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Sights and Sounds: USC vs. Notre Dame

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

Darnold Tabbed Top 10 QB

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Kickin' It With Keidane - Week 15

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

#USCHero: Ramon Inzunza

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

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

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

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Andrews for Hermann

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

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

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

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

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

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2016 #USCtotheNFL Week 12

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

barkley-nfl.jpgThe Best

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

The Best of the Rest

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

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

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

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

Frostee Rucker, DT, Cardinals - 3 tackles

Josh Shaw, CB, Bengals - 6 tackles

Shareece Wright, CB, Ravens - 4 tackles

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

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

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

Jurrell Casey, DT, Titans - 4 tackles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to learn more about Eat the Ball!

Jackson, Darnold Headline All-Pac-12 Team

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trojan Family Fitness

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

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Trojan Wish - John Aspra

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

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

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

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Two Trojans Named All-Conference

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

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

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

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

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

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