No. 24 USC, the Pac-12 South Division co-champion after defeating crosstown foe UCLA, is playing in its first Pac-12 Championship Game and gets a 2015 rematch against North Division titlist No. 7 Stanford, who beat the Trojans in the Coliseum in the Pac-12 opener in September. The Trojans will take the field 5 days after Clay Helton was named USC’s head coach (he had served as interim head coach for Troy’s final 7 regular season games). The game’s winner could be headed to the Rose Bowl. Troy actually finished first in the Pac-12 South in 2011, but could not play in the inaugural Pac-12 contest because of its NCAA sanctions.
Clay Helton, who as its interim head coach guided the 2015 USC football team to a 5-2 record and a berth into the Pac-12 Football Championship Game with a first-place finish in the challenging Pac-12 South Division, has signed a multi-year agreement to be the Trojans’ permanent head coach, USC athletic director Pat Haden announced today (Nov. 30).
Cody Kessler threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score, and Southern California clinched the Pac-12 South title with a 40-21 victory over No. 22 UCLA on Saturday in the 85th edition of their crosstown showdown. Darreus Rogers and Taylor McNamara caught TD passes while the Trojans (8-4, 6-3 Pac-12) scored 20 consecutive points in the second half before raising the Victory Bell in the frenzied Coliseum. USC improved to 5-2 under interim coach Clay Helton and snapped its three-year losing streak in the annual city rivalry game. USC will face Stanford next Saturday in the Trojans’ first trip to the Pac-12 title game.
A berth in the Pac-12 Championship Game as the league’s South Division representative is on the line this Thanksgiving weekend Saturday when USC hosts No. 22 UCLA in the 85th rendition of the nation’s most famous crosstown rivalry. The Trojans have yet to play in the Pac-12 title game (Troy finished first in the Pac-12 South in 2011, but could not play in that inaugural contest because of its NCAA sanctions, so UCLA took its place).
Vernon Adams Jr. threw for 407 yards and six touchdowns and the No. 23 Oregon Ducks defeated No. 22 USC 48-28 on Saturday for their fifth straight victory.
The Trojans (7-4, 5-3) were still vying for a spot in the conference championship game, but no longer controlled their own destiny in the Pac-12 South. The loss dropped USC to 4-2 under interim coach Clay Helton, who took over at Southern California after the dismissal of Steve Sarkisian.