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Against Utah on Friday, USC junior G Damien Mama "showed great power ... opening up running lanes and helping USC amass 221 rushing yards," writes TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline.

"He was very impressive when used as a pulling guard and showed no issues quickly getting across the line of scrimmage then removing linebackers from the action," Pauline wrote. "Should he enter the draft and all the boxes are checked I could see Mama landing in the third round." Mama was a 2015 All-Pac-12 honorable mention after starting 13 times at left offensive guard as a sophomore in 2015.
Sep 29 - 8:16 PM

USC senior RB Justin Davis rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries in Friday's 31-27 loss to Utah.

Davis entered Friday's contest having rushed for just 135 yards. He nearly doubled up on his total in this one game alone. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound senior is coming off a 2015 season in which he rushed for 902 yards and seven touchdowns. Ronald Jones -- Davis' main competition for work -- managed just 15 yards on eight carries in Friday's loss.
Sep 24 - 12:58 AM

Making his first start of the season in Friday's 31-27 loss to Utah, USC redshirt freshman QB Sam Darnold completed 18-of-26 passes for 253 yards.

In addition to his passing work, Darnold also rushed for 41 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder could have finished with more robust numbers, but four Trojan fumbles in the first half blunted the offensive output. Despite that sloppy play, USC's offense looked markedly better overall with Darnold running the ship than it did with Max Browne. Browne did not pass for more than 200 yards in any one USC's first three games. Darnold and company host Arizona State next Saturday. Adventurous owners in deep leagues who are playing match-ups at quarterback might consider scooping Darnold up off the waiver wire for that one, if only because the Sun Devils' defense has been decidedly flimsy this season.
Sep 24 - 12:45 AM

USC sophomore LT Chuma Edoga is not dressed for Friday's game against Utah due to illness.

Edoga is on-hand for the contest, but he will not play. The 6-foot-4, 290-pounder had been starting in place of Chad Wheeler (plantar fascitis). He had a moment of minor infamy this season when he pushed a ref in Week 2's win over Utah State. No suspension came of that shove.
Sep 23 - 8:38 PM

USC head coach Clay Helton denied that he was punched in the face by E.J. Price.

Because of course that became a rumor following Price's transfer, and of course that rumor became a rumor worth refuting. This being the annual circus that is Trojans football, after all. At least Helton falls more on the P.T. Barnum side of the entertainment spectrum than past sourpusses like Lane Kiffin. Helton responded that of course he hadn't been cocked by the 6-foot-6, 325-pound offensive tackle. Because if he had been: "I wouldn’t be here. I’d be dead." Helton added that he expects Price -- rated as the No. 9 tackle in the country -- to transfer closer to his home in Georgia. Until then, the show must go on. This may not be "The Greatest Show on Earth", but USC sure is putting the fun back in dysfunctional under Helton.
Sep 22 - 7:09 PM

USC dismissed redshirt sophomore LB Don Hill.

We recently reported that the Trojans had given Osa Masina the boot. Hill, connected to one of Masina's two sexual assault investigations, has now joined him. Neither player has been formally charged.
Sep 21 - 4:24 PM

USC freshman T E.J. Price has decided to transfer out of the program.

Rumors were published over the last few days that Price and head coach Clay Helton were in an altercation where Price punched the coach. Helton emphatically denied those claims, and instead offered this reasoning, "I talked to E.J. a couple days ago. E.J. has some personal family issues that are going on — a lot of homesickness and missing family really bad." Helton added Price expects to transfer closer to his home in Georgia. USC started the season 1-2.
Sep 21 - 11:31 AM

USC redshirt junior QB Max Browne indicated that a transfer is probable after the close of the 2016 season.

USC HC Clay Helton named Sam Darnold the starter for Friday's game against Utah after three mostly ineffective games from Browne. Outside of a fine (if unspectacular) 182-yard, two-touchdown, one-interception performance against Utah State in Week 2, Browne threw for just 292 combined yards and no touchdowns in blowout losses to Alabama and Stanford. The 6-foot-5, 215-pounder was a five-star recruit out of high school and he should see his fair share of Power 5 love if he does, indeed, opt to move on as a graduate transfer at the end of the season.
Sep 20 - 2:34 PM

USC will turn to redshirt freshman Sam Darnold as the starting QB against Utah.

That means Max Browne has been benched. Darnold has played sparingly this season, seeing action in all three games and completing 14 of 22 attempts for 136 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Darnold is viewed as the more mobile of the two. The Trojans have already gone back on their claim that the quarterback position would not be a week to week competition.
Sep 20 - 10:51 AM

USC junior WR JuJu Smith-Schuster was a non-factor in Saturday's 27-10 loss to Stanford, catching just three passes for 34 yards.

Not only did Smith-Schuster finish with a paltry 34 yards receiving, 23 of those came on one catch. After posting an 89-1454-10 receiving line in 2015, the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder has done almost nothing through three games. Alabama and Stanford have held him to a combined four catches for 43 yards. He did score a pair of touchdowns against Utah State last Saturday, but even that performance saw him tally a modest 55 yards receiving. Fantasy owners who no-doubt spent a relatively high pick on Smith-Schuster are in a tough spot here. His trade value is currently sitting in a basement somewhere in Southern California. Until USC's offense starts to come together (assuming it does, ever), benching the wideout might be the best fantasy play, as unpalatable as it might be. A road trip to Utah shows next on the Trojan schedule.
Sep 18 - 12:13 AM

An NFC scout who covers the Pac-12 said that USC redshirt senior T Zach Banner must lose additional weight if he wants to be a starting tackle at the NFL level.

Banner reportedly dropped from 375 pounds to 342 over the offseason, but he continues to have quickness issues, with the scout saying that "if he doesn't chip even more weight off and add some quickness, he will have a hard time being a starter at tackle in our league." In a tangible example of how this turns into an issue, look no further than the season-opener against the Crimson Tide. TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline noted after the contest that Banner was "to[o] big and clumsy to stop the Alabama pass rush" and that Nick Saban's boys simply "ran around [him] most of the night."
Source: NFL.com
Sep 16 - 7:05 PM

USC dismissed OLB Osa Masina.

Masina is at the center of investigations in two different states regarding separate sexual assault allegations of the same woman. "He's now been removed from the school all together, not just the football team," Salt Lake City-based attorney Greg Skordas said. "He's not allowed to practice. He's not even allowed to be on the campus." Masina is currently at his family home in Salt Lake City. Masina's former teammate Don Hill, also being investigated for sexually assaulting the woman, has been removed from the football team but not the university as of yet.
Source: ESPN
Sep 13 - 9:42 PM

USC sophomore LT Chuma Edoga will not serve a suspension for pushing a ref in Saturday's win over Utah State.

Edoga was ejected after pushing a ref in the Trojans' first offensive series on Saturday, but he has dodged an out-and-out suspension. "We've had the opportunity to talk to the Pac-12," said HC Clay Helton, "and his ejection in the first series of the game constituted a full game for the player. No additional discipline was needed by the conference. Internally, from our standpoint, Chuma will be demoted from his starting role." The 6-foot-4, 290-pounder had started for Chad Wheeler (plantar fasciitis) each of the past two games.
Source: ESPN.com
Sep 12 - 12:37 PM

USC redshirt junior QB Max Browne completed 23-of-30 passes for 182 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in Saturday's 45-7 win over Utah State.

Both of Browne's touchdowns were of the shorter species, as he hit JuJu Smith-Schuster for a three-yard score to open the game's scoring and later found Steven Mitchell Jr. for a two-yarder with 40 seconds remaining in the first half. While the 6-foot-5, 215-pounder did take the majority of snaps at quarterback, Sam Darnold also fired off a pair of scoring passes in more limited action (he completed 5-of-7 passes) and the threat of a time-share (even a lopsided time-share) makes Browne more of an upside flier for fantasy purposes, rather than a must-add on the waiver wire. We expect the former five-star recruit to improve statistically as he settles into the offense. A road showdown with Stanford shows next on USC's schedule.
Sep 10 - 5:49 PM

USC junior WR JuJu Smith-Schuster caught seven passes for 55 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's 45-7 win over Utah State.

Smith-Schuster hauled in a three-yard touchdown pass from Max Browne in the first quarter. He wouldn't score his second until the fourth, when Sam Darnold found him from 15 yards out. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder averaged a modest 7.9 yards per reception in the blowout win. While Saturday's showing wasn't peak Smith-Schuster, it served as a nice step up from the one catch for nine yards he logged against Alabama in the season-opener.
Sep 10 - 5:34 PM


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