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#IAmUnbroken - Bryshon Nellum

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On this Veterans Day, we not only thank all the courageous veterans for their service, but we are also honoring USC's iconic war hero Louis Zamperini with our #IAmUnbroken series. In association with the feature film Unbroken set to be released this Christmas, everyone is encouraged to share their stories at IAmUnbroken.com.

In the first of four videos by Trojans, Bryshon Nellum shares his courageous story about overcoming gunshot wounds to both his legs to win an Olympic silver medal.


Cal Tuesday: Steve Sarkisian Presser

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In the head coach's final presser before the Trojans host the Bears on Thursday night, Steve Sarkisian updated the media on the status of some of USC's injured players. FB Soma Vainuku looks to be ready to go on Thursday, however, Sarkisian said he is unsure to what degree he will contribute. S John Plattenburg's status remains day-to-day after suffering a thigh contusion and the coaching staff will continue to evaluate his status over the next 48 hours.

Here is Sarkisian's full presser...

Meet Jordan McLaughlin

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USC men's basketball tips off the 2014-15 season Saturday night (7:30 p.m.) at Galen Center against Portland State.

Click here for tickets!

As we countdown to tip-off this week, we are introducing the Trojan Family to the six new players (four freshmen and two sophomore transfers) who will make up a large chunk of Andy Enfield's rotation. 

First up, meet freshman point guard Jordan McLaughlin (6-foot-1 and 170 pounds) who was widely considered the best 2014 point guard on the West Coast.


Soccer Ready to Dance

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USC women's soccer earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament today making the Big Dance for the first time since 2010.  The Women of Troy finished the regular season 12-6-2 under first year head coach Keidane McAlpine.

USC will make the short trip to Malibu this Saturday to face No. 4 Pepperdine in the first round.  The Waves defeated the Trojans 2-1 in September.

Here is the team's reaction to being selected:


Kessler Named Unitas Finalist

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Redshirt junior QB Cody Kessler was named one of five finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award given annually to the top quarterback in the country.  Kessler is among the most elite company joining Marcus Mariota (Oregon), Brett Hundley (UCLA), Dak Prescott (Mississippi St.) and Bryce Petty (Baylor) as finalists.

The second year starter made it a stated goal this spring to be considered among the nation's best passers, and he has backed up his words with record-setting numbers on the field this fall.  He is fourth nationally in completion percentage (69.7%), eighth in passing TDs (25) and 4th in passer rating (168.2).

Kessler is quickly tearing up the USC record books setting the single-game mark with 7 TDs against Colorado.  He is also on pace to break the single-season completion percentage (Matt Barkley, 69.1%) and passer rating (Mark Sanchez, 164.6) school records.

He has a remarkable 25 TDs to only 2 INTs, which is the second best TD to INT ratio in the country.  And, no one has thrown as many passes this season with only 2 INTs as Kessler.

Kessler's performance against top competition only improves compared to other quarterbacks.  His 164.7 passer rating vs. Power 5 opponents ranks second nationally.

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Ready for Primetime

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USC men's and women's basketball season tips off Saturday as the Trojans host Portland St. (7:30 p.m. at Galen Center) and the Women of Troy travel to South Carolina (7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on SEC Network).  Both teams tuned up with scrimmage victories this past weekend at home as the men defeated Cal State LA 87-68 and the women thumped Concordia 120-56.

Click here for the men's recap.

Click here for the women's recap.

Here are the John McGillen photos of the women's win in front of more than 7,000 fans at Galen Center:


Trojans Young and Old

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No. 3 USC men's water polo picked up a pair of quality road wins this past weekend dropping No. 4 Long Beach State 13-7 on Saturday and No. 12 UC Irvine 14-10 on Sunday.  Against the Beach, senior Rex Butler (pictured) paced the attack with five goals, while freshman Bryce Hoerman netted a hat trick to sink the Anteaters.

Click here for the recaps.

The Trojans sit at 20-4 on the season with only one regular season match remaining on Saturday against Cal (10:30 a.m. PT on Pac-12 Networks) at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center. USC will honor its 2014 senior class highlighted by 100-goal scorers Kostas Genidounias and Rex Butler.

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News on Crosstown Kick Time

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The official kickoff time for USC at UCLA on November 22 will not be decided or announced until Sunday, November 16.  However, the television networks confirmed that the Trojans and Bruins will kickoff between 12:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on either ESPN/ESPN2/ABC or Fox Sports 1.

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Volley Splits Mountain Trip

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No. 19 USC women's volleyball bounced back from getting swept in Utah by sweeping No. 21 Colorado in Boulder.  In the win, junior middle blocker Alicia Ogoms enjoyed a strong night with 10 kills, three blocks and three digs.

Click here for the recap.

The Women of Troy enjoy their final home stand of the season this week against No. 1 Stanford (Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks) and Cal (Friday at 7 p.m.). Before the battle with the Bears, USC will pay tribute to its 2014 senior class featuring Hayley Crone, Emily Young and Hannah Schraer.

Here is the Pac-12 Networks recap of USC's win over Colorado:


Cal Monday: Notes

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USC was visited by Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart who brought along his son's youth flag football team.
  • WR JuJu Smith returned to practice, while S John Plattenburg sat out with a thigh contusion.  He is considered day-to-day, but head coach Steve Sarkisian explained that those injuries can be "tricky."
  • Without J.R. Tavai, Greg Townsend has emerged thanks to his "natural pass rushing ability," said Sarkisian. He has picked up sacks in two of the last three games.
  • Redshirt freshman WR Steven Mitchell has touchdown catches in two of the last three games, and he continues to build confidence in his surgically repaired knee. Sarkisian likes his "natural wiggle," and he made a tremendous one-handed TD catch in practice this morning.
  • Along with former reserves like Townsend and Mitchell, walk-ons have become key members of this team given the severely diminished numbers. "They are not just here to practice every week. They get some opportunities on the field, and they are contributing," said Sarkisian, who singled out George Katrib, Matt Lopes, Zach Smith and Conner Sullivan.
  • Lopes could play a major role trying to stop Cal's electric passing game led by sophomore QB Jared Goff. "He plays with a lot of confidence, and his anticipation is something that jumps out," said Sarkisian about Goff. "He does not hold the ball very long."
  • Su'a Cravens has been impressed by Cal's rapid improvement from year one to year two with Goff as the starter. "We're not sleeping on him. He can throw the ball. Not a lot of quarterbacks can do what he can do. He's a great QB," said Cravens.
  • Hayes Pullard pointed out that the Bears have a strong running game as well and use multiple quarterbacks. "They are very explosive," he said. "They put up points well. They've been running the ball well, so we have to stop that. Both quarterbacks are extremely talented. We have to respect that."
  • With UCLA and Notre Dame on deck, the Trojans cannot afford to look ahead. "Not at all. The leaders took care of that," said captain Pullard. "Every single day we're focused on this game and not thinking about UCLA or Notre Dame. Just focused on being 2-0 in November."
  • Here is Sarkisian's morning presser: