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Freshmen Facebook

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The USC freshmen who arrived this fall survived their first week of practices, so now we can unveil them in pictures.


U.S. Wins Historic Match vs. Iran

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Galen Center hosted history Saturday night as the U.S. Men's Volleyball National Team defeated Iran in four sets in the first ever match between the two countries on American soil.

Team USA was led by four All-American Trojans in Murphy Troy, Tony Ciarelli, Riley McKibbin and current senior Micah Christenson.  Troy, Ciarelli and Christenson all started, while McKibbin came off the bench.

Team doctor Bill Stetson, a fifth USC All-American, luckily was not busy on the night, but he also enjoyed a Trojan homecoming.  USC head coach Bill Ferguson was in the building to welcome them all back to Troy.

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Project Trojan - Fall Camp - Episode 1

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In the first installment of our Fall Camp series within the redesigned and upgraded PROJECT TROJAN app, go behind-the-scenes as the Trojans push through week one including an inside look at the equipment room, the nutrition program and the digital playbooks.

Click here to download PROJECT TROJAN for FREE!!


Project Trojan App Updated for 2014

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The Project Trojan app is back and better than ever for the 2014 football season complete with upgrades to make it compatible for iPads and fresh content for the new year and new staff. 

If you have already downloaded the app for iPhone, iPad or Android devices, all you need to do is update it.  If you do not have the app yet, click here for your FREE download.

The new version features a comprehensive guide to USC football under the Trojan Way tab, which includes coaching philosophy, traditions and a virtual facilities tour. Plus, enjoy exclusive video content going behind-the-scenes all season long as the Trojans make a push for a Pac-12 crown.

Click here for more.

The app includes the popular interactive Photo Booth, as well as a redesigned social media section featuring a digital mosaic of social media content from official USC Athletics feeds, USC coaches and players, as well as USC.edu social media streams.  USC merchandise and tickets also are available for purchase within the dynamic app, which will have new video and elements added regularly throughout the year.

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Ruffin Out for the Season

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Redshirt sophomore OLB Jabari Ruffin, who was competing for a starting position, tore a knee ligament in practice Sunday and will miss the 2014 season.  Ruffin was injured after being tackled during an interception return, but it was not until undergoing tests later in the day that the extent of the damage was revealed.

"This is very unfortunate news about Jabari, but I know he will rehab well and come back strong next year," said head coach Steve Sarkisian. "And, I know our team will step up in his absence."

Ruffin made 22 tackles as a reserve last season, including his first career sack.  Without him, the Trojans will lean on J.R. Tavai, Scott Felix (formerly Starr), Quinton Powell and some strong freshmen to fill the outside linebacker positions.

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Photo Gallery: 2014 Fall Camp #6

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Two-a-day practices for the Trojans kicked off on Sunday and the team was ready to go after a day off. 

Check out the John McGillen photo gallery for all the action, including head coach Steve Sarkisian taking the Ice Bucket Challenge. 


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2014 Fall Camp #6: Notes

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor

The offense looked the best it has all preseason as the Trojans geared up for their first two-a-day practice of Fall Camp. 
  • Sunday's morning practice saw some key players get a little banged up, but head coach Steve Sarkisian believes the injuries to be minor, hopefully sidelining them only as precautionary measures. DE Leonard Williams' non-surgically repaired shoulder got dinged, OLB Jabari Ruffin tweaked his knee, WR Darreus Rogers experienced some tightness in his achilles, WR/CB Adoree' Jackson's foot was stepped on, and DT Cody Temple is being treated for concussion symptoms. 
  • As the players get deeper into camp, conditioning is key as the Trojans are already feeling the impact of this new fast-paced system. "We had great mental focus. We already installed the plays, and now we are just working to get better," said RB Tre Madden. "This offense is awesome. It's simple, but now we need to get in shape and get our conditioning in." USC_FallCamp_MCGILLEN_081014_MCG9006.jpg
  • Sarkisian's new system is extremely run-heavy and with the Trojans boasting a running back corps filled with three talented athletes, the focus has been on rotation. "When my number is called I'm going to make plays." said redshirt junior Buck Allen. "I don't care if I get one touch. I'm going to make the best of it." 
  • Sunday's practice focused on short yardage and red zone scenarios with the offense eventually winning the day despite a huge fourth down stop in the red zone for the defense. Sarkisian mentioned that he was really impressed with the offense's efficiency in the red zone, the timing of passes and the recognition of coverages by the receivers and quarterbacks. 
  • "The pendulum swings back and forth," said the head coach regarding the offense's dominant performance. "I suspect the defense will come back either at tonight's practice or tomorrow, but that's what good teams can do. They have a way to fight back and bounce back on either side of the ball when they need to pick it up."
  • The Trojans had the day off Saturday, but Sarkisian and the rest of the coaching staff spent the time meeting to discuss personnel especially in terms of who should be on special teams. With DT Antwaun Woods out as well as the players mentioned above, the coaches got really good looks at some of the younger guys on Sunday as they shuffled around positions. 
  • "You try to contingency plan as best you can," said the head coach. "You try to get prepared for some of the 'what ifs' in the season." Sarkisian was especially impressed with freshman C Viane Talamaivao and OG Damien Mama who both saw some reps at the guard position on Sunday. He also mentioned that freshman WR Rahshead Johnson may see some time at corner and WR JuJu Smith will get some reps at the nickel position on defense. 
  • Sarkisian ended the practice on a fun note, accepting the Ice Bucket Challenge in support of ALS awareness from USC Athletic Director Pat Haden before challenging former USC head coach, and current head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, Pete Carroll to join the efforts to #StrikeOutALS. 
  • Here is head coach Steve Sarkisian after Sunday's morning practice...

Sark Takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

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Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor

A viral YouTube sensation hit USC this week when Athletic Director Pat Haden took the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS awareness, and then challenged head coach Steve Sarkisian to do the same. Sarkisian, surrounded by the team after practice on Sunday, valiantly braved a shower of ice-cold water and then passed the challenge along to former USC head coach, and current head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, Pete Carroll. Sarkisian's participation is just another example of Trojan support for ALS awareness as women's volleyball head coach Mick Haley and members of the women's basketball team took the challenge last month. USC is proud to support #StrikeOutALS and is eager to see if Coach Carroll is up for the challenge.  

2014 Fall Camp #5: Notes

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The Trojans tackled live for the first time today.
  • Junior DT Antwaun Woods suffered a left elbow injury today, which forced him to leave practice and put his arm in a sling.  The X-rays came back negative (which is positive), and Steve Sarkisian estimated that he will be out 1-2 weeks.
  • MCGillen-USC-Football-FallCamp-2014-7420.jpgWoods was hurt during a typical offensive line vs. defensive line drill, but practice was more physical with a tackling drill and then about 25 scrimmage plays.  Everyone came through those relatively unscathed and the coaches were able to test the toughness of their young players.
  • The scrimmage portion provided an opportunity for some big plays, and LB Quinton Powell made the day's standout highlight stepping in front of a Max Browne throw for a pick-6.
  • Offensively, the tight ends displayed some explosiveness.  Randall Telfer showed that he is fully healthy, but walk-on Chris Willson was the biggest surprise.  He barreled through defenders on a 50-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown.  "I haven't had a breakaway catch like that [before]," said Willson, who has really bulked up since moving from quarterback.  "After that, I was just moving. I feel good. I feel strong. Today, the proof was in the pudding."
  • Freshman TE Bryce Dixon continued to exhibit tremendous athleticism as a pass catcher.  "In the short term, that guy is a weapon in our passing game," said Sarkisian, who explained that Dixon needs to continue working on his blocking to become a complete tight end.
  • In a freshman versus freshman battle, JuJu Smith beat Adoree' Jackson on a deep fade.
  • While the offense made some plays in the passing game, the running lanes were more like slivers.  LB Hayes Pullard cut Justin Davis down in the backfield to record a tackle-for-loss, and DL Leonard Williams is terrorizing his friends on the offensive line.  "Leonard makes it really hard to run the ball," Sarkisian said. "Fortunately, as I reminded Coach Drevno last night we were watching the film, as hard as it is that we have to face Leonard every day in practice, we don't have to face him every Saturday during the season."
  • Davis was the workhorse tailback today as Buck Allen and Tre Madden sat out the contact portion.  Sarkisian wanted to test Davis who admitted he needs to get back into running shape after a long offseason rehabbing from a leg injury, which did provide him the time to get noticeably stronger.
  • Davis spoke plainly about the talent the Trojans have in the backfield (pictured).  "It might sound cliche but I honestly believe we are the best running back group in the nation," said the sophomore. "Teams are not going to be ready for it and we are going to show them something powerful."
  • Running backs should get more touches in Sarkisian's offense, especially as pass catchers.  Davis made a reception on a wheel route down the field today.  He is also a kick return candidate, which he said takes "a little crazy" if you want to be good.
  • Sarkisian listed CB Chris Hawkins and OT Zach Banner as two of the most improved players.
  • The team will have a day off tomorrow to enjoy a movie and relax, and then the Trojans will return to the practice field on Sunday morning. Here is Sarkisian's post-practice press conference...


Mercury Magic

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Our partner Mercury Insurance is giving away two FREE USC football tickets to every person who completes a FREE auto insurance quote online.

Click here to collect your tickets.

The promotion runs from August 1 until October 31, and the tickets are redeemable for any of the Trojans first five home games. Consumers completing an eligible quote will also be automatically entered into a drawing to win a pair of tickets to the USC/Notre Dame game on November 29.

"We're very confident we can save Trojan football fans money on their auto insurance," says Erik Thompson, Mercury advertising director. "In fact, we're so sure fans will save with Mercury that we're willing to give away a pair of tickets just for giving us a look. And the best part is that the fans win either way - they get free tickets and they could also save a few hundred dollars on their auto insurance."

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