The past three seasons have seen USC enter its rivalry game against UCLA with its Pac-12 South championship aspirations also at stake.
Last season, the Trojans defeated the Bruins to stay in contention behind Colorado in the race, before entering the final weekend of the regular season. When they prevailed in 2015, their victory clinched the division.
Then there was 2014, when the Trojans were eliminated from contention by a Brett Hundley-led bunch.
This Saturday will differ.
USC has already wrapped up the Pac-12 South, following last weekend’s 38-24 victory at Colorado, and will appear in the conference championship next month. The 87th
USC reached its low point three weeks ago in the aftermath of a humbling loss at Notre Dame.
The Trojans have since pieced together three consecutive victories, capturing the Pac-12 South championship Saturday with a 38-24 triumph at Colorado. Several reasons explain the turnaround.
Running back Ronald Jones has averaged almost 200 rushing yards per game, providing an explosive and consistent presence in the backfield. The Trojans’ defense has been formidable, tallying 13 sacks and forcing six turnovers in the past three games.
Then there’s Sam Darnold, the third-year sophomore quarterback who has also enjoyed one of the best stretches of his
Ranking the top 10 sports events Nov. 6-12 you won’t want to miss:
NO. 1: COLLEGE BASKETBALL OPENERS
UCLA vs. GEORGIA TECH
Details/TV: At Shanghai, China, Friday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
USC vs. CAL STATE FULLERTON
Details/TV: At Galen Center, Friday, 7 p.m. Pac-12 Net
PEPPERDINE at OKLAHOMA STATE
Details/TV: At Stillwater, Okla., Friday, 5:30 p.m.
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT at UT ARLINGTON
Details/TV: At Arlington, Texas, Saturday, 5 p.m.
LONG BEACH STATE at UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO
Details/TV: Friday, 8 p.m.
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE vs. LIFE PACIFIC
Details/TV: At the Matadome, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
In its 49-35 victory over Arizona on Saturday night, USC watched its penalty total grow to where even Clay Helton, its mild-mannered coach, was called for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Early in the third quarter, Helton, visibly frustrated, stormed several yards onto the Coliseum turf to protest a fumble and holler at the officials, pointing at a video board that was showing a replay of the sequence.
Khalil Tate, the Wildcats’ quarterback, had appeared to fumble, with the ball stripped loose before his knee had touched the grass, but he was initially ruled down.
Replay review ultimately overturned the call, and USC, which had
By SCOTT WOLF firstname.lastname@example.org | Daily News
LOS ANGELES – The question whether USC is one of the nation’s better teams remains open for debate 10 games into the season, which means the Trojans are not, especially based on Saturday night.
Good teams put games away when they have the chance. USC had many chances to put Arizona away at the Coliseum. Instead, the Trojans did their usual two-steps-forward, one-step backwards routine to give the Wildcats every opportunity to make it a suspenseful contest.
“I think that we like close games,” USC wide receiver Michael Pittman said. “We like to make it a thriller.
LOS ANGELES — Ronald Jones gaining 216 yards against Arizona State is evidence that the days of Tailback U. can still exist at USC.
But the legendary workloads of O.J. Simpson and Marcus Allen are gone, when a tailback literally carried a USC offense for an entire season. Jones carried just 18 times against the Sun Devils, which is about half a game for Allen during his Heisman Trophy-winning season in 1981.
Just ponder Allen’s statistics in that season: He carried 40 times against Tennessee, 39 times against Oklahoma, 35 times against Oregon State, 40 times against Stanford, 44 times against