The Official USC Trojans Thread

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Who Wins?
Ohio State 10 24.39%
Southern California 31 75.61%
Voters: 41. Sorry, you cannot vote on this poll (Boxden members only)

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Props Slaps
 5 years ago '10        #1221
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Good lookin on the articles, keep them sh*ts comin bruh. I neeeed that
 5 years ago '10        #1222
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Max Browne is looking good but still lanky as fu*k. Needs to grow into his body a little more. Oh and Eddie big bi*ch Vanderhoe is going to UGLY. Apparently ND released him from his LOI
 5 years ago '10        #1223
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Letter of Indignation

As reported by USCFootball.com on signing day, five-star linebacker Matthew Thomas begrudgingly announced he would play college football for Florida State. Thomas, who several Trojan commits felt was "all USC" as late as the night before signing day, confirmed publicly that he was forced by his mother to sign with FSU.

Having never visited Los Angeles or seen USC, his mother had a coaching favorite in Jimbo Fisher. Thomas' brother was also living in Tallahassee at the time, which played a factor in his mother's push for the Noles. However, according to two sources with Thomas at his announcement ceremony, he only had one hat under the table for his pledge, and that was a USC hat. Thus, during his announcement on live television, Thomas gave a half-hearted Tomahawk chop without FSU gear.

"Dealing with family, and having to deal with them everyday... they can come see me and support me, and I think Florida State is a good spot for me to do that," Thomas said during his announcement.

Thomas' demeanor during the announcement was noticeably awkward. From what we gather, Thomas was soured by coaching moves at Florida State and really began favoring the idea of leaving the state of Florida for college. By the time he visited USC officially in January, football became less of a priority in his decision.

Thomas then went several hours after the announcement without faxing his LOI to Florida State. While this snafu was said to be "overblown" and just a technicality by FSU, Thomas' discontent was not superficial nor fleeting. But Thomas wanted to do right by his mother, and while compromises were discussed, the Under Armour All-American signed with FSU.

This week, talk of Thomas' discontent became a topic of conversation among Miami Hurricane fans - revealing Thomas still isn't sold on the Noles. A source close to the Matthew Thomas situation told USCFootball.com Thursday, "Where there is smoke, there is fire." This source would not confirm nor deny that Thomas has requested to be released from his LOI.

Understandably, no school wants to lose a player with the skill set of Thomas. USC was in a similar position in 2010 when Seantrel Henderson, the nation's No. 2 ranked player at the time, opted out of his LOI with USC after sanctions were announced. To avoid public backlash, USC granted Henderson his release without conditions and he eventually enrolled at Miami.

Thomas is only 17-years-old and he would need his mom's blessing to go anywhere but FSU. That further complicates things for him because it appears that his family is still pro-FSU. Even if Thomas gets out of his LOI, he still might not end up a Trojan. Georgia and South Carolina are said to be other possible options for him.

Until Thomas is released from his LOI by Florida State, schools cannot have contact with him. The rumor springing from Miami this week had Thomas willing to sit out a year in prep school to go through the recruiting process again. Sources close to Thomas did not confirm any future plans if FSU does not grant him a release from his LOI. At this point, the rumors are just smoldering.
 5 years ago '10        #1224
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Simmons still in play

Texas Tech defensive tackle transfer Delvon Simmons officially visited USC last weekend, and according to sources that visit went extremely well. Simmons also mention via Twitter that Los Angeles as a city was a big hit with him. Simmons has been to L.A. before as a recruit when he was wooed by USC back in 2010 as a four-star prospect. Of course, if Trojan fans recall, that recruitment was a roller coaster ride in and of itself, visiting USC, Iowa, Oregon, Rutgers and Texas Tech.

Oddly, Simmons ended up committing to North Carolina, a school he didn't officially visit. That lasted for a few months before he asked to be released out of his letter of intent when UNC's defensive line coach bolted to the NFL. From there, Simmons went to Texas Tech. As a Red Raider, Simmons started all 13 games for the Red Raiders in 2012 after playing in 10 games as a true freshman in 2011. He would lose his redshirt in a transfer, giving Simmons two years to play two unless the NCAA waved his transfer penalty.

In addition to looking at USC, Miami, Penn State, Michigan and Pittsburgh are other school he is considering, although sources say Michigan and Pitt are long shots. Right now, the vibe from Simmons camp is that USC and Miami are his top two choices, but late this week one very good source felt he definitely was USC's to lose. Simmons is in Miami this week, so things could change, but confidence is high on the West Coast.

Of course, confidence was high in signing Miami (Fla.) five-star linebacker Matthew Thomas in February and look how that turned out.

Thomas saga continues

While it was reported that Florida State signee Matthew Thomas has decided to stick with his commitment to the Seminoles last week, three sources with three different perspectives on Thomas' recruitment dispute that claim. FSU certainly wants to put this matter to bed, but at this point, it's not happening. As one source said, "He's still miserable and just stressed out over the whole thing. His heart isn't with Florida State."

Thomas contacted FSU on two different occasions asking for a release from his letter of intent. Both times, Florida State denied his request rather harshly. However, in more recent conversations with Thomas' circle, the tone has changed. The realization that Thomas has the support of his high school coaches and family could be the tipping point in what all three sources described as a stalemate.

The biggest piece of the puzzle will be, as we have said all along, Thomas' mother. She remains out of the country in Haiti, but is expected to return to the states soon. Thomas and his mother have spoken about his situation, but the hearsay of those conversations is too inconsistent and vague to pass along. In general, the consensus was that a decision on what to do has yet to be made. Furthermore, considering Thomas manned up and called Jimbo Fisher, he appears as adamant about not going to FSU as FSU is about not releasing him from his LOI.

But FSU is still in an awkward position. They don't want to lose a five-star talent, yet they don't want to force a disgruntled square peg into a round hole either. If Thomas doesn't want to be at Florida State, does Florida State want to keep trying to convince him otherwise? That's a recipe for disaster in the locker room with upperclassmen egos to coddle. Florida State fans will take that rejection personally, but this is more personal more Thomas than anyone.

If Thomas is not released, but decides to leave FSU anyway, he would most likely transfer to Georgia, USC or South Carolina and sit his redshirt freshman year. That would give him four years to play four.

Juco jukes LSU

Perkinston (Miss.) Gulf Coast wide receiver D'haquille Williams de-committed from LSU this week. Williams is considering USC and the Trojans did reach out to Williams before he committed to LSU two weeks ago. Williams says he never should have committed in the first place after visiting Baton Rouge, but sources following his recruitment say this is par for the course.

Williams recruitment is expected to be quite the circus, with several other SEC programs adding to the fray. Rumors of violations are already swirling around his recruitment, so while Williams is a top talent, the Trojans may not have the stomach to spend the effort it will take to pry him from the clutches of football depravity.

Schultz a farmer for now

USC offered a scholarship to South Jordan (Utah) tight end Dalton Schultz, but from everything we hear, he remains a heavy lean toward Stanford. The good news is that Schultz is taking time with the recruiting process and says he won't start to narrow down his list of options until he takes some official visits. That mean his recruitment won't really heat up until November.

2016 is here

USC offered scholarships to two 2016 wide outs this week. Both Gardena (Calif.) Serra wide out Brandon Burton and Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) University wide out Sam Bruce both received scholarship offers from USC. Burton is a big USC fan, and several sources see the Trojans as the team to beat for his services in... uhh... three years. Yeah, it doesn't mean much.

Bruce is described as a phenom by those who have seen him play. Last week, USC a.ssistant coach Tee Martin saw Bruce in person, and before the day was through, the to-be sophomore wide out had a scholarship offer from USC. While we are quick to point out that offers mean little these days, a scholarship that stems from a visit like this usually holds more weight. Bruce likes USC, but as with Burton, or even more so, his excitement is tempered by time.

So just where is the McNair case?

How often do we hear that question as the word filters out that there's a new judge on the case and for those of you who read the transcripts from the two hearings in LA District Court here two weeks ago, you're ahead of the appellate court that apparently hasn't received the transcript yet. Oh, and the NCAA apparently missed its first deadline to submit its appeal of Judge Frederick Shallers slapdown of their attempt to get the case dismissed -- and was given another month, or something like that.

So where is the McNair-NCAA case? It's in a very good place, sports fans, a far better place than anyone could have imagined it would be two years ago. It's not going fast. But it's going inexorably in the right direction, it seems. And that's all that really matters.

Good news coming?

Just maybe . . . this weekend, we'll finally hear the word on the Abe Markowitz waiver request from the NCAA to play his final season for USC in the fall and we remain optimistic. Sure, you have to think the NCAA will try to extract its pound of flesh, or maybe a couple of pounds, but we just keep thinking this case -- and Trojan Abe -- are going to end up in the right place.

Can football magazines already be on the stands?

Indeed, they are. Or at least two of the national editions are -- Lindy's Sports and Athlon Sports. And we'll just hit the quick highlights here. They pretty much agree on where USC starts out -- Athlon has USC No. 26 sandwiched with four Pac-12 teams -- Arizona State at No. 23, Oregon State (No. 25) and UCLA (No. 27). Oregon is No. 3 and Stanford No. 7.

Lindy's has USC at No. 25 with Kiffin tops on their "coaches' hot seat" list with the prediction that if he finishes there, it won't be good enough to save Kiffin's job.

Cognitive dissonance

One item caught our eye in Lindy's Pac-12 recruiting wrap, Lindy's listed the league's top recruits in order. Did you realize eight of the top nine signed with USC. And 10 of the top 15. So USC signed twice as many top-15 players as the other 11 teams in the Pac-12 combined. UCLA got two, Washington two and Oregon one.

And yet, when it came to "Best recruiting staff," here's how Lindy's inexplicably put it. "UCLA wins this category hands-down. The two best recruiters in the Pac-12 in 2013, bar none, were OL coach Adrian Klemm and DB coach Demetrice Martin. The two combined for 16 of UCLA's commitments and nearly all of the top players in the Bruins' top-rated Pac-12 class."

Well, OK then. That settles it. It really is all about quantity.

Forecasting here

As much as Lane Kiffin has been saying things really aren't going to look that much different on the sidelines this fall and what will change will be USC's ability to run the ball and play physical thanks to Mike Summers' ability to mold an offensive line that can block people, we think the offense is really going to be turned over to the coalition of four offensive a.ssistants to get the job done. Just a hunch here. And Kiffin is going to play the part of the head coach.

Trojan Time on the Islands

From the end of July to the end of August, when USC opens the 2013 season at Hawai'i, it will be all USC all the time on Oahu. That's because the Coen Brothers' movie version of Trojan Louiie Zamperini's incredible World War II survival story made famous by Laura Hillenbrand's book Unbroken will start filming at the end of July with Angelina Jolie directing the film.

And now the news from the NFL . . .

Mostly good these days from a Trojan perspective.

* Here's the first take on Cleveland Browns tight end Jordan Cameron. From Plain Dealer Browns beat writer Mary Kay Cabot: The Browns really like tight end Jordan Cameron as their starting tight end and plan to throw to him a lot. Cameron was targeted on plenty of deep balls in OTAs."

* And then there's Buffalo where roookie quarterback E.J. Manuel has really taken a liking to USC alum Robert Woods. "He always seemed to be open and ran great routes," Manuel said of Woods, whose four-year deal is expected to be worth $4.8 million, after one practice. "You want to get the playmakers the ball."

But that wasn't all. Asked about his decision to leave school as having been influenced by Matt Barkley's graduation, Woods said that was absolutely not the case. "I'm pretty confident with our quarterbacks we have there, Max Wittek and Cody Kessler. It had nothing to do with the quarterback. I felt confident in both. It was the best decision for me and my family. They always say this doesn't last forever, so I might as well get it while I can. I can still do school at the same time."

* And finally, we have the Jets, where it looks like they have actually been trying to give the job to Mark Sanchez by saying the decision on a starter (with rookie Geno Smith the other one in the running) could be made before the team gets to camp based on the work in the OTA's, which would certainly favor the guy with experience. And then two days later, Sanchez threw three interceptions and that was disappointing to head coach Rex Ryan. "Yeah, it is. Absolutely. It's a good thing defense makes the plays, but no, I'd rather him not turn the ball over once. He did a lot of great things, and then those negative things, at the end of the day, that's what gets you beat. And so we got to do a better job of eliminating those turnovers."
 5 years ago '10        #1225
USC 79 heat pts79
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Joe Mixon

 5 years ago '10        #1226
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Delvin Simmons transferring to USC


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 5 years ago '10        #1227
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Yes

I don't care about any recruit not named Adoree Jackson. We need a top corner so bad. Ramsey still stings. Muthafu*kas.
 5 years ago '10        #1228
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Toa

Heard that TE out of Vegas nice
 4 years ago '10        #1229
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Damien Mama is a five-star level talent, but his ceiling as a player is higher at guard than it is at offensive tackle. When legendary offensive line coach Hudson Houck says you should play guard instead of tackle, you play guard. Houck loved Mama's performance and spoke of him in the context of being a future NFL prospect. As a recruit, Mama is leaning toward USC and Alabama, but his family are all Trojan fans and distance will likely become a factor in his decision.


Casey Tucker has the ability to play right tackle in college. While USC is now on the outside looking in on his recruitment, the Trojans should continue to recruit him as one of the best linemen in the region. Tucker didn't dominate the way Damien Mama did at the Five Star Challenge, but true offensive tackles are hard to find and Tucker has the height and length to pass protect on the edge of the line.


Phoenix (Ariz.) offensive guard Natrell Curtis is not Khaliel Rodgers. Leading up to the Five Star Challenge, Curtis was said to be a bigger version of Rodgers. Instead, Curtis came to Chicago overweight and unmotivated. After suffering an ankle injury Saturday, Curtis tapped out before a majority of the competition started. From an attitude standpoint, Rodgers was the complete opposite at last year's event in Atlanta. Not only did Rodgers have a dominate performance during one-on-one drills, his competitiveness was unmatched.


The debate over Da'Shawn Hand being the nation's No. 1 player rages on. While Hand was good in one-on-one drills, his explosiveness and overall athletic ability is a notch below those defensive ends rated so highly before him. Hand says he wants to unofficially visit USC for the Rising Stars Camp, but some doubt that trip will actually take place. In the grand scheme of his recruitment, USC is a long shot.


Norfolk (Va.) defensive end Jalyn Holmes had the best build of any player at the Five Star Challenge. Holmes, who has a top three of Clemson, Florida State and Ohio State, said Sunday that he still plans on officially visiting USC next fall. However, it's hard to gauge where he would play in the Trojans' 5-2 scheme. Holmes is more of a weakside defensive end in a 4-3 than an outside linebacker in a 3-4. The same can be said for Norcoss (Ga.) defensive end Lorenzo Carter.


Every other school in the country thinks they have a favorite to land Adoree' Jackson. Florida State and Florida fans are already arguing over Jackson like they argued over five-star cornerback Jalen Ramsey last year. Michigan thinks Jackson wants to become a dynamic duo with recent five-star cornerback commit Jabrill Peppers. All of this and Jackson is rumored to be a silent commitment to UCLA.
Jackson flip flops on what position he wants to play in college, but after this weekend there will be more buzz about him playing wide receiver than cornerback. Jackson proved to be one of the most dynamic athletes in attendance. Next to KD Cannon of Mount Pleasant
(Texas), Jackson was the most explosive receiver down field and in space. He shined as a wide out Saturday, but had his share of dropped passes Sunday. Right now, Jackson is a raw playmaker who is drawing some - albeit strenuous - comparisons to De'Anthony Thomas coming out of high school.


Falcon (Colo.) athlete Kelan Ballage should have a USC scholarship offer. Ballage was one of the better physical specimens to come through player registration, but he's not just an adonis. Ballage is 6-foot-2, 220-pounds and fast. He played both linebacker and running back during the event and never looked overmatched. USC should at least be in the picture with a prospect this athletic west of Texas.
Michiah Quick wants to play wide out. While some players get the "athlete" tag in the Rivals database, a majority of those prospects are clearly better at one position than another. Preference becomes a sticking point, but most settle into one position by the beginning of their senior seasons. Quick wants to play wide out in college, and after his performance at the Five Star Challenge, there much more evidence that is where he will play in college. Quick is, well, quick, fluid and smooth. He's not a burner, so at his size, top end speed will still be a question.


Quick's top five college choices are Notre Dame, USC, UCLA, Alabama and Oklahoma. As it stand now, Oklahoma, UCLA and Notre Dame are leading that group of options. Although USC has a commitment from his Fresno (Calif.) Central East teammate Tashon Smallwood, that will have little influence over Quick's decision.


Tyler Luatua doesn't have the disposition to play defense. Luatua was maybe the quietest, unassuming prospects at the Five Star Challenge. His competitiveness was questioned going into the event, and those questions still linger. Luatua is a big body with skill, but he didn't stack up favorably with Northport (Ala.) athlete Bo Scarbrough, South Jordan (Utah) tight end Dalton Schultz or even Chatham (Ill.) tight end Daniel Helm.


John Smith has a bright future as a safety. While there is still some thought Smith could play wide out in college, he played safety all weekend and performed well. Smith didn't have any eye-popping highlight plays, but he was consistently good for a team that won the 7-on-7 Five Star tournament title. We also learned USC is still Smith's leader by a good margin.

Homestead (Fla.) wide out Ermon Lane will attend the Rising Stars Camp later this month, but his overall stock may take a hit by the time his senior season starts. Lane has good top end speed for a bigger receiver, but he needs space to get moving. When pressed by smaller cornerbacks, Lane struggled to gain separation. He also had a few dropped passes Saturday where he fought the ball against air. Lane is good, but is he so much better than players USC can recruit closer to Southern California? The answer is, no, not really.
The class of 2015 represented California well in Chicago. While California proved to have some weak links in last year's competition, prospects like cornerback Iman Marshall, quarterback Josh Rosen, safety Marvell Tell all had solid performances. Marshall was especially good Saturday in position drills, but sat out periods of 7-on-7 with a sore hamstring from track.


Linebacker John Houston is currently Serra High School's best 2015 prospect. While defensive tackle Rasheem Green is definitely an elite level recruit, Houston's maturity, focus and drive adds a dimension to his game most underclassmen do not have. Houston was really good in coverage, using his speed and lengths to create difficult passing lanes.
Derik Calhoun and Adarius Pickett are wiling to commit to USC without Joe Mixon. While the three Bay Area standouts have talked a lot about being a package deal, Calhoun and Pickett are clearly more intrigued by USC outside of athletics. Mixon is eyeballing the Trojans' depth chart at running back, and admittedly, does not like what he sees.


Chicago is a beautiful city and a fantastic location to host a first class event in. Scenic and historic, Soldier Field took the Five Star Challenge to a whole new level this year. Most who attended the event won't realize how significant it was to represent their communities on a field laden with the blood, sweat and tears of the NFL's finest.
 4 years ago '10        #1230
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It starts tonight
 4 years ago '10        #1231
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good lookin out and good read.

edit:
 4 years ago '10        #1232
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Yea Ty should be a beast, Justin was a EE and just knows the offense more right now. Madden is nice as well. CLK playcalling is awful and we cant get 3rd downs to save our life. Redzone offense was also a.ss.

That attacking D Just read that the Ramsey part and almost earled. He would be our unquestioned #1 corner
 4 years ago '11        #1233
Chad09 160 heat pts160
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fu*k Lane.
 4 years ago '11        #1234
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A Crowd Pleaser

On one incomplete pass, the black cloud that had been covering the Trojans dissipated. At the advice of USC's president, Lane Kiffin went deep on the first play of the game which drew a prolonged standing ovation from the student section and Coliseum faithful. "That was Max Nikias's idea this week," said Kiffin about the bomb pass. "He said, 'I'm going to tell you something young boy. You throw it deep, and even if it is incomplete, they'll cheer for you.' That was Max's play." While the crowd was smaller than usual, the fans that showed up colored the day with positive energy, and inspired a dominant Trojan victory. "I was just happy for all the Trojan fans and the players that they could have a good day, and just take a breath," said Kiffin. "It was good to see, and it was a fun day."

Fresh Start

Finally anointed the official USC starting quarterback, Cody Kessler took control of the offense completing 15 of 17 passes for 237 yards and 2 TDs. "Boy did he play lights out. What a great day for him," said Kiffin. Kessler spread the ball around to all the offensive weapons, and never forced it into traffic. The only two incompletions were near misses to Lee down the field. "There was a whole new confidence this week, and I think it really showed in the offense," said Kessler (pictured). "It was a lot more aggressive [game plan]."

"A Physical Team"

At the end of last season, Lane Kiffin determined that the Trojans were too soft, especially defensively, and changes needed to be made. Kiffin brought in Clancy Pendergast whose attacking 5-2 defense has annihilated the first three opponents, and he changed the physicality of practices. "It was a commitment to making sure we were a physical team," said Kiffin. "This team played today like we set out to fix in January." USC's defense held BC's Andre Williams, the nation's fourth leading rusher coming into the game, to 38 yards, and the Trojans made eight tackles-for-loss.

Smash, Dash and Flash

Davis-BC1-McG.jpgWhile the offensive playbook opened a bit today, the Trojans still ran the ball 43 times to only 19 passes, but the play-action game was effective thanks to Tre Madden (16 carries for 102 yards and a TD) laying the groundwork. "The ability to run the ball, not just today but in the previous weeks, setup the passing game," said Kiffin about the play-action attack. Madden's power style is also the perfect complement to Justin Davis (pictured), who closed the show with a pair of big runs (10 rushes for 96 yards and a TD). "That's the motto we have to have. The next fresh back has to come in and keep wearing them down. Once they get worn down, we can run right by them," said Davis.

Impenetrable

BC came in with an impressive offensive trio at quarterback, running back and wide receiver, but the Eagles could barely move the football until the USC backups subbed into the game in the 4th quarter. Even after some late drives, BC managed just 184 total yards on the game. "We're just getting started," warned freshman safety Su'a Cravens, who had six tackles and a forced fumble. Through three games, the defense has carried the offense, which is now looking to return the favor. "We have to play for them," said Kessler. "We have to put points on the board to help them out."

Lee in a Footrace

Going into the game, USC's passing game had not made a big play the entire season. Finally, Marqise Lee was able to change that by breaking free for an 80-yard catch and run touchdown. Lee caught the ball and turned down the Trojan sideline when his head coach took off and sprinted with the All-American for as long as he could. "I was just so excited for that kid, " said Kiffin about Lee. "I'm usually pretty reserved, but I really couldn't hold myself in because I was so excited for these guys. What they have been through in the last seven days has been hell. To have them have some success, I just felt so good for them."

Two-point conversion...

Wittek's Drive

Max Wittek played almost the entire fourth quarter including leading the Trojans on a TD drive which he capped by running it in for six. "He had been through a lot this week," said Kiffin. "I just wanted him to feel good."

Penalty Problem

What was the only real problem today? "Penalties," Kiffin said. The Trojans were flagged 10 times for 100 yards. "It felt like 100 penalties. We had really fixed that for awhile now, and then today had some bad ones." While he wants to play cleaner, Kiffin did acknowledge that many were "aggressive penalties," which are a byproduct of the team's new physicality.

Here are the offensive highlights as the Trojans moved to 2-1 on the season:

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Coach PG

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Awesome pic, view it in fullscreen.


Last edited by Chad09; 09-14-2013 at 10:45 PM..
 4 years ago '11        #1235
Chad09 160 heat pts160
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[video - click to view]

 4 years ago '11        #1236
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Charged with Harassment

All week, the USC defense heard the name Chuckie Keeton over and over again, so the defensive linemen introduced themselves down after down today. Keeton averaged 370 total yards per game coming into the match-up, but he managed just 164 on the afternoon. He was sacked four times and tackled for loss when he turned into a runner to the tune of -15 rush yards. Leonard Williams had a team-high 8 tackles (3 TFLs), while Morgan Breslin (2), George Uko and Devon Kennard combined for the sacks. Who stood out the most? "All of them," said Lane Kiffin. "I think they stood out to Chuckie Keeton too. Unbelievable performance by them today."

Professor Pendergast

Utah State was averaging nearly 50 points per game on the season, but the Aggies were the latest offense to be overmatched by Clancy Pendergast's 5-2 scheme. "Clancy did another job," said Kiffin about his big offseason hire. "We passed the next test. We've faced different offenses all four weeks, and really have done a great job." The players have been completely re-energized by the new scheme. "From the looks of it, we executed the game plan," said Leonard Williams. "We have a lot of great leaders on the defense, and we just push each other. [Pendergast] just lets us fly around and make plays."

Winning on the Outside

After watching USC use a ground and pound attack for three weeks, Utah State adjusted by loading the box with eight defenders and playing one-on-one press coverage on the outside. In the past, USC would welcome a chance for Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor to go deep, but the timing was off today. "We have to hit those plays outside. A couple were dropped, and then a couple we missed the throws. You've got to make them pay and make those plays outside when they are there to make," said Kiffin.

Winner by Decision

USC had several opportunities to bury the Aggies in the second half thanks to dominant defense and expert punting by Kris Albarado (5 punts inside the 20), but the Trojans' offense was unable to deliver the knockout blow. "Unfortunately, we did not capitalize enough with the field position," said Kiffin. "We kept getting really good field position from our defense and special teams, and we weren't able to finish them off." QB Cody Kessler said, "It's not good enough just to win," but he thinks the offense is not far away from a big day if the Trojans can "fix the little things."

Fan Favorite

The offense did not make many plays, but the biggest came on a 30-yard touchdown strike from Kessler to TE Xavier Grimble. "We practice it every day in practice, and I knew I was going to be wide open," said Grimble about the seam route. "I love to go down through the middle and make that big catch." Week after week, the fans ask, 'Why don't we throw it to the tight ends more?' Well, Grimble says it will come in time. "As the season goes on, we are going to keep getting better and keep improving. We're going to see some more balls."

Credit the Aggies

Nobody blows out Utah State. The Aggies have not lost a game by more than 10 points since 2010. "That's a really good team with a great quarterback, a great rush end [Kyler Fackrell] who had the sack caused fumble today and they are going to give a lot of people a lot of problems like they have for years," said Kiffin. While Kessler expects more from the USC offense, he credited Utah State with making life difficult on the Trojans. "I tip my hat to them. That is hands down the best defense we have played so far. Those guys are relentless with their rush and their pass coverage."


Extra Point

Devilish Match-up

The win today sets up a Pac-12 South showdown in Tempe next week. "I can't wait to go play somewhere else. It's been awhile," said WR Marqise Lee about the road trip after three consecutive home games. "I know ASU is going to bring their game, and we are going to bring ours."

Here is USC vs. Utah State in 60 seconds:

[video - click to view]

Coach

[video - click to view]

 4 years ago '11        #1237
Chad09 160 heat pts160
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$10,966 | Props total: 637 637

[video - click to view]


 4 years ago '11        #1238
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Playing for Coach

Orgeron-Carried-KL.JPGThe Trojans gathered at the 50-yard line after dismissing the Corvallis curse to lift Ed Orgeron on their collective shoulders and let the world know how grateful they are. "A lot of us look at him like a father. I know I do," said RB Buck Allen. "He just believes in us. He wants us to have fun and enjoy ourselves." USC is now 3-1 in the Orgeron era, and the Trojans are carrying an avalanche of momentum into the season's final month. "He's really turned this program around," said S Dion Bailey. "He just makes the experience so much fun. The least we can do is get him victories."

Buck Wild

Once buried on the depth chart, Allen has emerged this season as a violent runner. Tonight, he showed a burst that completes a scary all-around package for opposing defenses. Allen ran for a career-high 133 yards and 3 touchdowns. He ended the night at the top of the ladder leading the Spirit of Troy. "It is an honor," he said. "I just want to thank my whole coaching staff for believing in me. And, I want to give a big thanks to my o-line. Without them, I wouldn't be in this position." Silas Redd also topped the 100-yard mark (140 rushing yards) for the second time in three games.

Starting to Believe

USC jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but then adversity struck when the Beavers followed a Brandin Cooks touchdown with a pick-six of Cody Kessler. In the recent past, the Trojans have folded under road pressure, but this time, they rose up together in response. "I really felt the turning point of the game was when Cody threw the pick, and they came back and they scored. We kept f!ghting, and we started believing. That was the turning point of the game," said Orgeron. The Trojans finished the game with 17 unanswered points.

Welcome Back Mr. Lee

Allen-Band.JPGAll-American WR Marqise Lee marked his return to action with a 71-yard touchdown catch on the Trojans first offensive play. He was so wide open that he described the play as "the hardest catch of my life" since the whole time he was thinking "don't drop it, don't drop it, don't drop it." He finished with 5 catches for 105 yards, and most importantly, he is healthy and ready to close the season strong.

Making Life Easy

Going against the nation's No. 1 passing offense, the USC defense yielded only 7 points on 277 yards through the air, which is 143 yards under the Beavers per game average before tonight. The game plan featured a steady pass rush led by Devon Kennard (2 sacks), which teed up three interceptions of OSU QB Sean Mannion, who had only three INTs on the season. "We have a terrific front four," said Bailey, who had one of the picks. "The way they rush the passer really makes our job easy. All we've got to do is come down with the ball." CB Josh Shaw and CB Kevon Seymour also got in on the pick party.

Something Happening Here

USC is starting to believe that anything is possible this season. The sideline and locker room are on fire with singing, dancing and smiling Trojans filled to the brim with confidence. "It's electric," Orgeron said about the team room. "It's a deserving feeling for our football team, our football family." Just a game back in the Pac-12 South, could this team make a run for the Roses? It's too early for that talk, but something special is definitely happening. "Believing," Orgeron explained. "They don't want to let their team down. We're growing. We're not talking about it, we're doing it. Their actions are saying that we are one football team, one family. You'll do anything for your family."

Two-point conversion...

A Nod to the Past

Marqise Lee admitted that the current Trojans had the 2006, 2008 and 2010 teams in mind preparing for this game. "Let's get this one for the older teams," he said about the Trojans' motivation.

A View from on High

Orgeron had never been carried on his team's shoulders before, but he could get used to it. "I don't think it's ever happened. That was a good feeling. They had me all the way up. Those are some strong boys," Orgeron said.
 4 years ago '11        #1239
Chad09 160 heat pts160
space
avatar space
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$10,966 | Props total: 637 637

[video - click to view]

 4 years ago '11        #1240
Chad09 160 heat pts160
space
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$10,966 | Props total: 637 637

[video - click to view]



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