USC Trojans Football News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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3/25/15: The rest of f the Pac-12 better be ready for the USC Trojans in 2015. USC has done a terrific job of overcoming their NCAA sanctions under former head coach Pete Carroll (who fled to the NFL just before the hammer came down). The Trojans have their full arsenal of scholarships back and head coach Steve Sarkesian did a fine job in his first season. Now, it looks like the new Pac-12 will look a lot like the old Pac-12 (or Pac-10), with USC being the dominant team and everyone else just playing for second place. Do not be surprised if the Trojans are in the playoffs next season.
3/11/15: USC was able to land one of the most highly coveted players at any position a year ago with Adoree Jackson. Anyone who saw his high school highlight reels will attest that he has a special talent. In fact, USC's official website refers to him as "the most exciting player in college football". The Trojans seem intent on expanding his role for his sophomore season and he is working on both offense and defense in spring practices. He actually played on all three units last season, getting work at wide receiver, corner back and kick returns. If USC can return to national prominence, then he could be a Heisman candidate for the next couple of years.
3/4/15: Pete Carroll was brought to USC in 2001 to resurrect a listless football program. The move was not well received at the time, as Carroll was known for having unsuccessful stints as head coach of both the New York Jets and New England Patriots. However, Carroll rewrote the narrative and built USC into a national powerhouse over nine seasons, winning the 2005 National Championship and making another appearance in 2006, where the Trojans were upset by Vince Young (and the rest of the Texas Longhorns were at the game as well). USC is now bestowing an honorary degree to Carroll and will induct him into USC's athletics hall of fame.
2/25/15: The University of Southern California is waiting, with open arms, to welcome the NFL back to Los Angeles. Three NFL teams, the St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers, are all jockeying for position to move to L.A., and they have their plans to open up their own stadiums (Oakland and San Diego are proposing a shared stadium). But those stadiums will not be ready for a few years, so USC is offering the L.A. Coliseum as a stop-gap solution while one or more stadium is being built. Of course, USC expects a little something for the effort.
2/18/15: Sometimes, minor moves make a big difference. In terms of recruiting, a position coach or coordinator going or staying may make all the difference in the world to a young man deciding where to play his college football. The Oklahoma State Cowboys may have to worry if any of their offensive line recruits are having second thoughts since USC hired their offensive line coach, Bob Connelly, last week. USC had an opening because Tim Drevno, who had that job, fled to Michigan to be Jim Harbaugh's offensive coordinator. Connelly is very familiar with the Pac-12, having coached at Arizona State, UCLA and Washington State in his career.
2/11/15: Leave it to USC to stop Alabama's streak of top recruiting classes. Well, at least depending on which ranking service used to determined the evaluation of 17 and 18 year old kids and give fans starved for college football something to talk about. USC was the last team to beat out Alabama for the best recruiting class in the nation, and that was five years ago under Lane Kiffin. This year, Steve Sarkesian and crew closed exceptionally strong and landed four 5-star recruits. That may have everyone in the Pac-12 looking up to the Trojans in the standings in the near future.
2/4/15: Looking at the list of USC commitments just a few days before National Signing Day is quite interesting. The first thing that jumps out is that Rivals has them ranked second, behind only Alabama. The next item is that there are no five-star recruits committed (either orally or by letter of intent) to the Trojans. Instead, of their 20 commits, 17 of them are four-star guys. USC looks like they did a great job of keeping California talent at home as most are from the Golden State. While a good recruiting class is not a guarantee of success, it certainly helps out - and this class looks like it is a statement to the rest of the Pac-12 that USC is officially back.
1/28/15: USC seems like they are mad at the NCAA and for good reason. The NCAA reduces the penalties on Penn State from the Jerry Sandusky scandal. However, they never did the same for USC, which faced a much lower charge. Athletic Director Pat Hayden is frustrated with the NCAA and even visited them right after the Penn State penalties were lowered. At this point, it does not make much of a difference since USC is finished with their penalties. Still, it seems completely unfair and arbitrary that one school gets a reduction while another has to serve the full term.
1/14/15: One of the pitfalls of having a nationally recognized program that routinely gets top recruits is that the top underclassmen often time forego their senior season (or sometimes their junior season as well) to go to the NFL. The USC Trojans are dealing with that right now as Javorius "Buck" Allen announced that he was heading to the professional ranks a year early. The running back averaged 114.5 yards per game on the ground, which was good for 22nd nationally. Running backs are quickly-used commodities in the NFL and they do not have a long lifespan, so it may be for the best that he gets in there as soon as he can.
1/7/15: The USC Trojans ended their season on a high note by outlasting the Nebraska Cornhuskers 45-42 in the Holiday Bowl. The Holiday Bowl has traditionally been a game with a lot of offense and very little defense. This was no different. QB Cody Kessler had a nice game with 321 yards and three TDs. He also announced he will return next season. Freshman Adoree' Jackson was the star, though. He returned a kickoff for 98 yards and a score as well as turned a short pass into a 71 yard touchdown. With both Kessler and Jackson back next season, the Trojans could be a major factor in Pac-12 next season.
12/3/14: Not making it to the conference championship game is frustrating, as USC continues to rebuild itself into an elite program, but beating long-time rival Notre Dame in the final game of the regular season is pretty nice. Actually, the term 'beating' is an understatement. USC embarrassed Notre Dame 49-14, sending the Irish to their fifth loss in their last six games. The game was not even close. USC was up 35-0 in the second quarter before ceding a touchdown. QB Cody Kessler threw for 372 yards and six touchdowns - the first time in history someone has thrown six TDs against the Irish.
11/19/14: USC improved to 7-3 overall and 6-2 in the Pac-12 by holding off Cal (5-5, 3-5) last Thursday night at home. USC jumped out to a 31-2 lead with less than two minutes remaining in the first half. But the Bears scored just before the half then battled back throughout the second half to make a game of it. The Trojans prevailed, though, 38-30. USC QB Cody Kessler had another outstanding game with 371 yards and four touchdowns. He is completing over 70% of his passes on the season, though he did throw his third interception (versus 29 TDs). The Trojans play cross-town rival at UCLA this Saturday.
11/12/14: All teams get bye weeks. Sometimes, they are a good chance to regroup as a team and sometimes they kill momentum. USC has to hope the bye last weekend is not of the latter type. USC improved to 6-3 on the season and 5-2 in the Pac-12 by blasting Washington State a couple of weeks ago. Running back Javorius Allen made that the sixth consecutive game (and eighth of nine games overall) that he has rushed for over 100 yards. The next game for the Trojans is on Thursday night when Cal comes calling. The Bears also had a bye last weekend and are 5-4 overall and 3-4 in conference play.
11/5/14: USC's hope for getting into the College Football Playoffs were ruined a few weeks ago, but they will go bowling in the first season of the Steve Sarkesian Era. The Trojans earned their sixth overall victory and fifth conference win last Saturday by routing Washington State 44-17 on the road. This one was all USC, taking a 24-0 lead in the second quarter and keeping their foot on the gas all night. QB Cody Kessler had a monster day with 400 yards passing, five touchdowns and no interceptions. Its a quick turnaround, though, as the Trojans host Cal on Thursday night.
10/29/14: The Trojans are a step up from a year ago, but they are still not back to the days of competing for national championships and dominating the Pac-12. But they are getting there. They just need to learn how to win games like last Saturday's at No. 20 Utah. This was an evenly matched game, with USC getting the offensive nod in yardage. The Trojans took the lead in the fourth quarter but could not hold on, as Utah scored the winning touchdown with 8 seconds left. Final score: USC 21, Utah 24. USC fell to 5-3 overall and 4-2 in the Pac-12. Southern Cal is back home this Saturday to host Washington State.
10/22/14: USC entered last weekend ranked 22nd in the country, but still smarting from the losses to Boston College and Arizona State. So they took out those frustrations on the Colorado Buffalos to the tune of a 56-28 blowout. QB Cody Kessler finished 19 of 26 passing for 319 yards and a whopping seven touchdown passes. The running game was strong as well, gaining 213 yards and a score on the day. The win leaves USC 5-2 overall and 4-1 in the Pac-12 - and still with a chance to play for the conference championship. The Trojans are on the road this Saturday at Utah, who survived Oregon State 29-23 in double overtime.
10/15/14: Just a few weeks ago, after USC went up to Stanford and beat the Cardinal, it would have been unthinkable that Arizona would be ranked 10th nationally and USC unranked when they met in Week 7. But that is exactly what happened. The Trojans scored a quality win on the road against the Wildcats, surviving 28-26. They primarily survived because Arizona kicker Casey Skowron went 2 for 5 on the night, including missing the game winning field goal as time expired. Nonetheless, USC improved to 4-2 on the season and 3-1 in the Pac 12. They have a chance to build on this victory on Saturday when they host the Colorado Buffalos.
10/8/14: Like many top 25 teams, No. 16 USC could not escape an upset in Week 6. The Trojans hosted a feisty Arizona State team last Saturday, but this seemed to be a weekend where a lot of highly regarded teams were beat. USC lost 38-34 on a last second Hail Mary. The Trojans seemed to have control of the game, but were not able to put it away. USC was up by 11 with only three minutes to play, so this is a devastating loss. The Trojans fall to 3-2 on the season and 2-1 in the Pac 12. It doesn't get much easier this Saturday when USC heads to Arizona, who just upset Oregon on the road.
10/1/14: As long as USC can stay relatively healthy, they still have a shot at winning the Pac-12 and getting into the playoffs. After defeating the visiting Oregon State Beavers last Saturday, the Trojans sit at 3-1 on the season and 2-0 in the conference. The game against Oregon State featured some fun highlights, including a pick-six and a successful hail mary pass as time expired at the end of the first half. Teams usually win when they get scores like that. The Trojans limited the Beavers to a single field goal in the second half, which keeps them on top of the Pac-12 South. The Trojans host Arizona State this Saturday.
9/24/14: While the Texas Longhorns have lost their starting quarterback, David Ash, forever due to concussions, the USC Trojans have lost defensive back D.J. Morgan. Morgan left the team, but not for medical or grievance reasons. He remains in school but wants to run track. Morgan is not giving up on a football career, but is just putting it on hold for now. For what it is worth, the USC coaching staff is supportive of the move and realizes that it may not be permanent. The Trojans were off last weekend but get back to football games this Saturday when they host Oregon State.
9/17/14: The Trojans were on the wrong side of the biggest upset of the weekend when they were beaten 37-31 by Boston College. USC came into the game ranked 9th in the country and still high on a big road win at Stanford the previous week. But the Eagles simply played to their strength, with is running the football. BC put up 453 rushing yards and gave up only 20. The biggest takeaway for the Trojans is that they are vulnerable to the read-option offense and must learn how to defend. USC will have a week to do that with a bye this weekend before taking on Oregon State in a Pac-12 matchup.
8/28/14: It is year one for new USC head coach Steve Sarkesian. That means, normally, he will have a bit of a long leash in terms of the progress of the program - especially since USC is just now coming off of their NCAA sanctions. That does not mean they are expected to lose, it just means that expectations are tempered. USC opens the season against Fresno State on Saturday but they may be without running back Tre Madden, who is battling a hamstring injury. That is not ideal, but 'bellcow' Javorious Allen should be playing, and the Trojans have the depth to overcome the injury.
8/21/14: The Trojans had a scary moment last week but ultimately endured unscathed. A defensive lineman was blocked in a scrimmage play and nearly rolled up on starting QB Cody Kessler's leg. Luckily, Kessler got his leg out 'just in time'. Kessler was not hurt but did admit that it affected him mentally for a bit. All in all, the Trojans were tremendously fortunate that no real damage occurred and Kessler is still set to be the starting QB when USC opens their season. Kessler had a good first season in throwing 20 touchdowns and completing 65 percent of his passes.
8/14/14: USC has paid its dues for the alleged violations in their program under former head coach Pete Carroll and it trying to get back to national relevance. They have played with a shortened roster for the past several years due to scholarship limitations. Now they are going to be down a man for academic reasons. Tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick was a potential starter this season but has been declared academically ineligible for the 2014 season. That means that the Trojans have only two scholarship players at tight end right now - senior Randall Telfer and freshman Bryce Dixon.
8/7/14: The preseason coach's poll was released last week and USC was ranked 15th. That was behind Pac-12 rivals Oregon (4), UCLA (7) and Stanford (11). Predictably, the National Champion Florida State Seminoles were first and Alabama was second. The 15th spot is very debatable. USC is much better, at least on paper, than last season and have fulfilled their NCAA sanctions. But the defense is still a question mark with only a few more weeks until the season starts. The good news is that even a modest improvement in the defensive side of the ball could put the Trojans at or near the top of the Pac-12.
7/31/14: USC is finally past the penalties and sanctions from the number of violations of past regimes. In a nutshell, that means that they expect to be more competitive this season and beyond as their scholarship numbers increase and they try to become a national power again. The team has had four different head coaches in the last 10 months, but now has stability following the hire of Steve Sarkesian. Sarkesian spoke at the Pac-12 Media Days last week and actually commended the work of his predecessors Lane Kiffen and Ed Ogeron, particularly in recruiting guys that are still together through a lot of adversity.
7/24/14: Perhaps more than any other program, USC is pushing the benefits to their student athletes. Or perhaps more programs are doing these type of things but USC has a better PR machine. In any case, the school says it will spend over $1 million next school year on an 'enhanced fueling plan' for student athletes. In other words, seven figures on snacks and beverages. Of course, the snacks and four year scholarships that USC is now offering are very appealing to potential recruits, so maybe there is more than a motive to feed their players well.
7/17/14: USC has a storied football tradition, and is generally considered one of the elite programs in all of college football. But just 15 years ago, the program was simply average and well past its peak. USC hired former Patriots coach Pete Carroll to resurrect the program and he did so with amazing success. Carroll won championships, produced star players and brought swagger back to USC. He is now being honored by the school by being enshrined in their hall of fame. Since leaving USC, Carroll added Super Bowl champion to his resume as his Seattle Seahawks claimed that honor last season.
7/10/14: If we travel back in time to a few years ago, it was expected that this season would QB Max Wittek's time to shine at USC. He was beaten out for the starter's job, so he is now transferring. Initial reports indicated that he would end up at Texas as a graduate transfer, meaning that he would not have to sit out a year. That possibility is pretty much gone now as new reports indicate that he did not graduate yet. So Wittek may be on his way to the University of Hawaii to play for Norm Chow. If he does, then he would have to sit out a year as a regular transfer and would have one more year of eligibility.
7/3/14: The Trojans have upped the ante in college benefits game by going all-in on four year scholarships for athletes. Make no mistake, this could be a game changer. Traditionally, players are given a series of one year scholarships for athletics. That means that they can lose a scholarship basically at any time. By giving a four year deal, it shows that the school is committed to the player and his development. It is not paying players for playing, but could be the first step in getting to that mark. It would not be surprising if other schools did the exact same thing.
6/26/14: The running back position may have been severely devalued in the pro game, but is still essential in college football. And USC looks to be one of the better rushing teams in the NCAA next season with their three headed monster of Tre Madden, Buck Allen and Justin Davis. New head coach Steve Sarkesian likes to use the no huddle offense and that will help catch defenses without the proper personnel to stop these three running backs. The Florida State Seminoles used a three headed attack last year, and all they did was win the National Championship. That may be a bit grandiose for the Trojans this season, but certainly they will have one of the better rushing attacks around.
6/19/14: OK, this is pretty cool if you are a USC fan. Southern Cal announced over the weekend that they are adding premium suites just a few yards behind the east endzone of the Coliseum. That means that the high rollers get to sit at field level and will as close to the action as anyone in all of college or pro football. There will be 10 field suites that can hold 16 people each. This is a very unique stadium option and one that other programs may try to incorporate (if they have the space) in order to increase attendance and revenues. The field suites will be open for business in the 2014 season.
6/12/14: You know your team is on the rise or is considered elite when the ticket prices go up. And that is exactly what is going on at USC right now. Many people expect a renaissance of the Pete Carroll days now that new head coach Steve Sarkesian is in charge. That may happen in time, but expectations are already sky high. The USC - UCLA game (in Pasadena) already has an average ticket price of $422 with the cheapest seats being $118. That ranks 11th of all college football games next season. That is pretty impressive and shows the growth of both programs.
6/6/14: Former assistant coach and interim head coach Ed Ogeron had plenty of good things to say about USC, even calling it the best place to coach in the NCAA. Ogeron is no longer with the program, as he abruptly quit once he found out that Steve Sarkesian would be the new head coach. Sark has a lot of talent on the roster, but that talent may need time to develop. They are projected at an 8-4 record next season with a small chance of winning the Pac-12. But consider that a one year blip. By 2015, this should be one of the best programs in the country again, and able to compete with the likes of FSU and Alabama.
5/29/14: Is it too early to talk about the Heisman Trophy race? Probably, but that has never stopped the media from looking at who are the potential candidates for the most overrated trophy in all of sports (despite the fact that the season on which they will be evaluated on is still over three months away). At any rate, USC Max Browne is on the watch list for underclassmen. The Heisman went through its entire history without a freshman winner, then Jameis Winston (FSU) and Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) won the last two. Browne has all the talent to do the same. One caveat: Cody Kessler is the starter.
5/22/14: Well, this could be interesting. There are reports floating around that the USC Trojans and the Alabama Crimson Tide are trying to schedule neutral site game to open the 2016 season. Alabama may be trying to find a Big 5 partner to appease the new SEC scheduling requirements. The teams have met seven times throughout history, with the first being in 1938 and the most recent in the 1985 Aloha Bowl. That includes the famous game in 1970 in which an integrated USC team blew out an all-white Alabama team. USC holds the series lead five games to two. Nothing is official yet, but this would be great to see.
5/15/14: Like both Texas and Miami, the USC Spartans have struggled for the past few seasons and it has shown in both the win-loss column and at the NFL draft. New head coach Steve Sarkesian has the task of turning the first item around. If successful, then the draftees will take care of themselves. The highest profile player from USC in the 2014 draft was wide receiver Marqise Lee. Lee had a breakout sophomore season in 2012, but was limited due to injury in 2013. He has first round talent, but fell to the second round when he was selected by Jacksonville. He could start right away, as the Jags expect Michael Blackmon to be suspended.
5/8/14: It is the time of year to get overly excited about USC football. The team has a new head coach in Steve Sarkesisan, and apparently a new attitude. The Trojans lost QB Max Witteck to transfer, but should be just fine without him. Coach Sark's concern seems to be on the offensive line. Of course, it goes without saying that the offense goes as the O-line goes, and Sark believes that this unit needs a lot of work. If they can come together, and with a little help from some top recruits, then this could be a very competitive team in the fall.
5/1/14: Last week, the players for the Northwestern University football program cast their secret ballots on whether or not to unionize. Those answers, and the poll itself, will likely not be known for some time. It could affect whether or not players from other private colleges unionize as well. So USC has a vested interest in this process. USC players, reportedly, are interested in unionizing as well, and Athletic Director Pat Hayden has already met with the team to answer any questions. It remains to be seen if a football program can create a union, but this could have a major effect on college football going forward.
4/24/14: USC has so many quarterbacks that they kind of have a controversy on their hands. Max Wittek is leaving, and there is a good chance he will end up in Texas - so at least he will not be a problem. Head coach Steve Sarkisian named incumbent Cody Kessler the starter, which many expected. But where does that leave highly prized recruit Max Browne? Browne says that he is not transferring after losing the position battle. Kessler still has two more years of eligibility remaining, so it may be quite some time before Browne sees meaningful playing time.
4/17/14: By all accounts, new head coach Steve Sarkisian led an outstanding recruiting effort (and in a hurry). The biggest 'get' was Adoree Jackson. Trojan fans have been waiting to see this youngster and Coach Sark has some bi. g plans for him. He will reportedly start out playing both offense and defense, with a resolution coming in the summer. Jackson is more than a gifted athlete, he is outstanding at both cornerback and wide receiver. Perhaps he could be a two-way player in the new USC scheme. Chances are that he will be committed to one side of the ball only, but it is an interesting idea to have him on both offense and defense.
4/10/14: The Trojans and their fans do not want a prolonged return to prominence, they want to be back on top of the Pac 12 quickly. New head coach Steve Sarkisian had himself a pretty good recruiting season, and the newcomers seem to understand that they may be expected to impact the team right away. USC has fived early enrollees this spring, meaning these guys are getting to participate in spring practices. That certainly is an advantage, rather than wait until the summer to learn the college schemes and adjust to a higher level of play. Sarkisian is yet to coach a game for USC, but the program seems to be benefiting from a change in coach and philosophy.
4/3/14: Many experts believe that Keyshawn Johnson Jr., son of USC standout wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson will eventually head to USC for his college football. Key Jr. is being recruited by several big programs, including Miami, Ohio State, and reigning national champion Florida State. The Trojans are also looking at five-star running back recruit Damien Harris. Harris named his top ten and USC, Alabama, FSU, Auburn, Ohio State and Michigan are all on the list. Harris is a junior at Madison Southern High School in Berea, Kentucky, so he does have a little while before he has to decide.
3/27/14: Southern California picked up a key commit recently as the nation's second-ranked pro-style QB, Ricky Town, committed to the Trojans. USC has a few QBs on the roster now, but really is looking for that 'franchise' guy to lead the team for a number of years. Incidentally, the nation's top ranked pro-style QB recruit, Josh Rosen, committed to cross town rival UCLA last week. That potentially means that the USC and UCLA rivalry could be heating up in the coming years with two of the best college quarterbacks at their respective helms. Like it or not, it is good for the Pac-12 and all of college football.
3/20/14: Though many people would hate to admit it, college football is better when USC is good. And that is where they are trying to get back to. The last three seasons have been more than disappointing. Many may blame former head coach Lane Kiffin, but it actually goes back to the Pete Carroll days. There were some NCAA violations that hampered the program; Kiffin may not have been the right head coach, but he was (probably) not responsible for the sanctions that USC had to endure. But USC should be back to rebuilding this season, and back to competing for national championships in the very near future.
3/13/14: Over the past two decades, the NCAA has tried to find the most objective way to rank teams. That inevitably leads to arguments surrounding a one-loss team from a strong conference (such as the SEC) versus an undefeated team from a less demanding conference (such as the Mountain West or even the ACC). It becomes even more important next season when the NCAA goes to a playoff. USC will not get off guard on this one, as they have a very difficult schedule next season which includes the Pac-12, but also features Notre Dame in the annual rivalry game (at home).
3/6/14: It has been a few years since Pete Carroll last coached the Trojans, but he is not shy about speaking his mind. Carroll was very critical of the NCAA and how they handled the Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo situations (both were accused of receiving benefits that they were not eligible to receive). The USC football program received a sanction of losing 30 scholarships over three years. The team is just now getting out from that cloud and is looking forward to starting fresh this season with new head coach Steve Sarkesian. Still, Pete Carroll is not happy about how things played out for his former employer.
The USC Trojans play Division I college football for the University of Southern California in the recently formed Pacific 12 (Pac-12) Conference. The Trojans play their home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. USC is coached by Steve Sarkasian. The Trojans' biggest rivals are Notre Dame and UCLA.
2/27/14: Well, its good to see that USC still considers themselves to be the at the top of the NCAA football food chain (even though their performance for the past several years would dictate otherwise). The school issued an apology last week for an Instagram post that referred to running back Jalen Hurd as 'soft and terrible'. Apparently, a USC coach or staffer made that comment during National Signing day when Hurd chose Tennessee over USC. Of course, if he was 'soft and terrible' USC would not have wanted him and would not have been so upset at his decision. Chalk it up to sour grapes and political correctness. And it would be fun if the Vols played the Trojans in a bowl game in the near future.
2/20/14: Sometimes, even smart people make questionable or even foolish decisions. Such is the case with USC. The school has deleted and now apologized for a short video from National Signing Day which had background audio that criticizes a recruit for signing with Tennessee. The recruit in question is 6'3, 230 pound, five-star running back Jalen Hurd. What makes this more interesting is that the voice may be from former Vols QB Tee Martin, who is now an assistant at USC. This is just another reminder that people must be careful of what they say in this world of social media, because private is not always private.
2/13/14: USC looks like they have turned the corner. They landed a top five recruiting class, which included keeping a lot of four star and five star recruits in California. Certainly, there was a lot of apprehension concerning the recruiting this season with a change of head coaching. However, it looks like the combination of the USC pedigree and new HC Steve Sarkesisan was a perfect match. Bear in mind that the new recruits are just freshman, so there will be a couple years before they have a great impact. But just look to FSU and Jimbo Fisher, who has been building top five recruiting classes since he became head coach, and is now the national champion.
2/6/14: For those accustomed to seeing USC in the top five of recruiting classes, well, that probably will not happen this year. Early estimates have the Trojans with the 26th ranked class, 5th in the PAC 12. That should not be surprising considering the programs has struggled for the past couple of years and they had a coaching change. Though USC supporters should expect it to improve next year and beyond. The biggest get so far looks like Viane Talamalvao, who flipped from Alabama to USC. The big 6'3, 310 pounder is the No. 4 offensive guard prospect in the country, and 86th among all recruits.
1/30/14: The Steve Sarkisian hire is already having a positive effect at USC. Five star QB recruit Ricky Town has decommitted from Alabama and looks like he is heading to USC. Town developed a good relationship with Sarkisian during recruiting over the past few years, and apparently does not want to play for new Alabama OC Lane Kiffin (ironically, the former head coach at USC). Town is the number two ranked QB recruit in the nation, and ninth overall at any position. That is a good start to the Sarkisian Era, and one that bodes well for returning the program to prominence.
1/23/14: Many USC fans and boosters will scoff when the name Lane Kiffin is brought up. They remember his largely forgettable tenure as head coach which ended with a firing at the airport earlier this year. They may choose to forget that he was actually a pretty good offensive coordinator for the Trojans in the mid-aughts, when USC was a dominant team. Kiffin was hired last week by Alabama to serve as the offensive coordinator. Again, many people laugh or mock this hiring, but the fact remains that Kiffin is a good OC, though he has struggled as the head coach on three different occasions.
1/16/14: USC has lost another key starter to the NFL, as tight end Xavier Grimble decided to forego his remaining college eligibility to turn pro. His motivation is that he is healthy and wants to take a shot at the big time. He could be a very enticing prospect, considering he is 6'5 and 250 pounds - making him a difficult matchup for secondaries. His USC career seems misused though. He only caught a total of 69 passes and 5 touchdowns with the Spartans. If he can find an NFL team that will use him properly, then he could have a great career.
1/9/14: It was not really a surprise, but more of an eventuality. USC star wide receiver Marqise Lee has declared for the NFL draft and officially ends his collegiate career. Lee has been the best players the Trojans have had on offense for the past few years. In 2011, he had more than 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns. In 2012, he had over 1,700 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns. This season, he racked up just under 800 yards and four touchdowns, but was injured and limited for most of the season. Lee won the Beiletneikoff Award in 2012, and should be considered among the top WR coming out in this year's draft.
1/2/14: Since the Trojans destroyed Fresno State in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl, there have been a few ongoings at the school. USC apparently wants Clay Helton back in some capacity, though that is unknown. Center Marcus Martin announced that he will enter the NFL draft rather than play his senior season for the Trojans. Martin was injured during the season finale against UCLA and did not play in the bowl game, perhaps prompting him to get a paycheck rather than get someone else rich next season. The big question is if WR Marquis Lee will come back or not.
12/26/13: USC may not have been happy to be in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl, but unlike their trip to the Sun Bowl last season, they did not pout and simply go through the motions. The No. 25 Trojans made a statement against the No. 20 Fresno State Bulldogs, demolishing them 45-20. QB Cody Kessler had his best game yet, throwing for a career high 344 yards and four touchdowns in the rout. Interim Interim head coach Clay Helton will return to USC next season as part of new head coach Steve Sarkesian's staff. He was offensive coordinator this season, but it is not known yet what his position will be next season.
12/19/13: After a week of intense speculation, information and misinformation, there appears to finally be resolution to Mack Brown's status as head coach of the University of Texas. Brown officially announced his resignation from the position last weekend. He will coach one more game - the Alamo Bowl against Oregon on December 30th in San Antonio, Texas. Now the speculation will run on his successor. Nick Saban just signed an extension with Alabama, so he is likely out of the running. Other names may include Jimbo Fisher (Florida State), Art Briles (Baylor), and Todd Graham (Arizona State).
12/12/13: Ed Ogeron took over as interim head coach of the Trojans over two months ago when Lane Kiffen was fired. Ogeron re-energized both the team and the fanbase, with many people (boosters and players) wanting him to get the job. USC Athletic Director Pat Hayden went another direction and hired Steve Sarkesian, the head coach of the Washington Huskies and a former assistant coach in the Pete Carroll days. Ogeron immediately resigned. USC has one game left. They will play in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl against Fresno State on December 21, obviously in Las Vegas.
USC Trojans Football Tickets - History
USC has one of the most successful college football programs in the United States. The program began in 1888. USC defeated its first collegiate opponent, St. Vincent's College, 40-0 the following year. The Trojans joined the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC) in 1922. The PCC was the predecessor to the Pac-10 (to be later re-named the Pac-12). USC has claimed 11 national titles; although the most recent one the Trojans won in 2004 has since been vacated because of NCAA sanctions. Technically, the Trojans' last national title came the year prior when they finished 12-1 and beat Michigan, 28-14 in the Rose Bowl. The Trojans have also won 38 conference titles, including seven straight from 2002-2008.
USC Trojans Football Tickets - Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is located on South Figueroa Street in Los Angeles. USC has played its home games at the L.A. Coliseum since it was built in 1923. The stadium has a capacity of 92,000. 'The Grand Old Lady' has also been home to the UCLA Bruins football team, the National Football League's Rams and Raiders when they played in L.A. and Major League Baseball's Dodgers.
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