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#IAmUnbroken - Mike Nyeholt

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As the countdown continues to the Christmas release of Unbroken, the feature film telling the life story of USC's iconic war hero Louis Zamperini, here is part two in our #IAmUnbroken video series featuring Mike Nyeholt.  The Swim with Mike co-founder was once a three-time All-American swimmer before breaking his neck.

Click here to submit your #IAmUnbroken story.

Here is Nyeholt's courageous tale in his own words:


Women of Troy Capture First Win

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

After pushing No. 2 South Carolina in their season opening loss last Saturday, the Women of Troy took down Davidson, 99-64, on the road to earn their first win of the 2014 season on Monday.


All 12 Trojans scored points in the victory and each of the starters finished in double digits led by Jordan Adams (15 points) and Courtney Jaco (12 points). USC was just as dominant on the other side of the ball, nabbing 14 steals in the first half and holding the Wildcats to 35-percent shooting in the second half. 

The Women of Troy play one more game on the road at Long Beach State this Friday (4:30 p.m. PT) before finally returning to the Galen Center for their home opener against Fresno State on Sunday (2 p.m. PT). 

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UCLA Tuesday: Notes

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Rivalry Week is in full flight...
  • The Trojans are as healthy as they have been in weeks with the return of OLB J.R. Tavai who is playing "fast and physical" returning from his knee injury, according to head coach Steve Sarkisian.
  • TE Bryce Dixon was given the "green light to practice," while the university investigates the student conduct issue that led to his suspension last week.
  •  The Trojans know what is at stake this Saturday, but they are trying to keep the emotions at a simmer. "We're going to treat this like any other game," said RT Zach Banner. "We got excited for it this weekend. We need to be 3-0 in November, so we're going to get it done this weekend."
  • "After losing two years in a row, there is definitely extra weight on this week," said TE Randall Telfer. "I've been telling all the guys, I've been waiting all year for this game."
  • In order to win, USC must rekindle its running game. Sarkisian is emphasizing the "pad level with our backs" and "patience needs to be better" in terms of waiting for the blocks to develop.
  • In terms of the passing game, Cody Kessler is playing the best football of his life. Asked to describe his quarterback in one word, Sarkisian went with "efficient."
  • Nelson Agholor has upped his game with back-to-back 200-yard receiving games. "I don't really set any goals," he said. "I just wanted to progress and get better every day. I'm the type of person who just prides themselves on the day. If you get better every day, you will have a nice little pile up when it's all said and done."
  • The Kessler-to-Agholor combination is rooted in a strong friendship. "Cody's a great quarterback," Agholor said. "If you go all out for him, he's willing to give you as many opportunities as you need. I've tried my best to build confidence and just make the plays that come my way."
  • George Farmer summed up the week nicely, "It's all about the battle. Who is going to come out on top and be victorious for Los Angeles."
  • Here is Sarkisian after practice today...



3-Points: USC 70, TTU 58

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor

The Trojans notched their first win of the season defeating the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles on Monday night at the Galen Center, but the young squad still needs to clean up some of its sloppy play moving forward. 


Bouncing Back

After falling 76-68 to Portland State on Saturday, the Trojans made a quick turnaround to get the W at home just two days later. Katin Reinhardt led the team in shooting with 19 points and four rebounds, while freshman Jordan McLaughlin had another impressive night scoring 15 points with four rebounds and seven assists. "Losing the first game I think sparked a different kind of energy amongst everybody," said Reinhardt. "I think everybody did a really good job of just letting it go. We couldn't wait to play tonight."

Fresh, Fast Start

Much of the change between the two games can be attributed to USC's intensity out of the gate. The Trojans opened the night outscoring the Golden Eagles 18-8 in the first eight minutes before being stalled by another tidal wave of turnovers. McLaughlin led the team during this run with six points courtesy of a transition three that sparked the Trojan offense early. The freshman wasn't the only one putting points on the board early, as everyone who played in the first half scored. 

More Turnovers, More Problems

While USC improved slightly on its turnover tendency from Saturday, it still gave the ball up 17 times, something the coaching staff is focusing on as the season continues. "These kids are trying but they have to understand that when they hold the ball, when they dribble too much, when you're not setting screens and you're not flowing, it really creates turnovers," said Enfield. "I was happier in the second half because we limited our turnovers, but we just can't win when you turn the ball over 17 times like we did tonight."

Here are the SnappyTV highlights from the Trojans' first win...

UNFILTERED: Cal

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The Trojans are 2-0 in November after notching their 11th consecutive victory over the Cal Bears. Before we turn our attention entirely to beating the Bruins, here is an UNFILTERED look at Thursday night's victory:

Kessler vs. Leinart

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Cody Kessler is on pace to have one of the best seasons of any USC quarterback in school history, and people are beginning to take notice. A finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, the junior quarterback has the nation's fourth-best completion percentage (70.2), has thrown the fourth-most touchdowns (29) and is the only quarterback to have attempted more than 300 passes with fewer than four interceptions.

"He's a couple plays away from being a top-10 team and a Heisman candidate in my eyes," Matt Leinart told the LA Times.

"His numbers are terrific, I think he's a great leader and he's still only a junior," Leinart told Lindsey Thiry. "He still has another year left, which is pretty scary."

Here's a graphic, via Reign of Troy, comparing Leinart's Heisman-winning season in 2004 to Kessler's numbers through 10 games in 2014.

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Sarkisian Q&A: UCLA Week

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USC head coach Steve Sarkisian addressed Nelson Agholor's breakout month, the fourth quarter defense and rivalry week in his weekly Q&A.


Photo Gallery: MWP Senior Day

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USC men's water polo knows how to do Senior Day.  The Trojans honored their national championship ringed quartet before taking down Cal 7-6 Saturday behind a pair of hat tricks from seniors Kostas Genidounias and Marc Vonderweidt.

Click here for the match recap.

The Trojans finished the regular season 21-4, and they will be the No. 3 seed at this weekend's MPSF Championship in Long Beach.  USC will need a strong showing at the conference tournament to earn an NCAA bid and keep hope alive for a seventh consecutive national championship.

Here are the John McGillen photos from Senior Day:


Photo Gallery: WVB Senior Day

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USC women's volleyball paid tribute to its senior class Friday night before falling in a classic five-setter to Cal.  For the Women of Troy, Hayley Crone, Hannah Schraer and Emily Young played their final home matches.

Here are the John McGillen photos:


Crosstown Kickoff Set

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The USC at UCLA battle for Los Angeles will kick off this Saturday at 5 p.m. PT in the Rose Bowl on ABC.

The Trojans and Bruins are playing for 10 SoCal BMW Crosstown Cup points, the Victory Bell and potentially the Pac-12 South.  After Arizona State lost to Oregon State this past Saturday, USC now needs to defeat UCLA and have the Sun Devils drop one of their remaining two games (Washington State and Arizona) to clinch the division.

Emotions will be running high on Saturday night.
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