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USC Heads to Stanford to Open Pac-12 Play

ABC The first Pac-12 game of 2014 is a dandy: #15 USC goes on the road for the first time this year and faces 2-time defending Pac-12 champion #11 Stanford. The Cardinal is Troy’s oldest rival (the first game was in 1905). Last year’s game saw the Trojans pull out a thrilling last-second victory over #Stanford, as USC fans rushed the Coliseum field. But not only has the Cardinal won 5 of the last 7 matchups between the teams, USC is barely over .500 in its past 11 trips to Palo Alto and the Trojans have won only a third of the time against ranked Stanford squads. Troy is hoping to continue the mojo of last Saturday, as the Steve Sarkisian era got off to a rousing start with a home rout over Fresno State. QB Cody Kessler (394 passing yards with 4 TDs) directed an up-tempo USC offense that set a Pac-12 record for plays (105) while rolling up 701 yards and 37 first downs. WR Nelson Agholor had 2 TD grabs and TB Javorius Allen ran for 133 yards. The USC defense, behind the play of All-American DE Leonard Williams and 2-year tackle leader ILB Hayes Pullard, came up with 4 interceptions while limiting Fresno State to 13 points and 317 total yards. USC’s touted true freshmen played key roles (11 played in the game), as CB-WR Adoree’ Jackson was a 3-way player, WR-S JuJu Smith had 123 receiving yards, OGs Toa Lobendahn and Damien Mama became the first Trojan frosh pair to start an opener on the line and TE Bryce Dixon caught a TD. The NCAA sanction-free Trojans still have a limited roster (67 recruited scholarship players, with only 62 currently available to play and only 57 of those healthy for the opener). Stanford, under head coach David Shaw (whose uncle was an All-American cornerback and then assistant coach at USC), has seen his team win 2 consecutive league championships and string together a 16-game home winning streak, including an opening shutout over FCS foe UC Davis this past weekend. The Cardinal offense, led by 3-year starting QB Kevin Hogan, features WR Ty Montgomery, also a dangerous return specialist, and a runner who is the son of a Heisman winner (TB Barry Sanders). The Stanford offensive line consists of all juniors, including OT Andrus Peat, while the retooled defense is guided by veterans such as DE Henry Anderson, CB Wayne Lyons and S Jordan Richards. PK Jordan Williamson is the school’s career point scorer. The game will air live nationally on ABC. USC Media Release (pdf)

USC-Fresno State Unfiltered

ABC

USC Thumps Fresno State Behind Kessler’s Four TDs

ABC Cody Kessler threw for 394 yards and four touchdowns and No. 15 USC finished with a 52-13 win over Fresno State in Steve Sarkisian’s debut as the Trojans’ head coach. The Trojans ran a school- and Pac-12 record 105 plays while racking up 37 first downs and 702 yards of total offense to Fresno State’s 16 first downs and 315 yards. In all, 10 different Trojans caught passes in Sarkisian’s up-tempo offense. For the Bulldogs, the loss was their third straight in the series to USC. The Trojans scored early and kept going, with Nelson Agholor leading the way with two first-half touchdown grabs. Freshmen played a prominent part in the game as tight end Bryce Dixon and two-way player Adoree Jackson each had TD catches. Freshman JuJu Smith had four catches for 123 yards. Tailback Javorius Allen led the USC ground attack with 133 yards on 22 carries, including a nine-yard scoring run. Justin Davis added 30 yards on 12 carries. Fresno State alternated quarterbacks Brian Burrell and Duke transfer Brandon Connette. Burrell was 11 of 19 with one interception and was the more productive of the two. Tailback Marteze Waller scored both touchdowns for the Bulldogs. He finished with 97 yards on 16 carries. AP Recap | Final Stats | Photo Gallery

Steve Sarkisian Era Begins Against Fresno State

ABC The Steve Sarkisian era at USC begins with a Labor Day weekend home game against Fresno State. It is Sark’s fifth stop at Troy (student-athlete, grad assistant, assistant coach, offensive coordinator and now head coach after 5 years running Washington’s program), so he knows all things USC and has been part of some impressive Trojan teams (including the 2003 national champs). He is aiming to be the sixth Trojan head coach in a row to have a successful debut. Fresno State is a familiar foe for the No. 15 Trojans, who defeated the Bulldogs in the 2013 Las Vegas Bowl. It’s the first time in nearly 100 years that USC has played the same opponent in consecutive games. USC has won its past 15 openers. Although the Trojans’ NCAA sanctions are now behind them, they still sport a limited roster of recruited scholarship players (64 are currently available). Eighteen USC starters return from last year’s 10-4 team, including a trio of 2014 pre-season All-American first teamers (DE Leonard Williams, WR Nelson Agholor and S Su’a Cravens). Last year, Williams won All-American acclaim while getting 13.5 tackles for loss, Agholor was the nation’s No. 2 punt returner and caught 56 passes, and Cravens was a Freshman All-American (he had 4 interceptions). Other standout Trojan returnees are ILB Hayes Pullard (USC’s tackle leader for 2 seasons), QB Cody Kessler (he threw for 20 TDs and nearly 3,000 yards last year), TB Javorius “Buck” Allen (1,027 all-purpose yards in 2013, including 785 rushing) and CB-S Josh Shaw (4 picks last year). USC also brought in a Top 10-ranked recruiting class, and 2 of them (freshmen OGs Toa Lobendahn and Damien Mama) could start on the offensive line this week (something that has happened just once before at Troy) while several others could see action on both sides of the ball. USC has lost only once to a Mountain West Conference foe, and that was to Fresno State in 1992. Head coach Tim DeRuyter’s 2-time defending MWC champ Bulldogs, who won a school record 11 games in 2013, return 15 starters but only 5 on offense (among the offensive losses were record-setting QB Derek Carr and potent WRs Davante Adams and Isaiah Burse). WR Josh Harper, a 1,000-yard receiver last year, is back, as are the team’s top 2 rushers (TBs Josh Quezada and Marteze Waller). The quarterback will be either relatively-untested Brian Burrell or Duke transfer Brandon Connette, a dangerous runner. Headlining the veteran Bulldog defense are S Derron Smith (a 2-time All-MWC first teamer with 14 career picks) and 2013 tackle leaders Karl Mickelsen and Kyrie Wilson at linebacker. Fans will notice many enhancements to their game-day experience in the Coliseum, including free public pre-game clubs in the tailgating area as well as on-field suites and premium clubs located on the field and outside the Peristyle. There also is a new on-campus tailgating experience. A number of significant USC seasons mark anniversaries in 2014, including the 1974 and 2004 national championship years and the Heisman-winning campaigns of Charles White and Matt Leinart. Late USC Olympian and World War II hero Louis Zamperini will be honored at the game (the Trojans will wear a special helmet decal in his memory) and Trojan All-American Tony Boselli will be saluted for recent induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. The game will be shown live nationally on FOX and FOX Deportes. Complete Media Release (pdf)

Fall Camp

ABC The Trojans will conduct their 2014 pre-season practices on the USC campus, unless noted. Drills begin August 4 and lead up to Troy’s August 30 home opener against Fresno State. 8/4 Monday 6:15 Notes & Sark Video | Photos 8/5 Tuesday 6:15 Notes & Sark Video | Photos 8/6 Wednesday 2:30 Notes & Sark Video 8/7 Thursday 1:45 (at Coliseum) Notes & Sark Video | Photos 8/8 Friday 2:30 Notes & Sark Video 8/9 Saturday – No Practice 8/10 Sunday 8:45  and 7:00 Notes & Sark Video | Photos 8/11 Monday 2:30 Notes & Sark Video 8/12 Tuesday 2:30 Notes & Sark Video 8/13 Wednesday 8:45 and 6:45 (at Coliseum) Notes & Sark Video | Photos 8/14 Thursday – No Practice 8/15 Friday 8:45 and 7:00 Notes & Sark Video 8/16 Saturday 1:45 (at Coliseum) Notes & Sark Video 8/17 Sunday 2:30 Notes & Sark Video 8/18 Monday 9:00 and 6:45 (at Coliseum) Notes & Sark Video | Photos 8/19 Tuesday – No Practice 8/20 Wednesday 9:00 and 6:45 Notes & Sark Video 8/21 Thursday 2:30 Notes & Sark Video 8/22 Friday 9:15 and 4:15 Notes & Sark Video 8/23 Saturday 2:00 (at Coliseum) – Salute To Troy at 5:30 Notes & Sark Video Pre-Season Notes (pdf) | 2014 USC Football Media Guide

2014 NFL Draft

ABC Position Player Round (Overall) Team * WR Marquis Lee 2 (39) Jacksonville Jaguars * C Marcus Martin 3 (70) San Francisco 49ers DE Devon Kennard 5 (174) New York Giants Free Agent Signings * S Dion Bailey Seattle Seahawks DE Morgan Breslin San Francisco 49ers OT Kevin Graf Philadelphia Easles * TE Xavier Grimble New York Giants OG John Martinez Seattle Seahawks RB Silas Redd Washington Redskins * DT George Uko New Orleans Saints S Demetrius Wright Miami Dolphins * underclassmen

Spring Ball Updates

ABC March 11 Practice #1 Notes & Sark Video | Photo Gallery March 13 Practice #2 Notes & Sark Video March 15 Practice #3 Notes & Sark Video | Coach Heyward Mic’d Up March 25 Practice #4 Notes & Sark Video | Coach Sirmon Mic’d Up March 27 Practice #5 Notes & Sark Video | Highlight Video March 29 Practice #6 Notes & Sark Video | Coach Wilson Interview April 1 Practice #7 Notes & Sark Video | Khaliel Rodgers April 3 Practice #8 Notes & Sark Video | Darreus Rogers | Steven Mitchell April 5 Practice #9 Notes & Sark Video | Delvon Simmons | Swim With Mike April  8 Practice #10 Notes & Sark Video | Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick April 10 Practice #11 Notes & Sark Video | Antwaun Woods April 12 Practice #12 Notes & Sark Video | Coach Wilson Mic’d up Scott Starr | Zach Banner April 15 Practice #13 Notes & Sark Video | Coach Drenvo Mic’d Up April 17 Practice #14 Notes & Sark Video | Coach Tuiasosopo Mic’d Up April 19 Practice #15 (Trojan Huddle) Notes & Sark Video Toa Lobendahn Spring Media Release (pdf) | Updated Depth Chart | Printable Roster (pdf)

Coaches Tour Dates Set

ABC The 2014 USC Coaches Tour, featuring new head football coach Steve Sarkisian and men’s basketball coach Andy Enfield along with several Trojan student-athletes and the Trojan Marching Band, will be held in seven California cities in May: May 12 – Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach May 20 – Olympic Club in San Francisco May 20 – Menlo Circus Club in Atherton May 21 – San Gabriel Country Club May 22 – Manhattan Beach Marriott May 28 – La Jolla Country Club May 30 – Indian Wells Country Club More Information

Trojans Live Radio Show

ABC

Coach Sark Camp Dates Announced

ABC This year’s slate of USC coaching clinic and football camps have been announced: April 12 – USC Football Coaching Clinic June 13 – Mario Danelo Kicking Academy June 14 – Skills Camp June 20 – Trojans in Training (session 1) June 21 – Offensive & Defensive Line Camp June 22 - 7 on 7 Camp June 25-26 – Rising Stars Camp June 27 - Trojans in Training (session 2) June 29 – Speed & Power Camp For more information or to register, visit CoachSarkCamp.com