Wonderful Whittingham

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Taylor Whittingham, a senior libero on USC's women's volleyball team, earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors for her efforts against Colorado and Utah this weekend.

After missing the last two matches due to injury, Whittingham came back to lead the team in digs in both contests this weekend, with 19 against the Buffaloes and 28 against the Utes, for an average 5.22 digs per set.

Whittingham, one of USC's team captains, has now registered 20+ digs in six matches this season. Overall, she leads the team with 222 digs (4.83 digs per set).


Water Polo Keeps Winning

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No. 3 USC men's water polo handled No. 4 Pacific in a 15-7 victory on Saturday to improve to 12-1 on the season.

Click here for the full recap.

Just a day after a double-header in Riverside, CA, the Trojans showed no signs of fatigue, rattling off the first seven goals of the game against the Tigers. Junior two-meter Lachlan Edwards scored three goals to lead the 10 Trojans who found the back of the net on Saturday.

Meanwhile, junior goalie McQuin Baron posted 14 saves to pull within two of tying for second place on USC's all-time ranks. Baron's next chance to move up on that list comes on Friday at 5 p.m. at home against No. 9 Pepperdine.

Check out John McGillen's gallery of USC's big win:

Big Bounce Back

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After dropping its first two Pac-12 matches, USC women's volleyball bounced back with two wins over ranked opponents over the weekend.

Freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier led the way with a career-high 18 digs, plus 19 kills and three blocks in the 23rd-ranked Trojans' 3-1 win over No. 20 Colorado.

On Saturday, USC earned a hard-fought, five-set win over No. 25 Utah. Lanier posted another double-double --- her seventh of the season --- and senior middle blocker Elise Ruddins (pictured) hit .727 plus a career-high three solo blocks.

USC is now 10-5 overall and 2-2 in Pac-12 play. Next, the Trojans set up for what could be the program's 1000th win on Wednesday vs. Arizona State.

That match kicks off at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Galen Center.


Racking Up Records

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USC women's soccer's shutout streak ended, but the team accrued two more huge achievements this weekend.

On Friday, the Trojans beat the Ducks, 3-1. USC's shutout streak ended at eight games and 729 minutes --- both school records. Morgan Andrews scored a brace and Sydney Sladek contributed another goal in the Trojans' win.

Click here for the full recap!

Sunday saw the Trojans secure their ninth-straight win, tying a school record set in 2008 and 2009. Katie Johnson's hat trick --- the second of her career --- lifted USC to a 3-1 victory over Oregon State. Goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme made two saves against her former team.

Click here for the full recap!

During USC's nine consecutive wins, the team has outscored its opponents 25-2.

Next, the Trojans face their biggest test of the season, when top-ranked Stanford comes to town. The Cardinal are 10-0-1 and undefeated in the Pac-12 so far. USC hosts Stanford at 4 p.m. on Thursday at McAlister Field


Trojan of the Game vs. ASU: JuJu Smith-Schuster

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For the second time in as many victories, the Trojan Family voted WR JuJu Smith-Schuster the Mercury Insurance Trojan of the Game. There were several good candidates from which to choose, including QB Sam Darnold, RB Justin Davis and CB Jonathan Lockett, but none better than Smith-Schuster, who has five touchdown catches combined in USC's two home games.


McGillen Galleries: USC vs. Arizona State

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The Trojans got back to their winning ways on Saturday night in front of the Coliseum faithful. Team photographer John McGillen captured the victory from arrival to celebration.

Trojans Top ASU

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Trojans Rout Sun Devils in Darnold's First Home Start

6-Points: USC 41, Arizona State 20

In its 600th game at the Coliseum, USC blew away Arizona State to pick up its second win of the season.

Click here for the recap and final stats.

Click here for the post-game press conference.

ASU-Final.jpgHome Cookin'

Coming off a September to forget, USC put together a complete performance in front of the Trojan Family to alleviate some of the pressure that had been mounting on this program. "We needed [this win] so bad," admitted junior WR JuJu Smith-Schuster. The Trojans are now 2-3 on the season and 1-2 in the Pac-12, but 2-0 in the Coliseum with three of the next four still come in their building. "We love being home," said Clay Helton, who remains undefeated in the Coliseum as the USC head coach.

Dishing Out Dimes

Redshirt freshman Sam Darnold proved that his scintillating debut was no fluke, passing for 352 yards and 3 TDs, while running for one more score. "He's got several attributes that are hard to defend," Helton listed vision, anticipation and mobility. "He's a dangerous weapon." With Darnold as its point guard, the Trojans' offense has come to life, piling up 523 yards tonight. "The defense has to account for him," explained WR Deontay Burnett, who had a career-night with 7 catches and 93 yards. "If they account for him, we have a lot of playmakers on the outside. And if they are so heavy on us then Sam can make plays too. That's been helping our offense a lot, moving the chains, putting up points and looking like USC."

Lock Down D

While the offense brought the style, the defense provided the substance. Arizona State came in averaging 48.8 points per game, and the Trojans limited them to 6 points until garbage time. "I thought it was a great group effort defensively, but credit Clancy [Pendergast]," said Helton about his defensive coordinator. "You may get him once, but you're not going to get him very many times. I was really nervous against a really high-powered Arizona State offense, but I thought Clancy was fantastic tonight." Pendergast dialed up the pressure, leading to three sacks, six tackles-for-loss and one turnover. "The quarterback sees nothing but USC players coming at him," said CB Jonathan Lockett, who had the interception. "I feel like if I get on my man close enough, I should be good."

JuJu and JD

The veteran stars turned up on a night when USC desperately needed to right the ship. Smith-Schuster made 7 catches for 123 yards and 3 TDs, while RB Justin Davis ran for 123 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. "The balance of all of it put together is really gelling right now," said Helton. Smith-Schuster provided the highlight of the night (see below), turning a short pass into a 67-yard touchdown by traversing the entire field. "I saw the open field and I saw my boys blocking for me," said Smith-Schuster about Steven Mitchell and Darreus Rogers. "I just crossed the field and it was all daylight."

Clean Game

While USC has spoiled its previous success this season by shooting itself in the foot with penalties, turnovers and communication errors, the Trojans looked a vastly improved team tonight. "Overall, I thought it was a very clean game on both sides," said Helton. "Both sides came together for by far their best game of the season." USC did not turn the ball over, had only four penalties going into the fourth quarter and limited the explosive plays against. When the Trojans play fundamentally sound football, the exceptional talent is able to shine through.

Doormats No More

Next Saturday is shaping up to be a showdown. Colorado has had trouble competing in conference since joining the Pac-12, but the Buffaloes have positioned themselves as Pac-12 South contenders in the early going by winning at Oregon and blasting Oregon State. "They are playing great ball," said Helton about his next opponent (October 8 at 1 p.m.). "Coach [Mike] MacIntyre does a tremendous job. We saw that last year. They played a lot of close games, and we were one of them. We came away saying, 'Wow, that's a very well coached football team.' Now you look up, he's got some more weapons, his team's healthy, and they are putting up a lot of points on the board offensively. We've got another challenge, another great offense in the Pac-12, seems like every week."

Click here for tickets to the Colorado game!

Here are the highlights from USC's first Pac-12 win of the season:

Stadium Security

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This season, the L.A. Memorial Coliseum is implementing a number of new safety and security procedures that affect parking, tailgating, stadium entry and more.

The Coliseum is also implementing a clear bag policy for Trojan games this year. Helpful Honda is offering two bag check locations in case fans bring an impermissible bag to a game.

Learn more about all of the stadium's security procedures here:

2016 Game 5: USC vs. ASU

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Arizona State Sun Devils (4-0, 1-0) at USC Trojans (1-3, 0-2)

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at 5:30 p.m. PT on FOX

Ballage.jpgSun Devil to Watch: Junior RB Kalen Ballage

For 40 years, USC RB Anthony Davis held a share of the Pac-12 record for touchdowns in a single game thanks to his legendary six-TD performance against Notre Dame in 1974. AD and the rest are all looking up at Kalen Ballage now after the junior scored eight times in a 68-55 victory over Texas Tech earlier this season. Ballage tied the FBS single-game record with his eight touchdowns, scoring seven on the ground and one as a receiver. He has not come near that production in ASU's other three wins, but he is a threat to watch in the Sun Devils' "Sparky" package, which most people call the "Wildcat", but they understandably do not.

Click here for more on the Sun Devils.

3 Keys

Get Up to Speed Quickly

Arizona State plays at a completely different tempo than USC's first four opponents. The Trojans have been faced with power run, huddle offenses, aiming to grind defenses down physically over four quarters. The Sun Devils want to spread opponents out, speed them up and then turn the fourth quarter into a fitness test. USC's next month of opponents all fit this same mold, so the Trojans must adjust quickly by rotating more players defensively, tackling well in space and using their offense to protect their defense. Third down efficiency is key on both sides of the ball to get the defense off the field or keep the offense on it.

In a Rush

USC has not generated a sack in back-to-back games for the first time in a long time, so defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast must manufacture a pass rush if the Trojans are unable to get home with their front four. However, the pass rushers cannot lose their gap discipline against another mobile quarterback. ASU QB Manny Wilkins is second on the team with 56 rush attempts, so he is happy to escape the pocket and make overaggressive defenses pay with his feet. The Trojans must contain and then collapse the pocket on the first-year starter.

Start the Finish Early

USC had not played a competitive fourth quarter until last week when Utah came back from a two-touchdown deficit to gut the Trojans in the final seconds. In ASU's last trip to the Coliseum, the Sun Devils pulled off a great escape, stealing victory from the Trojans with "The Jael Mary." Through four games, Arizona State is averaging more fourth-quarter points versus FBS competition (21.7) than any other FBS team. The Trojans would be wise not to leave it to a late defensive stop. USC would prefer its 2015 blueprint when the Trojans entered halftime in Tempe with a 35-0 lead. Take the drama out of it and get back in the win column in front of the home fans.