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USC to the Rose Bowl? Examining how Colorado's loss affects Trojans' chances

In the waning seconds of USC’s 21-17 win over Colorado earlier this season, receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster made a crucial third-down reception and had nothing ahead of him but the end zone. He could’ve walked in for the score. Instead, he took a knee at the 14-yard line. It was the right decision,...

  • A big point about Alabama's defense: It's giving up very few points

    A big point about Alabama's defense: It's giving up very few points

    Each week during the season, visit “The Huddle” for the latest in college football news, notes, conversation and opinion. :: This is notable Top-ranked Alabama didn’t allow a touchdown in November and held its four opponents to 18 points, shutting out Louisiana State. Texas A&M, on Oct. 22, was...

  • Defensive tackle Noah Jefferson is leaving USC

    Defensive tackle Noah Jefferson is leaving USC

    USC defensive tackle Noah Jefferson will transfer from the program, Jefferson said on Tuesday. Jefferson, a sophomore, played in the season-opener against Alabama but has not played since. USC Coach Clay Helton cited a shoulder sprain, personal issues and, later, academic issues to explain Jefferson's...

  • USC's freshman guard quickly rises to the challenge

    USC's freshman guard quickly rises to the challenge

    USC was clinging to a one-point lead at Texas A&M earlier this month when Coach Andy Enfield called on his two point guards to execute a half-court trap. Jordan McLaughlin and De’Anthony Melton converged where the half-court line met the boundary. Seeing this, the Aggies' guard turned his back...

  • Sefo Liufau, a.k.a 'the toughest sucker in the building,' has Colorado playing in Pac-12 title game

    Sefo Liufau, a.k.a 'the toughest sucker in the building,' has Colorado playing in Pac-12 title game

    One more second. Maybe two. Sefo Liufau needed just a little more time to let his receiver break free. The Colorado quarterback could feel pressure coming up the middle, but he waited until the last moment, releasing the ball just before getting leveled by a blitzing safety. “The guy was a little...

  • USC's Adoree' Jackson earns three Pac-12 football honors

    USC's Adoree' Jackson earns three Pac-12 football honors

    Adoree’ Jackson accomplished a second triple in four days Tuesday when the Pac-12 Conference announced the USC junior was the league’s defensive player of the year as well as first-team all-conference as a defensive back and return specialist in a vote of head coaches. On Saturday, Jackson scored...

  • After skimping last season, USC vows to beef up its bowl preparation

    After skimping last season, USC vows to beef up its bowl preparation

    When USC was selected to play in the Holiday Bowl last season, Coach Clay Helton vowed to prepare his team for what he considered to be a crucial game, even if it was just a mid-tier bowl. “To me, it’s as important as the Notre Dame game, the UCLA game,” Helton said at the time. Yet USC skimped...

  • USC's Adoree' Jackson a Heisman candidate? His effort against Notre Dame suggests so

    USC's Adoree' Jackson a Heisman candidate? His effort against Notre Dame suggests so

    A few USC fans in a sports bar in Costa Mesa were having flashbacks. The last player they’d seen do anything like what cornerback Adoree’ Jackson was doing to Notre Dame on Saturday — three touchdowns, on a punt return, a kickoff return and after a reception — was Anthony Davis. And Anthony Davis...

  • USC is able to pull away from UC Santa Barbara, 96-72

    USC is able to pull away from UC Santa Barbara, 96-72

    In a potential “trap” game against a winless opponent, the USC men’s basketball team did what it was supposed to do Sunday night at the Galen Center. After a lethargic offensive effort against Southern Methodist two days earlier, the Trojans looked more like a squad prepared for the grind of Pac-12...

  • Football: Pac-12 championship game is shaping up as battle of SoCal players

    Football: Pac-12 championship game is shaping up as battle of SoCal players

    USC and UCLA won't be in the Pac-12 championship game on Friday night, but lots of players from Southern California will provide plenty of representation playing for Washington and Colorado at Levi's Stadium in the Bay Area. It's almost going to be a reunion of Chaminade players. Jojo McIntosh,...

  • Buffaloes keep hooves in Rose Bowl door with win over Utes

    Buffaloes keep hooves in Rose Bowl door with win over Utes

    At about the same time USC was finishing up with Notre Dame, things were just getting started at Folsom Field. A sellout crowd packed into the stadium, cheering as Ralphie the Buffalo charged out of his pen, rumbling down the sideline. It felt like a celebration, and the Colorado football team...

  • USC beats Notre Dame for eighth win in a row but will not play for Pac-12 title

    USC beats Notre Dame for eighth win in a row but will not play for Pac-12 title

    After he hurdled Notre Dame’s last defender, Adoree’ Jackson had enough time as he raced down the sideline to contemplate his touchdown celebration. It was Jackson’s third score in USC’s 45-27 win over Notre Dame on Saturday. What was the best way to mark both USC’s stunning turnaround, from a...

  • USC can ponder what might have been, but that loss at Utah made a difference

    USC can ponder what might have been, but that loss at Utah made a difference

    What if …? JuJu Smith-Schuster often wonders. “Who doesn’t?” he asked. USC is unbeaten over the last two months. The Trojans have won their last eight games, the most recent coming Saturday in a 45-27 demolition of Notre Dame. They look like a top-five team. They are playing like a top-five team....

  • Ed Orgeron is right at home when it comes to coaching LSU

    Ed Orgeron is right at home when it comes to coaching LSU

    Ed Orgeron leaned back into the big, brown leather couch, placed his right arm behind his head and smiled as he took a sip from a silver can of Diet Coke. A few hours earlier Saturday in Baton Rouge, Orgeron had dropped the interim tag and was introduced as Louisiana State’s football coach. Now...

  • USC Report: Turnovers make Clay Helton a happy coach

    USC Report: Turnovers make Clay Helton a happy coach

    Immediately after Ajene Harris intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown Saturday, he had an important fumble recovery to make too. The interception near the end of the first half had blown open USC’s tight game against Notre Dame, and Harris was mobbed in the end zone by teammates. They...

  • Up next for USC basketball: Sunday vs. Santa Barbara

    Up next for USC basketball: Sunday vs. Santa Barbara

    When: 7 p.m., Sunday. Where: Galen Center. On the air: TV: Pac-12 Networks. Update: USC is 5-0. Santa Barbara is 0-4, among the losses were games against Nebraska-Omaha and Southern Methodist, teams USC defeated. The Trojans victory over SMU came Friday, as Benny Boatright returned to form by scoring...

  • USC improves to 5-0 with 78-73 victory over SMU

    USC improves to 5-0 with 78-73 victory over SMU

    When De’Anthony Melton and the rest of USC’s freshman class committed to the Trojans, everyone involved figured playing time would be scarce. "We always thought they were good players,” Coach Andy Enfield said. “We didn't necessarily think they'd be playing this many minutes based on our personnel,...

  • USC vs. Notre Dame: How the Trojans and Fighting Irish match up for Saturday's game

    USC vs. Notre Dame: How the Trojans and Fighting Irish match up for Saturday's game

    No. 12 USC (8-3) vs. Notre Dame (4-7), at the Coliseum. TV: ABC, 12:30 p.m. Most intriguing story line: Notre Dame has endured a miserable season, but its record is a little misleading. Six of seven losses have been by seven points or fewer. (The seventh loss was by eight points.) “You come away...

  • USC seniors' final game provides a first: All the drama is on the field

    USC seniors' final game provides a first: All the drama is on the field

    USC players were openly crying after a team meeting in early December 2013. This season’s seniors were freshmen at the time, and they had just learned USC would not be retaining their popular interim coach, Ed Orgeron. “Feel like I lost my dad,” defensive lineman Kenny Bigelow Jr. tweeted after...

  • USC basketball looks to remain undefeated against Southern Methodist

    USC basketball looks to remain undefeated against Southern Methodist

    UP NEXT FOR USC  VS. SOUTHERN METHODIST When: Friday, 4 p.m. PST. Where: Galen Center. On the air: TV: Pac-12 Networks; Radio: 710. Update: USC (4-0) had no issues with New Orleans on Tuesday in an 88-54 victory. Elijah Stewart led all scorers with 21 points on seven-for-10 shooting. The Trojans...

  • It’s hair today, gone (for touchdowns) tomorrow for USC’s Ronald Jones II

    It’s hair today, gone (for touchdowns) tomorrow for USC’s Ronald Jones II

    If prompted, Ronald Jones II can produce a bag containing a prodigious set of dreadlocks, which he keeps at his residence. They are his — or used to be. He cut his hair this summer and couldn’t summon the will to discard the locks. By the middle of USC’s season, he was glad they were still around....

  • The best games to watch in an action-packed college football weekend

    The best games to watch in an action-packed college football weekend

    Break out the chips and cold drinks, but let Mike Hiserman handle the remote. The Times’ deputy sports editor handicaps what’s worth watching, and skipping, on this weekend’s menu of college football games. :: FRIDAY MORNING 9 a.m.: Houston at Memphis, Channel 7; North Carolina State at North Carolina,...

  • Letters: Bruins not getting anywhere in this rivalry

    Letters: Bruins not getting anywhere in this rivalry

    Before the season, UCLA was said to have the better team, better quarterback, better coach, better schedule and better chance to win the Pac-12, but after their latest epic fail, in the form of a thorough beat-down administered by the far superior and more talented Trojans, it’s clear the Bruins...

  • Injuries mount, but it's full speed ahead for Trojans' Smith-Schuster

    Injuries mount, but it's full speed ahead for Trojans' Smith-Schuster

    Some days, USC receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster sees the training staff more than he sees some of his teammates. On Monday, he awoke at 6:30 a.m. so he could be at the training room by 7. He spent an hour there, riding a stationary bike, stretching on a foam roller, getting a massage. He came back...

  • Consider what's at stake when Michigan and Ohio State clash on Saturday

    Consider what's at stake when Michigan and Ohio State clash on Saturday

    Each week during the season, visit “The Huddle” for the latest in college football news, notes, conversation and opinion.  This is notable This is what rivalry games are made of. If No. 3 Michigan can defeat No. 2 Ohio State in Columbus on Saturday, the Wolverines will win the Big Ten Conference...

  • Though Playoff and winning records aren't on the line, USC vs. Notre Dame still matters

    Though Playoff and winning records aren't on the line, USC vs. Notre Dame still matters

    A struggling USC team had just started an effectively meaningless game in 1996 when quarterback Brad Otton overheard a sideline conversation between an athletic trainer and USC’s coach, John Robinson. Otton had suffered bruises to his ribs and sternum a week earlier and needed a pregame shot of...

  • Trojans take control early, cruise to easy victory

    Trojans take control early, cruise to easy victory

    So early, yet so enticing. So promising, yet so little to really measure them against. The USC Trojans may be uncertain exactly what kind of team they will evolve into, but they do know they are 4-0 after Tuesday’s easy 88-54 victory over New Orleans at the Galen Center. They appear long, athletic,...

  • UCLA's porous run game may catch a break against California's porous run defense

    UCLA's porous run game may catch a break against California's porous run defense

    It could be the feast after the feast. The question is, who might be getting devoured two days after Thanksgiving? UCLA’s rushing offense ranks second to last among Football Bowl Subdivision teams, the same lowly standing held by California’s run defense heading into the regular-season finale for...

  • Despite losing record, UCLA could qualify for a bowl game with win over Cal

    Despite losing record, UCLA could qualify for a bowl game with win over Cal

    UCLA qualifying for a bowl game would be a four-step process with one vital prerequisite. “First of all,” Bruins Coach Jim Mora said Monday, “we have to beat Cal.” A victory over the Golden Bears on Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley would give UCLA a 5-7 record, potentially putting it in...

  • After scoring an upset over Texas A&M, USC prepares for New Orleans

    After scoring an upset over Texas A&M, USC prepares for New Orleans

    UP NEXT USC VS. NEW ORLEANS When: Tuesday, 6 p.m. PST. Where: Galen Center. On the air: TV: Pac-12 Networks; Radio: 710. Update: After USC pulled off a 65-63 road victory last week over Texas A&M, which reached the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament last season, Aggies Coach Billy Kennedy...

  • Sam Darnold reveals USC's depth at receiver by spreading the wealth

    Sam Darnold reveals USC's depth at receiver by spreading the wealth

    USC’s flanker was blanketed by a defender, but Sam Darnold liked the matchup. After Saturday’s game against UCLA, USC”s quarterback recounted his thinking. “He’s a huge body,” Darnold said, referring to his target. “You guys can look at him, he’s 6-4, he’s a big man. So whenever you can get him...

  • USC's win keeps Rose Bowl hopes alive, with or without a Pac-12 title

    USC's win keeps Rose Bowl hopes alive, with or without a Pac-12 title

    USC cornerback Adoree’ Jackson was asleep in his hotel room before the Trojans’ game Saturday against UCLA when a ruckus arose nearby. “I heard everybody screaming,” Jackson said.  “I thought it was a fight or something out there.” Safety Chris Hawkins said it sounded “like an earthquake inside...

  • USC football will have to play waiting game before its fate is sealed

    USC football will have to play waiting game before its fate is sealed

    This time, there won’t be any peeking. The USC players and coaches won’t be checking their cellphones in the locker room before kickoff or glancing at the Coliseum scoreboard during the game. That’s because their fate will not be sealed until later in the day, well after they finish playing Notre...

  • After UCLA's promising start, the ground attack runs down in loss to USC

    After UCLA's promising start, the ground attack runs down in loss to USC

    The game was over, and so were five years of competing at the Rose Bowl. UCLA quarterback Mike Fafaul and left tackle Conor McDermott, longtime teammates and roommates, returned to midfield and lay down on the turf to contemplate the end of a journey. A wholly unsatisfying end. “It’s very emotional...

  • UCLA Coach Jim Mora on USC quarterback Sam Darnold: 'He gave us fits'

    UCLA Coach Jim Mora on USC quarterback Sam Darnold: 'He gave us fits'

    Before USC was comfortably coasting past UCLA, when the game was in the balance and the Rose Bowl crowd was still hanging onto every play, Sam Darnold showed why Saturday night was going to be a long one for the Bruins’ defense. Facing third and nine and with the pocket quickly collapsing, Darnold...

  • USC's rout of UCLA a display of two programs going different places

    USC's rout of UCLA a display of two programs going different places

    For a precious few moments, the fight was actually even, cardinal jersey on blue jersey, two hometown teams scrapping for every bit of neighborhood, a real Southland beauty. UCLA actually led! Then, after USC tied it up, UCLA actually led again! In a Rose Bowl dotted with empty bleachers on a late...

  • No. 13 USC beats UCLA, 36-14, to keep its hopes of a Pac-12 title alive

    No. 13 USC beats UCLA, 36-14, to keep its hopes of a Pac-12 title alive

    Sam Darnold constantly evaluates the defense in front of him, probing and probing until a favorable matchup materializes. It might involve the USC freshman quarterback utilizing a sparingly used tight end, as Darnold did in recent victories over Colorado and Washington. It could mean getting the...

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