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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...


Sarkisian on The Herd and DP Show

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USC head coach Steve Sarkisian made the morning radio show rounds to express his regret over Saturday's sideline actions and discuss the big win over Stanford.

Click here to listen to Sarkisian with Colin Cowherd.

Here is Sarkisian on the Dan Patrick Show:


Williams, Heidari Honored by Pac-12

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DE Leonard Williams, who gutted through an ankle injury to record a team-high 11 tackles plus a sack, and PK Andre Heidari, who booted the game-winner from a career-best 53 yards out, were named the Pac-12 Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week. 

Click here for the complete release.

In the season's first two weeks, the Trojans have already had three Pac-12 Players of the Week as Williams and Heidari joined Cody Kessler, who picked up offensive honors for his performance against Fresno State.

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Pac-12 Disciplines Haden and Sarkisian

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The Pac-12 reprimanded USC Athletic Director Pat Haden and head coach Steve Sarkisian today for their "inappropriate sideline conduct" at Stanford.  Haden was also fined $25,000 by the conference.

"The conduct by USC Athletics Director Pat Haden was inappropriate," said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. "Such actions by an administrator in attempt to influence the officiating, and ultimately the outcome of a contest, will not be tolerated."

"The conduct by both Sarkisian and Haden were in clear violation of our Conference's Standards of Conduct policy," added Scott. "We appreciate the public apology and recognition of the errors in judgment, as well as Pat Haden's self-imposed 2-game sideline ban. We took this into consideration as we determined the discipline. Nonetheless, the actions fell short of our expectation of our head coaches and athletics directors as role models for our student-athletes and important leaders of our institutions."

Click here for the complete Pac-12 release.

For his part, Sarkisian issued his own additional statement today, saying, "I regret putting Pat in the situation I put him in on Saturday.  It is my job to manage the game, not Pat's.  For the good of the game, I will be better on this in the future."

Haden made a public apology Sunday night as well as self-imposing a two-game sideline ban.

College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock on Haden:

"Emotional outbursts at games are not a matter for the playoff selection committee to deal with. This does not affect Pat Haden's capability as a committee member. We recognize that athletic directors cannot be dispassionate about their own teams, and that's why we have the recusal policy."

Haden Apologizes for Stanford Actions

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USC Athletic Director Pat Haden issued the following statement tonight regarding his actions on the sideline during Saturday's game at Stanford:

"I apologize to Commissioner Scott, to the game officials, to Stanford and to the fans for any distraction I might have caused during Saturday's football game.  In retrospect, I should not have approached the game officials.  I should have waited until after the game and gone through the appropriate channels. 

"In the best interests of our team and our coaches, I will stay off the sidelines for our next two games."

McGillen Galleries: USC vs. Stanford

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Team photographer John McGillen captured all the craziness from a wild afternoon in Palo Alto as USC ended Stanford's 17-game home winning streak.

Below are four galleries starting with pregame followed by first half, second half and post-game celebration.








SooHoo Gallery: USC vs. Stanford

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Legendary Los Angeles sports photographer Jon SooHoo flew up to Palo Alto for the rivalry clash between USC and Stanford.

Here are his photos:


09/06/14-USC at STANFORD - Images by Jon SooHoo

6-Points: USC 13, Stanford 10

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USC snaps Stanford's 17-game home winning streak on Andre Heidari's 53-yard go ahead field goal and J.R. Tavai's clinching strip-sack.

Click here for the recap and final stats.

Click here for the post-game press conference.

Building a Champion

USC_STANFORD_1_090614_MCG0455.JPGThe Trojans were tested mentally and physically by Stanford, and they bonded together to pickup the first signature win of the Steve Sarkisian era.  In one sequence late in the third quarter, Sarkisian was flagged twice for sideline interference and unsportsmanlike conduct, and then senior LB Hayes Pullard was ejected for targeting a ball carrier.  "There were a lot of things that easily, if we weren't a strong-willed team, would have folded our tents in," said Sarkisian. "The guys just wouldn't do it.  They kept battling. And at the end, we made the critical plays at the critical moments."

The Cardinal Killer

Stanford will be sick at the sight of Andre Heidari.  The USC kicker drilled the game-winner for the second consecutive season.  This time, he needed a career-best boot from 53 yards to be the hero.  "Honestly, I thought it was short, but I'm glad it went in," said Heidari (pictured). "We do it every day in practice. We practice long field goals. I believe in my blockers up front and it happened.  It was fun.  I'm glad we got to do it two years in a  row."

The Final Rush

USC_STANFORD_090614_MCG0048.JPGThe Trojans' front seven struggled all afternoon trying to get to Stanford QB Kevin Hogan, but when they needed one final stop, J.R. Tavai delivered a crushing blow to release the clinching fumble.  "[Hogan] is elusive," said Tavai. "He did a great job running away from me, but he couldn't run away on that last play, so I was pretty happy about that."

Leo the Lion

All-American Leonard Williams did his best Willis Reed impersonation today after looking like he might not be able to play during warmups.  The junior said he was "50-50" to go and came out during the first defensive series because the ankle was so tight.  But, with a little adrenaline and a lot of drive, he overcame the pain and led the Trojans with 11 tackles plus a sack.  "What a warrior effort from Leonard," said Sarkisian. "He obviously wasn't 100% tonight, but Leonard at 70-80% is better than most people at their best."  

Feed the Buck

The offensive game plan became clear quickly as Buck Allen was fed carry after carry leading to a career-high 154 yards on 23 runs.  Allen was told during the week by the coaches that he would be the central focus of the offense, and he responded with the best rushing performance ever against a David Shaw-led Stanford team..  "It wasn't always going to be pretty, but we had to dedicate ourselves to running the ball," Sarkisian said. "The teams that struggle the most against Stanford's defense are the ones that give up on the running game and allow them to tee off on your QB."

Fighting Off the Ropes

Amazingly, Stanford reached at least USC's 32-yard-line on every single drive, but only managed to score 10 points.  The Trojans benefitted from a couple missed field goals and some careless Cardinal ball handling, but to their credit, they never relented.  "I couldn't be more proud of our defense in the red zone, which was a huge point of emphasis coming into the game," said Sarkisian. "We kept talking about how important our red zone defense was going to be."  LB Anthony Sarao (11 tackles) and S Gerald Bowman (10 tackles) were instrumental in the effort.

Here are the SnappyTV highlights...


Infographic: USC 13, Stanford 10

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