November 2016 Archives


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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.

Darnold MAnning.jpg

Kickin' It With Keidane - Week 15

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On Friday, USC women's soccer will compete in its first Final Four game since 2007. The Trojans face another two-seed in Georgetown at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, CA at 4:30 p.m. Head coach Keidane McAlpine broke down the Hoyas' strengths and his team's attitude over the last few weeks in the latest episode of Kickin' It With Keidane.

#USCHero: Ramon Inzunza

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On Saturday during USC's game vs. Notre Dame, USC honored Ramon Inzunza, a 19-year Marine Corps and Navy veteran.

Inzunza began his career in the U.S. Marine Corps and has served as an aviation operations chief. He was deployed overseas on operations such as Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

For his service, Inzunza has earned five Navy and Marine Corps achievement medals and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal. USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann presented him with a USC Medal of Courage on Saturday.


Andrews for Hermann

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USC women's soccer midfielder Morgan Andrews was named a semifinalist for the 2016 MAC Hermann Trophy today.

Click here for the full release!

The MAC Hermann Trophy is the most coveted individual honor in NCAA D-I soccer, honoring the most outstanding intercollegiate performance in men's and women's soccer each year since 1967.

Andrews has scored 9 goals this season, including 4 game-winners. She earned three multi-goal performances, most recently scoring 2 in USC's first-round NCAA game against Eastern Washington. The Milford, NH native, who transferred to USC from Notre Dame before the 2015 season, earned Pac-12 first team honors the last two years, and was named the third-best player in the nation by TopDrawer Soccer midway through the 2016 season.

Andrews is just the third Trojan to ever be named a semifinalist for soccer's version of the Heisman (Amy Rodriguez in 2008, Kristin Olsen in 2009). Past winners of the award include U.S. soccer standouts Morgan Brian, Crystal Dunn, Christen Press, Kelley O'Hara and Mia Hamm.

Three finalists will be chosen from the pool of 15 semifinalists on Dec. 14 and the winner will be announced on Jan. 6, 2017. Before that, Andrews and the Women of Troy will take on Georgetown in the Final Four in San Jose, CA. Should USC beat the Hoyas this Friday, the team will play in the national championship on Sunday at 3 p.m. Both games will be televised on ESPNU.

Morgan Andrews.jpg

2016 #USCtotheNFL Week 12

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The NFL's Trojans have been key to their team's success all season, especially now as teams make a late playoff push. Don't forget to vote your favorite Trojans into the Pro Bowl by clicking here!

barkley-nfl.jpgThe Best

Matt Barkley earned a number of firsts on Sunday when he suited up for the Bears. In his first NFL start, he threw his first career TD and nearly led a game-winning comeback. The fourth-year QB finished with a career-high 316 yards and 3 TD. He had a chance for a fourth, as he led the Bears down the field to set up a first-and-goal with 47 seconds to go, but two end zone drops by his receivers cost Chicago the game. Still, Barkley impressed his teammates and coaches and proved himself a capable leader on the field and in the locker room.

The Best of the Rest

Rhett Ellison, TE, Vikings - 1 reception, 21 yards

Everson Griffen, DE, Vikings - 1 tackle, 1 QB hit

Su'a Cravens, S/LB, Redskins - 2 tackles

Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals - 289 pass yards, 2 TD

Frostee Rucker, DT, Cardinals - 3 tackles

Josh Shaw, CB, Bengals - 6 tackles

Shareece Wright, CB, Ravens - 4 tackles

Marqise Lee, WR, Jaguars - Team-high 4 receptions and 37 yards, 1 TD

Nickell Robey-Coleman, CB, Bills - 1 tackle, 1 pass defended

Kevon Seymour, CB, Bills - 1 pass defended, 1 special teams tackle

Jurrell Casey, DT, Titans - 4 tackles

Devon Kennard, LB, Giants - 3 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 fumble recovery

Brian Cushing, LB, Texans - 7 tackles, 1 TFL

T.J. McDonald, S, Rams - 7 tackles, 1 pass defended

George Farmer, RB, Seahawks - First career reception (4 yards)

Leonard Williams, DE, Jets - 2 tackles, 1 QB hit

Wes Horton, DE, Panthers - 1 tackle, 1 QB hit

Malcolm Smith, LB, Raiders - 7 tackles, 1 QB hit

Clay Matthews, LB, Packers - 4 tackles, 1 sack

Nick Perry, LB, Packers - 3 tackles, 1 sack, 1 pass defended

Click here to learn more about Eat the Ball!

Jackson, Darnold Headline All-Pac-12 Team

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IMG_7231.JPGUSC DB Adoree' Jackson was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and QB Sam Darnold was named the Pac-12 Offensive Freshman Player of the Year to headline the Trojans' conference honors announced today.

Click here for the full release!

Jackson made the conference's first team at both DB and RS, and became USC's seventh Defensive Player of the Year winner and first since Rey Maualuga in 2008. He ranks third in the Pac-12 in passes defended (15) and second in interceptions (4). He leads the conference in both punt return average  (15.9) and kickoff return average (30.5).

Jackson is joined by offensive linemen Zach Banner and Chad Wheeler on the conference's first team. Banner and Wheeler, the two senior starters on USC's offensive line, led a unit that allowed the fewest sacks in the Pac-12 this year (11).

Banner, Wheeler and Damien Mama, who earned second-team honors, helped pave the way for USC's two other second-team offensive players: RB Ronald Jones II (1,027 rush yards, 12 total TD) and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (781 receiving yards, 9 TD).

LB Cam Smith (79 tackles, 7 TFL, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery) and NT Stevie Tu'ikolovatu (45 tackles, 2 TFL) also earned spots on the Pac-12 second team.

QB Sam Darnold was named the Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year for giving the Trojans the "spark" they were looking for. He is 8-1 as a starter and leads the nation's freshmen in completion pct (68.1), TD passes (26) and passing efficiency (161.01). Those 26 TD are a USC freshman record. Darnold is USC's fifth player to win this award, and the first since Marqise Lee in 2011.

Darnold also earned Pac-12 honorable mention, along with DL Rasheem Green, LB Porter Gustin, S Chris Hawkins, LB Michael Hutchings, TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe, CB Iman Marshal, S Leon McQuay III and WR Darreus Rogers.

Trojan Family Fitness

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If you still need help burning off your Thanksgiving dinner, Equinox South Bay, located in Hawthorne, is here to help. The fitness club is offering a free rooftop boot camp on Dec. 10 at 9:30 a.m. for Trojans only! Learn more about Equinox here and click here to RSVP to the event!


Trojan Wish - John Aspra

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On Saturday, USC's Trojan Wish program hosted John Aspra at the Trojan football team's regular season finale vs. Notre Dame.

Aspra was recently diagnosed with Brachial Amyotrophic Diplegia, a rare form of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). He operates a catering company called "Epicurean Cowboy" up in Santa Barbara, and came down for the game. Since his diagnosis, he has used his platform to raise awareness for ALS through his "Conversations with the Epicurean Cowboy" series.

This weekend, Aspra met the Song Girls and Athletic Director Lynn Swann, and watched the team run out of the tunnel prior to the start of the game. Despite the rain, Aspra enjoyed USC's 45-27 win over Notre Dame.


Two Trojans Named All-Conference

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Khalia Lanier and Elise Ruddins of USC women's volleyball were named to the 2016 All-Conference team, the Pac-12 announced today.

Click here for the full release!

Ruddins, a senior middle blocker, led the Pac-12 in hitting percentage (.421) and ranked ninth in the conference in blocks (1.12 per set). She earned honorable mention as a junior and upped her game to land on the All-Pac-12 team for the first time in her career.

Lanier, a freshman outside hitter, ranked third in the conference in kills (4.01 per set) and points (4.44 per set). She led all conference freshmen in both categories, also earning a spot on the All-Freshman team.

Sophomore outside hitter Alyse Ford also earned honorable mention. She finished second on the team in scoring (2.93 points per set) and kills (2.69 per set).

Ruddins, Lanier, Ford and the Women of Troy face Hawai'i in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday at 2:30 p.m. PT in at the Sports Pavilion at the University of Minnesota.


Ugly Sweater Season

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To celebrate Cyber Monday, USC Athletics is offering a special package for men's basketball's next home game vs. Troy on Dec. 17.

Trojan fans can purchase one ticket and an ugly holiday sweater for just $25 total. The sweaters range from size small to XXL.

USC men's basketball is off to its best start in over a decade, winning its first six games of the season. The team will host Troy on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Click here to purchase a ticket package!


Adoree' Awarded for Outstanding Game

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Adoree' Jackson was named the Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week and the Rose Bowl Pac-12 Player of the Week for his efforts against Notre Dame on Saturday.

The junior co-captain scored a 55-yard punt return touchdown, a 52-yard receiving touchdown and a 97-yard kickoff return touchdown to lead the Trojans to a 45-27 victory.

No college football player had scored on a punt return and a kickoff return in the same game this season, let alone a reception as well. Jackson is just the third player to accomplish all three in a game since 2000.

He is now tied for second in the nation this season with 2 punt return TDs and 2 kickoff return TDs. He ranks fourth in punt return average (15.9) and sixth in kickoff return average (30.5).

Jackson now has 15 career touchdowns at USC: 6 receptions, 4 punt returns, 4 kickoff returns and an interception return.

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Trojan of the Game vs. ND: Adoree' Jackson

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In the easiest decision of the season, the Trojan Family voted Adoree' Jackson the Mercury Insurance Trojan of the Game for his remarkable performance against Notre Dame. He scored touchdowns as a receiver, punt returner and kick returner, becoming only the third player in the nation since 2000 to hit that trifecta in one game.


Volleyball Goes Dancing

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USC women's volleyball earned its 26th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament this year after posting an 18-13 record in the regular season.

Click here for the full release!

The NCAA selected the The Women of Troy for an at-large berth, so they will face Hawai'i in the first round of the tournament at the Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis on Friday. The last time USC faced Hawai'i, the Trojans escaped with a 3-2 win in the Aloha State.

USC will have a tougher road in the tournament than last year, when it earned the No. 1 overall seed before being upset by Kansas in the regional championship match.

Follow the team on Twitter for more information!


SooHoo Gallery: USC vs. Notre Dame

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The rainy November day and Adoree' Jackson's brilliance made for some classic USC - Notre Dame photos courtesy of Jon SooHoo.

Final Four Bound

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DSC_0467 (1).JPGUSC women's soccer earned a trip to the NCAA Final Four this weekend by beating Auburn for the second time this season.

Click here for the full recap!

The Trojans scored the only goal of the game in the fourth minute, as Alex Anthony headed Julia Bingham's cross into the net past an Auburn keeper who had an incredible day otherwise, stopping numerous one-on-one chances.

The Tigers' Sarah Le Beau and USC's Sammy Jo Prudhomme each racked up 6 saves in the game. Prudhomme's efforts helped USC earn its 15th shutout of the season, a school record. The Trojans' .652 shutout percentage this year ranks eighth in the nation and No. 1 in the Pac-12.

With the win, USC advanced to the second Final Four in program history. The last time the Trojans appeared in the national semifinals was 2007, when the team won it all.

The Trojans are slotted to play Georgetown on Friday at 4:30 p.m. in San Jose, CA. UNC and West Virginia will duke it out on the other side of the bracket for a spot in the championship game.

Hoops Still Undefeated in 2016

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USC men's basketball beat UC Santa Barbara, 96-72, last night to improve to 6-0 on the season.

Click here for the full recap!

All five starters scored in double figures for USC to rack up the highest point total of the season so far. Sophomore captain Bennie Boatwright led the way, netting 21 points on 5-of-11 shooting from behind the arc.

More than half of USC's shots in the game came from behind the three-point line, as the Trojans connected on 14-of-35 3s in the game. It was the most three-pointers the Trojans had made in a game since Jan. 24, 2013, when they scored 18 against Arizona State.

Despite criticizing his team for allowing UCSB to score easily in the paint, head coach Andy Enfield praised captain Jordan McLaughlin for running the game nearly flawlessly. McLaughlin finished with 13 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds on a night when the Trojans racked up a season-high 26 assists on 33 made FGs.

USC is off to its best start since the 2000-01 season, when the team won its first eight games.

Next up for the Trojans is a trip to San Diego to take on the USD Toreros on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Women of Troy off to 5-1 Start

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USC women's basketball beat Long Beach State, 82-74, last night, in its first home game since winning the Great Alaska Shootout.

Click here for the full recap!

A pair of freshmen were key in securing the victory, as Minyon Moore led all scorers with 23 points and Valerie Higgins added 10 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Aside from the two young guns, junior Kristen Simon contributed her third straight double-double, with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Through six games, Simon leads the team with 14.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, while Moore leads the team in assists (5.2 per game) and steals (2.8 per game).

The Trojans were up 7 at halftime, but pulled away in the third quarter. Using a 17-0 run, USC went up 58-43. The 49ers cut into the big lead, but the Trojans secured an 8-point win in the end.

Next up for USC is a 9 a.m. PT tilt with Texas A&M in College Station on Wednesday.

USC vs. Notre Dame Wrap-Up

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USC beat Notre Dame, 45-27, on Saturday to round out an undefeated 2016 home slate. The Trojans now wait to learn their bowl game fate.

McGillen Galleries: Notre Dame

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On a rare rainy day in L.A., the Trojans electrified the atmosphere with a 45-27 win over Notre Dame. Team photographer John McGillen captured all three of Adoree' Jackson's touchdowns and countless other memorable moments:

6-Points: USC 45, Notre Dame 27

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The Trojans finish the regular season by winning their eighth consecutive game, securing the Shillelagh to go along with the Victory Bell.

Click here for the recap and final stats.

Click here for the post-game press conference.

Adoree.jpgShow Stopper

In the long history of the USC - Notre Dame rivalry, this game may not go down as a classic, but the fans on both sides will always remember Adoree' Jackson's performance. "Marvel ought to make him a superhero character," said USC head coach Clay Helton about his electrifying junior. "The guy made 21 points today for us." Jackson accounted for a game-high 291 all-purpose yards, including a 52-yard TD catch, a 55-yard punt return touchdown and a 97-yard kickoff return for six. "That's an incredible player right there," said CB Ajene Harris about his teammate. "I wish I had the speed that he has."

Sack Lunch

Defensively, the Trojans cut the head off the snake by constantly attacking Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer. "We had to give him different looks and kind of mix up the picture for him and get him a little confused because if you let him sit there, he'll eat you alive," said senior LB Michael Hutchings. The Trojans racked up a season-high six sacks led by 1.5 from team-leader Porter Gustin. The USC defense also continued its tremendous efficiency on third down, limiting the Fighting Irish to 5 of 17.

Wet and Wild

Halfway through the second quarter, the normally blue Southern California skies turned dark, gray and grim, unloading wind and rain on the Coliseum. The Trojans embraced the chaos, dancing and exhorting the crowd. "It's just an energetic team," said Harris. "It's really good to see everyone energetic on the sideline and helping our team out on the field." The sideline excitement galvanized the Trojans leading directly to Jackson's punt return for a touchdown and then Harris stepping in front of a Kizer pass for his first career pick-six. "I am the biggest fan of non-offensive touchdowns on the face of the earth right now," said Helton, who got three of them on a day when moving the ball was made difficult by the conditions.

Running Room

The USC offense continues to be crafted into the mold that Helton imagined when he took over the team last season. The Trojans offensive line "owned the line of scrimmage" and paved the way for another huge afternoon on the ground. Sophomore RB Ronald Jones II ran for 134 yards and a TD on 16 carries. USC topped 200 yards rushing as a team for the fourth time in the last five games. "We were just able to get them reached, a lot of wide zone and a lot of big yards," said senior RT Zach Banner. "I couldn't be more proud of my offensive line."

Senior Salute

The USC senior class has been "through thick and hell" as Banner said, so winning back-to-back rivalry games was a satisfying end to their final regular season. "I stayed out there as long as I could, just soaking the moment in," said Hutchings. "Now that we won and we did our job, I had time to really relax and take it all in and know that I won't be coming back here for awhile." USC's draft-eligible juniors, namely JuJu Smith-Schuster and Jackson, were serenaded by chants of "one more year" from the crowd as the Trojan Family hopes that they have also not seen the last of that dynamic duo padded up in the Coliseum. 

Waiting Game

USC went undefeated in October and November to close the season on an eight-game winning streak, but the sins of September ultimately doomed the Trojans. Utah was unable to beat Colorado, making the Buffaloes the Pac-12 South champions. While USC beat both teams in the Pac-12 Championship Game, the Trojans will be relegated to spectators on Friday night. "We know we have at least one more game. We've got a bowl game," said Banner. USC will find out its postseason destination on Sunday, December 4.

Here are the highlights from USC's final home game of 2016:

Trojans Beat The Irish on Senior Day

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Trojans Beat the Irish on Senior Day

Trojans Top Mustangs to Stay Undefeated

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Trojans Top Mustangs to Stay Undefeated

2016 Game 12: USC vs. Notre Dame

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-7) at No. 12 USC Trojans (8-3)

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at 12:30 p.m. PT on ABC and WatchESPN

635869225441167708-kizer.jpegIrish to Watch: Junior QB DeShone Kizer

While the Fighting Irish have had a dreadful season, Kizer has kept them in every game. He is a big time talent who could be a star at the next level. Kizer has thrown 24 TDs to only 8 INTs, averaging 246 yards per game. He is also ND's second-leading rusher, accounting for 509 yards and 7 TDs on the ground. The matchup between Kizer and Sam Darnold will be one to watch over the next two seasons.

Click here for more on the Fighting Irish.

3 Keys

No Luck

While Notre Dame is 4-7, the Fighting Irish have lost all seven games by eight points or less. They obviously have been deficient in closing games, but the Trojans will not want to rely on that curse to continue. Two years ago, Notre Dame dragged itself to Los Angeles at the end of a trying campaign, and USC jumped on the Irish early and they went away. The Trojans would be wise to employ the same strategy because Brian Kelly's team would love nothing more than to spoil its rival's season if USC lets Notre Dame hang around.

For the Old Guys

For 14 USC seniors, Saturday's run out of the Coliseum tunnel will be their last in the Cardinal and Gold. Given everything that many of them have been through, they deserve to go out on top. "It's kind of funny that I say this finally in my senior year, this is what I came to USC for," said senior RB Justin Davis about finishing his career on a winning streak. "Being a part of this as my senior year, I could not ask for anything more." While even brighter days are ahead for this program, the seniors deserve one more day to savor the sun.

The Task at Hand

The Trojans have been in "playoff mode" for the last two months, battling back in the Pac-12 to put themselves in position to win the South if Utah beats Colorado on Saturday. The Notre Dame result will have no bearing on USC's hopes to win the division, so the Trojans are faced with a mental test of focusing on the game in front of them. It should help that the Irish are arguably USC's greatest rival and nearly every contributor on this team tasted defeat last year in South Bend. The Trojans have displayed excellent mental toughness during this seven-game winning streak, but they need to dip into that well one more time.

Notre Dame Thursday: Notes

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The Trojans enjoyed an hour long practice on Thanksgiving morning before heading to a local church to serve dinner.
  • USC is as healthy as can be expected after three months of football. Head coach Clay Helton expects CB Jonathan Lockett and DL Josh Fatu to return to action this week.
  • Here is Helton's final press conference of the week on giving thanks, his ideal Thanksgiving meal and more:

Notre Dame Wednesday: Notes

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The Trojans will practice on Thanksgiving morning before dispersing to be with family and friends for the holiday feast.
  • USC is getting healthier at just the right time. Head coach Clay Helton said that WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, DL Stevie Tu'ikolovatu and DL Josh Fatu were all back at practice.
  • USC_Football_Washington_McGillen_11122016_1890.jpgUSC's seniors will be honored on Saturday before the game. Helton is extremely appreciative of this veteran group which has experienced a ton of adversity over the last four years. "This class has been the ultimate in battle-tested," said Helton. "They've done a terrific job through the high times and the lows and stayed even keeled. And now they have a chance to do something really special down the stretch here."
  • While DT Stevie Tu'ikolovatu is a senior, he's only been at USC for one year, so he does not expect to be quite as emotional as some of his teammates. But, he has had his eye on this opponent for a while. "I am just excited to play against Notre Dame," said the Utah grad transfer. "I have never played against them before. They have the reputation of having good offensive linemen. I'm excited for the challenge."
  • After the game, all Trojan eyes will be on Utah and Colorado as USC's Pac-12 South fate hangs in the balance. "They said they were going to take care of Colorado for us," reported Tu'ikolovatu, who spoke to his former teammates on Sunday. "I think they'll do a good job against Colorado and get us in a position that we need to be in. Everybody here in LA will be happy."
  • While the Trojans want another shot at the Pac-12 Championship Game, they know that they have to focus on the task at hand first, which is beating Notre Dame. "We've just got to play like we have everything to lose because we do have everything to lose and they don't have anything to lose," Tu'ikolovatu said. "We can't let them come in and ruin our season."
  • Over this improbable seven-game winning streak, USC has bonded together when outsiders were suggesting that the Trojans would break apart. "This month of November, we're playing as together as a team probably since I've been here," said Helton, who is in his seventh year coaching at USC. "It just feels like all three phases are playing together extremely well and leaning on each other."
  • While the stars have aligned for the Trojans over a perfect October and so far immaculate November, Helton's word of the week is "finish."
  • Here is Helton on a cold and windy night in Los Angeles:

#FightOnForever: Jack Beckner

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Three-time Olympic gymnast John "Jack" Beckner, who won three NCAA individual titles at USC and then coached the Trojan men to their only NCAA team title, died on Nov. 16 at the age of 86.

Click here for the complete obituary.

A transfer from Los Angeles City College (where he won the 1950 national junior college all-around and parallel bars titles), he captured the NCAA all-around championship as a USC senior in 1952, as well as the parallel bars title in both 1951 and 1952. He received both a bachelor's and master's degree from USC.

He was the first Trojan (along with Charlie Simms) to land a berth on the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team. He participated in 3 Olympics (1952, 1956 and 1960), helping the U.S. to Top 8 finishes each year (including fifth in 1960 and sixth in 1956). He was seventh in the 1956 Olympics horizontal bars and vault events.

Beckner, John (from yearbook).jpg

Meet Chris Tilbey

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USC_Football_2016_ASU_McGillen_d500_1612.jpgName: Chris Tilbey

Position: Punter

Class: RS Sophomore

Size: 6-foot-5, 205 lbs.

Age: 22

Last College: San Francisco CC

Game: With a background in Australian rules football, a sport in which the most efficient way to move the ball is an accurate punt-like kick to a teammate, Tilbey has excelled at directional punting this season. His ability to pin the ball inside the 20 has extinguished USC opponents' hopes at returning punts. USC is tied for second in the nation with only 4 punt return plays allowed and sixth in the nation with a total of 18 punt return yards allowed all year.

Prep Career: As a freshman at San Francisco City College in 2014, Tilbey played punter and tight end. He averaged 39.4 yards on 54 punts, with 19 pinning opponents inside the 20-yard line, 9 being fair caught and 3 going for touchbacks. In high school, he played Australian rules football, basketball and cricket.

Clay Helton on Tilbey: "We've got one of the better punters in our league right now that can place the ball with Chris Tilbey."

Fun Fact: Tilbey is the only Trojan football letterman ever born in Australia.

Here is Tilbey on the path that led him to USC, special teams coach John Baxter and how he's come to love the Trojan Family:

New Compliance Head

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USC vice president for athletic compliance Dave Roberts is stepping down after more than six years in his current position, and he will be replaced by Michael Blanton, USC president Max Nikias announced. Roberts (pictured) will continue on as a special advisor to the president's office for two years.

Blanton comes to USC after 20 years of practicing law, including as a partner in the law firm of Hill, Farrer & Burrill LLP the last five years. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from USC back in 1997.

Blanton reports directly to Dickey, the senior vice president for administration, and will be responsible for managing all aspects of USC's compliance program. He will work closely with athletic director Lynn Swann, the Pac-12 and the NCAA to continue USC's "culture of compliance" which was exemplary under Roberts' leadership.


Livin' the Dream

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When Nick Young was at USC, he would constantly watch Kobe Bryant tapes before games to prepare. Now, he is the one hitting game-winning shots for the Lakers.

So swaggy!!! @swaggyp1 gets it done in the clutch for the @lakers. #USCtotheNBA

A video posted by USC Men's Basketball (@uschoops) on

Shoe-In for Notre Dame

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USC football is partnerning with the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work to conduct a sneaker drive dedicated to tackling homelessness.

Head coach Clay Helton and his wife, Angela, have begun to work on a multi-faceted initiative to help members of the homeless community in Los Angeles. In the month of November, their goal is to collect 5,000 pairs of sneakers, with a special emphasis on large men's sneakers.

"There are so many misconceptions about the homeless," Angela said. "Many people are working and doing the best they can for their children. Clay and I wanted to help. We wanted to do our part."


Leventhal Stat of the Week - Notre Dame

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The USC-Notre Dame rivalry is one of the most prolific in all of college football. The two schools are rich in history and accomplishment --- both owning 11 national titles and sitting in the Top 10 in all-time wins and winning percentage.

The impressive caliber of these two programs extends to the NFL as well. USC and Notre Dame have both had five players selected No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft, a record among college football programs. The 12 Pro Football Hall of Famers that each school can claim also lead all programs.

Saturday's game will be yet another matchup of NFL-bound talent. Click here for tickets!


Trojans Rout Privateers

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Five Trojans scored in double figures to lead USC to an 88-54 win over New Orleans last night.

Click here for the full recap!

For the first time this year, USC shot out to an early lead and never trailed, ultimately improving to 4-0 on the season. Junior guard Elijah Stewart's 21 points paced the Trojans, who made a season-high 11 threes. Stewart, Shaqquan Aaron and Jonah Mathews hit three 3s each to set the team's three-point clip at 44.0 percent.

Captain Jordan McLaughlin (11 points, 9 assists) and newcomer De'Anthony Melton (10 points, 5 steals) also made a big impact for the Trojans, who had a season-high 42 points at the half and finished with a season-high 88.

The Trojans carried a 30-point lead throughout a large portion of the second half, which allowed freshman Harrison Henderson his first extended playing time of the season. Sam Dhillon, Kurt Karis and Devin Fleming also made an appearance.

Despite the impressive final score, Stewart praised the team's defense more than its offense. "No one is shooting well right now," he said. "We're stopping teams on defense. That's our strong suit this year. Our offense will come."

Notre Dame Tuesday: Notes

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Written by Max Holm, USC blog contributor 

With one win against a rival under their belts, the Trojans turned their attention to a Saturday match up with Notre Dame.
  • USC_Football_UCLA_Rose_Bowl_McGillen_2016_1812.jpgHead coach Clay Helton updated the state of injuries on the team. Josh Fatu, Adoree' Jackson and Jonathan Lockett returned to practice. The team continued to be cautious with both Stevie Tu'ikolovatu and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Chad Wheeler continues dealing with a wrist sprain and "Pie" Young is still under concussion protocol.
  • USC is preparing for a big rivalry game against the Irish, but it'll also have Senior Day on Saturday, as some Trojans will play their last home game at the Coliseum. Darreus Rogers reflected on his upcoming final game at home after practice.
  • "My last one in the Coli means a lot. I'm trying to leave a legacy for my last game," said Rogers. "It's a sad moment for me, but I'm looking forward to it. I'm trying to have fun." Seniors like Rogers will have a chance to cement great careers by ending the year with wins against both UCLA and Notre Dame.
  • Underclassmen, like Ronald Jones II, are also looking forward to the game, to not just keep up the win streak but also for the older guys on the team. "We want to get this win for the seniors, guys like JD, Zach, all the seniors. We want to have not just the Victory Bell, but the Shillelagh too."
  • The Trojans will be facing a Notre Dame team that is under .500, but Helton emphasized that they must stay focused. "Their record does not match the personnel that's on the field," said Helton. "When you look at the full story you see a very dangerous team. You see a team that's 4-7, but you also see a team that's lost six games by seven points or less."
  • Even though USC cannot control its own destiny in the race for the Pac-12 South - they'll have to await the result of Colorado's game against Utah - Helton stressed how important this game is. "We have so much to play for in this game. We had set a goal to be remembered in November. Now we look up and we could have an undefeated October and November," said Helton. "I don't think that's been done here since 2008."
  • Watch Helton's full press conference here:

Track Stars in the Making

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USC track & field signed six young women and two young men to National Letters of Intent for 2017, Director of Track & Field Caryl Smith Gilbert announced today.

Click here for the full release!

Women's sprinters Lauren Rain Williams, Twanisha Terry and Kaelin Roberts, women's hurdlers Chanel Brissett and Shante Robinson, women's hammer thrower Joy McArthur and men's sprinters Nick Moore and Zach Shinnick make up the Class of 2017 so far.

McArthur, Moore, Roberts, Robinson, Shinnick and Williams are in-state kids, while Brissett comes from Wyncote, PA and Terry comes from Miami, FL.

Men's Water Polo Earns MPSF Honors

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firstteam-soccerArtboard 1-3.jpgMPSF.jpgAfter posting a 23-1 record heading into NCAAs, USC men's water polo racked up numerous MPSF honors today.

Click here for the full release!

Head coach Jovan Vavic was named the MPSF Coach of the Year for the seventh time in his career for helping his team usurp UCLA as the nation's No. 1 squad and earn its 12th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

Freshman Matt Maier earned MPSF Newcomer of the Year honors for scoring 18 goals and also earned an honorable mention from the conference.

Goalie McQuin Baron, driver Matteo Morelli and driver Grant Stein earned first-team all-conference honors. Baron has posted 221 saves so far this season to move up to No. 2 in USC's career saves rankings. Morelli posted 34 goals and Stein netted 31.

USC's Edwards brothers both landed on the MPSF Second Team. It was the second such honor for both Blake and Lachlan. Three more Trojans also earned honorable mention: Nick Bell, James Walters and Marin Dasic.

USC's nine players honored were more than any other school in the conference can claim and are the most players USC has ever had make the conference honor roll.

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Sights and Sounds: USC vs. UCLA

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The Trojans eliminated the rivalry hype and focused on picking up their seventh consecutive victory.

Here are the Sights and Sounds from USC vs. UCLA at the Coliseum:

2016 #USCtotheNFL Week 11

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Following USC's win over UCLA on Saturday night, the Trojans in the NFL represented the Cardinal and Gold proudly, with a few of them having their best games of the season.

Don't forget to vote for your favorite Trojans for the 2017 NFL Pro Bowl!

lee-nfl.jpgThe Best

Jaguars receiver Marqise Lee hauled in 4 receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown on Sunday for his first score of the season. He also added a 42-yard kick return on his big day. Lee is second on the team with 544 yards this year. He leads the Jaguars with 241 yards after catch.

The Best of the Rest

Nickell Robey-Coleman, CB, Bills - 3 tackles, 1 pass defended

Kevon Seymour, CB, Bills - 2 tackles, 1 pass defended

Robert Woods, WR, Bills - 3 receptions for 41 yards before leaving game with injury

Josh Shaw, CB, Bengals - 3 tackles

Shareece Wright, CB, Ravens - 7 tackles, 2 passes defended

Jurrell Casey, DT, Titans - 3 receptions, 1 pass defended

Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals - 20-of-38 for 198 yards and 2 TD

Frostee Rucker, DT, Cardinals - 4 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 QB hit

Everson Griffen, DE, Vikings - 2 tackles, 3 QB hits

Devon Kennard, LB, Giants - 4 tackles

T.J. McDonald, S, Rams - 3 tackles, 1 QB hit

Nick Perry, LB, Packers - 4 tackles, 1 sack

Su'a Cravens, S/LB, Redskins - 5 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 pass defended

Malcolm Smith, LB, Raiders - 10 tackles, 1 INT

Click here to check out Eat The Ball!

Trojans Live: Notre Dame Preview

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Coming off one rivalry game and going into another, Trojans Live was football heavy on Monday night.

Head coach Clay Helton broke down the win over UCLA and previewed Saturday's contest with Notre Dame, while also making a plea for fans to participate in the Sneaker Drive.

Click here to watch Helton on Trojans Live.

Sophomore WR Deontay Burnett told the story of his rise from lightly recruited blue shirt to a dependable target for Sam Darnold.

Click here to watch Burnett on Trojans Live.

And finally, RB Justin Davis will run out of the Coliseum tunnel for the final time on Saturday, which is a thought that he cannot wrap his head around.

Kickin' It With Keidane - Week 14

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USC women's soccer earned two NCAA Tournament wins this weekend to advance to the program's first Elite 8 since 2007. The Trojans beat Texas A&M in PKs and edged Utah in a 1-0 nail-biter to move on.

Head coach Keidane McAlpine sat down to preview this Friday's matchup with Auburn, a team USC beat 2-0 earlier this season. Check out the latest episode of Kickin' It With Keidane:

Outstanding Offensive Line

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USC's offensive line was named a semifinalist for the 2016 Joe Moore Award, given annually to the top offensive line unit in college football.

The Trojan offensive line, comprising LT Chad Wheeler, LG Damien Mama, C Nico Falah, RG Viane Talamaivao and RT Zach Banner (with occasional help from Chris Brown, Jordan Simmons and Chuma Edoga) was one of 18 units to make the semifinals.

USC has allowed 11 sacks in 11 games, tied for ninth in the nation and tops in the Pac-12. USC is fifth in the nation in sack percentage, only allowing a sack on 2.82% of QB drop backs this year.

The offensive line has helped the offense gain an average of 474.1 yards per game and 207.3 rush yards per game.

The unit has also given freshman QB Sam Darnold ample time to throw, helping him connect on 68.3 percent of his passes, which is second-best in the Pac-12 and No. 1 among all freshmen in the nation.

The Joe Moore Award will name its finalists on Nov. 29.


MVP McQuin

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After leading his team to the title, USC men's water polo goalie McQuin Baron was named the MVP of the MPSF Tournament yesterday.

Click here for the full release!

Baron racked up 33 saves in two games this weekend (16 vs. Stanford, 17 vs. UCLA) to lead his team to two victories. His efforts made him the first Trojan named top dog at the tournament since Nikola Vavic in 2013.

While Baron was named the tournament's top goalie, his teammates Nick Bell and Blake Edwards also made the MPSF All-Tournament Team. Bell scored once against Penn State Behrend and twice against UCLA. Edwards, who also made the all-tournament team last season, scored one goal in each game.

Thanks to their tournament win, the Trojans earned a spot in the NCAA semifinals, which take place on Dec. 3 in Berkeley, CA.


Clay Helton Q&A: Notre Dame

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USC head coach Clay Helton has his Trojans on a seven-game win streak and in position to win the Pac-12 South, with a little help from Utah. Yesterday, he sat down to discuss what he wants to improve upon from the UCLA game, Notre Dame's strengths, and more:

Poly Pride

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USC WR JuJu Smith-Schuster was named a finalist for the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award today, a nice surprise on his 20th birthday.

The award is given annually to the most outstanding Polynesian player in college football who epitomizes great ability and integrity. Smith-Schuster, who is of Samoan ancestry, was chosen as one of five finalists from a watch list of nearly 40 players.

Smith-Schuster leads the Trojans with 58 catches for 758 receiving yards and 8 TD this season. This year, he moved up to No. 6 in USC's all-time receptions rankings.

The Long Beach, CA native aims to become just the third ever recipient of the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award, which was given inaugurally to Oregon QB Marcus Mariota in 2014 and to Notre Dame OT Ronnie Stanley in 2015.

The winner of the award will be announced on Dec. 8 and will be honored at the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend on Jan. 20-21 in Oahu, Hawai'i.


Rainy Rose Cup

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USC Trojan Outreach and the women's tennis team partnered up to host the fifth annual Rose Cup on Sunday to benefit USC's Norris Cancer Center.

Women's tennis raised $4,000 to fund breast cancer research this year. Due to the rare heavy rain, the tennis tournament portion of the event was canceled, but nearly 100 USC student-athletes and staff members got together to eat lunch and celebrate the generosity of donors.

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Jackson to Atlanta

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USC CB Adoree' Jackson has been named a finalist for the 2016 Thorpe Award and will travel to Atlanta for the College Football Awards on Dec. 8.

Jackson is one of three finalists for the nation's best defensive back award along with Michigan's Jourdan Lewis and LSU's Tre'Davious White. Jackson has 49 tackles on the season, including 2 TFL. He leads the team with 4 interceptions, 9 passes broken up and 13 passes defended.

Two of those interceptions came against UW QB Jake Browning, who only had 3 INT on the season heading into the game. Jackson also snagged an eye-popping INT that swung the momentum in USC's favor.

Jackson is the fourth Trojan to be named a finalist for the Thorpe Award, joining S Taylor Mays in 2008, S Troy Polamalu in 2002 and S Mark Carrier, who won the award in 1989.

The Home Depot College Football Awards will air on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 4 p.m. PT.


12:30 Kick for Notre Dame

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USC's regular season finale at the Coliseum vs. Notre Dame will kick off at 12:30 p.m. PT Saturday and will be broadcast on ABC. The game will also be carried on ESPN 710 radio.


SooHoo Gallery: USC vs. UCLA

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USC vs. UCLA under the Rose Bowl lights is a picture perfect setting for legendary Los Angeles sports photographer Jon SooHoo.

Enjoy his photos:

Trojan of the Game vs. UCLA: De'Quan Hampton

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When De'Quan Hampton woke up on Saturday morning, he had zero career touchdown catches. When he went to a bed, he was a USC hero.


Staying on Top

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USC won the MPSF Tournament and earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA men's water polo tournament by beating UCLA, 9-6, in the final on Sunday.

Click here for the full recap!

After beating the Bruins, 8-7, in the regular season finale on Nov. 12, USC seemed to have UCLA figured out, never trailing in the title game despite playing in the Bruins' home pool. USC surged to a 3-0 lead in the first quarter, which proved to be the difference, as both teams netted two goals each in each of the remaining three quarters.

Junior goalie McQuin Baron was key in keeping the Trojans ahead, as he racked up 17 saves (two shy of his career high).

Baron and the Trojans earned the top seed in the NCAA tournament by posting a 23-1 record this year. As the top seed, USC heads straight to the NCAA semifinals, which will take place on Dec. 3 in Berkeley, CA.

Check out team photographer John McGillen's photo gallery of the big win:

On To the Elite 8

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USC women's soccer advanced to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament with a 1-0 win over Utah on Sunday.

Click here for the full recap!

Leah Pruitt put the Trojans on the board in the 73rd minute against the No. 23 Utes, whom USC tied in Salt Lake City earlier this season. The Trojan defense held strong when Utah put pressure on early, and managed their 14th shutout of the season.

The Trojans will now face Auburn in USC's second-ever Elite 8 appearance. The only other time USC has made an Elite 8 was during the 2007 season, when the Trojans won it all.

Like Utah, Auburn is a familiar foe for USC. The Women of Troy dispatched of the Tigers in the Auburn Soccer Classic back in September in a 2-0 win behind goals from Nicole Molen and Alex Anthony.

USC head coach Keidane McAlpine is especially familiar with Auburn, as he spent six seasons (2006-11) as an assistant coach there.

The Trojans face the No. 16 Tigers on Friday at 1:30 p.m. at USC's McAlister Field.

Click here to purchase tickets for USC's last home game this year!

McGillen Gallery: USC Women's Soccer vs. Texas A&M

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On Friday, USC women's soccer beat Texas A&M to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, where they eventually topped Utah. The Trojans were locked at zero with the Aggies through full time and two overtime periods, so the win all came down to penalty kicks.

Team photographer John McGillen captured every moment of the game, from dogged determination to jubilation.

McGillen Galleries: UCLA

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The Trojans held on to the Victory Bell with a 36-14 win over UCLA last night at the Rose Bowl. Team photographer John McGillen was there to capture every second of the crosstown showdown.

Trojans Ring the Victory Bell

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Trojans Ring the Victory Bell

6-Points: USC 36, UCLA 14

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The Trojans pounded UCLA to extend their winning streak to seven games and stay in the Pac-12 title hunt.

Click here for the recap and final stats.

UCLA-final.jpgOur Ball

After finishing last year's victory by overpowering the Bruins, the Trojans made ball control their entire game plan tonight. USC held the ball for 43:47, running 95 plays, while UCLA possessed it for only 16:13 and 51 plays. The Trojans dominated time of possession by being remarkably efficient on third and fourth down, converting 14 of 23 combined. Meanwhile, the USC defense got off the field with ease, holding UCLA to 2 of 11 on third down. In the end, the Trojans racked up 527 yards of offense, including 260 on the ground led by Ronald Jones II (121 yards and 2 TD on 18 carries).

Turning the Water Off

UCLA opened the game by marching 65 yards for a touchdown. The Bruins ran the ball surprisingly well in the first quarter, gaining 47 yards on the ground. From there on out, the USC defense held UCLA to 8 yards rushing. "It was really corrections," said head coach Clay Helton about stopping the run. "Clancy had a great plan coming in and he stuck to the plan." The Bruins only other points came after a turnover set them up at USC's 9-yard line. "We did a good job shutting [the run] down and making them one dimensional," said LB Cam Smith. "As a whole, we played really well together." For the second consecutive game, DL Rasheem Green blocked a field goal to keep points off the board.

Taking a Punch

In the recent past, USC has struggled when falling in an early hole, but the Trojans displayed a "great sign of our maturity as a team" by rallying back despite the 14-7 deficit caused by giving up a big play and an interception. "I never saw panic," said Helton about his Trojans. USC closed the game by scoring 29 unanswered points. "We've learned so much from our season," Smith said. "We may not have bought into the hype and played on the same level as them [early], but as the game went on, we stayed consistent." All week long, the Trojans focused on taking care of business with bigger goals in mind than winning a rivalry game.

Sniper Sam

In his first Crosstown Showdown, USC QB Sam Darnold came out hyper aggressive, which led to two early mistakes. But once again, he showed his remarkable poise to rally back for a big performance. "I tried to do too much at some points in the game, I could have been better that way," said the redshirt freshman. "We'll learn from it." Darnold completed 25 of 36 for 267 yards and 2 TD, becoming the first USC QB since Matt Leinart in 2004 to throw multiple touchdown passes in seven consecutive games. "It was a huge experience," Darnold said about the night. "It could not have been a better win."


Rivalry games often unearth surprising heroes and USC WR De'Quan Hampton filled that role tonight. The senior came into the game with four catches on the season and zero career touchdowns. He left the Rose Bowl with 3 catches for 51 yards and 2 TD, including a 31-yard scoring snag over a UCLA double team. "It felt like a dream," said Hampton about his career night. He has plugged away for two years behind JuJu Smith-Schuster and Darreus Rogers, preparing for the opportunity that he was not sure would ever come. "It was kinda tough just to stay positive about it," said Hampton. "I have really good people in my corner to tell me that my time was going to come. I feel blessed that it came today, and I'm thankful that I did what I needed to do for my team and for myself."

Go Utes

USC is still alive in its pursuit of back-to-back Pac-12 South titles thanks to Oregon which knocked off Utah earlier today in dramatic fashion. Now, the Trojans need the Utes to turn around and beat Colorado in Boulder. "We'll be big Utah fans next week," admitted Helton. "We've set our mark at 7-2, and we've got to see if Colorado can match it." Meanwhile, USC must shift its focus to another rivalry game as Notre Dame comes to the Coliseum for a 12:30 p.m. PT kickoff.

Extra Point...

Banged Up Stars

The JuJu and Adoree' show was slowed tonight by two painful looking injuries. Smith-Schuster is dealing with a hip pointer, while Jackson rolled an ankle. Both will be evaluated during the week.

Here are the highlights from a dominating victory at the Rose Bowl:

Trojans Upend Aggies

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USC men's basketball went on the road and beat the reigning SEC champion Texas A&M Aggies, 65-63, on Friday night.

Click here for the full recap!

While it wasn't USC's best shooting night (5-of-26 from three), the Trojans made a few key plays down the stretch to edge out the Aggies.

Freshman De'Anthony Melton hit a 3-pointer to cut USC's deficit to 2 points with just over 2 minutes to go. After Jordan McLaughlin connected with Chimezie Metu on the go-ahead alley-oop, Melton stole the ball, got fouled and hit a free throw to put the Trojans up, 63-60, with 12 seconds left in the game.

When all was said and done, Metu led the Trojans with 14 points and 9 rebounds, while McLaughlin finished with 13 points. Elijah Stewart posted a double-double, with 11 points and 11 boards.

The Trojans are now 3-0, and will put that undefeated record to the test against New Orleans on Tuesday night at the Galen Center. Click here to purchase tickets!

Soccer Through to Sweet 16

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Alex Anthony hit the final penalty kick to send USC women's soccer through to the Sweet 16 on Friday afternoon.

After two scoreless halves and two scoreless overtime periods, the Trojans came out on top of Texas A&M with the 4-3 edge in penalty kicks.

Click here for the full recap!

The Trojans had a handful of great scoring chances throughout the game, but impressive goalkeeper play from the Aggies (8 saves) and a couple of bad bounces kept USC off the board.

A trip to the Sweet 16 came down to penalty kicks, and thankfully USC had the Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year in the net. Sammy Jo Prudhomme got the Trojans off to a good start by saving Texas A&M's first shot. Another save was all she needed, as the Women of Troy connected on four of five PK opportunities to win the shootout, 4-3.

In the Sweet 16, the Trojans will take on Utah, who advanced by beating Florida State on a late header. USC kicks off against Utah at noon on Sunday. Click here to purchase tickets!

Generations: Mike Williams and Darreus Rogers

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USC football is proud of its traditions, which now includes the legacy of the No. 1. Donning that number, Mike Williams helped transform the program as one of Pete Carroll's first big recruits.

In a new Generations, Williams catches up with senior WR Darreus Rogers who had to earn that coveted digit. The two powerful receivers also discussed their all-time favorite catches, best routes and the importance of beating the Bruins.

Great Eight

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USC women's water polo, which went undefeated and won the national championship this year, signed eight new members to its 2017 class yesterday.

Click here for the full release!

Six members of the new class are California products: Paige Hauschild (San Marcos High - Santa Barbara), Sabrina Garabet (St. Lucy's Priory High - Glendora), Kari Jensen (Campolindo High - Moraga), Randi Reinhardt (Murrieta Valley High - Murrieta), Sophie Traversi (Palos Verdes High - Palos Verdes Estates) and her high school teammate Molly Leimbach.

The other two signees are Canadian imports. Nina Ceklic comes to Troy from Calgary and Verica Bakoc is shipping in from Toronto.

Reinhardt and Traversi both had brothers play on USC's men's team, while Jensen and Leimbach are following in their older sister's footsteps at Troy.

These eight will arrive at USC next year to compete in the spring 2018 season. The 2017 season kicks off on Jan. 20 at the Gaucho Invitational in Santa Barbara.


2016 Game 11: USC vs. UCLA

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No. 13 USC Trojans (7-3, 6-2) at UCLA Bruins (4-6, 2-5)

The Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN and WatchESPN.

Takkarist McKinley 724.jpgBruin to Watch: Senior DL Takkarist McKinley

While UCLA's defensive strength is in the secondary, McKinley is the most disruptive player on the field. The former JC transfer leads the nation in tackles-for-loss. He has been unblockable of late, racking up nine TFLs and six sacks in his last three games. For USC's senior offensive tackles, Chad Wheeler and Zach Banner, McKinley provides the perfect NFL showcase as the defensive end will hear his name called early next spring.

Click here for more on the Bruins.

3 Keys

Ground and Pound

The USC offense should pick up right where it left off in last year's crosstown rivalry game. The Trojans buried the Bruins with power football in the fourth quarter at the Coliseum in 2015, and UCLA has struggled with run defense again this fall, yielding 160 rush yards per game. Conversely, the Bruins are loaded in the secondary, sporting the third best pass defense in the Pac-12. Ronald Jones II had to work for every yard against Washington, but expect a big day from the sophomore and potentially more opportunities for senior RB Justin Davis who knocked the rust off last week.

Go Get It

UCLA QB Mike Fafaul has piled up yards since taking over for the injured Josh Rosen midseason, but he has a habit of throwing the ball to the other team. Fafaul has thrown 10 interceptions in his last five games, including four in the loss to Utah. The Trojans have struggled with turnover issues of their own, but defensively, they have been more opportunistic of late. USC has eight takeaways in its last four games, including five interceptions.

No Mercy

The Bruins have had an undeniably disappointing season, but they could salvage it by knocking off the surging Trojans. On the 10-year anniversary of the 13-9 loss at the Rose Bowl which cost USC a shot at the national championship, the Trojans cannot afford to take any opponent for granted, especially their crosstown rivals. At No. 13 in the College Football Playoff rankings, USC is in a prime position to play in a New Year's 6 Bowl if it wins out.

Four More New Trojans

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USC men's volleyball added four local recruits to their class of 2017 yesterday.

Click here for the full release!

Sam Lewis, a 6-foot-10 middle blocker from Long Beach Poly, plus 6-foot-7 middle blocker Mitch Haly of Corona del Mar, 5-foot-10 libero Cole Paxson of Laguna Beach High and 6-foot-6 outside hitter Noah Franklin of Huntington Beach High all signed national letters of intent for USC yesterday.

All four have Junior Olympics experience and hope to contribute immediately during the 2017 season. In the meantime, though, they'll watch this year's team tackle the 2016-17 schedule. The Trojans are coming off a rebuilding year in which they finished 7-19. They'll get a fresh start in their first match of the regular season, on Jan. 3 against Concordia (Irvine).


UCLA Thursday: Helton Presser

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USC head coach Clay Helton addressed the media one last time before the Trojans head to their home-away-from-home, the Rose Bowl Stadium, on Saturday. Helton shared the keys to keeping the team level-headed before the big rivalry game, and more.

Watch Helton's full press conference here:

Final Home Stand for Trojans

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USC women's volleyball hosts its last two matches of the regular season tomorrow and Saturday against Oregon State and Oregon.

Click here for the full preview!

The Trojans will honor its seniors, Elise Ruddins (pictured), Taylor Whittingham and Alice Pizzasegola, before the Oregon game on Saturday.

They have guided the team to a 17-10 record this season, including wins over Oregon State and Oregon earlier this season. The seniors, as well as young players like Khalia Lanier, will be key in USC's final push to make the NCAA Tournament.

Click here to purchase tickets to USC's final homestand!

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Shooting for the Sweet 16

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USC women's soccer hosts Texas A&M in the second round of the NCAA Tournament tomorrow, hoping to advance to the Sweet 16.

Click here for the full preview!

In the first round last week, second-seeded USC utilized three first half goals (two by way of Morgan Andrews), to top Eastern Washington, 3-1. Now, Andrews and the Trojans shift their focus to the Aggies, who beat in-state foe TCU in the first round to earn a trip out to Los Angeles.

While USC is 15-4-1 on the season, the Aggies are 12-8-1.

The Trojans rank No. 9 in the nation in goals against average (0.493) and fifth in save percentage (.892) thanks to standout goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme. She'll be tasked with slowing down the Aggies' leading scorer, Haley Pounds.

Click here to purchase tickets to USC's 1:30 p.m. tilt with Texas A&M on Friday, Nov. 18!


Stevens Center Academic Spotlight: Gussie Johns

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USC's student-athletes are more than just champions on the field, court, diamond and pool --- they're champions in the classroom as well. Each week, we will get to know one of these scholarly Trojans a bit better in our academic spotlight.

Gussie.jpgName: Gussie Johns
Class: Sophomore
Sport: Women's Lacrosse
Major: Business Administration
GPA: 3.69

Aubrey Kragen (AK): So what is your major here and why did you choose it?

Gussie Johns (GJ): I'm a business major with a focus in entrepreneurial business, and I will be a sports media minor, I just haven't declared yet. I chose that coming out of high school, so I applied right into the business school. I grew up having two parents that were entrepreneurs, and I've always liked that side of the business industry: being able to create your own thing and follow that path. I love business just because it brings in so many different parts of society, because you can kind of take it where you want to take it, whether it be finance or accounting or marketing.

AK: So do you want to found your own company? Do you have an idea of what you'd like to do?

GJ: It's something I've always wanted to do, either start my own company or go into my family's business, just because I've been involved in it since I was a little kid. But from there, I would love to do anything involving sports or giving back as a philanthropic thing, because that's always been in my family and something I've always had a large passion for. I grew up in an environment that was surrounded so much by sports that I can't imagine leaving it right away, or really, ever. So that's definitely something I'll have to implement, whether it's in the actual business I do or outside, just still keeping it a part of my life as I get older.

AK: What did your parents do that inspired you to go into entrepreneurship?

GJ: My mom worked for Vogue right out of school and did consulting for a bunch of companies for a long time. And my dad started a company out of school. He sold that, and then in 2004 they came together and started a company called Bungalow, which later developed into a company called SCOUT, and they make tote bags and small accessories. They're known for their function, while bringing in the fun colors and patterns that my mom creates.

AK: How do you think competing in college athletics has prepared you to lead a company one day?

GJ: I think it definitely has a large impact on how I would act in the business world. I think being able to manage a team and knowing how to manage so many personalities and getting the best out of each person is something that I've learned throughout sports. I think that'll help me going forward in the business world, whether I'm the boss or just an employee. But being able to interact with so many types of people along with so many of the characteristics you learn in sports, like work ethic and time management --- the list goes on and on --- any college athlete is just that much better off once they get in the work world.

AK: Do you think being a goalie specifically --- the viewpoint you have of the field and your duty to make sure your teammates are in the right positions --- will help you be a leader in the business world?

GJ: Absolutely. That's definitely a large part of it, because I see things that other players don't see, because like a quarterback, you have a vantage point that no one else has. And it's kind of like the safety on defense that can see everything in front of them. So yeah, I definitely think that's one of the reasons that I was subconsciously drawn to playing goalie and another reason why I'm drawn to being at the head of a company or starting my own company, is being able to see things like that.

AK: You're in the Trojan Athletic Senate, right? Can you tell me about what you do in that organization?

GJ: Yeah, I'm one of the executive members. I actually just went to San Francisco this weekend as a representative for it. They take two reps from all the Pac-12 schools and we met there and did roundtables and got ideas from other schools. Right now, we just restructured TAS into three different committees: community service and outreach, and then we have health and wellness and kind of equality and diversity, and then the last one is trying to get people to more games and trying to get athletes more involved. I'm on the health and wellness one and we're trying to form a campaign to promote diversity within the athletic department and on campus.

AK: I know you've recently been involved with the U.S. National Lacrosse team. Can you update me on that?

GJ: So in August we had the tryouts, and from there, 36 players made it out of more than 100. So I actually made the team along with two of my coaches: Devon Wills and Alyssa [Leonard]. So in September we had a meeting and an intra-squad scrimmage with the 36 people and there weren't any cuts after that. Then we got back together in October and they cut from 36 to 24, and Devon and I made it to the next stage of cuts. January is the last cut and it goes to 18. It's just funny because she's a goalie, I'm a goalie and she's the older generation while I'm the younger generation. It's been fun to follow in her footsteps in a way and experience lacrosse as her teammate and not just about her player, because I'd heard so much about how she plays and how she's a leader and impacts the players around her, but I had never seen it firsthand. It's been an awesome opportunity to be at that level and with those types of players.

Leventhal Stat of the Week - UCLA

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Since taking over as the starting QB in Week 4 against Utah, USC's Sam Darnold has garnered national attention for his accuracy and poise under pressure.

In his first year under center, Darnold has proven to be one of the best QBs in the nation. His 22 TD passes rank first among all freshman QBs, as do his 68.1 completion percentage, 8.7 yards per attempt and 165.8 passing efficiency.

ESPN's Total QB Rating, which accounts for strength of opponents' defenses, places Darnold fifth in the nation, above any other freshman.

With UCLA's Josh Rosen out for this year's rivalry game due to injury, Darnold will try to outgun UCLA redshirt senior Mike Fafaul. The crosstown showdown kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.


The Case for Adoree'

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USC junior Adoree' Jackson is a Hornung Award finalist, Thorpe Award and Lott IMPACT Trophy semifinalist, and an All-American candidate.

As college football voters consider the electrifying cornerback, they will see that he has style and substance.

Click here to see the substance.

Enjoy the style below...

Back Where They Belong

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USC men's water polo enters the MPSF Tournament tomorrow as the top-ranked team in the conference and the nation.

The Trojans wrestled away the UCLA Bruins' No. 1 ranking by beating them, 8-7, in the regular season finale last week. USC's win snapped UCLA's NCAA water polo-record 57-match win streak.

After finishing the regular season with a 20-1 record, the Trojans now enter the MPSF Tournament in Westwood, CA. They face fourth-seeded Stanford tomorrow at 3 p.m. to kick things off, before taking on Penn State Behrend at 6 p.m.


McGillen Gallery: USC WBB vs. UC Riverside

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USC women's basketball beat UC Riverside, 67-49, last night to move to 2-0 on the season. Freshman Minyon Moore paced the Women of Troy with 20 points, six assists and six steals.

Click here for the full recap!

USC team photographer John McGillen was at the Galen Center to capture every moment of the Trojans' double-digit win:

Adoree' in the Final Four

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USC's Adoree' Jackson was named one of four finalists for the 2016 Paul Hornung Award, the organization announced today.

Click here for the full release!

The Hornung Award is an annual honor given to the most versatile player in college football. Jackson joins Stanford's Christian McCaffrey, Michigan's Jabrill Peppers and Oklahoma's Dede Westbrook as this year's Final Four. Jackson, Peppers and McCaffrey were also finalists last year, with McCaffrey taking home the title.

Jackson clearly fits the mold of a Hornung Award winner. He's impressive on offense, defense and special teams, and has scored in four different ways during his USC career.

This season, Jackson boasts 45 tackles, 4 INT, 11 passes defended, 7 passes broken up and 2 fumble recoveries (one on defense, one on special teams). Jackson's also carried the ball three times this season, for 20 yards. Year after year, he's cemented himself as one of the most dangerous returners in college football, too. He ranks seventh in the nation in punt return average (14.7) and ninth in kickoff return average (29.0) this season, and he's scored on both a punt return and a kickoff return this year.

Click here to vote for Adoree' once a day!

The winner of the 2016 Hornung Award will be announced on Dec. 7

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UCLA Wednesday: Notes

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On a chilly Wednesday evening, the Trojans inched one step closer to the crosstown showdown against UCLA this weekend.
  • USC_Football_Washington_McGillen_11122016_0658.jpgUSC head coach Clay Helton said most players are progressing from injury, but that DL Josh Fatu (ankle) remains 50/50 at best. Helton also sat WR Deontay Burnett (knee) today, but says he will practice tomorrow.
  • Helton and the Trojans placed special emphasis on third down efficiency today. USC is second in the conference, converting 46.2 percent of its third down opportunities, while UCLA's defense ranks third, allowing opponents to convert just 32.1 percent of the time. "It ought to be a heck of a matchup, and that's a key battle of keeping drives alive," Helton said.
  • Helton also said the team focused on ball security today. He noted that USC's two non-offensive touchdowns vs. UCLA last year "turned the tide" of the game and wanted to make sure the Trojans were on the winning side of that battle again this year.
  • DL Rasheem Green was responsible for one of those touchdowns last year, as he returned a Josh Rosen fumble 31 yards for the score. This year, Green kickstarted Rivalry Week with an impressive performance vs. UW on Saturday (4 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 2 pass breakups, 1 FG block). "I'm trying to focus on my technique, watching more film, the small details, so I can play better," Green said.
  • Helton said Green has improved under the mentorship of Tu'ikolovatu, who transferred to USC from Utah this year. "He picks up the habits of Stevie, from the way he takes care of himself, how he works on this practice field, how he leads," Helton said. "He's helped Rasheem grow up."
  • Green, Tu'ikolovatu and the entire front seven have stepped up during USC's six-game win streak, which LB Porter Gustin (pictured) attributes to "everyone playing good ball at the same time."
  • Gustin broke down the keys to defeating the Bruins, who average just 87.2 rush yards per game. "We've talked all week about establishing that they're not going to run the ball on us early," Gustin said. "Making them one dimensional and getting after the quarterback, that's a key for sure."
  • UCLA's quarterback, Mike Fafaul, is one the Trojans have never faced before. He replaced an injured Josh Rosen just over a month ago and has completed 54.5 percent of his passes for 9 TD and 10 INT.
  • Despite facing a backup QB and a 3-6 Bruin squad, Gustin said the team is still looking forward to the crosstown clash. "It's huge,"he said "It doesn't matter what their record is. They'll be up for this game. We have to be prepared for anything."
  • Helton insisted that he'd have his Trojans ready for the rivalry game. "We have a job to do," he said. "That's been the overriding emphasis each and every week: Do our job. On this day, in this moment. And that's what I'm going to keep selling."
  • Watch Helton's full press conference here:

Brand New Beachers

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USC's back-to-back national champion beach volleyball team announced four new Trojans had signed national letters of intent today.

Click here for the full release!

The Trojans signed two Texans in Haley Hallgren and Maja Kaiser, plus Sammy Slater out of Ventura, CA, and the program's first-ever international recruit: Latvian Tina Graudina.

While Hallgren, Kaiser and Slater all played indoor volleyball in high school, Graudina is accomplished on the international beach circuit, having recently won gold at the 2016 CEV European U22 Championships in Thessaloniki, Greece.

All four new Trojans will look to contribute to a team that finished 34-2 last season and won the inaugural NCAA beach volleyball crown.

Meet Khalia Lanier

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USC women's volleyball freshman Khalia Lanier was one of the most decorated prep stars in the country before coming to Troy. Since arriving, she's made an immediate impact, leading the team (and all freshmen in the Pac-12) in kills and total points.

The Scottsdale, AZ native has dreams of playing in the Olympics, but is focused on winning a national championship with USC first.

Here is Lanier on why she chose USC, what it means to be a Trojan and more:

Sights and Sounds: USC vs. Washington

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Faced with "the greatest setting in college football", the Trojans came together as a band of brothers and emerged victorious.

UCLA Tuesday: Notes

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The Trojans are battered and bruised after a physical game against Washington, but energy is still high going into rivalry week.
  • Here is the lengthy injury report from head coach Clay Helton: DL Josh Fatu (ankle - 50/50 at best for Saturday), DT Stevie Tu'ikolovatu (knee - limited for precautionary reasons), CB Iman Marshall (hamstring - limited), CB Jonathan Lockett (hip - working his way back), S John Plattenburg (sick), OLB Porter Gustin (ankle - held out of practice), RB Ronald Jones II (knee bruise - limited) and WR Deontay Burnett (sprained knee - battling through it).
  • football-ranking-13.jpgUSC surged up to No. 13 in the College Football Playoff rankings after winning its sixth consecutive game. The streak seemed farfetched when the Trojans left Utah at 1-3, but Helton credits the "leadership on all fronts" with turning the season around. "We knew if we kept on going that we had something special," he said about the coaches and players.
  • While QB Sam Darnold is the obvious catalyst, several playmakers have emerged offensively to complement star wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. "Everyone is seeing touches and everyone is making plays," said Smith-Schuster about the increased diversity in this offense.
  • In particular, senior WR Darreus Rogers has displayed a knack for making contested catches. "It's ridiculous. This guy's hands are unbelievable," Smith-Schuster said about his teammate who he compared to Spiderman. The wide receiving corps has known about Rogers' hands for years, seeing what he can do in practice every day, but now he is showing it in games.
  • And on the inside, slot receiver Deontay Burnett has earned the trust of Darnold. "Smooth is the right word to describe Tay," said the quarterback about one of his favorite targets. Darnold compared Burnett to Steph Curry, saying, "Steph is not going to out physical you, outrun you [and] he is obviously not the biggest guy out there, but he knows how to get open. Tay is just one of those players who knows how to get open and knows how to do his thing once the ball comes to him."
  • While USC is 7-3 and UCLA is 4-6, Helton urged everyone to "read between the lines" when scouting the Bruins. He noted that UCLA has close losses to Utah, Colorado and Washington State, three ranked teams.
  • Helton described the USC-UCLA rivalry as "bigger than life," but he wants his players to keep their emotions in check. "That's one of the challenges this week to be honest with you."
  • Smith-Schuster has played in the game twice, so he knows what to expect. "The more and more the day comes closer, you get more excited," said the junior who has a win and loss against UCLA. "It's a big rivalry and everyone is excited, but you just have to keep calm."
  • Here is Helton's first press conference of UCLA week with a detailed scouting report of the Bruins:

McQuin the Man

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USC men's water polo goalie McQuin Baron earned MPSF Player of the Week honors for his efforts in USC's big win over UCLA this weekend.

Click here for the full release!

Baron made nine saves, including one with 15 seconds to go to stop the Bruins from equalizing Blake Edwards' go-ahead goal in the game. The victory snapped UCLA's NCAA water polo record of 57 consecutive wins and helped the Trojans surpass them as the nation's No. 1 ranked team.

Baron's imposing presence in the cage this season helped USC post a 20-1 record. The Trojans now enter the MPSF Tournament as the top seed, facing Stanford on Friday at 3 p.m. in Westwood, CA.


Trojans Live: UCLA Preview

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Coming off the win over Washington and heading into the Crosstown Showdown, there was plenty to talk about on Trojans Live this week.

Head coach Clay Helton talked about the complete team effort it took to beat the Huskies and previewed a dangerous UCLA team.

Click here to watch Helton on Trojans Live.

Former USC All-American WR Curtis Conway weighed in for the proud alums who love what they are seeing from the Trojans.

Click here to watch Conway on Trojans Live.

Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Mandy Freeman previewed USC women's soccer's NCAA Tournament game on Friday at McAlister Field.

Click here to watch Freeman on Trojans Live.

And finally, the one and only Adoree' Jackson explained his athletic celebrations but humble mentality:

Kickin' It With Keidane - Week 13

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USC women's soccer won its NCAA Tournament opener against Eastern Washington on Friday to earn a trip to the second round. This Friday at 1:30 p.m., the Women of Troy will host Texas A&M with the goal of advancing to Round 3.

Head coach Keidane McAlpine sat down to discuss how last year's experience has helped the Trojans and to give a scouting report on the Aggies.

Lotts of Love for Adoree'

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Junior CB Adoree' Jackson was named the Lott IMPACT Trophy Player of the Week today for his impressive performance against Washington on Saturday. It's the second such award of the season for the Belleville, IL native.

Jackson intercepted Heisman hopeful Jake Browning twice in USC's 26-13 win over Washington. It was the first multi-INT game of Jackson's career, and the first multi-INT game of the season for Browning, who entered the game with just 3 INT thrown on the year.

Jackson also racked up 3 tackles, 1 pass breakup, 8 rush yards and 59 kickoff return yards in addition to recovering a blocked UW field goal attempt and returning it 17 yards.

Last week, Jackson was named a semifinalist for the 2016 Lott IMPACT Trophy. The finalists will be announced on Nov. 30.

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USC Grad Rate Hits All-Time High

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For the third consecutive year, the Graduation Success Rate of USC student-athletes is at an all-time high--83%--according to data released today by the NCAA.  The 2016 GSR measures how many student-athletes in the classes of 2006 through 2009 graduated within six years of their enrollment.

Grad.jpgThat 83% figure, which is 17 percentage points higher than it was 10 years ago, comes on the heels of USC's then-best rates of 80% in 2014 and 81% in 2015.

USC's overall GSRs for 2017 and 2018 are projected to reach 86% each year, another record. 

Seven USC sports had a GSR this year above 90%:  women's soccer (100%), women's water polo (96%), women's rowing (96%), women's swimming (95%), men's volleyball (92%), women's volleyball (92%) and women's basketball (92%).

The women's soccer, women's water polo, women's swimming and men's volleyball teams were among five USC teams that recorded all-time high GSR rates, along with football (67%).

Ten of the 18 USC teams whose data was recorded saw their scores either improve from last year or stay the same:  football, women's soccer, women's water polo, women's rowing, women's swimming, men's volleyball, women's volleyball, women's tennis (88%), men's water polo (86%) and men's tennis (80%).

The football GSR is nine percentage points higher than last year and is expected to rise to 73% next year.  In fact, eight USC sports are projected to hit their all-time best GSR in 2017, with five at 100% (men's golf, men's tennis, women's rowing, women's soccer and women's tennis).

While football posted its highest GSR ever, its rate was impacted because several members of the 2006-2009 cohorts left school early to prepare for the NFL and did not finish their graduation requirements within the six-year GSR calculation period.

"We continue to be very pleased with the performance of our student-athletes in the classroom and with the culture of academic success that has been established in our athletic department," said Dr. Magdi El Shahawy, USC senior associate athletic director in charge of Student-Athlete Academic Services.  "Much credit goes to the hard work of our student-athletes and the support they get from their coaches to graduate.

"We collectively look for ways not only to continue to improve our graduation rates, but to improve the services we offer our student-athletes to prepare them for successful lives for many years after they leave USC.  We are fortunate to have supporters like Mark Stevens, who helped us establish our state-of-the-art Stevens Academic Center in 2012 that has played a crucial role in our student-athletes' academic success."

2016 #USCtotheNFL Week 10

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Trojans had impressive performances in all three phases of the game on Thursday, Sunday and Monday of the NFL's Week 10 slate. Many of the league's Trojans faced off against each other, but got together to show their Trojan pride as soon as the game ended.

Don't forget to vote for your favorite Trojans, from Leonard Williams to Tyron Smith, into the Pro Bowl!

palmer-nfl.jpgThe Best

Only one QB threw for more yards than Arizona's Carson Palmer in Week 10. The Cardinals' signal-caller finished with 376 yards on 30-of-49 passing on Sunday against the 49ers. His TD pass to David Johnson proved crucial, as the Cardinals escaped with a narrow 23-20 win over San Francisco. Palmer ranks 4th in the NFL in pass yards per game this season, with 306.0.

The Best of the Rest

Marqise Lee, WR, Jaguars - 4 receptions, 50 yards, plus 1 kickoff return for 17 yards

Brian Cushing, LB, Texans - 3 tackles, 1 QB hit

T.J. McDonald, S, Rams - 3 tackles, plus 1 special teams tackle

Leonard Williams, DE, Jets - 4 tackles, 1 QB hit

Nick Perry, LB, Packers - 6 tackles, 1 TFL

Everson Griffen, DE, Vikings - 4 tackles, 1 fumble recovery

Su'a Cravens, S/LB, Redskins - 5 tackles, 1 TFL

Pete Carroll, Head Coach, Seahawks - Earned a 31-24 road win vs. the Patriots

Devon Kennard, LB, Giants - 2 tackles

Josh Shaw, CB, Bengals - 2 tackles

Click here to learn more about Eat the Ball!


Trojan of the Game vs. Washington: The Defense

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Fans voted the USC defense the Mercury Insurance Trojan of the Game against the Huskies. The defense held the top rushing offense in the conference to just 17 yards and a season-low 13 points and racked up three sacks and two interceptions. 


Notre Dame Kick Time TBD

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The kick time for USC vs. Notre Dame on Saturday, Nov. 26 will be at 12:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., or 5:00 p.m. on ABC or ESPN. The decision will be announced next Sunday, Nov. 20.


Clay Helton Q&A: UCLA

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After USC's big win over Washington, head coach Clay Helton sat down to discuss how the Trojans pulled off the upset and what they need to do to beat the Bruins on Saturday.

Trojans Go 2-0

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USC men's basketball earned its second win of the season on Sunday in an 82-72 contest with Omaha.

Redshirt sophomore Shaqquan Aaron led the five Trojans in double figures.

Check out all the photos from the Trojans' win over the Mavericks!

Sam The Man

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USC freshman QB Sam Darnold earned Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week today for his 2-TD performance against Washington.

In front of a thunderous, sold-out Husky Stadium crowd of 72,364, Darnold kept his cool to finish 23-of-33 for 287 yards and 2 TD. Despite throwing 2 INT for the first time in his career, he made all the right moves in key moments, and nimbly navigated through Washington's pass rush.

Darnold converted 7 of 11 third down attempts, and according to Pro Football Focus, he was also especially efficient on downfield passes.

Darnold earned praise from USC Heisman winner Matt Leinart in addition to various members of the media, including Colin Cowherd, Dennis Dodd and Andy Staples.

Darnold is the second Trojan to earn a Player of the Week award this season, as CB Adoree' Jackson won Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 12.

Next up for Darnold and the Trojans is a 7:30 tilt at UCLA on Saturday.


USC Triumphs Over the Rainbow

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USC women's basketball opened the season with a 76-44 blowout over Hawai'i on Friday evening.

Click here for the full recap!

Junior forward Kristen Simon led the way with 16 points and 10 rebounds. In total, 12 Trojans got on the board, with three in double figures. USC outrebounded Hawai'i, 44-26, and outshot the Rainbow Wahines, 50 percent to 30.

Check out the photo gallery from USC's season-opening win!

Back On Top

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In a tense crosstown rivalry matchup, No. 2 USC men's water polo knocked off No. 1 UCLA to end the Bruins' NCAA record 57 consecutive win streak.

Click here for the full recap!

On Senior Day at Uytengsu Aquatic Center, the Trojans pulled off an 8-7 win over the back-to-back national champion Bruins. UCLA got out to a 2-0 lead, but SC battled back and the teams traded blows throughout the game. Trailing at the beginning of the fourth period, the Trojans equalized and got the game-winning goal from Blake Edwards with just 38 seconds to go in the game. It was the Aussie's only goal of the day.

The Trojans also got goals from Grant Stein (2), Lazar Pasuljevic (2), Zach D'Sa, Lachlan Edwards and senior Nick Bell, who was honored before the game, along with the late Jon Walters.

Goalie McQuin Baron made a stop on UCLA's last shot attempt (his ninth of the game) to seal the victory for USC.

With the win, USC takes over the No. 1 spot in the nation and the top seed in the upcoming MPSF Tournament. The Trojans will face fourth-seeded Stanford at 3 p.m. on Friday in Westwood, CA.

Moving On Up

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Senior midfielder Morgan Andrews scored a brace to lift USC over Eastern Washington in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.

Click here for the full recap!

The second-seeded Trojans came out of the gates strong, scoring three goals in the first half to cruise to a 3-1 victory.

Andrews scored on a rocket from outside the box, which has become commonplace for her this season, and connected on a penalty kick drawn by defender Savannah Levin. Nicole Molen knocked in the third goal of the game on a header.

Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year Sammy Jo Prudhomme made 3 saves in the contest.

Next up for the Women of Troy is a second-round matchup with Texas A&M, who beat TCU, 1-0. The game kicks off on Friday at 1:30 p.m. at USC's McAlister Field.

USC Rallies to Beat Omaha

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USC Rallies to Beat Omaha

Rivalry After Dark

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The USC at UCLA game on Saturday at the Rose Bowl will kick off at 7:30 p.m. PT and be broadcast live on ESPN.


USC vs. UW Wrap-Up

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The Trojans made big plays all night to take down the undefeated Huskies on Saturday.

McGillen Galleries: Washington

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USC upset No. 4 Washington on Saturday at a packed Husky Stadium in Seattle.

Team photographer John McGillen was there to capture every moment, from preparation to jubilation.

No. 20 Trojans Knock Off No. 4 Washington

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No. 20 Trojans Knock Off No. 4 Washington

6-Points: USC 26, Washington 13

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USC knocked off No. 4 Washington for the program's first road win over a Top 5 team since 2011.

Click here for the recap and final stats.

Thumbnail image for UW-Final.jpgComplete Game
The Trojans dominated all three phases of the game, putting together their most complete performance of the season. "Just an absolute, full team effort," said head coach Clay Helton. "Every aspect of the game, people made plays." Offensively, USC racked up 400 yards on Washington's defense, which only yields 330 on average. And defensively, the Trojans held the Huskies to 17 yards rushing. "Big men win the game," said Helton. "On both sides of the ball, our big men are really excelling these last six weeks." And when the team needed it most, special teams shifted the momentum by blocking a field goal.

The Real Deal

Over this six-game win streak, the USC defense has done a masterful job of taking away its opponent's strength. "We knew we had to stop the run all week. I think that was the key to winning the game because when you stop the run, they have to go to the pass game and then we are able to get after the quarterback," said OLB Porter Gustin, who had two sacks. The Trojans forced two turnovers, both interceptions by Adoree' Jackson, to go along with three sacks and six tackles-for-loss. "We talked all week about penetration and playing in their backfield, and the kids did," said Helton.

National Star

Going into the game, Washington QB Jake Browning was the Heisman candidate. In the end, USC QB Sam Darnold looked like a future winner. The redshirt freshman shined brightly on the big stage, completing 22/33 for 287 yards (the most by an opposing QB against UW all season) and 2 TD. "Sam comes in here and plays with the poise he always has," said Helton. "A special night and a special quarterback."


However, Darnold did not do it alone. USC's skill players stepped up to make some tremendous catches under pressure, highlighted by a breakout performance from TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe. The redshirt freshman displayed impressive body control, reeling in 5 receptions for 78 yards and a TD. "For me, it's mostly mental," Imatorbhebhe said about making the tough catch. "I love my teammates, so when the ball is in the air, I think about how I have to do this for my squad, my teammates, my brothers, and so I do whatever I can to catch it." Senior WR Darreus Rogers specializes in the spectacular, and he caught a team-leading six balls for 84 yards and a TD. "If it's in my radius, I'm going to get it," said Rogers about his powerful hands.

The Turning Point

The Trojans were in control most of the game, but literally and figuratively slipped up in the third quarter. The Huskies were primed to take the lead in the after untimely falls by Adoree' Jackson and Rogers led to a touchdown and an interception, respectively. Instead, the USC defense forced a field goal attempt which was blocked by Rasheem Green. "It was an unbelievable shot of momentum that it gave our team," said Helton about the special teams' play of the game. "You knew it was going to go back and forth. We had preached it all week. Just keep on doing your job." From there, the Trojans finished the game on a 9-0 run.

Remember This Day

If this game was a litmus test for the state of the program under Helton, the future looks bright. "We do it for the coaches," said Rogers. "We believe in them and we come to work for them every day. I'm proud of these guys and I love them." The Trojans have once again proven their resilience after a trying start to the season had the many fans and most media predicting doom and gloom. "They are getting better with each and every week," said Helton. "When you think about these kids, they have been through everything. They have been through adversity."

Extra Point...

You Know What Week It Is

Beating Washington was a national statement, but the Trojans have some city business to attend to next week. "We have a huge rivalry game coming up and a game that we have to have if we want to win the Pac-12 South," said Helton about the Crosstown Showdown with UCLA at the Rose Bowl. The last time USC beat a Top 5 opponent on the road, it came home and hammered UCLA, 50-0. "We got past this one and now we have to finish strong," said Rogers. "We're Trojans. We Fight On."

Here are the highlights from a resounding victory:

A Different Homecoming for Zach Banner

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Written by Grace DeWitt, USC blog contributor 

Zach Banner has made a habit out of leaving home. 

First it was his decision to attend Lakes High School, across town from his designated school Lincoln High. Though he was able to chalk the choice up to easier transportation with his father working as a principal at a school nearby, he willingly admits it was a football decision. "In my heart wish I could've gone to Lincoln, but the best business and professional decision was to go to Lakes," he said.

Standing at 6-foot-8 and just about 300 lbs. as a senior, Banner attracted the attention of college football programs across the country and quickly rose up the recruiting charts for his position. "I always wanted to just play professionally, I never thought about the college factor," he said. Idolizing his hometown Supersonics and Seahawks, he never put too much thought into the bridge to the big leagues. "I never knew until I got to high school that so many people were going to try to put pressure on me to stay home. It didn't scare me to stay home, it didn't scare me to leave."

Unlike most of the Trojan roster, Banner grew up outside of California ,in Tacoma, WA, located about 45 minutes south along the Puget Sound from Seattle... and the University of Washington campus. 

"'U-Dub' was the only school where I had been to a practice," Banner said. "I had gone to almost every single home game every year. I was very entrenched into their program and their recruiting." But for Banner, a 10-and-2 season, early draft picks in offensive tackles Matt Kalil and Tyron Smith and top-notch Annenberg journalism program made USC too good of an opportunity to pass up.

Through Banner's first four years as a Trojan, USC has faced the Huskies two times. 

The first matchup came in his redshirt season. Though he'd be held out of the game, former head coach Lane Kiffin let Banner travel with the team. The heckling from the Husky sideline came easily with Banner on the bench. "When I was there, there were a lot of people talking, just saying, 'You wouldn't have [redshirted] if you would've stayed home.'" Though he didn't have any time on the field, his teammates silenced the taunting with a 24-14 win.

When the two teams battled it out again last season, the trash talking continued. "There were a lot of personal things going on on the field," Banner said. This time around, with Banner as a starting offensive tackle, the Trojans fell to the Huskies 17-12. 

In the weeks to come, Banner would consider the option of heading to the draft, or sticking around for his last year of eligibility. That he would get one more opportunity to beat the Huskies did not go unnoticed.

"I can say that played into the decision a little bit," he admitted. "Since I decided to come back for my senior year, I knew that was going to be a thing, like, 'Oh man, I'm going back to Seattle.'"

Besides putting in work on the practice field, Banner has spent the past week scrambling to coordinate a bundle of tickets for the big group of family and friends who'll attend today's game. Despite his best efforts, he's still pretty confident "there are going to be a lot more boos than there are cheers" for him at Husky Stadium. Even so, "they're still a lot of people supporting me back home because they know my heart's in the right place," he said. 

Because as his distance from home has grown as his football career has progressed, he's never forgotten the community that raised him.

While still in high school, that meant dedicating most of his free time to coaching the local team he played on growing up. "I didn't want to distance myself because I did go to high school in Lakewood which is twenty minutes from my home town neighborhood," he said. "I didn't want them to think I was leaving. I didn't want them to think I was abandoning them."

With the NFL draft on the horizon, Banner realizes that this could be his last day of football in front of a hometown crowd; that home could only grow more distant. "Knowing that I'll never play there unless I play in the National Football League and I play at or in Seattle...," he said before stopping himself. "I just know that it's not over. That's where I'm going to be living, that's where I plan on raising my family and everything."

For now his eyes are on the challenge ahead, taking down the No. 4 Washington Huskies in a notoriously wild Husky Stadium. "The people in Washington and in the Northwest, they take their sports very seriously. They stay the whole game, win or lose; they support the team," Banner described. "They're going to be loud, they're going to be crazy," he predicted. "Playing in that's going to be fun to be the opposing team."

The feelings of hype and hysteria won't come without something more sentimental, though. "Walking in, I'm going to treat it just like any other game. Walking out -- win or lose -- I'm going to take a breathe of the fresh air of Washington, back home, and understand that I had a great time playing there."

You can watch Banner and the Trojans take on the Huskies today at 4:30 p.m. on FOX.

Trojans Top Griz

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USC men's basketball kicked off its 2016-17 season with a 75-61 win over Montana tonight.

Click here for the full recap!

Junior guard Elijah Stewart led the way with a career-high 30 points on the night. He went 14-16 from the free throw line and 4-6 from beyond the arc.

Sophomore forward Bennie Boatwright was out with back spasms, so true freshman Nick Rakocevic started in his place.

Rakocevic wasn't the only player to make his USC debut, though, as redshirt sophomore forward Shaqquan Aaron finally got to suit up after sitting out a year since transferring from Louisville. Aaron posted a career-high 17 points and 7 rebounds.

Up next for the Trojans is a 4 p.m. tilt with Omaha on Sunday.

2016 Game 10: USC vs. Washington

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No. 20 USC Trojans (6-3, 5-2) at No. 4 Washington Huskies (9-0, 6-0)

Husky Stadium in Seattle at 4:30 p.m. PT on FOX

jake_browning_washington_9-12-16.jpgHusky to Watch: Sophomore QB Jake Browning

UW is loaded with playmakers on both sides of the ball, but Browning is the head of the snake. The highly efficient true sophomore has thrown 34 touchdown passes to only 3 interceptions. He ranks first in the nation in passer rating and second in total QBR. Despite the impressive statistics, the Huskies are not an air raid offense, ranking 11th in the Pac-12 in pass attempts. But when his number is called, Browning has delivered on time and on target.

Click here for more on the Huskies.

3 Keys

Start Fast

The Trojans will have to brave a sold-out Husky Stadium, arguably the toughest atmosphere in the Pac-12. The home crowd in Seattle has been known to affect the game. The Huskies have outscored opponents 233-53 in their building this fall. The defense thrives off the noise, sacking visiting quarterbacks 20 times to only 7 on the road. USC has not pulled off a road win against a Top 5 opponent since 2011 at No. 4 Oregon. On that night, the Trojans quieted a ravenous stadium by leading at halftime, 21-7, and then held on late. The same formula is needed on Saturday.


The Huskies do not have many weaknesses. They lead the Pac-12 in scoring offense and scoring defense. The UW offense is perfectly balanced, averaging 268.4 pass yards and 231.0 rush yards per game. Defensively, Washington has the second best pass defense in the league, but opponents have found some joy on the ground. Arizona racked up 308 rush yards in an overtime loss, while Utah powered its way to 213 yards on the ground in a seven-point loss. USC RB Ronald Jones II has run for 394 yards and 5 TD over the last two games, so the Trojans have a hot hand to ride. If Jones and the USC offensive line can grind the Huskies down, USC will be in position to make the winning plays in the fourth quarter.

Finish Strong

If it does come down to the final minutes, the Trojans' discipline will be tested. Penalties and turnovers lose games, especially on the road. UW leads the Pac-12 with a +15 turnover margin and only gets flagged for a league-low 44.8 penalty yards per game. Conversely, USC has one more giveaway than takeaway on the season and tends to shoot itself in the foot with 71.6 penalty yards per contest. However, the Trojans have improved every game in 2016, and they are determined to show that they can play a clean game when it matters most. This is that game.

Water Polo's Crosstown Showdown

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IMG_6645.JPGUSC men's water polo puts bragging rights, tournament seeding and Crosstown Cup points on the line tomorrow in its matchup with UCLA.

No. 2 USC hosts the top-ranked Bruins at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the final match of the regular season.

Click here for the full preview!

The Trojans are 19-1 on the season, with their lone loss coming to Cal in the semifinals of the Mountain Pacific Invitational. Had USC won that game, it would have played UCLA in the finals. Since the Trojans were forced to play in the consolation game, tomorrow will be the first time USC and UCLA clash this season.

The winner of the matchup earns the No. 1 seed in the MPSF Tournament, which begins on Nov. 18. The victor also earns points toward the 2016-17 Crosstown Cup, in which the Trojans are currently trailing.

The Bruins are undefeated this season and have won an NCAA-record 57 consecutive matches heading into Saturday.

Tomorrow's meeting will be a rematch of the last two NCAA championship games. Last year, UCLA beat USC, 10-7, and in 2014, UCLA just edged USC by a score of 9-8 to take home the trophy. The Trojans hope to reverse that trend tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Uytengsu Aquatic Center.

Two New Trojans

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IMG_6650.JPGUSC men's basketball announced two members of its 2017 Signing Day class today: guard Jordan Usher and center Victor Uyaelunmo.

Click here for the full release!

Usher is a 6-foot-7, 220 lb. guard who will spend his senior year at Wheeler High School in Marietta, GA after prepping at Sequoyah in Canton, GA for the last three years. He averaged 18.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.3 blocks per game last year at Sequoyah.

Uyaelunmo comes to USC from Miami, FL, where he played at Calvary Christian Academy. The 7-footer averaged 10.4 points, 11.1 rebounds and 4.1 blocks per game last year.

Usher, Uyaelunmo and Duke transfer Derryck Thornton are just the beginning of USC's Class of 2017 signees.


Washington Thursday: Helton Presser

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USC head coach Clay Helton spoke to the media one last time before the team travels North to take on No. 4 Washington in Seattle.

Here is Helton's full press conference:

Wild Weekend in Troy

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The fall sports calendar explodes this weekend all over campus as well as the critical football game up in Seattle. Please come out and support the Trojans!

Click here for ticket information.


One Step Closer for Adoree'

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USC_Football_Colorado_Mcgillen_2016_6248.jpgUSC CB Adoree' Jackson was named one of 10 semifinalists for the 2016 Lott IMPACT Award, the organization announced today.

Click here for the full release!

The award, named for USC legend and College Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, is given yearly to a defensive player who displays excellence in Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity (IMPACT).

Jackson, the only CB in the nation to make the cut, has 42 tackles (1 TFL), 2 INT, 8 passes defensed and 2 fumble recoveries this season. He also ranks seventh in the nation in punt return average (14.7) and kickoff return average (31.2). Earlier this season, he became USC's all-time leader in kickoff return yards, passing Curtis Conway.

He earned Lott IMPACT Player of the Week on Oct. 11 after an impressive showing against Colorado.

One of four team captains this season, Jackson is a communication major with a real estate finance minor. He's demonstrated tenacity in his efforts to pursue both football and track & field here at USC, and despite dedicating half of his year to football, he competed in the Olympic trials to try to earn a trip to Rio this summer.

The Lott IMPACT Trophy will name its four finalists on Nov. 29.

Generations: Terrell Thomas and Iman Marshall

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Terrell Thomas and Iman Marshall are big, physical corners, representing USC's past and present. In a new Generations, they shared a conversation on Howard Jones and Brian Kennedy Fields about the mindset of a champion.

Stevens Center Academic Spotlight: Kristen Venter

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USC's student-athletes are more than just champions on the field, court, diamond and pool --- they're champions in the classroom as well. Each week, we will get to know one of these scholarly Trojans a bit better in our academic spotlight.

venter.jpgName: Kristen Venter
Class: Sophomore
Sport: Women's Tennis
Major: Business Administration (Cinematic Arts)
GPA: 3.87

Aubrey Kragen (AK): Having gone to high school in London, how did you end up at USC?

Kristen Venter (KV): I was born and raised in South Africa, but I went to an international school for high school in London and part of middle school as well, so I was there for just under five years. I ended up here because I've always loved Southern California --- my mom's American, so I've got family in San Diego. And tennis was a big thing. I loved the coaches here and the team. And the school --- no other school has the joint major with business and cinematic arts, so I feel like at USC you can really combine things and sculpt your own major, whereas at other schools it's straight business or straight economics.

AK: So did you know coming into college that you wanted to be in the BCA program?

KV: I didn't know about the program, actually,  so I came in as just business administration. I found out about the BCA program while I was here for Marshall orientation, so I applied right away. I found out I was accepted my first semester, and I started the classes my second semester.

AK: So you knew you were interested in film coming in?

KV: I knew I liked the entertainment industry and business. I always wanted to do business, but I'm not very interested in just investment banking and finance and accounting. And I know that's a lot of business. So I kind of just wanted to gear it towards the other side of business.

AK: Is it correct that you're interested in wildlife conservation?

KV: Growing up in South Africa, it was always part of my life. On weekends, it's very common for people to go to a game reserve, which is literally the wild. So on the weekends I'd be around hippos and rhinos and giraffes. You don't really get that anywhere else. So growing up with that and seeing the poaching crisis that's going on right now, I just wanted to do something related to that. And my career goals have just been shaped towards that.

AK: So what is it that you want to do with your degree?

KV: Specifically, I really want to work in the production and the business side behind documentary films for wildlife conservation. So there's a lot going on now with rhino poaching and elephant poaching, so there's been some great documentaries and short films and a media spotlight around the crisis. I want to work on the business side of those things. This past summer I worked at a fiscal sponsorship in New York called Empowers Africa. They work on raising money to fund these documentaries. So that's the end goal.

AK: You also worked for Sony for a while, right? How did that tie in with your career aspirations?

KV: That was before USC, so it was in high school, while I was in London. They were based in New York as well, but I would send in submissions. That was just kind of digital media and following what was trending online for the millennial generation. With those reports that they would get from me and the other trend spotters worldwide, they would combine that to make their TV programs and YouTube videos and short films. So that wasn't geared toward the documentary or the wildlife conservation, but it was more toward the digital media side of things and mass communication.

AK: To shift to tennis, your dad played tennis at UCLA --- How does that affect your family dynamic?

KV: I mean, they always knew USC was for me. Growing up I wanted to go to UCLA just because both my parents actually went there, but as I got older and realized what I wanted to do and the environment that I would be more comfortable in, I knew right away that USC was more of a fit for me. And my parents know that. My dad's actually good friends with my head coach here, now that they realize they used to play each other. Our head coach, Richard Gallien, played at Pepperdine around the same time my dad played at UCLA. So he knows Richard is just the best coach. I'm in great hands --- all of us on the team here are in great hands. So he knows that this is right for me.

AK: Since you grew up in South Africa, lived in London for a while and traveled to Southern California before, was your transition to living in the United States an easy one?

KV: I think that helped out because my mom's American and I've got family in San Diego. So that's nice because I'm really far from home, but not too far. I can still go like three hours away and see my grandparents, so that helps a lot. And going to an international school, there were a lot of children of expats, so there were a lot of American people. So that wasn't really a culture shock, because I'd come here in the summers and I went to high school with a lot of Americans. And speaking English helps. I know a lot of international students come here and they barely speak English. I can imagine that's a really hard transition. My transition was actually smoother than I thought. I thought it would be more of a culture shock and just more of an adjustment, but it also helps having the team. You come in already with a group of friends.

Darnold, Meet Davey

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USC QB Sam Darnold was named a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, the organization announced today. The redshirt freshman is one of 18 players to make the cut.

Click here for the full release!

Darnold has had an impressive season since taking over as starter in the fourth game of the season. Overall, Darnold boasts 20 TD passes and 4 INT, plus 2 rush TD.

Darnold has already set a USC freshman record in TD passes, and is well on his way to setting a USC overall record in passing efficiency (168.1).

According to ESPN, Darnold's total QB rating ranks fourth in the nation and first among all freshmen.

Click here to vote for Sam each day until Nov. 22!

On Nov. 22, three finalists for the award will be announced. Past winners include Marcus Mariota, Peyton Manning and Steve Young.


Leventhal Stat of the Week - Washington

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USC's defense has stepped up against a number of high-powered Pac-12 offenses in the last few games.

The Trojans held Cal to 24 points and Oregon to just 20 points, both season-lows in scoring for those teams. USC's defense will have to keep up the good work in its matchup with Washington this weekend.

The Huskies lead the Pac-12 in scoring offense this season, with 48.3 points per game. The fewest points they've scored all season came in a 31-24 win over Utah in Salt Lake City.

USC's big test against Washington kicks off at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. The game will be aired on FOX.


Flipping the Field

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For the second time this season, the Trojans and the Los Angeles Rams played on back-to-back days inside the Coliseum. Go behind-the-scenes to see how the stadium staff turns USC into the NFL in less than 24 hours.

Start Me Up

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USC alum DeMar DeRozan leads the NBA in scoring season, having scored 30+ points in six of seven games so far.

DeRozan is one of four Trojans to start every game for his team this season (Magic C Nikola Vucevic, Bills F Taj Gibson, Lakers G Nick Young). USC is tied for fifth among NCAA schools in terms of NBA starters.

Spurs C Dewayne Dedmon is also playing valuable minutes off the bench and leading the team with 1.5 blocks per game.


Trojans Come Out on Top

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Yesterday, USC's No. 6 men's golf team won the Gifford Collegiate Championship in a head-to-head battle with No. 8 Stanford.

Click here for the full recap!

The Trojans beat Wisconsin, 5-0-1, and Northwestern, 4-2, to advance to the finals of the tournament in Napa, CA. They were locked in a 2-2-2 tie with the Cardinal, but Andrew Levitt and Justin Suh's victories earned USC a 7&6 tiebreak edge and the win.

USC has now won two straight team events after taking the Cypress Point Classic last week to bring the fall season to a close.

The golf team gets a break in competition before resuming on Feb. 2, 2017, at the Amer Ari Invitational in Waikoloa, HI.


Washington Wednesday: Notes

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While the Trojans understand the importance of Saturday's game, they are treating No. 4 Washington like any other opponent to avoid getting caught up in the hype.
  • USC needs all hands on deck to beat the Huskies. Here is the latest injury report, per head coach Clay Helton: DT Stevie Tu'ikolovatu (knee - moved around after PRP injection), CB Iman Marshall (hamstring - likely to play), CB Jonathan Lockett (hip - doubtful), OG Damien Mama (knee - should practice tomorrow), RB Justin Davis (ankle - no pain) and RB Aca'Cedric Ware (ankle - no pain).
  • Helton called Tu'ikolovatu "a warrior" who vowed to his head coach that he would play in this game despite reaggravating an old knee injury. If he cannot go or is on a limited play count, expect to see more from Josh Fatu and Jacob Daniel, both of whom Helton praised after practice.
  • Washington's offense differs from USC's recent opponents in that the Huskies are balanced, so it is harder for the Trojans to game plan against stopping one strength like Oregon's rushing attack or Cal's passing game. Also, UW plays at a much slower tempo than Arizona, Cal and Oregon, so the Trojans will have to be efficient offensively with their possessions because they likely will not get as many in this game.
  • The Huskies average 231 yards on the ground each game (No. 1 in the Pac-12) and 268 yards through the air (No. 4 in the Pac-12). "I think it's 50/50, it's balanced," said S Chris Hawkins. "Their running game is superb right now but also when you've got 25 touchdowns between two receivers, you can't ignore the pass game either."
  • In terms of style, UW will look a lot more like USC on offense than the spread teams that the Trojans faced in October. "This is the first pro-style offense we've faced in a few weeks," said LB Michael Hutchings. "We've been seeing all this uptempo, 80-100 plays a game, and they average about 65 plays. They just execute their offense well. Not trying to out tempo you, get you out of place, they just line up and execute what they do."
  • So, how do the Trojans handle the menu of options at Chris Petersen's disposal? "Our eyes tell us the story, so once we see something, we've got to believe it," said Hawkins. "But we also have to be safe with it because they do have big play-action shots. They throw to John Ross deep on play-action shots. They throw overs. Then they've always got a trick play or two every game. Our eyes are going to tell the story this week."
  • John Ross leads the conference with 14 touchdown catches. "Electrifying player," said CB Adoree' Jackson about Ross. "He does a lot of things well, especially when he gets the ball in his hands. He's one of those guys where he can stop on a dime, he can run nice routes. And that's pretty much what is on film, you just see a good player out there."
  • On the other side, Dante Pettis is second in the Pac-12 with 11 TD grabs. "Every week I'm always looking forward to the competition," said Jackson. "That's pretty much how I go about myself. It wouldn't be me or up to my standard if I didn't want to go against anybody."
  • Here is Helton's entire Wednesday press conference as we inch towards Saturday:

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

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USC women's basketball signed two impressive recruits on National Signing Day today: Shalexxus Aaron and Destiny Littleton.

Click here for the full release!

Aaron is a 6-foot-1 guard from Riverside, CA who has basketball in her blood. Her brother, Shaqquan, is a redshirt sophomore slated to start on USC's men's basketball team. Her oldest brother as well as their parents also played basketball. She's ranked as the No. 16 guard in the nation.

Littleton comes to Troy from San Diego, where she earned California All-State First Team honors as a senior guard. The 2015 USA Basketball U16 National Team member is ranked as the No. 9 guard in the nation.

State of Troy: November 2016

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Each month, we sit down with USC athletic director Lynn Swann to get his take on the hot topics around Heritage Hall.

USC_Football_Oregon_McGillen_11_05_16_1688.jpgSwann on USC football's five-game winning streak...

I have seen solid improvement in each game from the players. The coaches have delivered great game plans, on the offensive side from Tee Martin and on the defensive side from Clancy Pendergast, that the players are able to grasp and execute. Now, they have put themselves in position to play in a big game this week in Seattle.

Swann on all the support from alums over Homecoming weekend...

We have a very strong alumni base across the board from all of our schools and sports that rally around our teams, including our football program. The former players want to see a team that plays well and plays hard. I think they are seeing that and that's what they are excited about. Yes, it was a tough start to the season, but everybody knew that we had a difficult schedule. The alums and the fans are encouraged by the team itself, and its ability to get better week-by-week. We value the impact that our former players have with our current players and we look forward to having them continue to stay involved in the future.

Click here for tickets to USC vs. Notre Dame.

Swann on the importance of packing the Galen Center to create an atmosphere for basketball...

We had a fabulous showing of fans come out to watch our women's soccer team last week play UCLA at the StubHub Center. More than 8,000 people supported what was a great contest, even though we did not come out on top that night. We need to have the same kind of passion for our basketball teams. Our programs are getting better and improving every season. When they get that kind of support from the alumni, fans and students, it drives the student-athletes and motivates them. It makes them feel valued, which leads to better play.

Click here for men's basketball tickets.

Click here for women's basketball tickets.

USC_Womens_Soccer_UCLA_Stub_Hub_Mcgillen_1402.jpgSwann on women's soccer getting a 2-seed in the NCAA Tournament...

Keidane McAlpine has done a great job of leading this team. He has prepared them all season by emphasizing the fundamentals and making sure the players are in the right position and playing competitively. To see them earn a No. 2 seed, it says a lot about this team's heart and hard work that led to consistency. Our expectations for postseason play are very high, but not as high as the players' own expectations in terms of what they believe they can accomplish.

Click here for NCAA Tournament tickets.

Swann on the UCLA rivalry...

I am looking forward to my first USC-UCLA football game as an athletic director just as I am excited to support all the sports when they play UCLA. Rivalries are important. We've had this crosstown rivalry for so many years in every sport, so we look forward to the challenge. Our student-athletes grow up playing with and against UCLA's student-athletes, so it makes it even more fun and competitive. We always play this game hard, but we also show great sportsmanship and respect and we expect the fans to do the same. It's a game that we want to win every year regardless of how our season is going, so I expect every USC-UCLA contest to have the spirit of a national championship game from both sides.

#USCHero: Lalena Magnetta

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During USC's big win over Oregon on Saturday, USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann presented Lalena Magnetta with a USC Medal of Courage.

Magnetta enlisted in the U.S. Navy immediately after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. She worked primarily as an aviation electronics technician onboard vessels such as the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower and the U.S.S. John C. Stennis. Magnetta was also part of numerous commands involved directly with Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

After 11 years in the Navy, Magnetta is now enrolled in USC's Marshall School of Business, where she's working towards her second Master's degree.


Trojan Tribune: A Night Walk to Remember

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Written by Martin Bahar, USC Men's Basketball Director of Scouting, and edited by Max Holm, USC blog contributor

IMG_4190.JPGUSC men's basketball assistant Martin Bahar lost his sister to leukemia several years ago and has been walking in her name as part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk with his family the past seven years. In total, the Bahar family has raised more than $160,000 for "Maddie's Team." Since Bahar arrived at USC in July 2015, members of USC's men's basketball team have rallied around him and supported the Bahar family's mission.

My beautiful sister, Madeleine Beverly Bahar, passed in February 2009 at the young age of 25. As she valiantly battled leukemia, our family developed a relationship with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and became aware of its annual Light the Night Walk. By October of 2009, several months after her tragic death, my family began participating in the Light the Night Walk and fundraising for the event in my late sister's name as part of "Maddie's Team."
The Light the Night Walk is an annual event that occurs in various cities across the country, where people walk in honor of those who presently battle blood cancers, those who have passed from the terrible disease and those who have courageously fought and survived. It's an outdoor walk with food, games and activities that brings a lot of people together. The entire atmosphere is incredibly uplifting and, from a personal perspective, it gives our family a manner through which we can honor our beloved Maddie and so many others in a positive fashion.
One great aspect of the Light the Night Walk is that there are opportunities to do the walk all over the country. This means wherever you live, you can likely fundraise, walk, participate and spend time with great people who have good hearts and really care about others. For example, since my family is from Potomac, MD, a suburb of Washington, D.C., we raise money for the National Capital Area chapter and walk at their Rockville location every year.

In August 2009, I took a coaching position at Princeton University and moved to New Jersey, some three hours away from Potomac. Because I was so close to home, I was able to drive home every fall to join my family for the walk. In 2011, I took an assistant job at Fairfield University in Connecticut, which was three hours north of Princeton. Even though I wasn't able to make the walk every year that I lived in Connecticut, I was still actively fundraising and doing everything possible to bring attention to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's cause.
I can genuinely say that I've thought about my late sister every single day since her passing. Even as the years go on, I still get emotional on the October evenings when my friends and family get together with so many other families at the Light the Night Walk. As time passes, I'm constantly proud of how my family has honored her through our fundraising, but I always wish that she was still here with us on earth, beaming, and sharing her joy of life with others like she always used to.
My wife and I moved to Los Angeles in July of 2015. While still fundraising for the National Capital Area's chapter, we have participated in the walk here in Los Angeles the last two Octobers. The Los Angeles walk takes place at LA Live, very close to the USC campus.
In 2015, then-freshman Chimezie Metu joined my family for our first walk in Los Angeles. The moment he learned about the event, he expressed strong interest in attending. Chimezie's an intelligent and well-rounded kid with a heart of gold, and he and I have really bonded since we both first stepped foot on campus last summer. He comes to my office often --- to the point where I joke with him that he's actually a member of our coaching staff. Wherever life takes him after his USC days, he and I will be in touch forever. He was the first player I have ever coached who has attended the event, so I feel forever indebted to him.
Last month, I invited all of our men's basketball student-athletes to attend the event, and the response was astounding. Our players' support of the cause reinforces my belief that our student-athletes are of the highest character --- something our coaching staff takes immense pride in. It shows their hearts, their ability to think outside of their own world and their penchant for helping others. My wife and our family were so pleasantly surprised to have Chimezie Metu, Charles Buggs, Kurt Karis, Bennie Boatwright, De'Anthony Melton, Jonah Mathews, Nick Rakocevic, Derryck Thornton, Harrison Henderson and Devin Fleming walk with us this year. All of our student-athletes know how special this cause is to my family, so to have such an incredible turnout was one of the proudest and most emotional moments I've had as a college basketball coach. It meant the world to the Bahar family and is something I will certainly always be thankful for.
This October, members of the Trojan men's basketball team personified what the Trojan Family motto is all about. They showed that USC's student-athletes see the big picture and are trying to make a profound difference in the ongoing fight against blood cancer.

Pac-12 Power Players

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The Pac-12 announced its all-conference awards for women's soccer yesterday, and eight Trojans in total were honored.

Senior Mandy Freeman was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and senior Sammy Jo Prudhomme earned Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the year. Senior midfielder Morgan Andrews and senior defender Kayla Mills joined Freeman and Prudhomme on the conference's first team list.

RS junior forward Alex Anthony and senior defender Savannah Levin made the Pac-12 second team, while senior forward Katie Johnson earned an honorable mention. Freshman defender Julia Bingham landed a spot on the conference's All-Freshman Team.

Click here for the full release!

The spectacular play of all these Trojans helped lead the team to a 14-4-1 record and a tie for second place in the Pac-12 this year. They were rewarded with a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They face the Eastern Washington Eagles in the first round this Saturday at 1 p.m. at USC's McAlister Field.

Click here for tickets!

Washington Tuesday: Notes

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The Trojans hit the field hard on Election Night to prepare for their first away game since Oct. 15.
  • USC_Football_Oregon_McGillen_11_05_16_3340.jpgFull injury report, per head coach Clay Helton: DT Stevie Tu'ikolovatu (strained PCL - did not practice), CB Iman Marshall (hamstring - did not practice), OG Damien Mama (sore knee - did not practice), CB Jonathan Lockett (hip), LB Michael Hutchings (strained calf), RB Justin Davis (ankle - limited), RB Aca'Cedric Ware (ankle, knee - limited).
  • Helton expressed that he wanted the team to "get comfortable with being uncomfortable" this week. In today's practice, that included playing with crowd noise, sirens and dog barking noises blaring in the background and doing a drill with a soaked ball for 15 minutes. "If it's over the top now, let it be, so Saturday's a lot easier," Helton said.
  • The Trojans will have their hands full on the field, so preparing for the off-the-field factors could be key. Washington leads the Pac-12 in scoring offense, scoring defense and pass efficiency. They were ranked No. 4 in the latest College Football Playoff poll, while USC made its debut at No. 20.
  • Helton noted that despite UW QB Jake Browning getting the majority of the attention, "they're actually a run-first football team." Indeed, the Huskies lead the conference with 231.0 rush yards per game. Helton compared the way Husky RB Myles Gaskin "bounces in and out of holes" to Le'Veon Bell.
  • While the whole team is itching to prove itself against the current king of the Pac-12, senior OT Zach Banner has something special to play for, as he hails from Tacoma, WA. "I'm excited to be back home," Banner said. "I'm excited to be in Washington and smell that home air and get some home food. I'm going to get Ezell's after the game."
  • Banner mentioned that he's getting tickets for 40 to 50 friends and family members that he calls his "home crowd." Otherwise, he expects "a lot of boos."
  • Watch Helton's full press conference here:

2016-17 Men's Basketball Captains

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CAPTAINS.jpgUSC men's basketball voted junior PG Jordan McLaughlin and sophomore PF Bennie Boatwright its 2016-17 team captains.

The season starts on Friday when the Trojans host Montana at 8 p.m. inside the Galen Center. USC will follow the opener with another home game on Sunday afternoon against Omaha at 4 p.m.

No. 20 for Trojans

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USC is No. 20 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, the organization announced today.

The Trojans were unranked in the first rollout of the rankings last week, sporting a 5-3 record, but made their debut in the Top 20 after a convincing 45-20 win over Oregon this weekend. By jumping into the Top 20, USC was the biggest riser in the rankings this week.

USC puts its five-game win streak and College Football Playoff ranking on the line this week in its matchup with Washington. The Huskies entered the rankings at No. 5, but moved up to No. 4 today. UW is undefeated and leads the conference in both scoring offense and scoring defense this season.

USC vs. Washington kicks off at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday on FOX.


Coming up Roses for Allyson and Janet

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Allyson Felix and Janet Evans, two Olympians with ties to USC, were recently named Grand Marshals of the 2017 Rose Parade.

Felix, Evans and Greg Louganis will ride down Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena on Jan. 1, joining the ranks of Vin Scully, Carl Lewis, Buzz Aldrin and Pele as prominent Rose Parade Grand Marshals.

Felix, the most decorated female track & field Olympian in American history, earned a degree in general studies (elementary education) from USC in 2008. At this summer's Rio Olympics, she earned two gold and one silver medal.

Evans, meanwhile, is one of the greatest female distance swimmers of all time, having earned four Olympic gold medals and a silver. Though she competed collegiately at Stanford, she earned a degree in communication from USC in 1994, while serving as a volunteer coach for the swim team.

The theme of the 2017 Rose Parade is "Echoes of Success," which is intended to tell "the story of how our character has developed through the selfless contributions of others and celebrates their inspirational gifts," according to Tournament of Roses President Brad Ratliff.

In addition to riding in the Rose Parade, the grand marshals traditionally also perform the coin toss before the Rose Bowl Game, which will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 2, 2017 at the Rose Bowl.

Kickin' It With Keidane - Week 12

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USC women's soccer capped off its 2016 regular season with a landmark game at StubHub Center last Friday. Despite the loss, the Trojans finished 14-4-1, with an 8-2-1 record in conference play, earning them a 2-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Before the team's first round game vs. Eastern Washington on Saturday, head coach Keidane McAlpine sat down to discuss what his team can improve on heading into the postseason and what the Trojans are up against with the Eagles.

A Rose is a Rose

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Rose Cup 1.jpgOn Sunday, Nov. 20, Trojan Outreach and the USC women's tennis team will partner to host the fifth annual Rose Cup benefitting the USC Norris Cancer Center.

The Rose Cup was first held in 2012 to support women's tennis player Kaitlyn Christian's and her mother, Rose, who was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Kaitlyn's teammate, Giuliana Olmos, spearheaded the fundraising efforts and has helped expand the program year after year. Last year, the Trojan Outreach and USC women's tennis raised $6,000 to fund breast cancer research at USC's Norris Cancer Center, and the goal this year is to hit $10,000.

Due in part to her efforts organizing the Rose Cup, Olmos earned the ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award.

Initially, the event mostly comprised Trojan student-athletes who donated their time to the cause, but it is open to anyone who'd like to participate. To take part in the Rose Cup this year, people can sign up for the 16-team doubles tournament for $10 a team. Commemorative T-shirts are also available for $10 each. Those who donate $100 or more can customize their shirts with their names on them.

Trojan fans can also donate directly to the cause through GoFundMe by clicking here!

Those who do not wish to play tennis, but would like to attend the Rose Cup are welcome. A free lunch will be provided to everyone in attendance.

The event runs from 12-2 p.m. on Nov. 20 at USC's Marks Tennis Stadium.

If you're interested in donating, participating or learning more about the fifth annual Rose Cup, click here to contact McCall Hall, USC's director of community outreach.

Trojans Live: Washington Preview

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On Monday night's Trojans Live, head coach Clay Helton, OT Zach Banner and former DB Terrell Thomas prepared us for the showdown at No. 5 Washington, while men's basketball head coach Andy Enfield previewed the upcoming season which begins on Friday.

Helton knows the Trojans will have to play a disciplined game on the road to upset the undefeated Huskies.

Click here to watch Helton on Trojans Live.

Banner is excited to head home for the biggest contest of his senior year.

Click here to watch Banner on Trojans Live.

Thomas was one of many proud alums on the Homecoming sideline and credited Helton with welcoming former players back.

Click here to watch Thomas on Trojans Live.

Enfield has the men's basketball program on the rise with a talented roster ready to compete for another NCAA Tournament berth.

2016 #USCtotheNFL Week 9

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In Week 9 of the NFL season, Trojans in the NFL made some of the biggest plays for their teams at the biggest moments.

In honor of Election Day, make sure to not only vote for the president and propositions, but vote your favorite Trojans into the Pro Bowl!

woods-nfl.jpgThe Best

Bills WR Robert Woods had the best game of his career in front of the millions watching Monday Night Football yesterday. Despite dealing with a foot injury leading up to the game, Woods exploded for 10 catches and 162 yards --- both career highs. No other player in Week 9 hauled in more receiving yards.

After the game, Bills QB Tyrod Taylor called his leading receiver "feisty" and "competitive."

"He wants the football," Taylor said. "He's going out there and doing a lot of things that we ask him to do. He played his butt off out there ... I'm happy for him and to see his progress as the season has gone on."

The Best of the Rest

Xavier Grimble, TE, Steelers - 1 reception, 10 yards

Cody Kessler, QB, Browns - 19/27, 203 pass yards, 1 TD

Marqise Lee, WR, Jaguars - 4 receptions, 84 yards, plus 3 kickoff returns for 87 yards

Leonard Williams, DE, Jets - 4 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 QB hits

Rhett Ellison, TE, Vikings - 1 rush TD

Everson Griffen, DE, Vikings - 7 tackles, 1 sack, 2 QB hits, 2 TFL

Devon Kennard, LB, Giants - 3 tackles, 1 QB hit

Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles - 4 receptions, 41 yards

T.J. McDonald, S, Rams - 2 tackles

Nick Perry, LB, Packers - 4 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1 QB hit

Jurrell Casey, DT, Titans - 8 tackles, 1 QB hit

Malcolm Smith, LB, Raiders - Team-leading 8 tackles

Click here to learn more about Eat The Ball!

Clay Helton Q&A: Washington

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USC heads North to face No. 5 Washington on Saturday with the team's five-game win streak and Pac-12 South title aspirations on the line.

Before the trip, USC head coach Clay Helton sat down to discuss Ronald Jones II's improvements, Washington QB Jake Browning's strengths and more:

Trojans Nab a Two-Seed

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USC women's soccer earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the committee announced today.

Click here for the full release!

The No. 2 seed matches the program's highest-ever ranking in the NCAAs. The Trojans, who finished the regular season at 14-4-1 and 8-2-1 in conference play, will host the Eastern Washington Eagles in the first round.

That match kicks off at USC's McAlister Field at 1 p.m. this Saturday.


Marin the Man

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Freshman driver Marin Dasic of USC men's water polo earned MPSF Newcomer of the Week for his three-goal performance vs. San Jose State on Sunday. It was the second such award of the year for Dasic.

Click here for the full release!

His three goals against the Spartans marked the third hat trick of the season for the Croatian. He also scored three goals against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and La Verne. He and two other Trojans were tied for the team lead in goals against SJSU in the Trojans' 19-1 win.

Dasic and the Trojans are back in the pool this Saturday morning. The No. 2 Trojans clash with No. 1 UCLA at 11 a.m. to round out their regular season.


No News on USC-UCLA Kick Time

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The kickoff time for the USC at UCLA game on Saturday, November 19, will be announced by Sunday, November 13, but nothing has been determined yet. The television window spans from starting as early as 11 a.m. PT to as late as 7:30 p.m. PT.

The five game options that day for the networks to choose:


Arizona at Oregon State

Washington State at Colorado

Oregon at Utah

Stanford at California

The telecast windows for those games (in order of pick):

12:30 p.m. PT on FOX

7:30 p.m. PT or 8 p.m. MT on ESPN

11 a.m. PT on Pac-12 Network

2:30 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Network

7:30 p.m. on Pac-12 Network

(That day's Arizona State at Washington game has already been selected for a 4:30 p.m PT kick on FOX.)


DeMar De-Jordan?

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Through two weeks of the 2016-17 NBA season, Raptors guard and USC alum DeMar DeRozan leads the league in scoring (33.7 PPG).

He scored 23 points in last night's loss to the Kings, but in his first five games of the season, he scored more than 30 points each game, putting him in some pretty elite company.

During the 2008-09 season at USC, DeRozan averaged 13.9 PPG and 5.7 rebounds per game.

DeRozan and the Raptors are back at it when they visit the Thunder at 5 p.m. PT Wednesday.

Sights and Sounds: USC vs. Oregon

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USC alums came home for a party, and the Trojans provided the fireworks, beating Oregon in the Coliseum for the first time since 2008.

GameDay. Blouses.

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ESPN announced it would broadcast its College GameDay pregame show from Seattle, WA, this weekend, when the Trojans visit the No. 5 Washington Huskies.

The Trojans are 16-6 all-time in games when ESPN GameDay is present, and 9-3 on the road in such games. Both those marks include 3 wins and 1 loss later vacated by NCAA penalty.

Trojans fans can hope ESPN GameDay analyst Lee Corso predicts an upset, as he's never been wrong on his pick involving a USC game on the show.


Soccer's Regular Season Finale

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On Friday night, USC women's soccer played its last regular season game of 2016. The team celebrated its seniors before the game against UCLA at the StubHub Center, in front of a crowd of 8,508.

Despite outshooting the Bruins, 20-11, the Trojans fell, 1-0.

USC finished its regular season with a 14-4-1 record and an 8-2-1 record in conference play.

Now, the Trojans wait to hear their fate during the NCAA Tournament selection show, which airs at 1:30 p.m. today. Click here to live stream the show!

Check out team photographer John McGillen's photos of Senior Day at StubHub:

USC vs. Oregon Wrap-Up

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The Trojans rocked Oregon last night for a 45-20 win. USC posted 579 total yards, its fifth straight game over 500 yards of offense and is rolling heading into its trip to No. 5 Washington.

Homecoming Heroes

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While the Trojan Family filled up the Coliseum for Homecoming, providing the best home atmosphere of the season, the football legends littered the sidelines in support of the current USC team. LB Rey Maualuga, WR Steve Smith, LB/S Su'a Cravens, OT Sam Baker, C Ryan Kalil, FB Soma Vainuku, LB Thomas Williams and DT Shaun Cody were among the visiting dignitaries.

Trojan of the Game vs. Oregon: Ronald Jones II

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For the second consecutive week, the Trojan Family voted Ronald Jones II the Mercury Insurance Trojan of the Game. The sophomore tailback scored four rushing touchdowns, tying the school record.


SooHoo Gallery: USC vs. Oregon

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On Homecoming Saturday, the Trojans put on a show for fans old and new. Here are Jon SooHoo's photos of the festivities:

McGillen Galleries: Oregon

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The Trojans earned their fifth straight win of the season in a dominating performance against the Oregon Ducks.

Team photographer John McGillen and his assistants, Ryan Kang and Rachel Bennett, were at the Coliseum to capture the Homecoming game from start to finish.

Trojans Down the Ducks

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Trojans Down the Ducks

6-Points: USC 45, Oregon 20

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The Trojans made it five straight victories by winning the day against the Ducks.

Click here for the recap and final stats.

Click here for the post-game press conference.

Oregon-Final.jpgTrojan Wall

Oregon came into the game averaging 40.5 points per game and 248 yards rushing per game. The Trojans held the Ducks to a season-low 20 points and limited the ground game to 85 yards, Oregon's lowest total since 2013. "What an unbelievable effort by our defense," said head coach Clay Helton. "That's one of the better rushing teams, not only in our league, but in the nation." Under defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast, USC focuses on identifying an opponent's strength and taking it away. "We emphasized it all week. We knew they were the top rushing offense in the Pac-12," said OLB Porter Gustin. "We challenged ourselves throughout the week to keep the rush game down."

Feeling the Breeze

On the other side of the ball, the USC running game racked up 270 yards. "For the fifth game in a row, I thought the offensive line set the tone," Helton said. "The holes they were creating, a good running back can go a long way." Sophomore tailback Ronald Jones II was the primary beneficiary, gaining 171 yards on 20 carries and tying the USC single-game record with four rushing touchdowns. "It's a testament to our offensive line and everyone working hard together," said QB Sam Darnold. "It opens up those lanes for RoJo, and he can do the rest."


While the defense dominated from the start, forcing three consecutive three-and-outs, the offense was forced to grind out yards and drives. "They showed some different things that we weren't expecting, and we had to adjust to it," said Darnold. "Once we figured out what they're trying to do, it's going to be hard to stop us if we execute." Helton credited offensive coordinator Tee Martin for making the necessary in-game adjustments. Oregon committed bodies to taking away USC's outside zone run game and the perimeter receivers, so the Trojans pounded the ball inside and worked the middle of the field in the pass game. Slot receiver Deontay Burnett took advantage of the space by making seven receptions for 87 yards and a TD as part of a career night.

Party in the Backfield

The Trojans employed an aggressive defensive game plan, taking the fight to the Ducks from the opening snap. "To stop the run, we thought we had to get one penetration in the backfield, and Porter [Gustin] and Uchenna Nwosu had to do an excellent job not letting the ball get outside," explained Helton. Gustin and Nwosu combined for four tackles-for-loss, and the Trojans tallied seven stops in the back field total, including three sacks. "We did a great job of putting pressure on the quarterback and setting the edge, so the running game was not as dominant as it usually is," said CB Adoree' Jackson. The Ducks were rarely able to speed up the tempo because the Trojans held them to 5 of 16 on third down.

Give and Go

Darnold continues to play the quarterback position like a point guard, dishing the ball to nine different receivers. "When they get their opportunities, they don't let them slip," said Darnold about his teammates. "It's a testament to those guys and how they are able to execute when their number is called." Outside of Burnett's big night, Taylor McNamara made it four consecutive games with a TD catch for a tight end. Freshman WR Michaeil Pittman Jr. also enjoyed a breakout night with 61 yards on four catches.

The Litmus Test

The Trojans were buried in a 1-3 hole after September, but they have officially dug themselves out, setting up a showdown with No. 5 Washington in Seattle next week. "What an electric atmosphere it will be," said Helton. "It ought to be a lot of fun. This is why you play the game." USC is 5-1 since Darnold took over as the starting quarterback, but the one loss came in a difficult road game at Utah. "My learning curve now will be going on the road to a tough atmosphere at Washington," said Darnold about the next step for him and his teammates. "It will be interesting to see how our team responds."

Here are the game highlights from a happy Homecoming at the Coliseum:

Trojan Tribune: All Set for Senior Day

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Written by Mandy Freeman, USC women's soccer captain, and edited by Aubrey Kragen, USC Asst. Director of Social Media

USC_SOCCER_WSU_MCGILLEN_8896.jpgAs the final regular season game of Mandy Freeman's career approaches, she reflected on what brought her to USC and what she's done with her platform.

I grew up in Florida watching my two sisters play soccer. My oldest sister went to Florida and my middle sister went to South Alabama, then transferred to FSU. The first time I ever came out here was to watch my sister play in the Sweet 16 --- USC vs. Florida at the Coliseum in 2007. I was about 12.

The Coliseum is breathtaking for anyone who's going for their first time, especially for a women's college soccer game. It was an awesome opportunity to watch my sister play there, because I had always admired her growing up. She was the one who pushed me towards USC, because she played against them and saw the type of players and coaching that they had.

When I came out here for one of my own soccer tournaments, I took an unofficial visit, kind of fell in love with the campus and the atmosphere, and knew right away that this was where I wanted to be.

I'm a little bit of an introvert, so coming to USC helped me branch out and become my own person. As an introvert, observing everything was already something I liked to do, so I decided to major in psychology to use that outlet as a professional means. I actually registered late, so one of the last available classes was in occupational therapy, which ended up being my minor.

Occupational therapy combines physical therapy and mental therapy, so if a person who loved to do art broke their hand, you could help find another outlet for them to be creative without using the hand. I'm passionate about arts --- I was actually a professional face-painter as a side gig in high school and painted a mural at an elementary school once. I want to help kids growing up in low economic neighborhoods use art as an outlet. I'd love to see them use that as a way to find themselves, their individuality and their creativity.

Sophia.jpgI've actually worked with kids a lot during my time at USC. Through an organization called Team Impact, I mentor a five-year-old girl named Sofia. She had cancer when she was younger, so the program helps me give her another support system outside of her family to lean on. She's come to a few games now. Considering her story, she has the most energy I've ever seen. Probably because I always give her chocolate milk. She says it gives her special powers.

I'm also involved in A Day in Troy along with a lot of other student-athletes here. And when Girl Scouts come, we walk them around campus and talk to them about the importance of staying involved in the community, education, exercise, health and more.

Earning Community Service Athlete of the Month in 2014 was one of my proudest moments off the field. I was always one of the first ones to sign up for any volunteer events, because it's fun to me, but I didn't think anyone was paying attention. It was definitely something I was raised on --- my mom was big on giving back to the community. On Thanksgiving we always we go out to a homeless shelter or just walk around the street and hand out plates of food to people instead of eating. So helping people was something that I was brought up to prioritize and I hope to keep doing it.

I've also learned over the years how to help my teammates on the playing field. When I was younger, a lot of my criticisms were that I wasn't speaking loudly, which as a center back you have to do. You have to be vocal and confident. I was never in a captain position before college, but I've grown to be more of a leader on this team. I think it has to do with the way I was brought up in the soccer world --- I was in and out with the national team, so I usually had the most experience on my teams, and because of that, I wanted to help the others around me. Although my personality isn't being very vocal in the traditional captain type, I think I've grown accustomed to leading with all my experience.

It's crazy to be a captain of one of the best teams in the history of USC's women's soccer program. This year, I want to win a national championship. I feel like the team definitely deserves it. We've been working hard, and a ring would be icing on top of the cake.

Mandy Freeman plays the last regular season game of her career tonight as No. 5 USC takes on No. 18 UCLA at 7 p.m. at StubHub Center. Click here to purchase tickets!


2016 Game 9: USC vs. Oregon

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Oregon Ducks (3-5, 1-4) at USC Trojans (5-3, 4-2)

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at 4 p.m. PT on ESPN and WatchESPN

Herbert.jpgDuck to Watch: Freshman QB Justin Herbert

Just like USC, Oregon turned to a freshman QB when it needed a spark and Herbert answered the bell. The true freshman has been lights out in three starts, throwing 12 touchdowns to only 2 interceptions. Herbert is a capable runner, topping out at 56 yards as a game-high this season, but he does not pose the threat of Ducks' past like Marcus Mariota. Nevertheless, the goal is to pressure the youngster and make him move. "If you don't hit this kid, you're going to have a long day because he can distribute it," said USC head coach Clay Helton.

Click here for more on the Ducks.

3 Keys

TrackTown USA

Oregon loves its track & field, and the football team mirrors that passion. At the skill positions, the Ducks have "always been the fastest team we've played," said Helton. This year is no exception. Royce Freeman and Tony Brooks-James are blazers in the backfield, combining for 16 rush TDs this year. Charles Nelson and Darren Carrington II can hurt USC on the outside. Add in Mark Helfrich's uptempo offense and the Ducks will be most comfortable turning the game into a track meet. The Trojans need to slow everything down. Forcing negative plays and third down efficiency are the keys defensively to keeping Oregon from getting to mach speed.

Have a Day Ronald

Ronald Jones II ran for 223 yards on 18 carries against Cal despite ceding 20 carries to Aca'Cedric Ware who has a gimpy ankle this week. Jones will happily carry the load on Saturday, facing Oregon's rush defense which yields 235 rush yards per game on average. Behind Jones, expect Dominic Davis to get the biggest opportunity of his young USC career, and James Toland IV will be ready when called upon. Jones has never had a 20-carry game, so if he gets the chance to be the bell cow back, expect him to put up a big number behind a confident USC offensive line.

The Games to Remember

The Trojans started 1-3 this season, sending fan morale into the negative abyss. USC dug out of the hole with a 4-0 October, and November is set up with a new rival, a top 5 opponent, and two old rivals. While crowds were sparse last month, Homecoming is expected to be the best attended game so far this year, giving the Trojans an opportunity to show everyone what they've been missing. The Pac-12 South is still in play and a big finish could save the season, but it has to start on Saturday against Oregon.

Oregon Thursday: Helton Presser

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On the final day of practice before USC's Homecoming game vs. Oregon, head coach Clay Helton stressed the importance of getting six points out of every red zone possession and containing two dangerous Ducks return men.

Watch Helton's full press conference:

Lighting of the Torch

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Every USC fan marvels at the beauty of the Coliseum torch, so we went inside the operation to see how the flame bursts into life.

Meet Josh Fatu

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USC_Football_Arizona_McGillen_2016_3875.jpgName: Josh Fatu

Position: DT

Class: Junior

Size: 6-foot-3, 290 lbs.

Age: 20

Last College: Long Beach CC

Game: The Trojans needed help on the defensive line and Josh Fatu arrived just in time. The JC product was already physically developed, so he could compete at the college level from day one. While he has had to master the playbook and improve his technique to earn more snaps, Fatu is naturally explosive off the ball.

College Career: Fatu has 14 tackles and a sack for the Trojans this season. He's appeared in all eight games, starting one. Prior to USC, he earned 2015 Prep Star JUCO All-American, JC Athletic Bureau All-California Region III first team and All-Southern California Football Association National Division Central League first team (unanimous) honors as a sophomore at LBCC. His 52 tackles, including 14 TFL (with 9.5 sacks), 2 fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and a deflection helped LBCC go 9-2 and win the Beach Bowl in 2015. He prepped at Lakewood High School.

USC head coach Clay Helton on Fatu: "He's playing good ball. He's one of those guys, that I think the light has kind of clicked on for ... We knew that he was a good player, and he's starting to show that in games now, especially on third downs.

Fun Fact: Fatu plays the ukelele.

Here is Josh Fatu on what he brings to the defense, his relationship with Stevie Tu'ikolovatu, and more:

The Big One

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CwSDyBnUAAEH4nS.jpgNo. 5 USC women's soccer closes out the regular season with a huge match against No. 18 UCLA at StubHub Center tomorrow evening.

Click here for the full preview!

USC is 6-22-1 all-time against UCLA, but the Trojan squad has the better ranking, record, goals for and goals against average this season.

In fact, the Trojans are No. 1 in the conference in goals allowed, with just 8 this year. They rank fourth in the country with a 0.667 shutout percentage and fifth with a 0.908 save percentage.

Senior goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme is a huge part of that. This season, she set the USC record for most regular-season shutouts by a goalie (10) and helped the team set a new school record in consecutive shutouts (7).

She'll be tasked with stopping UCLA's Jessie Fleming, who is tied for the Pac-12 lead in goals per game (0.67). Fleming is a freshman who started for the Canadian national team at the Rio Olympics this summer.

USC has its own dangerous shooters this season as well. Alex Anthony leads the team with 9 goals, while Morgan Andrews and Katie Johnson boast 7 each. Andrews played hero in last year's win over UCLA --- the first ever over the Bruins in Westwood.

Andrews (pictured) and the Trojans kick off their rivalry match against the Bruins at 7 p.m. tomorrow night.

Click here to purchase tickets to pack the house at StubHub for USC's finale!


Vote for Zach and Taylor!

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zach class.jpgTwo Trojan student-athletes were named finalists for the 2016 Senior Class Award in their respective sports today, and Trojan fans can vote to help them win.

Football captain Zach Banner and women's volleyball captain Taylor Whittingham made the 10-person lists, which reward senior student-athletes for excellence in the community, in the classroom, in character and in competition.

Banner, the only Pac-12 player to make the final cut in football, is currently working on his second Bachelor's degree (in sociology), after earning a communication degree from USC earlier this year. He is frequently involved in USC's community programs, including a recent partnership with Trojan Outreach and the CFP Extra Yard for Teachers charity, during which he spoke to local elementary schoolers about the importance of education and helped present a local teacher with a $10,000 check. Banner missed two games to injury this season, but has helped lead an offensive line that's given up the fewest sacks in the Pac-12 this year. He earned All-Pac-12 first team honors in 2015.

Whittingham, who leads her team and ranks third in the conference in digs per set (4.94), is one of three Pac-12 women's volleyball players to be named finalists. This season, the communication major moved up to fourth in USC history with 1,609 career digs and counting. Off the court, Whittingham has led the women's volleyball team in number of service projects, including a day spent with patients at CHLA. She also served as a team leader during USC's "A Day in Troy" program and as a mentor to local Girl Scouts from 2014-15.

Click here to vote for Taylor and click here to vote for Zach!

The fan vote accounts for 1/3 of the total votes toward determining a winner. The other 2/3 comprise NCAA Division I coaches and national media members. Fan voting will be open until Dec. 12.

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Leventhal Stat of the Week - Oregon

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Last week against Cal, Sam Darnold threw 5 TD and the Trojan run game posted its most yards since 2005. While Darnold, Ronald Jones II and Aca'Cedric Ware have earned their fair share of praise, USC's offensive line has shouldered much of the load as well.

The Trojans have only allowed nine sacks this season, five fewer than the next-best team in the Pac-12 and good for 12th in the nation.

After giving up multiple sacks in each of the first two games of the season, the offensive line tightened up, allowing one or fewer sacks in each of the last six games.

Darnold's protectors are tasked with slowing down Oregon's defense this weekend, which has racked up 21 sacks this year (6th in the Pac-12).


Kevon Seymour's Journey

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The last of four Trojans selected in the 2016 NFL Draft, Kevon Seymour entered the NFL with a lot to prove. Eight weeks in, the Bills rookie CB now has 4 defensive tackles and 5 special teams tackles (second-most on the team). But his stats on the field this season are only a small part of the Pasadena, CA native's story.

Stevens Center Academic Spotlight: Victoria Morgan

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USC's student-athletes are more than just champions on the field, court, diamond and pool --- they're champions in the classroom as well. Each week, we will get to know one of these scholarly Trojans a bit better in our academic spotlight.

_KON7639.JPGName: Victoria Morgan
Class: Senior
Sport: Women's Golf
Major: East Asian Studies (already received Bachelor's degree from USC in Philosophy, Politics and Law)
GPA: 3.77

AK: What are some of the most interesting things you learned as a Philosophy, Politics and Law major?

VM: I'm acting as a research assistant now for the same professor that mentored me when I published a paper a couple years ago in the USC Journal of Law and Society. In that paper I was able to research how international law deals with the concept of torture and how the CIA has tried to interpret international law ... I didn't know anything about international law going into college, and now that's one of the things I hope to focus on for the rest of my life. That and human rights.

AK: Do you plan to go to law school after graduating? What are your career goals?

VM: It's a little bit complicated. I hope to play professional golf for about five years and see what I can do out there, get on the LPGA and hopefully have a good career. But I'm more of an academic person; I definitely put the student part first in "student-athlete." So long term, I want to go to a top-notch law school. I'm hoping to go to Stanford --- as much as I want us to always beat them in football, I was just playing up there and got to meet Condoleezza Rice, who's a professor over there, and I love the academic rigor that their law school presents. Then after that, I'm interested in human rights. I'll maybe try to get into politics and see what I can do there. I'm not too sure after that.

AK: Is there any cause in particular that you're passionate about right now?

VM: Something that I've been studying recently is how best to deal with the power that the U.S. has. You obviously don't want to try to force other nations using military might to use the policies that you think are best, but at the same time you want to use the privileges that you have to aid others around the world. So there's a very delicate balance of forcing democracy on people versus helping. Nobody has all the answers, but I hope to pursue that further. A big goal would be to work for the United Nations --- that would be a dream come true.

AK: What was your conversation like with Condoleezza Rice?

VM: The most interesting thing she said was that she was studying to be a concert pianist when she was growing up, and she got to that level, but she decided that she was never going to be the absolute best in that, so she transitioned to something that was her true passion, which was politics. I think for all athletes, there comes a time when you don't want to play anymore or you're too old to play, and you have to transition to something else. So that showed me that you can be the best in two totally different worlds. That's what I hope to be: I hope to get to the very top at golf --- collegiate golf and then professional golf --- and then I hope to get to the very top in my academic aspirations as well.

AK: When you did get the opportunity to pursue a second degree here, why did you choose East Asian Studies?

VM: I took a semester of Korean language and most of my teammates are Korean. And women's golf is extremely popular in Asia, particularly in South Korea. So I've bumped into the East Asian culture over and over again and I've begun to love it over the years. My teammates are like sisters to me, so I wanted to pursue it further in a more academic setting. This semester I'm specifically focusing on China and Chinese politics.

AK: You've traveled to every continent, right? What are some of your favorite countries you've visited?

VM: My favorite place I've ever traveled was El Salvador. I got to go for the inauguration of President Funes in 2009 ... That was really a day of hope for the country. Everybody came out --- you see our elections get about 50 percent of people that come out and vote --- this was such a major part of their culture. Not only did so many people vote, but everybody was on the streets celebrating and partying. The hope that was in the air was palpable and unbelievable --- something I've never seen before in the U.S. So in terms of my academic interests, that was my favorite visit. South Africa was another favorite. I think South Africa might be, as far as the geography, the most beautiful country I've ever been to. It's pretty breathtaking. As far as somewhere I'd want to live if not in the U.S.: Sydney, Australia.

AK: Have your travels helped you in your classes?

VM: I think my edge for school is because I'm so interested in school ... not only am I a nerd, but I have a background in a lot of the things I'm studying. So when they bring up what may seem like an abstract theory or international relations concept, I can apply it to somewhere I've been, and it immediately becomes that much more interesting to me ... I think school, as with sports, if you have an unbelievable passion for it, you're bound to excel in it, even if you have a lot of other things going on.

AK: What was the award that you earned from Order of Troy and what did it mean to you?

VM: I did not expect to get the Order of Troy award. They give it to about 100 people in each graduating class, and it's for exemplary leadership, community service and academic excellence. I didn't know about it because the faculty votes on it. The nice thing about the major that I had was that the classes were relatively small and I got to know my professors. The professors here are so willing to mentor you if you show interest in their class ... The Order of Troy award meant a great deal and my parents were definitely excited and proud, which means the world to me.

Oregon Wednesday: Notes

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The Trojans are gearing up for another dynamic Pac-12 offense.
  • USC could be a few men down to face Oregon. Here is the injury report, per head coach Clay Helton: CB Jonathan Lockett (doubtful with a hip injury), RB Aca'Cedric Ware (missed practice with a sprained ankle), RB Justin Davis (practiced but limited to straight ahead running) and LB Michael Hutchings (pulled from practice with a tight calf).
  • USC_football_CAL_McGillen_2016_HR_0528.jpgWithout Lockett, Ajene Harris is likely to take on a greater role this week. Harris was a quarterback in high school, played wide receiver as a freshman at USC and now is growing into the cornerback position. Helton explained that he was able to handle the position changes because he is "playbook smart" and blessed with great instincts.
  • Unlike last year at Oregon, the Trojans will have LB Cam Smith. "It was rough but I'm ready to play them," said Smith about missing the 2015 contest with a knee injury. "It should be a fun one." Helton admitted that it "hurt" USC to play without Smith against Oregon's potent offense in Eugene.
  • S Marvell Tell III (pictured) also missed the game due to injury last year, but he enters this week with boosted confidence after his first career interception. "That was cool," Tell said about the pick. "We expect those as DBs. We just got to go get more. I wasn't surprised because we prepare hard every week."
  • DC Clancy Pendergast has been impressed by Tell's improvement this season. "He hadn't had a lot of experience coming into the year, so the more he's played the more comfortable he's been able to get," Pendergast said about his sophomore safety. "I can see a comfort level with him every single week and I think he's made a lot of progress."
  • Pendergast was hired by USC in 2013 in large part due to his success against this Oregon offense. Helton would not get specific, but he praised Pendergast for being a defensive coordinator who "picks your strength and tries to eliminate it and makes you play ball in other areas."
  • Oregon's strength is its speed on offense at the skill positions. Helton said that the Ducks have "always been the fastest team we've played."
  • Pendergast also praised Oregon's freshman QB Justin Herbert. "I think he's very talented. I think they give him a lot, new wrinkles every week, and I'm sure they have some new stuff for us."
  • Helton is looking for a big week from his pass rush to disrupt Herbert. "If you don't hit this kid, you're going to have a long day because he can distribute it." Here is the full Helton press conference:

#USCHero: Tony Romero

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At USC's game vs. Cal on Thursday night, Athletic Director Lynn Swann presented Tony Romero with a USC Medal of Courage.

In 1945, when Romero was in 11th grade, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and deployed to the Philippines, where he served as a guard patrolman and marksman. While he served, he earned the Good Conduct Medal, a WWII Victory Medal and a Philippine Independence Ribbon.

Romero, a longtime USC fan, recently earned his high school diploma, 71 years after being drafted.

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Oregon Tuesday: Notes

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The Trojans enjoyed a long weekend off following their big Thursday night win over Cal, and are working now to get ready for high-powered Oregon.
  • CHEVRON_SD_Record.jpgDespite the extra time off, injuries have started to pile up. Full injury report, per head coach Clay Helton: CB Jonathan Lockett (hip, doubtful), LB Uchenna Nwosu (knee sprain, practiced today), LB Olajuwon Tucker (hamstring, practiced today), RB Justin Davis (ankle, partially practiced today), RB Aca'Cedric Ware (knee sprain, tweaked ankle today), CB Adoree' Jackson (illness), DE Christian Rector (illness), S Leon McQuay III (illness).
  • Helton noted that if Ware is sidelined vs. Oregon due to his knee and ankle injuries, Dominic Davis and James Toland IV would be the next men up. He said he wants to preserve Vavae Malepeai's redshirt.
  • While the Trojans racked up 398 rush yards last week, Oregon brings the conference's top rushing attack to the Coliseum Saturday. "When you look at Royce Freeman and Tony Brooks-James, you're talking about two different types of backs, two dynamic kids that are putting up 248 yards a game," Helton said of the Ducks' two top RBs. "With Royce, 5.6 yards a carry, and then they put Tony in, and Tony is ultra-dangerous. The kid's averaging 8.6 a carry, and every time he touches the ball, you hold your breath."
  • Helton also noted the rise of Oregon's true freshman QB Justin Herbert over the past few games. "I think the whole Pac-12 went, 'Oh gosh, they found their guy,'" he said of the Eugene native who's put up as many touchdowns as USC's Sam Darnold in the past two weeks (10). This weekend, Herbert set a Ducks record for total offense in a single game (512 yards).
  • Instead of focusing on Oregon's high-octane offense, Darnold will work to diagnose Oregon's defense, which he said runs "a lot of similar coverages that Cal runs ... but they bring a little bit more pressure." Considering his success against Cal, Darnold said he's "definitely confident going into this game."
  • Darnold, who's thrown 16 TD in the last four games, said as he's gotten more experience and learned to trust his "dominant" offensive line, he's settled down on the field. "After watching the Utah game on film, I realized how much time I actually had in the pocket, and knowing that, I'm able to stay a lot more comfortable in the pocket in those other games, and I think that's really helped me."
  • Jones II, who had a career-high 223 rush yards on Thursday, also praised his offensive line for their "effort" and "passion." "They know their assignments and they make my job look easy," he said. "I'm just running the ball."
  • After practice, Helton confirmed that he granted QB Max Browne permission to contact other schools about the potential to transfer, with no restrictions. "Max has been so good to us and so good to this football team, and is a graduate, that's what's most important," Helton said. "Out of respect to him, a guy that I truly love, I want him to be able to talk to other folks and see, 'What is the perfect fit?' Is it to be here and get a Master's and finish out his career here, or is it to find an opportunity that may fit him better?"
  • Helton also explained that he expects DE Noah Jefferson to get back into football shape soon, after taking a break from team activities to catch up on academics.
  • Here is Helton's full press conference:

Kickin' It With Keidane - Week 11

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After a tie and a win on the road this weekend, USC women's soccer eyes the end of the regular season this Friday. Head coach Keidane McAlpine is preparing the No. 5 Trojans for a tilt with No. 18 UCLA at StubHub Center on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. McAlpine said he expects "another fantastic game against another wonderful opponent" under the lights at StubHub.

Hear everything McAlpine had to say in the latest episode of Kickin' It With Keidane:

Trojans Live: Oregon Preview

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On Halloween night, Trojans Live got into the spirit, especially John Jackson, who dressed as the high school senior version of himself. While our guests did not come in costume, they brought the knowledge ahead of huge Homecoming games for football against Oregon and women's soccer vs. UCLA at StubHub Center.

Head coach Clay Helton previewed the Oregon clash, another match-up with one of the nation's top offenses.

Click here to watch Helton on Trojans Live.

Fresh off USC's biggest rushing day since 2005, OG Damien Mama explained how the line improved so much this season.

Click here to watch Mama on Trojans Live.

New York Giants OLB Devon Kennard called in to praise USC DC Clancy Pendergast and explain how to handle Oregon.

Click here to watch Kennard on Trojans Live.

Finally, ahead of Friday's Crosstown Showdown, women's soccer head coach Keidane McAlpine and senior defender Savannah Levin discussed their championship goals and the importance of beating the Bruins.

2016 #USCtotheNFL Week 8

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At the halfway point of the season, the Trojans in the NFL continue to stand out and make their teams better.

tyron-smith-nfl.jpgThe Best

While it's difficult to quantify the success of an offensive lineman, compliments poured in for Cowboys LT Tyron Smith on Sunday night. Smith's expert blocking helped the Cowboys offense earn 460 total yards, including 187 rush yards in their win over the Eagles. Through eight weeks, Dallas leads the league in rushing and sits atop the NFC East with a rookie QB and RB, whom Smith has protected fiercely.

The Best of the Rest

Marqise Lee, WR, Jaguars - 3 receptions, 21 yards

Su'a Cravens - S/LB, Redskins - 2 tackles, 1 sack, 1 pass defensed

Josh Shaw, CB, Bengals - 6 tackles

Rey Maualuga, LB, Bengals - 2 tackles

Robert Woods, WR, Bills - 4 receptions, 50 yards

Kevon Seymour, CB, Bills - 3 special teams tackles

Nickell Robey-Coleman, CB, Bills - 2 tackles

Frostee Rucker, DT, Cardinals - 2 tackles

Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals- 35-of-46, 363 yards, 3 TD, 111.1 passer rating

Leonard Williams, DE, Jets - 4 tackles, 1 TFL

Brian Cushing, LB, Texans - 7 tackles

Malcolm Smith, LB, Raiders - 6 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 forced fumble

Nick Perry, LB, Packers - 1 tackle, 1 pass defensed

Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles - 3 receptions, 25 yards

Everson Griffen, DE, Vikings - 5 tackles, 1 sack, 3 QB hits

Click here to check out Eat the Ball!