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SPORTS
September 18, 2013 | By Gary Klein
USC's defense did not enjoy much positive attention during the previous three seasons. But new coordinator Clancy Pendergast has infused the unit with a scheme and an attitude that have helped the Trojans statistically rank among the nation's best after three games. Junior safety Dion Bailey said Wednesday that it was "a little different" for USC to be considered one of the sport's top defenses. "I'm pretty sure no one's heard that around here since Cushing and them were here," he said.
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SPORTS
September 17, 2013 | By Gary Klein
It had been awhile since Marqise Lee scored a touchdown. USC's All-American receiver had not found the end zone since last November, during the Trojans' loss to UCLA at the Rose Bowl. He was shut out in the final two games of the 2012 season, and also against Hawaii and Washington State this season before turning a mid-range pass into a dynamic 80-yard scoring play against Boston College. Lee said Tuesday that it "felt good" to score, but his focus was on "making a play," not necessarily scoring touchdowns.
SPORTS
September 16, 2013
Watch Times columnist Chris Dufresne in the video above as he wraps up the weekend in college football. Among other topics, he discusses the wild finish to Arizona State's 32-30 victory over Wisconsin, during which the Badgers ran out of time in setting up for a potential game-winning field goal. The Pac-12 reprimanded the officials Monday for "failing to properly administer" the end of that game. "I put a lot of blame on Wisconsin for this too, because they had a field goal set up at the 13, it would've been a 30-yard field goal, and they decided to try to move the ball to the center of the field with no timeouts left," Dufresne said.
SPORTS
September 15, 2013 | By Gary Klein
Tre Madden is making a habit of rushing for more than 100 yards. The sophomore tailback ran for 102 yards and a touchdown in 16 carries in USC's 35-7 victory over Boston College on Saturday at the Coliseum. It was the third consecutive 100-yard effort for Madden, who ran for a 30-yard touchdown and also caught a five-yard touchdown pass. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Madden is the first USC player to rush for more than 100 yards in the first three games since Marcus Allen achieved the feat in 1981, the year he won the Heisman Trophy.
SPORTS
September 15, 2013 | By Gary Klein
While USC worked to overcome challenges on offense during its first three games, the defense was consistently dominant. But as the Trojans enjoyed their 35-7 victory over Boston College, Coach Lane Kiffin acknowledged Sunday the defense has not been severely tested. "We haven't really been challenged compared to what's coming, " Kiffin said during a teleconference with reporters. Utah State and quarterback Chuckie Keeton are coming up next at the Coliseum on Saturday.
SPORTS
September 15, 2013 | By Gary Klein
USC is hoping that its 35-7 victory over Boston College translates into a larger crowd for Saturday's game against Utah State. A week after fans at the Coliseum booed Lane Kiffin during a 10-7 loss to Washington State, USC drew an announced crowd of 62,006 for a noon kickoff against Boston College. It was the Trojans' smallest home crowd since Oct. 1, 2011, when they defeated Arizona, 48-41, before an announced crowd of 63,707. The Trojans kick off against Utah State at 12:30 p.m. Last season, despite losing four of its last five regular-season games, USC's average attendance was 87,945 at the Coliseum.
SPORTS
September 15, 2013 | By Gary Klein
USC Coach Lane Kiffin opened the playbook against Boston College, but USC's passing game remains a work in progress. Starting quarterback Cody Kessler completed 15 of 17 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns in USC's 35-7 victory . Max Wittek played the fourth quarter and completed both of his passes for 27 yards. "We still only threw the ball 19 times," Kiffin said. "We just happened to complete some of them this week. " A week after Trojans quarterbacks completed 11 of 21 passes for only 54 yards in a 10-7 loss to Washington State -- a performance Kiffin had described as “terrible” and “a disaster” and “just totally inept” -- USC spread passes to eight receivers against Boston College, double the total of the Washington State game.
SPORTS
September 14, 2013 | By Gary Klein
Cody Kessler finally looked and played the part. After two games of anxiously peering over his shoulder, wondering if he'd ever get a chance to show USC teammates and fans what he was truly capable of, Kessler got his opportunity Saturday as the Trojans' undisputed starting quarterback. Kessler made the most of it, directing a multifaceted attack and passing for two touchdowns in the Trojans' 35-7 nonconference victory over Boston College at the Coliseum. Kessler, a third-year sophomore from Bakersfield, completed 15 of 17 passes for 237 yards and connected with tailback Tre Madden and receiver Marqise Lee for touchdowns.
SPORTS
September 14, 2013 | Bill Plaschke
The booing stopped. The Coliseum was barely half full, but at least those sunny souls willing to venture into the darkness that has enveloped USC football did not lose their temper. The chants to fire the head coach stopped. Lane Kiffin gave a giant noogie to the fans by ordering a deep pass on the game's first snap - a play that was rarely repeated the rest of the afternoon - and fans fired back with only sarcastic cheers. A temporary truce was forged. That is the best that can be said for the Trojans' 35-7 victory over Boston College on Saturday.
SPORTS
September 12, 2013 | By Gary Klein
Saturday can't come soon enough for Lane Kiffin and his USC players. The Trojans completed their final practice of the week Thursday while looking forward to putting their ugly 10-7 loss to Washington State officially behind. "As much as you practice, as much as you prepare, it's still not like getting back out there for the game and getting over last week," Kiffin said. After practice, Kiffin joked during his weekly radio show that he told players he would run out of the Coliseum tunnel first Saturday so fans could boo him, allowing the team to run onto the field to cheers for the game against Boston College.
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