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BC Wednesday: Notes

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The Trojans leave for Boston at Noon tomorrow.
  • The injury news continues to be positive as DE Leonard Williams participated in a portion of practice, and he is on schedule to play Saturday.  Head coach Steve Sarkisian made it clear that "our goal is to win the game" so he will not rest Williams ahead of the bye week if he can contribute to this game.
  • Of statistical note, DL Delvon Simmons was given credit for blocking Stanford's first field goal on Saturday.  "That was a shear effort play," said Sarkisian, who last week criticized Simmons and Claude Pelon for lacking consistent effort. "Hopefully, that gives both of those guys another charge into them of man, when you're playing with great effort, good things happen."
  • Staying on special teams, Sarkisian thought punter Kris Albarado suffered from "first game jitters" against Stanford because he did not get an opportunity in the Fresno State opener.  He expects the second year starter to be better going forward after a strong Fall Camp.
  • Despite battling two five-star prospects for playing time, Gerald Bowman has emerged as the rock of the safety group.  "He brings a senior attitude of grateful of the opportunity," said Sarkisian. "[He] embraces every day he gets to be out here. That is really contagious."
  • Bowman has earned his spot as much with his brain as his body.  Defensive backs coach Keith Heyward explained that he has been "the most consistent" safety when it comes to making the right calls. "I believe I can play. I didn't get a scholarship here for nothing," said Bowman. "You have to be a smart player because athletic ability can only take you so far." 
  • Bowman transferred to USC from junior college and learned quickly from veterans like T.J. McDonald and Jawanza Starling to have a "pro mindset." "My thing is before I step foot through those doors, I have to have my mind right," said Bowman.
  • The Philadelphia native already has collected 16 tickets for friends and family to come see him play in Boston.
  • Michael Hutchings will start in place of captain Hayes Pullard, who has to sit out the first half against Boston College as part of his ejection at Stanford.  "I can't try to be Hayes. I've got to be my own person, but definitely step in and try to do the best I can," said Hutchings, who is roommates with Pullard. "I've learned everything from Hayes. I study his every move. How he watches film, how he studies, how he prepares for the game. I prepare every game like I'm him."
  • Pullard is impressed by his understudy, saying, "He listens to the veterans and just wants to learn. He's like a little teacup just waiting to be filled up with a lot of tea. That's great for a young player like that."
  • Both Sarkisian and Pullard see no signs of a letdown brewing in Beantown.  "We have to go in there and not play to the level of competition," said Pullard. "We've got to continue to keep this train moving, keep fueling it and keep getting better in our preparation throughout the week."
  • Here is Sarkisian's press conference:



Trojans Live - BC Week

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Thanks to all the USC fans who came down to watch Trojans Live last night at The Lab.  We had another great show featuring Steve Sarkisian, men's water polo stars Rex Butler and Kostas Genidounias, and undefeated heavyweight boxer Gerald Washington.

Click here for Sarkisian's segment.

Click here for the water polo segment.

Click here for "El Gallo Negro."

Here are Stanford heroes Andre Heidari and Anthony Sarao recounting the big win:


2014 NFL Week 1

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Rookie OL Kevin Graf makes it 38 active Trojans in the NFL as he was signed today by the Philadelphia Eagles from the team's practice squad.

The Best

Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals - 24/37 for 304 yards and 2 TDs

CarsonPalmer.jpgThe veteran quarterback had to wait until the final game of week one to make his mark, and then he waited even longer to lead Arizona to a fourth quarter comeback.  In the end, the Heisman Trophy winner got it done with a 108.4 passer rating and no interceptions.  He even ran for 29 yards in the 18-17 victory.

Best of the Rest

Shareece Wright, CB, Chargers - Team-high 8 solo tackles

Matt Cassel, QB, Vikings - 17/25 for 170 yards and 2 TDs with 0 INTs

T.J. McDonald, S, Rams - 5 tackles (4 solo) including one for loss and a pass defended

Troy Polamalu, S, Steelers - Team-high 11 tackles (6 solo)

Marqise Lee, WR, Jaguars - 6 catches for 62 yards

Robert Woods, WR, Bills - 4 catches for 78 yards

Rhett Ellison, TE, Vikings - 22-yard catch

Keith Rivers, LB, Bills - 4 tackles (3 solo)

Brian Cushing, LB, Texans - 5 tackles (2 solo)

Clay Matthews, LB, Packers - 4 tackles including one for loss

BC Tuesday: Notes

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The Trojans survived a physical contest against Stanford with minimal injuries...
  • DE Leonard Williams (ankle) did not practice today, but the coaches and trainers were happy with how he came through the game, and head coach Steve Sarkisian fully expects him to play and even maybe practice this week.
  • RB Tre Madden (turf toe) is still likely out through the bye week as is LB Lamar Dawson (knee).  Freshman S John Plattenburg strained his Achilles' tendon.
  • The key word of the week is "letdown" as in the Trojans need to avoid any emotional hangover from the big win on the Farm.  "We still have a game to play," said RB Buck Allen. "Rankings don't matter. For the school it matters, it looks good, but as a player, for me, it don't matter because at the end of the day I have to play. Every game is important. You can't get trapped up in no game thinking it's an easy game. Every game is important."
  • On the other hand, the Trojans take a lot of confidence from the Stanford win. "There's a lot of momentum in LA right now for the Trojans," said RB Justin Davis. "But we're definitely not going to let our heads get big after that win. We go back to the drawing board, treat it like it's week one all over again. We're just going to take it one game at a time, play Boston College this weekend and hopefully it all comes out good in the end."
  • The Eagles present a similar challenge to the Cardinal as they will want to impose their physicality up front.  They are averaging 240 rush yards per game (26th in the nation) and their defensive line looks like a basketball team. "Boston College is really big," said Davis. "They have 6-foot-7 and 6-foot-9 guys up front. Similar to Stanford, they're going to be very physical up front and we've got to bring it to them."
  • Allen and Davis supplied most of the offense against Stanford, but they gave credit to the big men for paving the way. "I've got to give it to my O-Line," said Allen. "They did a great job. Without them I wouldn't have gotten my career-high. I feel like I'm just the man behind-the-scenes. I give all credit to them. Coach Drevno does a great job preparing those guys throughout the week. We do a good job keeping those guys conditioned and make sure they hone everything and are doing the right calls. Max [Tuerk] does a great job of taking control."
  • Sarkisian on the young offensive line: "We've tried not to put too much on their plate where they are thinking too much at the line of scrimmage. We're trying to allow them to play to their strengths."
  • While many of the Trojans have never been to Boston before, they won't be taking in the sights on this trip. "They can go on a vacation later. This is a business trip," said Sarkisian. "We're going there to win the game and that will be our focus."
  • With Hayes Pullard sitting out the first half, Michael Hutchings will start the game in his place, and freshman Olajuwon Tucker will back him up.
  • Here is Sarkisian after this morning's practice...



UNFILTERED: Stanford

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USC cracked the Top 10 coming in at No. 9 in the new AP Top 25.  Here's an UNFILTERED look at how the Trojans did it:


#USCtotheNFL in 2014

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The opening weekend of the 2014 NFL season featured some great performances by Trojans, which we will highlight weekly, starting tomorrow.  But first, below is the complete list of the 37 active USC alums on NFL opening day rosters.

Seahawks-Celebration-Getty.jpgOf note, several players made practice squads including OL Kevin Graf (Eagles), DL Christian Tupou (Cardinals) and TE Kevin Greene (Bengals), while others like TE Anthony McCoy (Seahawks), FB Stanley Havili (Colts), DL Fili Moala (Colts) and OL Sam Baker (Falcons) are on injured reserve or physical unable to perform.

The list also does not include coaches with Trojan ties like Super Bowl champion Pete Carroll or Rams head coach Jeff Fisher.  We are still waiting on word from the NFL as to which school has the most NFL players this season, which is a list USC topped in 2013. 

QB Carson Palmer (Cardinals)
DE Frostee Rucker (Cardinals)
LB Keith Rivers (Bills)
CB Nickell Robey (Bills)
WR Robert Woods (Bills)
DE Wes Horton (Panthers)
C Ryan Kalil (Panthers)
LB Rey Maualuga (Bengals)
S Taylor Mays (Bengals)
TE Jordan Cameron (Browns)
OL Tyron Smith (Cowboys)
RB Reggie Bush (Lions)*
OLB Clay Matthews (Packers)
OLB Nick Perry (Packers)
LB Brian Cushing (Texans)
C Khaled Holmes (Colts)
WR Marqise Lee (Jaguars)
RB Joe McKnight (Chiefs)
QB Matt Cassel (Vikings)
TE Rhett Ellison (Vikings)
OT Matt Kalil (Vikings)
DE Everson Griffen (Vikings)
OT Charles Brown (Giants)
LB Devon Kennard (Giants)
DL Mike Patterson (Giants)
TE David Ausberry (Raiders)
LB Kaluka Maiava (Raiders)
QB Matt Barkley (Eagles)
QB Mark Sanchez (Eagles)
S Troy Polamalu (Steelers)
CB Shareece Wright (Chargers)
OL Marcus Martin (49ers)
LB Malcolm Smith (Seahawks)
LB Mike Morgan (Seahawks)
S T.J. McDonald (Rams)
DT Jurrell Casey (Titans)
RB Silas Redd (Redskins)

*Pursuant to the NCAA/COI report of 6/10/10, USC was directed to disassociate itself from Reggie Bush.

Status Quo

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No. 2 USC men's water polo officially jumped in the pool for the first time this fall and picked up right where they left off winning all four games at the Triton Invitational in San Diego by a combined score of 80-18.  Included in the weekend demolition, the Trojans hammered Pacific 10-3 in a rematch of last year's NCAA Title Match.

Click here for the recap.

Kostas Genidounias (pictured) led the team in scoring in all four games netting 15 goals total as he continues to pursue the all-time USC scoring record set last year by Nikola Vavic.  The Trojans will have four more games this weekend at the Inland Empire Classic in Redlands.

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Sarkisian Q&A: Boston College

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In the aftermath of the big win over Stanford and Boston College next on the schedule, USC head coach Steve Sarkisian sat down for his weekly Q&A to discuss the hot topics around the team.


Claiming the Commonwealth

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No. 6 USC women's volleyball continued a perfect start to the season by defeating Creighton, Kentucky and Northern Iowa to win the Commonwealth Classic in Lexington.  The Women of Troy dropped just one set (to Creighton) in three matches.

Click here for the recap.

Sophomore Ebony Nwanebu was named tournament MVP, while Samantha Bricio and Brittany Abercrombie joined her on the all-tournament team.  The undefeated Trojans now return home for the USC Classic against SEC powers Texas A&M (Thursday at 8 p.m.) and Florida (Friday at 7:30 p.m.).

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Soccer Stunner

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No. 17 USC women's soccer opened McAlister Field in style by slamming eight goals past UC Riverside, which is a new school record.  The unbeaten Women of Troy had dual hat tricks for the first time in program history as Jamie Fink and Alex Quincey each found the net three times.

Click here for the recap.

While Fink and Quincey combined to score three-quarters of the goals, Megan Borman got the action started with a wonder strike from near half field.  Here are all eight goals...