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  • UCLA vs. Stanford: How they match up

    UCLA vs. Stanford: How they match up

    No. 7 Stanford (2-0 overall, 1-0 Pac-12) at UCLA (2-1, 0-0) at the Rose Bowl. TV: Channel 7, 5 p.m. Times staff writer Ben Bolch analyzes today’s game: Most intriguing story line: Was it worth it? It’s time to find out whether UCLA’s off-season makeover, intended to beat the likes of Stanford,...

  • Letters: No touchdowns, but Rams make some noise

    Letters: No touchdowns, but Rams make some noise

    Congratulations to Jeff Fisher for the win Sunday, putting him at .500 this season. Unfortunately, that’s his career average and the best we can expect. He’s had only six winning seasons in 21 years as a head coach, the last with Tennessee in 2008. Stan Kroenke must know that in Southern California,...

  • UCLA's rushing game hasn't exactly been running wild, and Mora vows it will improve

    UCLA's rushing game hasn't exactly been running wild, and Mora vows it will improve

    UCLA redesigned its offense in part so that its ballcarriers could thrive even in obvious running situations. At this rate, they might settle for selective success. The Bruins gained a season-low 50 yards rushing against Brigham Young last week, making it a failed test run for their Pac-12 Conference...

  • USC sputters to Utah as it tries to solve its combustion problem

    USC sputters to Utah as it tries to solve its combustion problem

    They are the plays that will live, for USC, in infamy — or at least until the defense can correct itself. A broken wheel route. A safety and a cornerback both blitzing. An unoccupied gap against Christian McCaffrey. A failure to play through the whistle. Heading into a pivotal Pac-12 Conference...

  • After living in his car, Stevie Tu'ikolovatu has made USC his home

    After living in his car, Stevie Tu'ikolovatu has made USC his home

    The sun was peeking over the Santa Monica Mountains, shining through the double-tinted windows. Out the other window, the Pacific Ocean sparkled. And in the back of his 2004 Chevrolet Suburban, Stevie Tu’ikolovatu was sound asleep when there came a rapping on his window. Private security guards,...

  • USC vs. Utah: How they match up

    USC vs. Utah: How they match up

    USC (1-2) vs. No. 24 Utah (3-0), at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City. TV: FS1, 6 p.m. Most intriguing story line: USC’s schedule has been brutal, and its record is indicative. Clay Helton has a record of 1-4 since becoming full-time head coach, his lone win against Utah State. If Helton and...

  • Adoree' Jackson has taken a casual approach to a possible return to offense

    Adoree' Jackson has taken a casual approach to a possible return to offense

    Adoree’ Jackson and Clay Helton lingered on the field after USC’s practice on Wednesday. Helton lined up where the quarterback typically would. Jackson bounced around, settling into formation on different parts of the field. They moved around the field for several minutes before Jackson finally...

  • Clay Helton praises USC's resolve, defends decision to punt against Stanford

    Clay Helton praises USC's resolve, defends decision to punt against Stanford

    During halftime of USC’s loss to Stanford on Saturday, Coach Clay Helton said, the coaching staff challenged the team. The staff offered its adjustments, a plan for how it would defeat Stanford. Then, Helton said, the team took the field and mounted an inspired touchdown drive to start the half....

  • So far it's a bad deal for USC after a 27-10 loss to Stanford

    So far it's a bad deal for USC after a 27-10 loss to Stanford

    It was an infamous question that once went both ways in this rivalry, a question exchanged at midfield by coaching greats Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh, a question that was actually a statement. “What’s your deal?” Seven years later, on the second dull and dispiriting Saturday in three weeks for...

  • USC can't keep pace with Christian McCaffrey and Stanford in 27-10 loss

    USC can't keep pace with Christian McCaffrey and Stanford in 27-10 loss

    Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey always seemed to be one cut away from tearing a huge chunk out of USC’s defense Saturday evening. There were exceptions: On some plays, he actually did tear huge chunks out of USC’s defense. There was a long touchdown reception when he was inexplicably uncovered....

  • USC's Sam Darnold gets fewer opportunities against Stanford

    USC's Sam Darnold gets fewer opportunities against Stanford

    Sam Darnold jogged out to the field during the fourth quarter of USC’s game against Stanford on Saturday. USC had just attempted a fourth-down try, in the red zone. Had it been successful, Darnold was ready to assume his role as the red-zone quarterback. It came up short. Darnold unclipped his...

  • Pete Carroll likely to receive a warm welcome at Coliseum despite what happened at USC when he coached there

    Pete Carroll likely to receive a warm welcome at Coliseum despite what happened at USC when he coached there

    Listening to Pete Carroll talk this week about the controversial timing of his departure from USC was similar to reading how John Wooden claimed to have known nothing about what Sam Gilbert did to help the UCLA basketball program. “Had I known what was going on and what was going to come around,...

  • Players behaving badly: Can USC stay disciplined long enough to defeat Stanford?

    Players behaving badly: Can USC stay disciplined long enough to defeat Stanford?

    JuJu Smith-Schuster was sitting just outside USC’s practice field this week when he recalled an aphorism that, he said, USC’s coaching staff has been drilling into the team. “Our coaches told us that when emotions go high, intelligence goes down,” Smith-Schuster said. USC is hoping that message...

  • USC vs. Stanford: How the Trojans and Cardinal match up

    USC vs. Stanford: How the Trojans and Cardinal match up

    USC (1-1) vs. No. 7 Stanford (1-0), at Stanford Stadium. TV: Channel 7, 5 p.m. Most intriguing story line: This, more than USC’s opener against Alabama or an easy recovery against Utah State, is likely to provide the best barometer of Coach Clay Helton’s early efforts. Stanford has been the class...

  • What should USC do with a Coliseum photograph of suspended linebacker Don Hill?

    What should USC do with a Coliseum photograph of suspended linebacker Don Hill?

    Visitors to the Coliseum who take the press-box elevator, inside Gate 6, are greeted by a large photograph covering the elevator’s two doors. The photograph is from the last college football season, and it shows three USC players teaming up to tackle UCLA running back Paul Perkins. Only one USC...

  • USC linebacker Osa Masina charged with rape in Utah case

    USC linebacker Osa Masina charged with rape in Utah case

    Suspended USC linebacker Osa Masina was charged with rape and two counts of forcible sodomy by authorities in Utah on Thursday, according to charging papers obtained by the Times. The charges stem from an alleged incident involving a young woman that took place on July 26 in Utah. Masina surrendered...

  • Masina, Hill barred from USC football team activities

    Masina, Hill barred from USC football team activities

    Suspended USC linebacker Osa Masina learned Friday that he had three days to vacate his campus residence, according to his attorney, Greg Skordas. USC has placed Masina on “interim suspension pending administrative review of a Title IX investigation,” Skordas said. The suspension means he is barred...

  • After two routs leave 1-1 USC's potential murky, Stanford should provide an answer

    After two routs leave 1-1 USC's potential murky, Stanford should provide an answer

    Were he a professor, Stevie Tu’ikolovatu might be one that  students try to avoid. As a grader, he is blunt, sometimes harsh. After his first game at USC drew rave reviews from outsiders, the graduate transfer defensive tackle said he would give himself a D. A 45-7 rout of Utah State on Saturday,...

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