac-12 Second Team as a junior, and now, the honor of a First Team selection. He was also named the ITA Southwest Region Senior Player of the Year as he helped guide the Trojans to their 10th consecutive NCAA appearance. He wrapped up his USC career with a 28-12 singles record, with an 11-7 mark in dual-match play including a perfect 6-0 record in Pac-12 regular season matches. 


Father's Day Package

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As Father's Day quickly approaches, USC football has the perfect present for every Trojan dad. The Father's Day Package includes two VIP tickets to the home opener, a parking pass, a pregame Coliseum locker room tour, two Marcus Allen bobbleheads and an exclusive USC BBQ spatula.

Click here to purchase!!

Order now and your dad will receive the spatula and a commemorative ticket in time to open on Father's Day. A limited number of packages are available.


Tall Transfer

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USC women's basketball picked up a sizable grad transfer from Kentucky in 6-foot-6 center Ivana Jakubcova, the tallest Trojan since Monica Lamb in 1987.

"We are thrilled to welcome Ivana to USC and our Women of Troy," said USC head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke. "We were looking for size, maturity, and leadership to add to our basketball team. As a graduate transfer, Ivana meets those criteria and then some."

Click here for more.

"Ivana is extremely skilled offensively with range to the 3," Cooper-Dyke continued. "She runs well, and at 6-6 she can help be a rim protector defensively. We are confident she can compete against the extremely skilled bigs we face in the Pac-12 Conference. Ivana also is an excellent scholar and will be pursuing a master's in Applied Psychology here at USC."


USC Reacts to Ali

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The world reacted to the passing of Muhammad Ali this past weekend, and the Trojan Family was no exception. Ali has several ties to USC, including speaking to the football team before the 1999 Notre Dame game and being the father-in-law of All-American WR Curtis Conway.

Here is a sampling of Trojans reacting to the death of an icon:

Fight On Camps: Specialists

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Haralabidis' Heisman

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USC junior Stephania Haralabidis completed her sweep of collegiate water polo's postseason awards on Saturday, becoming the sixth Trojan woman to win the highly-coveted Peter J. Cutino Award, also known as water polo's Heisman Trophy. The three-time All-American, who also won 2016 ACWPC National Player of the Year, MPSF Player of the Year and NCAA Tournament MVP after scoring the game-winning goal in the 2016 National Championship, is the first USC women's honoree since 2010.

The engine of USC's offense this year, Haralabidis tallied 63 total goals en route to the program's second undefeated season. She currently ranks No. 8 all-time in career scoring at USC with 185 goals, after scoring in every game during the 2016 campaign. 

Haralabidis snapped a five-year stretch of Stanford women claiming water polo's most prestigious award, dating back to USC's last winner, Kami Craig, in 2010. The junior joins former USC recipients Craig (2009, 10), Lauren Wenger (2006), Moriah Van Norman (2004), Aniko Pelle (2000) and Bernice Orwig (1999). 

Watch Haralabidis' Cutino Award acceptance speech here...

#USCtotheNFL Top 100

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We're halfway through the NFL Network's annual Top 100 countdown - a ranking of the Top 100 players for the upcoming season chosen by their peers - and two Trojans have earned a spot on the prestigious list. Former USC C Ryan Kalil, who helped carry the Panthers to the Super Bowl, came in at No. 79 while former USC LB Clay Matthews, the anchor of Green Bay's defense, was announced this week at No. 57. 

The linebacker has started and starred for the Packers since he was drafted in the first round in 2009. This season, Matthews posted 66 combined tackles, the highest mark of his career, with one interception and one fumble recovery. 

The starting center for the Panthers for eight years, Kalil earned a spot on his fifth career Pro Bowl team in 2016 as he helped lead the undefeated Panthers to the Super Bowl. His leadership and consistency are praised by opponents and teammates alike, including Patriots defensive tackle Terrance Knighton. 

"He could definitely be one of the top reasons why Cam Newton has had the transition he's had to becoming an elite quarterback," Knighton said in Kalil's Top 100 video.  


Swinging Success

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all-pac-12-oppenheim.jpgUSC baseball landed a trio of power hitters on the All-Pac-12 First Team - DH David Oppenheim, C Jeremy Martinez and OF A.J. Ramirez - after impressive seasons at the heart of the Trojans' offense. Oppenheim, who hit .387, led the way as USC's first conference batting champion since Geoff Jenkins in 1995 and only the fourth since 1978.

Click here for more.

Martinez, who earned Pac-12 honorable mention status as a freshman and sophomore, was bumped up to the first team after a junior campaign in which he hit .376, good for third in the league, 6 HR and 42 RBI. He slugged a team-best .563, while also doing the job behind the plate, throwing out 24-of-54 would-be base stealers and starting all 56 games, including 54 at catcher.

After leading the team in homers as a junior, Ramirez returned for his senior season and doubled down on the feat. He belted a team-leading 9 long balls, while driving in 44 runs and hitting .301.

In all, nine Trojans earned All-Pac-12 honors. Along with the first team selections, Corey Dempster, Brooks Kriske, Marc Huberman, Joe Navilhon, Frankie Rios and Timmy Robinson picked up honorable mention status.

Directors' Cup Contenders

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With the Crosstown Cup safely on display in Heritage Hall, USC Athletics has turned its attention to another trophy with even more prestige. The Trojans are currently third in the standings of the annual Learfield Directors' Cup, which ranks the athletic performance of the nation's 289 Division I athletic departments. 

In 2015, USC finished third - the university's highest mark since the Directors' Cup originated in 1993. This year, the Trojans are looking to surpass that mark after capturing two national championships in the last semester. Currently in fourth behind Stanford, Ohio State and Michigan, USC boasts the best spring resume of any team on the list, totaling 504.75 points in this season alone with national titles in beach volleyball and women's water polo, while also posting Top 10 finishes in women's golf, women's lacrosse and men's tennis. 

The Trojans have 1029 total points, not including top finishes in men's golf and women's rowing, and with opportunities to score more points in men's and women's track & field next week. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 20 sports (10 women's and 10 men's). The final standings will be released on Tuesday, June 14.  

Pair of the Year

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Not much could make the 2016 women's water polo season better for head coach Jovan Vavic and junior captain Stephania Haralabidis, but the announcement on Thursday that the pair, which earlier this year swept MPSF honors for Player and Coach of the Year, claimed the national honors of the same name just might have been the exclamation mark on a perfect year.

The news comes just over two weeks after Vavic and Haralabidis led the Women of Troy to the program's second undefeated regular season and fifth national championship with a nail-biting, 8-7, victory over Stanford. The junior driver was responsible for the heart-stopping, game-winning goal against the Cardinal, and was thereby awarded NCAA Tournament MVP after scoring eight goals in USC's tournament run, including five in the championship game. The National Player of the Year recognition is the most recent of Haralabidis' postseason commendations which include MPSF Player of the Year. After tacking on 63 goals this season, she currently ranks No. 8 on USC's all-time scoring list with 185 total goals in her career. She is USC's fourth National Player of the Year selection. Haralabidis is now a three-time All-American and is a finalist for the Peter J. Cutino Award - considered to be water polo's Heisman Trophy. 

Vavic is now a seven-time National Coach of the Year, the most of any collegiate women's water polo coach. This is the fourth year in which the prestigious coach has won both MPSF and National Coach of the Year honors. His all-time record stands at 513-142 (.783).

Also announced on Thursday, junior Brigitta Games and freshman Amanda Longan earned spots on the All-American First Team, while junior Ioanna Haralabidis made the Second Team and Brianna Daboub and Avery Peterson received honorable mention. 


Keep Pushing

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For the second consecutive season, USC men's golf made a deep postseason run, only to be turned away just shy of the program's first national championship. The Trojans entered match play as the No. 4 seed, defeating No. 5 Vanderbilt, 4-1, in the NCAA quarterfinals, before falling to No. 1 Texas, 4-1, in the national semifinals.

With the loss, USC officially tied for third, giving it its first back-to-back NCAA top 3 finishes since the Trojans came in third three years in a row between 1964-66. USC fell in the NCAA final a year ago.

"We fought hard all day, but we came up a little short," said junior Rico Hoey. "It was a great win in the morning, but we fell a couple matches short of our goal. We have a lot of talent on this team and luckily, no one is leaving, and I think this will make us stronger for next year."

Click here for the recap.

Hoey led the way all tournament long, taking second overall in the individual stroke play event, USC's highest finisher since Jamie Lovemark in 2007. He then won both his points in the match play, including pasting his Longhorn opponent, 6&5.

The Trojans will return their core talent next season, putting them among the favorites to contend for the crown yet again. Along with Hoey, freshman Justin Suh and sophomores Sean Crocker and Jonah Texeira picked up the points in the win over Vanderbilt.

Four More Kickoff Times

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schedule-2016 v2.0.jpgUSC football announced four more kickoff times for the upcoming 2016 season, including an 11 a.m. PT start for the Coliseum opener against Utah State on September 10.

Click here for tickets!

This season's home opener, which will be broadcast live on Pac-12 Network, will be the earliest kickoff time for a Trojan home game on record since 1891. The last time USC began a game before noon at home was the 1998 season opener against Purdue at 11:30 a.m.

After Utah State, the Trojans will hit the road again for their Pac-12 opener at Stanford, a 5 p.m. kickoff on ABC. The following week, USC will travel to Salt Lake City for a Friday night game at Utah, which will kick at 6 p.m. PT (7 p.m. MT) on FS1.

On October 27, the Trojans will host Cal for a Thursday night contest, scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. and be broadcast nationally by ESPN. It will be just the fourth non-holiday Thursday game that Troy has played in the Coliseum.

Click here for more.

Earlier, USC announced that the season opener against Alabama in Arlington, Texas, will kick off at 5 p.m. PT (7 p.m. CT) and be broadcast live on ABC. Start times and televising networks for USC's remaining seven games will be made 6-to-12 days in advance of each contest.
The complete 2017 College Football Hall of Fame induction ballot was announced on Wednesday and the list includes three Trojans in Mark Carrier, Matt Leinart and first-time nominee Troy Polamalu. 

Polamalu terrorized opposing offenses in his career as a three-year starter at strong safety for the Trojans. A two-time First Team All-American, he tallied 278 tackles, six interceptions, 13 deflections and two fumble recoveries from 1999 to 2002 before being selected in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The safety announced his retirement in April of 2015, so this year's ballot marks the first year Polamalu is eligible for induction. 

A two-time First Team All-American (1988-89) and 1989 Jim Thorpe Award winner, Mark Carrier is regarded as one of the best defensive backs in USC's history. Carrier had seven interceptions in 1989, plus 107 tackles and 10 pass deflections. The safety was added to the College Football Hall of Fame ballot in 2012. 

Leinart was USC's second three-time First Team All-American, leading the Trojans to three consecutive national championship games and winning back-to-back national titles in 2003 and 2004. The 2004 Heisman Trophy winner was 37-2 as a starter and set 16 school records in his career. This is the quarterback's second year on the ballot. 

In total, the ballot includes 75 players and six coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision. The announcement of the 2017 Class will be made on January 6, 2017 in Tampa, Florida, three days before the CFP National Championship.