Clay Helton Q&A - Bye Week

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Fresh off a 48-14 wallopping of Arizona, USC gets a bye this weekend to rest up before its Thursday night game next week vs. Cal. USC head coach Clay Helton sat down to discuss what went right against the Wildcats and how to shut down Bears QB Davis Webb.

Helton also expressed his condolences to WR Steven Mitchell Jr., who tore his ACL against Arizona and will miss the remainder of the season. Mitchell had 24 receptions for 226 yards and a TD before his injury.

Hear everything Helton had to say here:

National Recognition

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USC men's basketball junior captain Jordan McLaughlin is one of 20 players named to the watch list for the Bob Cousy Award, given annually to the nation's best point guard.

Click here for the complete list.

McLaughlin has been at the center of the program's resurgence under head coach Andy Enfield, averaging 13.4 ppg and 4.7 apg last season. He will take over primary point guard duties this year after sharing responsibility with Julian Jacobs in 2015-16.

Single game tickets are now available for this season, starting with the home opener on November 11. Fans can meet the team this Saturday at the Trojan Tip-Off (1 p.m. at Galen Center). Admission is FREE.


Lanier Leads the Way

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Freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors for leading USC to two road wins this weekend, over Oregon and Oregon State.

On Friday, the Women of Troy earned a four-set upset of No. 16 Oregon in Eugene. Lanier posted a career-high 23 kills and added eight digs and a block to lead all players with 23.5 points.

Lanier earned a double-double in USC's tilt with Oregon State on Sunday to help the Trojans sweep the Beavers. She finished with 16 kills, 12 digs, two blocks and an ace. Alyse Ford also posted a double-double. The win was USC's first sweep of a conference opponent this season and helped the Women of Troy stay undefeated on the road this year (7-0).

Despite leading all Pac-12 freshmen in kills (4.01 per set), service aces (0.25 per set) and points (4.52 per set), this is Lanier's first Freshman of the Week award from the conference.

Lanier and the Trojans host four conference opponents to close out October, starting with Cal on Friday at 6 p.m.


Trojans Gash Gauchos

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USC men's water polo earned its seventh straight win this weekend with a 16-6 takedown of UC Santa Barbara.

Click here for the full recap.

The Trojans have now outscored the Gauchos 30-9 in their two meetings this season.

In Saturday's matchup, junior driver Blake Edwards netted five goals, the last of which was his 100th as a Trojan. For his efforts, Edwards was named the MPSF Player of the Week. It was the first such award for Edwards, who connected on all of his shot attempts against the Gauchos.

It was a close game out of the gates, with USC up just 4-3 after one period, but the Trojan defense tightened up to lead the way to a 10-goal victory. USC now boasts 11 double-digit victories this season.

Next up for the Trojans is a short trip to Long Beach to take on Long Beach State on Saturday.


Sun Devil Shutout

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USC women's soccer improved to 11-3 on the season with yet another shutout victory this weekend.

After suffering their first loss in over a month to Cal last weekend, the No. 6 Trojans topped the Arizona State Sun Devils, 2-0, this Saturday.

Click here for the full recap.

After 45 minutes of scoreless play, Katie Johnson and Savannah Levin (pictured) netted second-half goals to earn the win for USC. For Levin, it was the first goal of the season. Johnson, meanwhile, is tied for the team lead with seven goals.

USC has now shut out nine of its 14 opponents this season thanks to goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme and the Trojans' staunch defense. The Trojans' .498 goals against average ranks 11th in the nation.

Next up for USC is a home stand vs. Washington State and Washington before finishing out the regular season with three matches away from McAlister Field.


USC vs. Arizona Wrap-Up

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Behind Sam Darnold's career-high five touchdown passes, the Trojans rolled over the Wildcats on Saturday. The Trojans have now won three straight games, and get a bye this weekend before going for their fourth on Oct. 27 vs. Cal.

McGillen Galleries: Arizona

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On Saturday, the Trojans endured the scorching heat in Tucson to top Arizona, 48-14. USC team photographer John McGillen was at Arizona Stadium to document the big win.

USC Tramples Arizona

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USC Tramples Arizona

6-Points: USC 48, Arizona 14

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The Trojans trounced the Wildcats en route to their first road win of the season and third consecutive victory.

Click here for the recap and final stats.

Click here for the post-game press conference.

Final-AZ.jpgTurnover Talk

All week long, the Trojans were peppered with questions about their growing turnover problem, and they responded by posting a season-best +4 in turnover margin. "We came out strong defensively and attacked the young quarterback," said CB Iman Marshall, who had one of USC's two interceptions. "We tried to get as many turnovers as possible, and we came up with four, which is a big day defensively for us." S Chris Hawkins created a key fumble early in the game to set up a score, and the Trojans also picked up an interception from Ajene Harris and a fumble recovery by freshman Connor Murphy.

Safe with Sam

Offensively, USC played a clean game, starting with redshirt freshman QB Sam Darnold who said that he thought about ball security on every play. "You love guys that love to be coached. There was a huge emphasis on ball security and it started with the quarterback," said Helton about Darnold. It certainly did not hamper Darnold's playmaking ability as he completed 20/32 for 235 yards and 5 TDs plus 54 rush yards. "He's almost too good to be true," Helton praised.

Bully Ball

The veteran USC offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage, creating huge holes for a committee of young tailbacks en route to the biggest rushing day of the season. "I really challenged not only the backs - to be next man up - but I challenged the offensive line," said Helton. "They owned the field today." The offensive line was boosted by the return of All-Pac-12 RT Zach Banner. "We felt like, if we're going to win this game, we need to do it up front," said Banner. "We needed to pound the ball. We did just that and we had a good time." USC racked up 320 yards on the ground led by sophomore RB Aca'Cedric Ware, who had a career-high 103 yards and a touchdown.

Lights Out

The USC defense put together another complete performance, creating four turnovers and stuffing the Wildcats on a goal line stand. Helton gave "credit [to] the secondary" which limited Arizona freshman QB Khalil Tate to 7/18 passing and only 58 yards. Marshall explained that the game plan was to "put pressure on [Tate] and make him beat us with his arm. When he tried to do that, we made him pay."

Playmakers on the Mend

Once again, Darnold distributed the ball well as nine different receivers made catches. Junior WR JuJu Smith-Schuster paced the pack, hauling in nine receptions for 132 yards and 3 TDs. However, late in the game, he went down with a painful lower back injury after taking a helmet to the area. The good news is that the x-rays were negative. Unfortunately, Helton has major concerns about Steven Mitchell's knee which will require an MRI tomorrow before a prognosis can be made.

On to the Next

Helton pushed his team to take care of business on the road, and the Trojans rewarded him with a dominant showing. Now, USC has won three consecutive games going into its bye week. Despite being back above .500 at 4-3 on the season, the Trojans must maintain their sense of urgency. "We've got to keep on," said Helton. "We need to have this week off to get some injuries healed up and get ready for a good Cal team." USC will take on the Bears at the Coliseum on Thursday, October 27.

Click here for tickets.

Here are all the highlights from the blowout victory:

Elevens Up

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Tickets for USC men's basketball's 2016-17 season went on sale today, and fans can take advantage of special pricing for the Trojans' season opener on Nov. 11.

In addition to Mini Plans, Tommy Pass and Individual Game tickets, USC Athletics is offering 111 tickets for just $.11, 111 tickets for $1.11 and 1,111 tickets for $11.11 for USC's home opener against Montana on 11/11 at 8 p.m. The tickets are being sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

Click here to purchase a ticket for $.11 for USC vs. Montana!

Click here to purchase a ticket for $1.11 for USC vs. Montana!

Click here to purchase a ticket for $11.11 for USC vs. Montana!

The Trojans went 21-13 last season and made their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2011. Watch them look to take the next step starting on Nov. 11!