December 2016 Archives

Trojans Beat Up on the Buffs

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Last night, USC women's basketball blew out No. 20 Colorado in its Pac-12 opener to earn its second win of the season over a ranked opponent.

Click here for the full recap!

The Women of Troy got out to an early lead and went ahead by as many as 30 points on their way to a 79-54 upset. With the win, they move to 10-2 on the season and 1-0 in conference play.

Four players scored in double figures for the Trojans: Sadie Edwards (16), Courtney Jaco (14), Minyon Moore (12) and Aliyah Mazyck (11). Kristen Simon was just a point away from a double-double, as she posted 9 points and 11 rebounds.

In the end, USC shot 47.0 percent from the field to Colorado's 30.6.

After the huge upset, USC sets its sights on undefeated Utah. The Women of Troy host the Utes on Sunday at noon at the Galen Center. Tickets are $1 at the door!

The Last Word

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USC head coach Clay Helton has held press conference after press conference in anticipation of Monday's Rose Bowl. Finally this morning, he held his biggest and last media availability to preview the game, express his excitement for the opportunity and much more.

Undefeated No More

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No. 22 USC men's basketball suffered its first loss of the season at the hands of the No. 21 Oregon Ducks last night.

The Ducks, fresh off taking down previously undefeated UCLA, topped USC, 84-61, at Matthew Knight Arena. The loss stopped the Trojans from matching their 16-0 start in 1971, as they now stand at 14-1 on the season and 1-1 in conference play.

Oregon's Dillon Brooks and Dylan Ennis contributed 48 of Oregon's 84 points, while freshman De'Anthony Melton led USC with 13. Fellow freshman Jonah Mathews followed that up with 11 points.

Oregon was hot from the floor all night, but USC kept it close early by making 11 of 11 free throw attempts in the first half. In the end, the Trojans couldn't hang with Oregon's 46.4 clip from the field. USC made a season-low 31.0 percent of its shots.

Next up for the Trojans is a home stand against the Bay Area teams. USC faces Stanford on Thursday at 8 p.m. and Cal on Sunday at 7 p.m. Click here for tickets!

Trojans Live: Rose Bowl Preview

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Trojans Live hosted a special show from the Lawry's Beef Bowl on Thursday night featuring head coach Clay Helton, All-American tackles Zach Banner and Chad Wheeler, RB Justin Davis, NT Stevie Tu'ikolovatu and Beef Bowl historian Todd Erickson.

Rose Bowl Thursday #3: Notes

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Just like the offense yesterday, the USC defensive stars and coordinator Clancy Pendergast met with the media today at a Rose Bowl press conference in Carson.

Leventhal Stat of the Week - Rose Bowl Game

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In the words of USC RB Justin Davis, "USC and the Rose Bowl go together like peanut butter and jelly."

As funny as it may sound, USC does have a more storied history in the Rose Bowl Game than perhaps any other team in the nation.

No other team has appeared in as many Rose Bowls as the Trojans, who will compete in their 33rd on Monday (not including one appearance vacated due to NCAA penalty). No team has won as many Rose Bowls either, as USC boasts 24 victories in the Granddaddy of Them All.

Not only does USC have more wins in the Rose Bowl Game than any other team in the nation --- it has more wins in the Rose Bowl Game than any team has in any single bowl game. Two of those wins came against Penn State, as USC topped the Nittany Lions, 14-3, in the 1923 Rose Bowl Game, and beat them 38-24 in 2009.

The Trojans will compete for their 25th Rose Bowl trophy on Monday, Jan. 2 at 2 p.m.


Champs of Corvallis

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USC men's basketball notched a win in its Pac-12 opener last night to stay undefeated this season.

The Trojans earned their first win in Corvallis in eight tries with a 70-63 takedown of Oregon State.

Click here for the full recap!

After a number of slow starts this season, the Trojans stormed out of the gate in this one, leading 24-9 at one point in the first half. USC's 17-point lead at the half tied its second largest scoring margin at the break this season.

A balanced scoring attack helped USC maintain the lead the entire game. Chimezie Metu posted a team-high 19 points and added 8 rebounds. Captain Jordan McLaughlin mustered 10 points and also notched 8 boards, and freshman Jonah Mathews continued his recent success with a 10-point outing. Through 14 games, USC has five players averaging double digit points (including F Bennie Boatwright, who hasn't played since the USD game).

Oregon State started to chip away at the big SC lead in the second half, but the Trojans got it done at the free throw line (27-of-33, 81.8 pct) to earn their nation-leading 14th win of the season.

Tomorrow, No. 22 USC takes on the No. 21 Oregon Ducks, who knocked off previously unbeaten UCLA last night. The game will be broadcast on FS1 at 7 p.m. PT.

Disneyland Day

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The Trojans were right at home in "the happiest place on Earth."


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USC OT and team captain Zach Banner was named a Senior CLASS Award First Team All-American today, the organization announced.

The Senior CLASS Award celebrates senior student-athletes who demonstrate excellence in the classroom, the community, in character and in competition.

Banner received his Bachelor's degree in communication last year and is currently working on a second degree in sociology. He is interested in attending law school and pursuing entertainment law in the future.

Throughout his career at USC, Banner has consistently demonstrated a commitment to the community in Los Angeles and back home in Tacoma, WA. This season, he lent his voice to the College Football Playoff Extra Yard for Teachers foundation by recording a video message and by speaking to local elementary schoolers about the importance of education, before helping USC's Trojan Outreach program present a local teacher with a $10,000 check.

The team captain led an offensive line unit that only allowed 11 sacks, which ranked No. 6 in the nation this year. He was named a First Team All-American and recently accepted an invitation to the Reese's Senior Bowl.

Banner suits up in Cardinal & Gold for the last time on Jan. 2 at the 103rd Annual Rose Bowl Game.

USC_Football_Oregon_McGillen_11_05_16_2809 (1).jpg

Rose Bowl Wednesday #3: Notes

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USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin, All-American RT Zach Banner, redshirt freshman QB Sam Darnold, senior RB Justin Davis, senior WR Darreus Rogers and junior WR JuJu Smith-Schuster held a Rose Bowl press conference at the StubHub Center today to highlight the Trojans offense. The defensive coordinator and stars will speak to the media tomorrow.

In the afternoon, the Trojans held a mostly closed practice on campus with 15 minutes of video allowed.

2016 #USCtotheNFL Week 16

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Under the spotlight in Week 16, a number of Trojans in the NFL stepped up to lead their teams to victory. After the weekend concluded, the #USCtotheNFL family got a little bigger, as the Titans added Antwaun Woods to their active roster.

nfl-lee.jpgThe Best

On Sunday, Jaguars WR Marqise Lee hauled in 3 catches for 37 yards and an acrobatic TD. But the former Biletnikoff winner's big day didn't end there. Later in the game, Lee threw a TD to his quarterback on a trick play. Lee became the first NFL WR to have a pass TD and a receiving TD in a game since Golden Tate in 2012. In his third year in the league, Lee has set career highs in receptions (57), yards (765) and TD (3).

The Best of the Rest

Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles - Team-high 47 receiving yards, 1 TD, plus 2 kickoff returns for 38 yards

Devon Kennard, LB, Giants - 4 tackles

Kevon Seymour, CB, Bills - 2 tackles, 1 special teams tackle

Nickell Robey-Coleman, CB, Bills - 1 tackle, 1 special teams tackle

Robert Woods, WR, Bills - 3 receptions for 43 yards

Clay Matthews, LB, Packers - 3 tackles, 1 sack, 3 QB hits, 2 passes defended, 1 forced fumble

Nick Perry, LB, Packers - 2 sacks

Jurrell Casey, DT, Titans - 1 TFL, 1 pass defended

Matt Cassel, QB, Titans - 124 yards, 1 TD

Leonard Williams, DE, Jets - 7 tackles

Malcolm Smith, LB, Raiders - Team-high 8 tackles, 1 forced fumble

T.J. McDonald, S, Rams - 3 tackles

Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals - 284 yards, 1 TD, led game-winning drive with 1 minute to go

Josh Shaw, CB, Bengals - 1 tackle, 2 special teams tackles

Brian Cushing, LB, Texans - 5 tackles, 1 TFL

Xavier Grimble, TE, Steelers - 20-yard TD reception

Shareece Wright, CB, Ravens - 3 tackles

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Lucky 13

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Lucky 13

Simon Says Success

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USC women's basketball compiled a solid non-conference resume with plenty more opportunities to impress as Pac-12 play begins this week. The Women of Troy are 9-2 with a Top 25 win at Texas A&M and a close loss to No. 5 Mississippi State.

The conference is loaded this season as seven teams are currently in the Top 25 with three others receiving votes, including the Women of Troy (No. 29 in the nation). USC will open its Pac-12 schedule at home this week, hosting No. 20 Colorado (Friday at 6 p.m.) and undefeated Utah (Sunday at Noon).

Click here for tickets.

While the Women of Troy were dealt a serious blow when senior Jordan Adams was lost for the season due to a knee injury, junior forward Kristen Simon has shouldered the load. She leads the team in scoring (15.5 ppg), rebounding (10.1 rpg) and minutes.

The double-double machine has recorded six this season after eight last year. She has scored 20+ points three times and grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds in the win over Long Beach State. Simon's career-high is 21 rebounds in a single game (vs. Washington in 2015-16), ranking fourth in program history.

For a team that will rely heavily on youth, particularly in the back court, Simon's veteran presence will be key to navigating through the choppy Pac-12 waters as the Women of Troy hope to return to the NCAA Tournament.


Season of Giving

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_MCG8740 (1).jpgDuring the holiday season, people all over the world are inspired by the spirit of giving.

USC's Trojan Outreach program celebrated the holiday season by hosting numerous events for local children, including A Girls Play Holiday Party and a Boys Holiday Giveaway.

A few members of the football team, including head coach Clay Helton, also recently stopped by a local children's hospital to donate gifts and to invite patients to a USC game next season.

These are just the latest of Trojan Outreach's community events this semester. At the beginning of December, 120 USC student-athletes visited Cochran Middle School for the sixth annual Community Bowl. They spent the day beautifying the campus, which included painting murals, re-netting basketball hoops, refurbishing the community garden and more.

In November, USC women's tennis hosted the fifth annual Rose Cup, which raised approximately $4,000 to fund breast cancer research at USC's Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

USC football coaches and players helped serve local families food on Thanksgiving, continuing the tradition of giving back on the holidays. For Halloween, USC baseball participated in Mayor Eric Garcetti's Halloween Spooktacular, where they spent time with local children and handed out posters.

Throughout the football season, Trojan Outreach has used USC's platform to do good in the community. Senior OL Zach Banner was active in USC's partnership with the College Football Playoff's Extra Yard for Teachers Foundation. After paying his respect to the nation's educators in a video message, he partnered with Trojan Outreach to present a $10,000 check to a local elementary school teacher.

Trojan Outreach also treated four people to VIP experiences at USC football games through its Trojan Wish program.

In total, USC student-athletes have volunteered just shy of 1,000 hours and impacted the lives of 1,800 children this semester, with even bigger goals set at the turn of the new year.

Follow the #FightOnGiveBack campaign on Twitter and Instagram!


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The USC vs. UCLA men's basketball game on January 25 at the Galen Center is officially SOLD OUT. However, tickets remain for all other home games this season, including No. 18 Arizona and No. 21 Oregon.

Click here for tickets!

The Trojans enter Pac-12 play at 13-0, one of six remaining unbeaten teams in the country. USC will travel north this week to play Oregon State (Wednesday at 8 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Network) and No. 21 Oregon (Friday at 7 p.m. on FS1).


Hoops Earning Recognition

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USC_Basketball_Omaha_mcgillen_2016_3020 (1).jpgUSC men's basketball, which finished its 2016 nonconference slate undefeated and moved up to No. 22 in the nation, is starting to earn national recognition for its accomplishments.

PG Jordan McLaughlin was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week today --- the first Trojan to win the award this season. In USC's three wins last week, McLaughlin averaged 19.0 points, 6.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game. In the Las Vegas Classic, McLaughlin dropped 19 and 22 points, respectively, including the game-winning layup in OT in the championship game against Wyoming. In that game, McLaughlin played a whopping 43 minutes without a single turnover. For his efforts, he was named the Las Vegas Classic MVP and earned the praise of those watching around the country.

Freshman Jonah Mathews was also rewarded for his career-high 26 points in the title game of the Las Vegas Classic. Dick Vitale named Mathews his "Diaper Dandy of the Week." Vitale kept the praise coming for the Trojans, naming Andy Enfield his Coach of the Week.

Next up for Enfield and the Trojans is a trip up north to take on Oregon State and Oregon. USC's game vs. Oregon State tips at 8 p.m. PT and will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network. USC vs. Oregon tips at 7 p.m. PT and will be broadcast on FS1.

Trojans Finish Nonconference Undefeated

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IMG_7643.JPGUSC men's basketball captain Jordan McLaughlin is making a habit of hitting game-winning shots.

Last night, the point guard's late bucket in overtime lifted the No. 23 Trojans over Wyoming, 94-92, in the championship of the Las Vegas Classic, helping USC finish its nonconference slate undefeated.

Click here for the full game recap!

The Trojans and the Cowboys went on competing runs throughout the game, as momentum swung wildly back and forth. McLaughlin, who played 43 minutes without a single turnover, was the steadying force for USC. He posted 22 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, and was named the MVP of the tournament.

USC's next two biggest contributors were freshmen Jonah Mathews and De'Anthony Melton. Mathews dropped a career-high 26 points, including a three-pointer to tie the game up with less than three minutes to go in OT. He also notched 6 steals.

Melton added 16 points and 8 rebounds. In his second career start, he had a chance to ice the game at the free throw line, but missed the front end of a one-and-one just before the end of regulation, allowing Wyoming to send the game to overtime with a three.

Wyoming used the three-ball to keep the game close all night, connecting on 13 when all was said and done. The Trojans shot 50 pct from the field, including their 8 made threes.

USC now enters conference play as one of six remaining undefeated teams in the nation. That unblemished record will be put to the test on Wednesday at Oregon State.

Trojans Win No. 12

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With a win over Missouri State in last night's opener of the Las Vegas Classic, USC moved to 12-0 on the season.

Click here for the full game recap!

After a number of sluggish starts this season, USC head coach Andy Enfield went with a new lineup against the Bears --- inserting freshman guard De'Anthony Melton in place of freshman forward Nick Rakocevic, who has been filling in for the injured Bennie Boatwright. The Trojans came out firing, opening the night on a 6-0 run, and never trailed in the game.

The Trojans' leading scorer this season, Elijah Stewart, led the way again with 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting. He hit half of USC's 8 threes in the game. The Bears, meanwhile, sunk 14 threes, including one at the final buzzer, to cut it close.

USC led by as many as 17, but won by a final score of 83-75 after Missouri State did their best to make a comeback. The Trojans secured the win by hitting 17-of-19 FTs.

Jordan McLaughlin was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line to contribute to his 19 points. He also added 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Chimezie Metu followed that up with 13 points and 9 boards. Melton scored 12.

The Trojans, one of six remaining undefeated squads in the nation, now face Wyoming in the title match of the Las Vegas Classic tonight at 8 p.m. The game will air on FS1.

Rose Bowl Thursday #2: Helton Presser

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The Trojans enjoyed a rare rainy morning practice today before head coach Clay Helton sent them home for the holidays. After practice, Helton discussed Penn State's high-scoring offense, Rose Bowl practice scheduling and his holiday shopping.

Trojans Smash Anteaters

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WBB.jpgThe Women of Troy rang up their biggest win of the season yesterday, beating UC Irvine by 38 points to finish out their nonconference slate.

Click here for the full recap!

Despite a nearly even shooting percentage in the first half, USC surged to a 36-18 lead over the Anteaters at the break. The Trojans' staunch defense gave them the clear advantage, as they finished the game with 17 steals (their second-most of the season) and 41 points off turnovers, and outrebounded UCI, 43-29.

The 4th quarter of yesterday's game was USC's highest-scoring quarter all season. Already leading by 18 points, the Trojans exploded for 34 points in the 4th, cementing an 83-45 win.

Four Trojans finished in double figures, with Aliyah Mazyck (pictured) leading the way. The sophomore had 16 points on a career-high 4 three-pointers, while Sadie Edwards added 15, Kristen Simon posted 11 and Courtney Jaco finished with 10. Simon is averaging a double-double this season, with 15.5 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.

With the win, USC takes a 9-2 record into Pac-12 play. Colorado comes to town on Dec. 30, and the Women of Troy kick off the New Year by hosting Utah on Jan. 1. Click here for tickets!

Rose Bowl Wednesday #2: Notes

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On a wet and cool evening, the Trojans practiced on the artificial surface inside the Loker Track.
  • No new injuries to report. OL Khaliel Rodgers is still in concussion protocol.
  • While the Trojans will report to the team hotel downtown next week, they will continue to practice at their home facility, which head coach Clay Helton sees as an advantage. He pointed out that USC went 7-0 in Los Angeles this season.
  • The players are appreciative of the opportunity to stay home for the holidays and play in front of the local fans in the game that they grew up watching. "It's such an honor to play for a bowl that has so much history behind it. It is what we strive for every single year," said LB Cameron Smith. "It's good to give it back to the fans. We feel very proud as a team to be here."
  • While the Penn State offense is led by Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year RB Saquon Barkley, the passing attack can devastate opponents with explosive plays. The wide receivers use "a lot of double moves" to get behind the secondary, CB Iman Marshall said. "If your eyes are not right, you can get caught in the trickery of their offense," he continued.
  • To avoid the big plays, Helton also emphasized keeping Nittany Lions QB Trace McSorley in the pocket because he is "extremely dangerous with those big receivers once he gets out there."
  • Marshall and the rest of the USC secondary has benefited from working against a talent like Sam Darnold in practice every day. "He's so accurate that you have to be technically sound. He can throw it in crazy windows, throw it off his back foot," Marshall said. "I have seen him make some crazy throws. He makes you be more of a technician."
  • If Adoree' Jackson leaves for the NFL, Marshall will likely step into that role of top cover man. Helton explained that the sophomore has improved in coverage by learning to use his hands and physicality without drawing penalties. "Having the opportunity to learn from dudes like Adoree' Jackson, the Thorpe Award winner, just seeing how he composed and controlled himself through this whole process, I feel like I will take the torch really well," said Marshall about potentially facing the opponent's best next season.
  • The Trojans are in the middle of week two in what will be three full weeks of preparation for the Rose Bowl. "We get to focus on the little things and some of the things that we have not touched on since camp," said Smith about the benefit of all the practice time. "It's been important for us take that next step as a team."
  • Here is Helton's full press conference on the excitement of the Rose Bowl, USC's NFL-style pass rushers and more:

Unbeaten Battle

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USC men's basketball's hot start to the season has people harkening back to 1971 --- the last time the Trojans opened the year with as many consecutive wins.

Forty-five years ago, the Trojans started off 16-0 before suffering their first loss of the season to UCLA. This year, the No. 23 Trojans are 11-0, while the team across town is ranked No. 2 at 12-0 --- its best start since the 1970-71 season as well.

Back in 1971, UCLA handed USC its only two losses of the year and stopped the Trojans from reaching the postseason, since the Pac-8 only allowed one conference team to move on. L.A. Times reporter Ben Bolch told the story of the 1971 season and previewed this year's matchup (coming on Jan. 25) between two of the six currently undefeated NCAA squads.

Click here to read Bolch's story!


Trojans Going (Pro) Bowling

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When the NFL announced its 2017 Pro Bowl rosters last night, three USC alums got good news.

Cowboys OT Tyron Smith, who played at USC from 2008-10, earned his fourth career Pro Bowl selection. This year, Smith has helped pave the way for the NFL's leading rusher: rookie Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys rank No. 5 in the league in total offense and No. 9 in the league in sacks allowed.

Joining Smith on the NFC Pro Bowl roster is his former teammate and current Vikings DE Everson Griffen. Griffen, who will make the trip to his second straight Pro Bowl, ranks in the Top 10 in the NFL among defensive ends in sacks, tackles, forced fumbles, TFL and QB hurries. The Vikings defensive captain played at USC from 2007-09.

Titans DT Jurrell Casey, who spent the same years at USC as Smith ('08-'10), will also make his second straight Pro Bowl appearance. He anchors the Tennessee defense with 37 tackles, 3 sacks, 5 TFL, 15 QB hits and 3 passes defended. Casey is also the Titans' selection for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

Second-year Jets DE Leonard Williams was named a first alternate for the Pro Bowl, meaning he'll be the first to get the call up if an AFC DE can't play in the game. Williams leads his team with 7 sacks and 19 QB hits, and second on the team with 59 tackles.

The Pro Bowl will take place on Jan. 29 at 5 p.m. PT at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, FL.

2016 #USCtotheNFL Week 15

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The 2017 Pro Bowl rosters were announced last night and three Trojans made the initial cut: Cowboys OT Tyron Smith, Vikings DE Everson Griffen and Titans DT Jurrell Casey. Jets DE Leonard Williams, named a first alternate, will likely play in his first Pro Bowl as well. Pro Bowlers or not, USC alums made their mark in the latest weekend of NFL football.

lee2-nfl.jpgThe Best

Marqise Lee was held without a catch in the Jaguars-Texans game on Sunday, but found another way to contribute. He scored on a 100-yard kickoff return TD --- the first of his career and the first by a Jaguar since 2007 --- to give Jacksonville its biggest lead of the game. Later on, he added another 33 yards on another kickoff return. Ultimately, though, the Jaguars lost by one point.

The Jaguars' rough season led to the dismissal of head coach Gus Bradley, but Lee has been widely praised as a rising star. He's set new career highs in receptions (58) and receiving yards (728) this year and is the team's leading receiver.

The Best of the Rest

T.J. McDonald, S, Rams - 4 tackles, 1 TFL

Mike Morgan, LB, Seahawks - 2 tackles (both for loss)

Leonard Williams, DE, Jets - Game-high 6 tackles, 1 TFL (named first alternate for 2017 Pro Bowl)

Shareece Wright, CB, Ravens - 2 tackles, 1 pass defended

Nickell Robey-Coleman, CB, Bills - 2 tackles

Kevon Seymour, CB, Bills - 1 pass defended

Matt Barkley, QB, Bears - Career-high 362 yards on 30-of-42 passing, 2 TD

Josh Shaw, CB, Bengals - 5 tackles, 1 pass defended

Rey Maualuga, LB, Bengals - 3 tackles

Brian Cushing, LB, Texans - 4 tackles

Jurrell Casey, DT, Titans - 2 tackles, 1 TFL (made 2017 Pro Bowl)

Devon Kennard, LB, Giants - 2 tackles, 1 QB hit

Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals - 28-of-40, 318 yards, 2 TD

Wes Horton, DE, Panthers - 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery

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Rose Bowl Tuesday #2: Notes

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After a full week of game planning, USC hit the practice field on Tuesday to prepare for Penn State all over again.
  • USC_Football_Utah_State_2016_McGillen_DSC_4754.JPGUSC head coach Clay Helton gave two injury updates: CB Jonathan Lockett successfully underwent hip surgery and will start rehab tomorrow, and OL Nate Smith is set to undergo ACL surgery on Thursday.
  • Helton noted that after a week of looking at tape for the Rose Bowl Game, he's even more impressed with Penn State RB Saquon Barkley. Helton called him "the most complete back" USC has faced this season. The Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year has racked up 1,302 rush yards and 347 receiving yards this year.
  • USC boasted a strong run game this year, too, anchored by senior Justin Davis (pictured) and sophomore Ronald Jones II. Davis, who missed three games with an ankle injury earlier this season, said he's feeling the best he's felt since getting injured. "This time has done a lot of good things for me," he said. "Just getting back to form, and definitely these bowl practices right now are helping me out a lot."
  • While Davis appreciates the extra practice time, Helton wants to make sure the Trojans keep their energy up in these practices, despite not playing for another 12 days. "I've really believed in the routine this year," he said. "I'm hoping that routine keeps us in check ... Keeping these guys kind of like they're playing this Saturday."
  • Davis is chomping at the bit to carry on USC's tradition of playing in the Rose Bowl Game. "That's our game. We kind of own it," he said. "Just to get back there, we're all excited for the opportunity, and we're playing a great team in Penn State. We can't wait."
  • The Granddaddy of Them All will be Davis' last game in a Trojan uniform, and he promises to soak it all in. "I'm loving every second of it," the Stockton, CA native said. "I'm going to cherish this last month, or this last few weeks as a Trojan, because I know they're going to be amazing."
  • Senior OT Chad Wheeler will also play his last game in Cardinal & Gold at the Rose Bowl on Jan. 2. The newly crowned first team All-American acknowledged his offensive line coach, Neil Callaway, for helping him refine his technique and motivating the unit to push each other to play their best all season.
  • Helton praised both Wheeler and senior OT Zach Banner, whom he called the "bookends" of the offensive line. "I can't think of the last time they haven't started," he said. "And to be in there day in and day out --- the energy they bring at practice, the leadership that they bring at practice and then on game day, and then to protect that quarterback's back side ... it's because of how your tackles are playing."
  • The whole offensive unit will be asked to step up to make sure USC QB Sam Darnold doesn't get hurt, since the departure of Max Browne leaves a hole on the depth chart. Helton is confident, however, in Jalen Greene's ability to step in in an emergency. "You see shines of brilliance," he said. "He's such a great athlete that it's kind of like riding a bike. Is every throw perfect? No. But is he being efficient? Getting the ball in the right place? Yes, he is."
  • Watch Helton's full press conference here:

Trojan Outreach Treats Kids to Holiday Fun

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USC's Trojan Outreach program embodied the spirit of giving by putting on two events at USC's Galen Center this weekend and visiting a local children's hospital today.

1H8A4918.JPGOn Saturday before the men's basketball game vs. Troy, Trojan Outreach partnered with Excel Like 12 to host approximately 280 children from organizations such as Beyond the Bell, LAPD's Watts Bears, LAPD's Jeopardy and the Fundamentals Foundation at a holiday party. Prior to the hoops game, Reuben Peters of USC Football spoke to the children about being well-rounded, excelling in everything they do and appreciating Christmas. He then, with the help of men's basketball players Bennie Boatwright and Derryck Thornton, passed out gift bags to each of the children. The children were treated to dinner and stayed to watch USC beat Troy, 82-77.

On Sunday, Trojan Outreach hosted a Girls Play Holiday --- an event focused on inspiring young girls to believe in themselves, the power of being a girl and the power of exercise and healthy living. After listening to assistant coach Taja Edwards speak, the group of approximately 600 girls from the L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks' "Girls Play LA" program enjoyed a sports-themed carnival inside Galen Center, where they tossed footballs, practiced their golf putting and tried to bowl perfect strikes. After the girls watched the women's basketball game, the team surprised the girls by handing out gift bags.

Today, the football team got in on the holiday fun by visiting the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. Head coach Clay Helton, defensive line coach Kenechi Udeze, and players Stevie Tu'ikolovatu, Leon McQuay III, Michael Hutchings, Jalen Greene and Nico Falah visited a group room of children receiving dialysis treatment, then met with individual patients and families who were Trojan fans. Coach Helton promised to treat each of the children to a USC game next season through USC's Trojan Wish program. Trojan Outreach gave a gift bag to each child and also donated 50 presents to CHLA's "North Pole," its center for holiday activities.

In total, Trojan Outreach handed out 3,000 gifts, which was made possible by the donations of Grant & Bowman, Inc.

Most Outstanding McQuin

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15621635_1367770166588518_4459347181417205958_n.jpgMen's water polo goalie McQuin Baron headlined USC's seven All-Americans this season by winning National Player of the Year today.

Click here for the full release!

Baron earned the honor by posting 247 saves (11.8 saves per game) with a 4.47 goals-against average --- the best in the MPSF. He only allowed double digit goals in two games this year: USC's two losses to Cal. Baron becomes the 10th Trojan to win National Player of the Year. He is USC's first winner since Kostas Genidounias in 2014 and the first USC goalie to win since Joel Dennerley in 2011.

IMG_7037.JPGBaron is joined by Blake Edwards on the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches All-American First Team. Edwards led USC's potent scoring attack, with 42 goals this season. This honor marks the second straight first team All-American selection for the Australian.

Baron and Edwards are still in the running for the Peter J. Cutino Award --- collegiate water polo's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. The winner will be announced in June 2017.

USC's second-leading scorer, Matteo Morelli, earned a spot on the All-American second team for his 37-goal season. Morelli, Edwards and Grant Stein, who earned third team honors, are now tied at 28th on USC's all-time scoring list with 110 goals. Lachlan Edwards, who's right behind with 108 career goals, also earned third team honors this year.

Senior Nick Bell and freshman Matt Maier round out USC's All-American honorees, earning honorable mention for their efforts in USC's 24-2 season.

Trojans Beat the Big Red

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USC men's basketball improved to 11-0 on the season with a 79-67 win over Cornell last night.

Click here for the full recap.

As has been the case nearly every game this season, the No. 23 Trojans got off to a slow start. They finally took the lead just before the end of the first half, and didn't look back.

Forward Chimezie Metu scored in double-digits before halftime, and finished up with 17 points. Captain Jordan McLaughlin added 16, plus 9 assists, to help the Trojans go undefeated in their non-conference home slate.

Freshman Nick Rakocevic got in foul trouble early, so Charles Buggs came off the bench and had his best game as a Trojan so far. He went 3-of-4 from the field for 9 points in 23 minutes. USC head coach Andy Enfield said Buggs provided a jolt of energy to the team.

Click here to hear Enfield's full remarks and here to listen to Buggs' and McLaughlin's post-game press conference!

Overall, the Trojans outshot the Big Red, 48.4 pct to 40.9 pct, and racked up 10 blocks to create extra possessions for themselves.

Next up for the Trojans is a bout with Missouri State at the Orleans Arean in Las Vegas on Thursday.

All-American Chad

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chadwheeler-allamerican.jpgUSC OT Chad Wheeler was recently named a first team All-American by Campus Insiders, adding a third new name to USC's All-American Walk.

Wheeler joins fellow senior OT Zach Banner and CB Adoree' Jackson (unanimous) in earning national recognition this season. Wheeler, who was also named first team All-Pac-12, was part of an offensive line that only allowed 11 sacks this year --- the fewest in the conference.

The Santa Monica, CA native started all but the first two games of the season and was twice named to Pro Football Focus' Pac-12 Team of the Week. He and the offensive line will be tasked with protecting USC QB Sam Darnold against Penn State's ferocious defensive front in the Rose Bowl.

Want to watch Wheeler's final game in a USC uniform? Purchase 2017 USC Football season tickets and be entered to win Rose Bowl Game tickets!

Almost an Upset

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USC women's basketball nearly knocked off No. 5 Mississippi State at the Galen Center yesterday, but fell just short, losing 76-72.

Click here for the full recap!

In the championship game of the Women of Troy Classic, the undefeated Bulldogs (12-0) edged the Trojans (8-2) despite USC leading for more than 26 minutes of the game.

The Trojans built up a 7-point lead thanks to 24 points from Sadie Edwards, 15 points from Kristen Simon and 14 points from Minyon Moore. Asiah Jones also had a standout game, registering 8 blocks --- the most by a Trojan since Lisa Leslie's 8 in 1993 and the third-most in USC women's basketball history.

Click here to watch what Jones and Edwards had to say after the game.

The Bulldogs took the lead with 2:20 to go on 2 free throws, which seemed to be the theme of the later part of the game. Mississippi State finished 23-of-29 from the charity stripe, while USC hit 14-of-18.

Despite the loss in the title game, USC's Simon was named to the Women of Troy Classic All-Tournament team. Next up for Simon and the Trojans is a trip to UC Irvine on Wednesday before Pac-12 play begins.

USC Beats Troy to Go 10-0

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USC Beats Troy to Go 10-0

State of Troy: December 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.

Swann on making the Rose Bowl...

USC_Womens_Soccer_NCA_College_Cup_Georgetown_McGillen_6720.jpgIt was a great November. For my first time being the athletic director during the holiday season, it's wonderful to have the gift of a Rose Bowl. The football team finished up extraordinarily well. Give Clay Helton all the credit for keeping them focused after a 1-3 start to get to a 9-3 season and a top 10 ranking. Our hats are off to him and the football program.

Swann on women's soccer's national championship...

We have 21 sports here, so I am just as proud of what women's soccer has accomplished. Under head coach Keidane McAlpine, we won the program's second national championship. I was on hand in Northern California for the semifinal against Georgetown and the final against West Virginia. The Mountaineers were ranked No. 1 with a roster full of Canadian national team players and Olympians, but we beat them, 3-1. It was an outstanding game played by an outstanding team. I cannot praise our team enough.

Swann on men's water polo's national runner-up finish...

Men's water polo has been at the top of its game forever, making 12 straight NCAA title matches. They came up a little short in overtime against Cal in Berkeley, but we are exceptionally proud of what Jovan Vavic has done and what his team has done. What I love about Jovan though is that he is never satisfied to finish second and will continue to doggedly pursue championships.

Swann on men's basketball's undefeated start...

USC_Football_Notre_Dame_Coliseum_2016_McGillen_6966.jpgI have enjoyed being in the locker room with Andy Enfield and his team after a couple of victories to listen to him talk about playing great defense and what it will take to win throughout the season. He talks to them about week-by-week improvement. Even in the face of adversity, when Bennie Boatwright went down with an injury, the team was disappointed but not devastated. They are focused on having a great season. They are in position to compete for a Pac-12 championship, which is the first goal, and ultimately to make the NCAA Tournament again.

Swann on women's basketball's excellent play...

The Women of Troy only have one loss, and they have dealt with injury trouble as well. They went on the road and picked up a quality win against a ranked Texas A&M team. We are hosting a tournament this weekend at the Galen Center, so we need to support them. We need to get more of our fans out to both men's and women's basketball games.

Swann on women's volleyball's season...

The women's volleyball team is young, but they had a nice season to earn a 26th consecutive NCAA Tournament bid. I look forward to them being outstanding over the next several years. They will continue to get better and continue to grow.

Swann on the academic semester coming to an end...

Academically, we had another tremendous semester in the classroom. Our Stevens Academic Center is there for a reason, and they are doing a great job mentoring and tutoring our student-athletes. Our Graduation Success Rate (GSR) has gone up for the third straight year, and at the present pace, it looks like it will improve over the next two years also.

Swann on visiting USC supporters across the country...

Earlier in December, I took a trip back East for the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame dinner and met with several groups of our alumni who are eagerly engaged with USC and look to do more. They are excited about the Rose Bowl and our progress athletically and academically in all 21 sports. USC has changed and grown to become even more appealing across the country and globe. For example, our lacrosse program has put its sport on the map nationally for the West Coast, so we have more people interested in coming to USC from the East Coast where the sport has deep roots.

Swann on USC's competitive spirit...

I also had the chance to attend the Heisman dinner for the first time with some USC alumni, while we all enjoyed it, we look forward to the day when a Trojan is holding up the trophy again. That's what makes USC special. We had a tremendous fall semester, but we are never satisfied. We keep pushing to win championships in every sport and to get better and better every day, week, month and year.

Happy Holidays to the entire Trojans Family! We are thankful for the blessings of this past year and look forward to a tremendous 2017!

2016 USC Football Season Highlights

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The 2016 USC football season will end in the glory and splendor of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, but it started with a frustrating first month which culminated in a heartbreaking loss in Salt Lake City. In between, the Trojans bonded together, finding the Fight On spirit which makes this program unique.

Rose Bowl Thursday #1: Helton Presser

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On a rainy Thursday afternoon, USC head coach Clay Helton addressed Max Browne's decision to transfer to Pitt, the Trojans' depth on the offensive line and more.

End-of-Year Equinox

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Looking for a head start on your New Year's Resolution? Equinox Fitness Club is offering a $0 initiation fee for members who sign up before Dec. 21. Click here to join the exclusive club!


QB Max Browne to Transfer to Pitt

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Redshirt junior quarterback Max Browne will transfer from the program and play at Pitt next year, he announced today.

The Sammamish, WA native was the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year out of Skyline High School in 2012. After redshirting his freshman year and appearing in nine games as a backup in 2014 and 2015, Browne was named a team captain and the starting quarterback entering this season.

In his three starts this year, he went 55-of-87 (63.2 pct) for 474 yards, 2 TD and 2 INT. Overall, Browne finishes his career at USC with 14 game appearances, 650 passing yards and 2 TD.

This year, he earned Howard Jones/Football Alumni Club Academic Award for having the highest cumulative GPA on the team (3.48). He also earned USC's Bob Chandler Award (given to the underclassman with outstanding athletic ability, academic achievement and character) and USC's Co-Lifter of the Year Award during his time as a Trojan.

Because Browne already received his Bachelor's degree from USC, he is eligible to play immediately at Pitt.


Photo Gallery: 2016 Football Awards Banquet

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USC football celebrated its season and its seniors as part of the annual awards banquet on Wednesday night.

Click here for the list of award winners.

Pierson Clair was on hand to document a special night.

MVP Adoree'

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IMG_7526.JPGUSC CB Adoree' Jackson was named the Trojans' Most Valuable Player for the second year in a row tonight at the football team's annual awards banquet.

Jackson, a 2016 unanimous All-American and Thorpe Award recipient, is just the ninth Trojan to earn two MVP awards during his USC career. He also earned USC Special Teams Player of the Year, Defensive Perimeter Player of the Year and Player of the Game vs. Notre Dame this season.

USC QB Sam Darnold was named the team's Most Inspirational Player and won the Bob Chandler Award, given annually to the underclassman with outstanding athletic ability, academic achievement and character.

LB Cameron Smith earned the Trojan Way Leadership Award, while fellow LBs Porter Gustin and Uchenna Nwosu earned the John McKay Award, given to the underclassmen with the most competitive spirit. Unsurprisingly, Gustin was the defensive recipient of the Lifters Award. RB Justin Davis and FB Reuben Peters earned the Offensive Lifters Award, and the Zach Smith accepted the award on behalf of the specialists.

Davis and senior safety Leon McQuay III earned the Trojan Commitment Award. Fellow seniors Zach Banner and Chad Wheeler (offense) and Stevie Tu'ikolovatu (defense) were named Linemen of the Year. Banner also earned the Community Service Award for his work at USC and at local schools this year.

Senior LB Michael Hutchings, who lost his father years ago but persevered to become a team leader, earned the Chris Carlisle Courage Award.

Walk-on LB Grant Moore won the Joe Collins Walk-On Award and freshman LBs Oluwole Betiku and Connor Murphy won Defensive Service Team Players of the Year. TE Cary Angeline was the recipient on the offensive side of the ball.

WRs Darreus Rogers and JuJu Smith-Schuster were named the Offensive Perimeter Players of the Year and WR De'Quan Hampton earned the Player of the Game vs. UCLA award.

The Jack Oakie "Rise and Shine" Award for the year's most electrifying run went to RB Ronald Jones II for his 60-yard TD run against UCLA in the Rose Bowl.

Max Browne, who is pursuing his MBA at USC, earned the Howard Jones/Football Alumni Club Academic Award for overall academic achievement. He and the other team captains (Hutchings, Banner and Jackson) were also awarded for their leadership this season.

Rose Bowl Wednesday #1: Notes

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The Trojans enjoyed another bowl practice before heading to the annual football awards banquet.
  • No new injuries. However, the MRI came back on freshman OT Nathan Smith, and he suffered a torn ACL, said head coach Clay Helton. They will try to surgically repair the ligament as soon as possible in hopes that Smith can rehab in time for next season.
  • trace-mcsorley_1200.jpegPenn State's offense was the talk of the day led by sophomore QB Trace McSorley (pictured). "He kind of reminds me of Sam [Darnold] because he has great pocket presence," said Helton about McSorley, who is the Nittany Lions' second leading rusher. "We've got to do a wonderful job of keeping him hemmed up in the pocket."
  • While McSorley is mobile, he can make big plays with his arm as well. Penn State's offense is known for its explosiveness, ranking fourth in the nation in plays gaining 40+ yards. "They are a lot different than some of the teams that we've played," said defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast about the Nittany Lions. "They take a lot of shots down the field. They have a lot of deep threats."
  • Pendergast has a month to put together this game plan, so he "spent a lot of time looking at us and seeing where we need to get better" before breaking down Penn State's tendencies.
  • Sophomore OLB Porter Gustin is a great example of a player who has taken to coaching this season and grown by "leaps and bounds," said the Trojans' sack leader. He comes into the Rose Bowl with six tackles-for-loss over his last four games, accounting for half his season's total.
  • While Gustin and the Trojans have experience playing in the Rose Bowl Stadium, they know that the Rose Bowl Game is a different animal. "We bring the intensity every game and we plan on doing the same thing," Gustin said. "I do think it will be a little more exciting to be playing in the Rose Bowl and be a part of the history here at USC."
  • USC has a few juniors with important decisions to make, most notably CB Adoree' Jackson and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster. "I treat them just like I would my own son," said Helton about the process of staying in college or going to the NFL. "I try to provide them as much information as possible, so [they] and their families can make the best decisions possible."
  • In assessing whether or not a player is ready for the league, Helton pointed out that the NFL likes "finished products," and they are not particularly patient with draft picks.
  • Here is Helton's press conference on a chilly Wednesday evening:

2016 #USCtotheNFL Week 14

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With 2017 Pro Bowl voting having just recently closed and the playoffs looming, many Trojans in the NFL have put on worthy performances so far this season. Despite the fierce competition in Week 14 as teams fight for remaining playoff spots, a number of Trojans got together after the Jets-Rams game and the Bills-Steelers game, proving that Trojan blood runs deep.

DEVON-nfl.jpgThe Best

With all eyes on the Giants-Cowboys game Sunday night, NYG LB Devon Kennard stepped up and had his best game of the season. Kennard racked up 6 tackles, a sack, 2 TFL and forced a fumble in New York's win over Dallas. The third-year LB hadn't recorded a sack or forced fumble since his rookie year, due in part to missing seven games to injury last season.

The Best of the Rest

Malcolm Smith, LB, Raiders - 7 tackles

Robert Woods, WR, Bills - 1 reception for 29 yards

Nickell Robey-Coleman, CB, Bills - 3 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 special teams tackle

Wes Horton, DE, Panthers - 1 tackle, 1 fumble recovery

Matt Barkley, QB, Bears - 20-of-32 for 212 yards and 1 TD

Brian Cushing, LB, Texans - 6 tackles, becoming Texans' all-time leading tackler

Everson Griffen, DE, Vikings - 3 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 QB hits, 1 pass defended

Marqise Lee, WR, Jaguars - 5 receptions for 113 yards

Hayes Pullard, LB, Jaguars - 3 tackles

Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals - 18-of-33 for 145 yards and 2 TD

Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles - 2 receptions for 22 yards

Leonard Williams, DE, Jets - 2 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1 QB hit

Clay Matthews, LB, Packers - 2 tackles, 1 QB hit, 1 TFL

T.J. McDonald, S, Rams - 4 tackles

Shareece Wright, CB, Ravens - 4 tackles, 1 TFL

Check out Eat the Ball!

Helton Tabbed a Top 10 Coach

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USC head coach Clay Helton was named one of nine finalists for the 2016 Paul "Bear" Bryant Coach of the Year Award, presented annually by the American Heart Association and Marathon Oil Corporation.

Read the full release here!

Helton has guided the Trojans to a 9-3 record and their first Rose Bowl berth since 2009. The team got off to a 1-3 start, but all three losses were on the road against Top 25 teams, and the eight-game win streak that the team has rattled off since is its longest since 2008-09. During the win streak, USC knocked off No. 21 Colorado and No. 4 Washington to climb up to a No. 9 ranking in the College Football Playoff.

The Trojans also went undefeated at home for the first time since 2008. Since being named the permanent USC head coach last October, Helton has not lost at home (6-0 this year, 9-0 overall).

Under Helton's tutelage this year, Adoree' Jackson and Zach Banner earned first team All-American honors. Jackson, Banner and Chad Wheeler earned Pac-12 first team honors as well, as Jackson was named USC's first Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year since Rey Maualuga in 2008.

The winner will of the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year Award will be announced on Jan. 11, 2017 during the awards banquet in Houston at the Toyota Center and will be broadcast FOX College Sports.


Unanimity for Adoree'

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Adoree'Hiesman_ALLAmerican.jpgUSC CB Adoree' Jackson earned unanimous All-American honors this season, becoming the first Trojan to accomplish the feat since Marqise Lee in 2012.

Click here for the full release!

To earn unanimous All-American honors, a player must be named to the first team by AP, Football Writers, Football Coaches, Walter Camp and Sporting News. Jackson accomplished that and more. He was also named first team All-American by ESPN (as an all-purpose player), Sports Illustrated (as an all-purpose player; also second team as a returner), CBS Sports (as a cornerback and punt returner; also second team as an all-purpose player and kick returner), Phil Steele (as a punt returner, also second team as all-purpose player and third team as defensive back and kick returner) and (as defensive back; also third team as kick returner and as punt returner). He also was an All-American second team pick by USA Today (as a returner).

Lee and other Trojans like Dion Bailey took to Twitter to congratulate Jackson.

Next up for Jackson and the Trojans is the Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 2 at 2 p.m. Click here for tickets!

Morgan Closing in on MAC Hermann

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Morgan Andrews of USC's national champion women's soccer team was named one of three finalists for the MAC Hermann Trophy, the organization announced today.

IMG_7511.JPGClick here for the full release!

The MAC Hermann Trophy has been awarded annually since 1967 to the nation's most outstanding player in men's and women's soccer.

Andrews is joined by West Virginia's Kadeisha Buchanan and Stanford's Andi Sullivan as last three players under consideration for the award. Andrews was key in USC's wins over both of those opponents this year, as she scored two goals against Stanford and one goal in the national title game against WVU.

Andrews started all 25 games for USC and tied for the team lead with 10 goals this season. Three of those goals came on penalty kicks and three came during the postseason, proving that Andrews is one of the most clutch players in the country.

For her efforts, the Milford, NH native was named first team All-Pac-12 and second team NSCAA All-American for the second straight season.

The winner of the award will be announced on Jan. 6, 2017 at the 2016 MAC Hermann Trophy Banquet at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, MO.


Rose Bowl Tuesday #1: Notes

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USC held its first official practice of the bowl season today with its sights set on a Rose Bowl win.
  • USC_Football_Washington_McGillen_11122016_1224.jpgUSC head coach Clay Helton said the team is mostly healthy with the exception of CB Jonathan Lockett, who will undergo season-ending hip surgery on Friday. Full injury report: OL Khaliel Rodgers (concussion), QB Sam Darnold (hip flexor), TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe (hamstring), WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (wrist), OL Nathan Smith (knee).
  • A Southern California kid who was raised a Trojan fan, QB Sam Darnold acknowledged what a dream it's been to play in the Rose Bowl Game. "It's a really big deal," he said. "I've grown up watching this game, so it's really special for me."
  • The way Helton is game-planning, he'd have Darnold think he's playing in the Rose Bowl Game this very Saturday. "We're basically going to act like we play a game this Saturday ... And then we're going to repeat that next week and do the exact same gameplan," Helton said. "We installed our first and second down gameplan today. We'll re-do that next Tuesday and we'll re-do that Bowl Tuesday. And hopefully we're flying by January 2."
  • Helton thinks the preparation will be crucial in stopping a high-scoring (36.7 PPG) Penn State team. He called PSU QB Trace McSorley "creative" and praised RB Saquon Barkley, who recently earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year.
  • While impressed with the Nittany Lions' offense, he also said he expects an aggressive defensive scheme, having coached alongside current PSU defensive coordinator Brent Pry at Memphis earlier in their careers. "You see the zone pressure that he brings," Helton said. "He's really getting to the quarterback and really hurting you in the run game."
  • Helton hopes his team can protect its quarterback, since Max Browne has left the team to pursue transfer opportunities. Without Browne backing up Darnold, Jalen Greene will likely be the No. 2 QB come gameday. Helton called Greene "brilliant" and said his experience and maturity earned him the backup spot over freshman Matt Fink, whose redshirt year Helton would like to preserve.
  • RT Zach Banner (pictured), who was recently named a CollegeSportsMadness All-American, will be key in protecting the QB during the Rose Bowl Game. A senior who endured sanctions and coaching changes, Banner got choked up when thinking about his legacy at USC. "Regardless of this being the first and last Rose Bowl I'll get to be a part of, the struggles of going to other types of bowls and having lost seasons and stuff like that --- it was worth it. I wouldn't change it for anything."
  • Watch Helton's full press conference here:

Adoree' Sets CBS All-American Record

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USC_Football_Bama_mcgillen_LRDSC_2005.JPGToday, USC CB Adoree' Jackson became the first player to ever earn four combined spots on CBS Sports' first and second All-American teams.

The 2016 Thorpe Award winner and Hornung Award finalist was named a first-team CB and punt returner by CBS Sports, as well as a second team kick returner and all-purpose player.

Jackson earned the accolades by racking up 51 tackles, 4 interceptions, 11 passes broken up and 15 passes defended. He finished fourth in the nation in punt return average (15.9) and tied for second in the nation in punt return touchdowns (2). As a kick returner, his 30.5 average ranked fourth in the nation and his 2 kick return touchdowns also tied for second in the nation. He accrued 1,074 all-purpose yards (671 kick return yards, 302 punt return yards, 52 receiving yards, 49 rush yards), and finished just behind Ronald Jones II on USC's all-purpose yard list this year.

Jackson has now been named a first-team All-American by CBS Sports, Associated Press, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Walter Camp, Sporting News, FWAA, Phil Steele and College Sports Madness.

Karen Chung Goes Pro

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Earlier this month, USC senior Karen Chung became the only current collegiate golfer to earn her full LPGA tour card at Q-School. The Livingston, N.J., native will forgo her final semester of NCAA eligibility to compete on the pro circuit around the world, joining a host of former Trojans currently on tour like Lizette Salas, Annie Park, Candie Kung, Jennifer Song and Belen Mozo -- all of whom played under USC's 21st-year head coach Andrea Gaston. Before hitting the greens, Chung sat down to reflect upon her time at USC, her goals as a professional and more.

USC_Womens_Golf_Long_beach_7990.jpgAubrey Kragen (AK): Can you start by describing the Q-School process and your emotions when it was finally over and you had earned your full LPGA tour card?

Karen Chung (KC): Q-School is a qualifying tournament to get your professional LPGA tour card. There are three stages that lasted from August to just a couple weeks ago. From the first stage, we started off with 400 girls, and they took the top 90. Then we moved on to the second stage, and it was 180 girls and they cut it down to 70. Then the final stage was 150, and I think the top 45 got conditional, but the top 20 got their full status. So I nudged into the top 20, and, wow, it was a long, long week. Including the practice round days, I think I was in Florida for two and a half weeks. The actual tournament was five days long, and after I finished and I knew that I made it, I didn't really believe it. But it happened.

AK: How incredible was it to be one of the top 20 out of 400 original participants?

KC: I didn't think I was going to make it that far. I kept telling my family, 'Even if I don't make it this time, I made it all the way here from 400 girls, so I'll take that.' But I got really lucky, and I made it.

AK: I'm sure that playing on the LPGA tour has been a dream of yours since you first started playing golf. Why did you decide to come play in college first?

KC: There are a lot of girls out there who just turn pro and don't experience college. And college is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Yes, you can come back and do whatever you want, but I just wanted to experience college right, so I decided to finish it first and then go pro.

AK: What are some things you learned here that have prepared you for the next step?

KC: As much as I don't want to admit it, I think college made me grow up and learn more about myself and my game. The girls on the team are some of the best players I've ever been around. They've pushed me to my limits, and I've learned a lot.

AK: Three of your teammates entered Q-School with you last month. What was that like, and did you all support each other along the way?

KC: There were four of us out of an eight-member team at USC, so I think Coach was panicking a little. Gabriella Then and Victoria Morgan played with me up until second stage, and then Tiffany Chan made it to final stage with me. But it felt like a team event for us, because everywhere we went, we wore the same SC clothes. So it was nice, and we always supported all four of each other. It was sad to see two of them leave after second stage, but Tiffany and I fought all the way.

AK: What did it mean to you to be the only current college player to earn the full tour card?

KC: That was really cool to know. I was just shocked, because I thought there would be other college players that made it. There were a number of really good college players.

USC_Womens_Golf_Long_beach_8539.jpgAK: You graduate in the spring, right? How do you plan to complete your degree once you've gone pro and what will it mean to have graduated from USC?

KC: I have one more class left. I'm going to travel and try to finish the class at the same time. I have some experience with that, because I had a full course load this semester and had to miss chunks some time for Q-School. I got really lucky to get to this point. Just being able to get my tour card and getting my degree from USC have been dreams of mine, so I'm so happy with how it all worked out.

AK: What's the next step for you as a new professional golfer?

KC: As of now, I'm still trying to figure out how the priority list and rankings work, to see which tournaments I get into. But I think the first tournament I'm playing is in the Bahamas at the end of January, so I'm looking forward to that and all the international tournaments. I went to Ireland for a tournament a couple years ago when I was a junior golfer. Starting my professional career in the Bahamas is not too shabby, and I think there are a lot of international swings, so that will be fun.

AK: Lastly, what are your goals as a professional golfer?

KC: For this first year out, I want to play well enough to secure my tour card for next year, obviously. But ultimately, I want to be one of the best out there, so hopefully I achieve that.

On the Radar

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mbb-ranking-24.jpgAt 9-0, USC men's basketball enters the AP Top 25 at No. 24 for the first time this season. The Trojans are off to their best start since 1971.

USC is one of seven remaining unbeaten teams in college basketball, joining No. 1 Villanova, No. 2 UCLA, No. 4 Baylor, No. 8 Gonzaga, No. 10 Creighton and No. 16 South Carolina. The Trojans are one of four nationally ranked Pac-12 teams along with No. 2 UCLA, No. 19 Arizona and No. 22 Oregon.

Come watch USC take on Troy this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. inside the Galen Center or Cornell on Monday, December 19 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can come with an ugly sweater.

Hoops Off To Best Start Since 1971

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Written by Max Holm, USC blog contributor 

USC men's basketball beat Pepperdine, 93-67, Sunday night to improve to 9-0 on the season. The Trojans' 9-0 record is the best start to a season since 1971.

Click here for the full recap!

After the Trojans conceded the first bucket of the game, the team locked in and went on a 20-4 run. All five starters scored in double figures, led by Elijah Stewart with 26 points. Stewart netted a career-high seven three-pointers and recorded four blocks.

Stewart wasn't the only one hot from deep, as the Trojans connected on 12 of their 23 attempts from downtown. The Trojans also dished out 18 assists as a team and made history with 14 blocks, the most in a single game in program history.

The Trojans also got strong performances from Jordan McLaughlin, Nick Rakocevic and Chimezie Metu. McLaughlin had 18 points, on 7-of-7 shooting, and 6 assists, and Rakocevic posted career-highs with 13 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. Metu recorded his third double-double of the season and added 2 blocks. Kurt Karis knocked down a pair of free throws for his first points as a Trojan.

Next up for the Trojans is a home game against the Troy Trojans on Saturday at 7:30 p.m PT.

Good Cutino Odds

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USC men's water polo has a two in four chance of taking home the Cutino Award, the greatest individual honor in the sport. The Trojans will be represented by two worthy finalists, goalie McQuin Baron and top scorer Blake Edwards.

Click here for more.

Baron and Edwards are two of nine Trojans all-time to be named Cutino finalists, and they are the second pair of USC teammates to do it in the same season. The program has won the award five times, including Kostas Genidounias most recently in 2014-15.


Toughest Ticket in Town

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USC is back in the Rose Bowl Game for the first time since 2009, so the Trojan Family is clamoring for tickets. If you are not already a Trojan Athletic Fund member or a season ticket holder, here are two more ways to get in the building on January 2:

Purchase 2017 season tickets and you're entered into a lottery for next month's Rose Bowl Game.

Click here for season ticket information.

Enter our social media sweepstakes for two tickets to USC vs. Penn State.

Click here to enter.


Adoree' Wins 2016 Thorpe Award

RS495602_20161208_DQ8I5868.JPGUSC All-American CB Adoree' Jackson was named the 2016 Thorpe Award winner at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show in Atlanta tonight.

Click here for the full release!

Jackson is just the second Trojan to win the Thorpe Award, which is named after legendary multi-sport athlete Jim Thorpe. While Troy Polamalu (2002) and Taylor Mays (2008) were finalists for USC, Mark Carrier (1989) is the only other Trojan to take home the trophy.

This year, Jackson beat out Michigan's Jourdan Lewis and LSU's Tre'Davious White to win the award.

Jackson earned the trophy by posting 51 tackles (including 2 for losses of 4 yards), a team-best 11 pass deflections, a team-high 4 INT and a team-best 2 fumble recoveries on defense in 2016. He also returned 22 kickoffs for 671 yards (30.5 avg) with 2 TD and 19 punts for 302 yards (15.9 avg) with 2 TD on special teams. During his 13 offensive snaps this season, he had 5 carries for 49 yards (9.8 avg) and a 52-yard TD reception. He currently is second nationally in punt return TD, second in kickoff return TD, third in punt returns, sixth in kickoff returns, 22nd in passes defended and 25th in fumbles recovered.

Like Thorpe, Jackson is a multi-sport athlete, having also won the Pac-12 long jump competition in 2015 and 2016 and twice placing fifth in the nation in NCAAs.

Upon the announcement, Trojans such as Matt Leinart, Marqise Lee, Kevon Seymour, Terrell Thomas and more took to Twitter to congratulate Jackson.

Left Our Mark

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From day one this season, USC women's soccer stated its goal clearly: #LEAVEyOURMARK. After a remarkable game to cap an unforgettable season, the Women of Troy did just that.

College Hoops Town

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There are only nine undefeated teams left in college basketball this season and Los Angeles features two of them, USC and UCLA. The Trojans are 8-0, tying their best start since 2000-01 and a win away from their best opening stretch since 1971.

Click here for the LA Times' story on USC men's basketball's rise.

USC and UCLA will not meet until January 25 in the Galen Center, but there are several opportunities to catch the Trojans at home before then. USC hosts Pepperdine on Sunday (7 p.m.), Troy on December 17 (7:30 p.m.) and Cornell on December 19 (7:30 p.m.) to complete the non-conference home schedule. The Trojans travel to the Oregon schools to begin Pac-12 play and then come home for Stanford on January 5 and Cal on January 8.


Stevens Center Academic Spotlight: Brianna Daboub

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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.

Brianna Daboub.jpgName: Brianna Daboub
Class: Junior
Sport: Women's Water Polo
Major: Health & Human Sciences
GPA: 3.18

Aubrey Kragen (AK): Can you describe the Health & Human Sciences program?

Brianna Daboub (DB): It actually started my sophomore year --- I was one of the first people to join the major. It's an interdisciplinary major, so it kind of pulls from psychology, sociology, bio and a bunch of different traditional majors. I really like it --- it's not actually super science-intensive, but it definitely gives you experience in the healthcare field, and that's definitely where I want to be once I graduate.

AK: So the major didn't exist when you showed up at USC? How did you hear about it?

BD: I was just exploring all the majors, really, trying to find what I really liked to do. And my academic advisor recommended me to my major advisor now, and he told me about the major and I loved it immediately and declared.

AK: What about the health world intrigues you?

BD: I think because I play sports, I'm really into the human body. I find that really interesting. But I'm kind of geared more toward the business aspect of health now. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree --- my mom was in marketing and my dad is basically in marketing --- he does sales for Univision. So I think we're kind of a business-oriented family.

AK: You mentioned you wanted to go into healthcare. What exactly do you want to do with your degree?

BD: I don't know exactly. Maybe health administration, so hopefully that's where my Entrepreneurship minor can come into play, with more of the business side. But I'm still exploring all my options right now and looking into possibly going to graduate school.

AK: Was the Entrepreneurship minor something you came in wanting to do or did you kind of fall into it?

BD: One of my friends told me that I should take an entrepreneurship class, because she's an Entrepreneurship minor and she said the professors are great and that she really loved it. So I decided to take Management of Small Business, and I loved my professor. She was great and I just fell in love with it, so I decided to take another one and I loved that class as well.

AK: You were a team captain as a sophomore last year, right? What was that experience like, being an underclassman but having older teammates look up to you?

BD: It was definitely challenging and I was trying to figure it out as we went. But I had Avery Peterson as a co-captain and Alegra Hueso and they definitely helped me out. At a certain point, I had to realize that I was voted captain by my peers, so I had to be a leader and take on that role. It wasn't easy, but I had an incredible team that supported me and made me look good. The credit goes to them.

AK: One of your brothers is a USC student too. What's it like having a sibling here?

BD: It's great having him here. I don't see him as much as I'd hope, but when we see each other on campus, we say hello. It's great having another Trojan in the house, because my oldest brother went to UCLA and played water polo there, so there's kind of a family rivalry. We're pretty supportive of one another and supporting each other's successes.

AK: How would you describe the dynamic having two Trojans and a Bruin in the family?

BD: I think that's more where we butt heads, but I definitely support my oldest brother Anthony and everything that he does. And he does the same for me. When he was in the water, I cheered for him and when I was in the water he cheered for me, and that's how it works.

AK: Lastly, what are your goals as a student-athlete and going forward?

BD: Well, obviously you want to be as successful as you can be and get the best grades you can to set yourself up for the rest of your life. To graduate would be my number one goal academically. Water polo-wise, winning the next two championships, but focusing on this next one first. And beyond that, that's the big question.

Darnold Delivered

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USC redshirt freshman QB Sam Darnold posted a record-setting season in 2016, becoming the catalyst for a remarkable turnaround which ended in the Trojans first Rose Bowl berth since 2008 (2009 Rose Bowl Game).

Darnold led the nation's freshmen in passing efficiency (161.0), completion percentage (68.1), TD passes (26) and yards per attempt (8.4) while going 8-1 as a starter this season. He's thrown multiple TD in each of USC's eight consecutive wins, the longest streak by a USC QB since Matt Leinart did so 15 times in a row between 2003 and 2004. Leinart has praised Darnold's poise and talent throughout the season.

His 26 passing touchdowns were the most ever by a freshman QB at USC, and his 5 TD vs. Arizona represented a Trojan rookie single-game record as well. When he threw 5 TD in the very next game against Cal, he became the first USC QB to ever mount back-to-back 5 TD games.

Darnold, who ranks second in the nation in Total QBR according to ESPN, was named the 2016 Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year for his efforts. If he earns national distinction, Darnold would become just the second Freshman All-American QB in USC history (Todd Marinovich in 1989).

All-American Duo

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Web Document.jpgUSC CB Adoree' Jackson and OT Zach Banner were named First Team All-Americans today as media publications start to release their postseason honors. Jackson and Banner both made the first team for College Sports Madness, while Jackson was also a Sporting News All-American.

Pearl Harbor Day

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As America remembers December 7, 1941 today, the infamous day when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, we discovered a fascinating historical photo from December 12, 1942. On that date, USC and UCLA played at the Coliseum and a captured submarine, which participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor, was paraded around the stadium.

Click here for the complete LA Times story.


Kickin' It With Keidane - Season Finale

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On Sunday, USC women's soccer won the second national championship in program history behind an early goal from Morgan Andrews and two late goals by Katie Johnson.

Head coach Keidane McAlpine praised their performances as well as that of goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme in the title game, and also thanked his staff and the fans for their support throughout the season in the latest episode of Kickin' It With Keidane:

2016 #USCtotheNFL Week 13

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With just four weeks left in the regular season, USC's NFL representatives are giving their all to make a lasting impact. In Week 13, Bears QB Matt Barkley earned his first career win, while Cardinals QB Carson Palmer was surgical in the 87th win of his career. Despite missing the last two games, Robert Woods leads the Bills in receiving yards, while Jets DE Leonard Williams and Packers LB Nick Perry both lead their teams in sacks. Vote your favorite Trojans into the 2017 Pro Bowl!

MORGAN-nfl.jpgThe Best

On the first play of his first game back since Week 4, Seahawks LB Mike Morgan made his presence felt, intercepting Panthers QB Derek Anderson's pass and returning it 14 yards to the 7-yard-line. Morgan, who underwent sports hernia surgery in October and was activated from injured reserve on Dec. 3, had never hauled in an interception before in his six-year career. Morgan and the Seahawks defense went on to hold the defending NFC Champions to their fewest point total all season (7).

The Best of the Rest

Everson Griffen, DE, Vikings - Team-high 8 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery

Shareece Wright, CB, Ravens - 3 tackles

Matt Barkley, QB, Bears - 11-of-18 for 192 yards

Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles - 4 receptions for 23 yards, plus 4 rushing yards

Josh Shaw, CB, Bengals - 1 tackle, 1 pass defended

Marqise Lee, WR, Jaguars - 3 receptions for 34 yards, plus 10 rushing yards

T.J. McDonald, S, Rams - 5 tackles, 1 QB hit, 1 pass defended

Brian Cushing, LB, Texans - 6 tackles, 1 QB hit

Nick Perry, LB, Packers - 4 tackles

Kevon Seymour, CB, Bills - 3 tackles

Nickell Robey-Coleman, CB, Bills - 2 tackles

Su'a Cravens, S/LB, Redskins - 4 tackles

Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals - 30-of-46 for 300 yards and 3 TD

Devon Kennard, LB, Giants - 4 tackles, 1 QB hit

Wes Horton, DE, Panthers - 2 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 2 QB hits

Leonard Williams, DE, Jets - Game-high 10 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 3 QB hits

Jack Del Rio, Head Coach, Raiders - Led Raiders to their biggest comeback in 16 years (scored 29 unanswered points to win, 38-24)

Pete Carroll, Head Coach, Seahawks - Led Seahawks to a 40-7 win over the reigning NFC Champ Panthers

Check out Eat the Ball!

Captivating Community Bowl

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30636794823_718a9e2849_o.jpgJust one day before USC was invited to play in the 103rd Rose Bowl Game, Trojan student-athletes participated in a Bowl of a different type: the sixth annual Community Bowl.

The Community Bowl originated in 2011, when NCAA sanctions precluded USC's football team from appearing in a postseason bowl game. Trojan student-athletes decided to dedicate a day to giving back to the community instead.

This Saturday, approximately 120 Trojans visited Cochran Middle School, which has the highest population of homeless and foster care children of any middle school in Los Angeles County. The student-athletes attended a pep rally hosted by LAUSD Director of Operations Deborah Brandy, then spent the day helping Cochran Middle schoolers beautify their campus and get some exercise.

Members of USC's baseball, women's tennis, beach volleyball, lacrosse, track & field, golf and diving teams helped repaint the school's planter boxes and lunch benches. They also painted two murals on the school's handball courts, refurbished the campus' garden and re-netted 25 basketball hoops. As a Trojan Legacy Gift, Trojan Outreach redesigned six basketball backboards with USC logos.

Trojans and Cochran Middle School students played basketball and soccer together later in the day, and Trojan Outreach also gifted the school a set of flag football equipment to encourage physical activity.

Explore the #FightOnGiveBack campaign on Twitter and Instagram!


Season in Review: Women's Soccer

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Women of Troy Win National Championship

Two Trojans of the Week

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pac12player-simon.jpgKristen Simon and Minyon Moore of USC women's basketball were named the Pac-12 Player and Freshman of the week, respectively, following their efforts in USC's two recent wins.

Click here for the full release!

In USC's upset win over Texas A&M in College Station, Simon led the way with 20 points and 8 rebounds. Just a few days later against Sacramento State, Simon posted a career-high 23. Simon's 16.3 PPG ranks sixth in the Pac-12 so far this season.

Moore posted 7 points in the win over the Aggies (USC's first over a ranked opponent since beating UCLA in January), before putting up 13 points and 15 assists against the Hornets. Those 15 assists are the second-most in USC history (Rhonda Windham, 17, 1981). Moore leads all Pac-12 freshmen in assists (5.88 per game) and is the highest-scoring freshman in the conference, averaging 13.1 PPG.

Both Moore and Simon earned the Pac-12 weekly awards for the first time in their career. They'll take a break before their next chance to win another, as USC's next game is on Dec. 16 vs. Grambling State in the Women of Troy Classic. Click here for tickets!


McGillen Galleries: Women's Soccer Wins National Championship

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USC women's soccer earned the second national title in program history last night with a 3-1 win over No. 1 West Virginia. Team photographer John McGillen was at Avaya Stadium to capture every moment, from the early goal to the jubilant celebrations.

Olympians Shine for USC

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Two of USC's Olympians posted impressive performances for the swimming & diving team in the Texas Invitational over the weekend.

Click here for the full recap!

Freshman Louise Hansson, who swam for Sweden in the Rio Olympics this summer, registered her fourth NCAA A cut of the season with a 47.55 in the 100y free to win the event. She also won the 100y fly, placed second in the 200y IM and placed fourth in the 100y back.

Dylan Carter, who represented Trinidad & Tobago in Rio this year, set a USC record in the 100y fly (45.27) on Friday and won the 100y free on Saturday with a PR of 42.24.

In addition to sweeping the 100y free, USC swept the 100y breast and the 200y medley relays. Riley Scott and Carsten Vissering won the 100y breast on the women's and men's side, respectively. USC's quartet of Hannah Weiss, Riley Scott, Louise Hansson and Anika Apostalon topped the field in the 200y medley relay, while Ralf Tribuntsov, Carsten Vissering, Dylan Carter and Santo Condorelli won the men's heat.

Next up for USC is the USA Diving Winter Nationals in Columbus, OH from Dec. 15-21. The Trojans' next dual meet is against Wisconsin on Jan. 13 of next year.

Photo Gallery: McKnight Tribute

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Famed Los Angeles sports photographer Jon SooHoo put together a photo tribute to the late USC tailback Joe McKnight.

Here is McKnight's Trojan career in pictures:

National Champs!

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IMG_2994.JPG.jpegUSC women's soccer beat No. 1 West Virginia, 3-1, to win the program's second-ever national championship today.

Click here for the full recap!

The No. 7 Women of Troy took an early lead against the top-seeded Mountaineers, as Morgan Andrews connected on a header in the second minute. It was USC's quickest goal all season, and kept the Trojans afloat until WVU equalized in the 66th minute.

The Trojans kept calm and responded quickly, though, taking advantage of WVU's aggressive field positioning. In a two-on-two opportunity, Leah Pruitt muscled her way into control and hit a wide open Katie Johnson in front of the net, who slotted it past the keeper. Johnson would score again just 12 minutes later to secure the win for USC.

Johnson, who also scored the game-winner in USC's Final Four game against Georgetown, was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. She finished the season with nine goals, while Andrews finished with 10 (three of which came during the postseason).

After losing the first two games of head coach Keidane McAlpine's third season, USC finished the year 18-4-2 and brought home its first national title since 2007. The 2016 NCAA College Cup trophy is the 126th national championship (103rd NCAA title) that USC can claim.

Just Short

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USC men's water polo fell to Cal, 11-8, in the national championship today.

Click here for the full recap.

The Bears proved to be the only thorn in USC's side all season. The Trojans finished the year 24-2, with their only two losses coming to Cal. Today, in USC's 12th consecutive NCAA title appearance, the Trojans led until the fourth quarter, when the hungry Bears tied it up and pushed the game to overtime.

USC hadn't played an OT game all season, and Cal outscored the Trojans, 4-1, in the two extra time frames to take home the trophy. The Bears sent a barrage of shots McQuin Baron's way, as the junior goalie racked up a season-high 19 saves but also allowed a season-high 11 goals.

Baron, Nick Bell and Marin Dasic earned All-Tournament second team honors, while USC's Blake and Lachlan Edwards earned first team honors. Blake finished the season with a team-high 42 goals, including one today. Baron finished the season with 247 saves, tied for the sixth-most in a single season in USC history.

Smell the Roses

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USC will play Penn State in the 103rd Rose Bowl Game on January 2! The Trojans will appear in the "Granddaddy of Them All" for a record 34th time.

Click here for a Rose Bowl preview.

"We are tremendously excited and proud to be invited to the 2017 Rose Bowl," said USC head coach Clay Helton. "It is a great honor for our team to have the opportunity to represent our university and the Trojan Family in the Rose Bowl, a bowl in which we have such a long tradition. We are extremely thankful for the invitation. It is a great reward for our football team after a very strong finish to the 2016 season.

"We congratulate Coach Franklin and the Penn State football team on their outstanding season and look forward to what should be a fun and compelling bowl matchup. We can't wait to see the Trojan Family in Pasadena on January 2."

Click here to visit USC Bowl Central for tickets and information!

Information on obtaining tickets from USC's allotment to the 103rd annual Rose Bowl will be sent via email after 4 p.m. PT today to Trojan Athletic Fund members and USC Season Ticket Holders. Other USC fans can visit USC's Bowl Central website for more information.

A lottery for Rose Bowl tickets from USC's allotment will be held for the first 200 fans who are not current season ticket holders but who purchase new 2017 football season tickets. To purchase 2017 season tickets, which are on sale now, click here or call 213-740-4672 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT on Monday.


USC Takes Down BYU at STAPLES Center

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USC Takes Down BYU at Staples Center

Two National Championship Day?

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USC women's soccer and men's water polo will compete for the NCAA championships in their respective sports on Sunday at 3 p.m. PT in the Bay Area.

Click here for more on women's soccer.

Click here for more on men's water polo.

The Women of Troy defeated Georgetown, 1-0, in the national semifinal on Friday night thanks to a second half strike from Katie Johnson. They will play No. 1 West Virginia for the College Cup on Sunday in San Jose. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU.

No. 1 USC men's water polo cruised past Harvard, 19-4, to make its 12th consecutive NCAA title match, looking for its first crown since 2013. The Trojans will square off with host Cal for the national championship on Sunday in Berkeley. The game will be streamed live on


#FightOnForever: Sammy Lee

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Two-time Olympic gold medalist diver Dr. Sammy Lee, who was USC's oldest surviving Olympian, died on Friday, Dec. 2, in Newport Beach, Calif., due to pneumonia. He was 96.

Click here for the complete obituary.

Lee, a diminutive (5-foot) Korean descendant, overcame discrimination to achieve his goals of being an Olympic champion and medical doctor. He was the first Asian-American to win an Olympic gold medal for the U.S., the first man to win back-to-back Olympic golds in platform diving (1948 and 1952) and the oldest diver (at age 32) to win an Olympic gold medal. He also won a bronze medal in the springboard in the 1948 Olympics.

He was the AAU national champion in the platform and springboard in 1942 (becoming the first person of color to win a national diving title) and in the platform in 1946. He won the 1953 Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the U.S. He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1968 and U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1990. He was honored with a spot on the Anaheim/Orange County Walk of Stars in 2009.

After attending Occidental College, he graduated from the USC School of Medicine in 1947 and became an ear, nose and throat physician. He served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in the Korean War.


Former USC RB Joe McKnight Killed

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

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

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

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

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

Fight On Forever, Joe McKnight.


Leventhal Stat of the Week - End of Regular Season

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

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

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

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

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


Straight to the Semis

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

Click here for the full preview!

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

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

Should the Trojans win tomorrow, they'll advance to their 12th consecutive title appearance. After winning six straight national championships from 2008-13, USC fell to UCLA in each of the last two title games.

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


Finally Time for the Final Four

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

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

Click here for the full preview.

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

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

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


Trojans Top Toreros

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

Click here for the full recap!

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

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

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