USC Trojans season preview

August, 14, 2014
Aug 14
10:30
AM PT
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Previewing the 2014 season for the USC Trojans:

2013 record: 10-4, 6-3 Pac-12; beat Fresno State 45-20 in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Final grade for 2013:: B-minus. That might seem high for a season in which the Trojans lost to Notre Dame and UCLA and fired their head coach, but the Trojans showed mental toughness instead of imploding, winning 10 games, a bowl game and achieving a final top-25 ranking.

[+] EnlargeLeonard Williams
Allen Kee/ESPN ImagesCan Leonard Williams and the Trojans' defense beat ASU and Arizona in back-to-back weeks in 2014?
Key returnees: WR Nelson Agholor, QB Cody Kessler, RB Javorius Allen, DT Leonard Williams, LB Hayes Pullard, CB Josh Shaw.

Key losses: WR Marqise Lee, C Marcus Martin, OLB Devon Kennard.

Projected win percentage (ESPN.com Stats & Information): 0.711

Chances to win the conference (ESPN.com Stats & Information):: 10.8 percent

Instant impact newcomers: OG Toa Lobendahn, WR/DB Adoree Jackson, WR JuJu Smith, DT Delvon Simmons.

Most important game: Nov. 22 at UCLA. The Bruins have won two in a row in the series. New coach Steve Sarkisian could endear himself to fans by ending that streak.

Biggest question mark: Depth. If the Trojans trot out their best 22, they can play with anyone. But they are still working with substantial depth issues due to the residual effects of NCAA sanctions. Two major injuries on defense, season-enders for OLB Jabari Ruffin and talented DT Kenny Bigelow, already have put a damper on preseason camp.

Best-case scenario for 2014: 11-1

Worst-case scenario for 2014: 7-5

Over-under win total (Bovada): 9

Upset special: Oct. 11 at Arizona. The Trojans are going to want a piece of Arizona State on Oct. 4, as the Sun Devils humiliated them in Tempe a year ago. That might leave them emotionally spent before a tough trip to Tucson.

They said it: "I don't look at the stat box. I look at who won. Most of the time, if you look at who won, I can tell you how the quarterback played." -- USC QB Cody Kessler on whether he compares his numbers with the other Pac-12 QBs.
LOS ANGELES -- As USC Trojans starting junior center Max Tuerk knows full well, executing a shotgun snap to his quarterback, is more than meets the eye. It's tantamount to playing the old game of Blind Man's Bluff.

"It takes repetition," said Tuerk, previously a former two-year Trojans starter at either guard or tackle. "The more repetition you have in a live drill against a live defense the better.

For four years at USC, George Farmer has been an elusive butterfly of potential, flitting toward a shard of the spotlight here, fluttering toward the edge of darkness there.

He arrived as the most touted of all Serra High prospects, faster than Robert Woods, bigger and stronger than Marqise Lee. He was an eye-popping package of five-star talent and Trojans fans could hardly wait for him to burst upon the scene back in 2011.

Except now it is 2014, and everyone is still waiting.


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The USC Trojans held a 98-play scrimmage under the Coliseum lights on Wednesday night and there were big plays on both sides of the ball. Some were good, but some showed the team still needs some work.

“We were a little sloppy with the football at times,” USC coach Steve Sarkisian said. “It’s a matter of discipline and the growing pains to get through that kind of stuff.

“I was pleased with our running game, we really stressed the downhill run game, which of course is a little easier when Leonard Williams and Antwaun Woods aren’t in the middle of the D-line. I thought Justin Davis played really well. He ran hard.”


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Pac-12 morning links

August, 14, 2014
Aug 14
8:00
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I have an idea, why don't you give me your home number and I'll call you back later?

WeAreSC chat, 2 p.m. PT

August, 13, 2014
Aug 13
12:23
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On Wednesday, WeAreSC reporter Garry Paskwietz will be chatting about USC Trojans football. Paskwietz is the Publisher of WeAreSC and has been covering the Trojans since 1997. Send your questions now and join Paskwietz every Wednesday at 2 p.m. PT.

Pac-12 commit update

August, 13, 2014
Aug 13
2:00
PM PT
It's been a while (or, "a minute" as the kids say these days) since we've looked at where each school stands with its commits in the 2015 classes. But, since we're in the midst of fall camp and recruits are going to be on campus for practices and games, it seems like a perfect time to look at the numbers before the games kick off in a few weeks.

Vamos.

ARIZONA

Commits: 22 | ESPN 300 commits: 1

OT Keenan Walker (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral); OG Cody Creason (Folsom, Calif./Folsom); RB Orlando Bradford (Shreveport, La./Calvary Baptist Academy); WR Cedric Peterson (Moreno Valley, Calif./Rancho Verde); OT Harper Sherman (New Westminster, BC, Can./New Westminster Secondary); CB Anthony Mariscal (Bakersfield, Calif./Liberty); CB Samuel Morrison (Washington, DC/Gonzaga College); ATH Antonio Parks (Reserve, La./East Saint John); ILB Kendrick Jackson (Haynesville, La./Haynesville); OG Alex Kosinski (Larkspur, Calif./Redwood); DE Kendal Franklin (New Orleans, Warren Easton); RB Darick Holmes Jr. (Newbury Park, Calif./Newbury Park); DT Finton Connolly (Gilbert, Ariz./Campo Verde); TE Ricky McCoy (Fresno, Calif./Bullard); TE Jamie Nunley (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta); ATH Brion Anduze (Silverdale, Wash./Central Kitsap); S Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles (Tucson, Ariz./Tucson); OG Nathan Eldrige (Anthem, Ariz./Boulder Creek); RB Dami Ayoola (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Arizona Western College); S Paul Magloire (Yuma, Ariz./Arizona Western College); RB Kendall Williams (North Little Rock, Ark./Butte College); Dane Cruikshank (Chino Hills, Calif./Citrus College)

ARIZONA STATE

Commits: 12 | ESPN 300 commits: 1

QB Brady White (Newhall, Calif./William S. Hart); ATH Morie Evans (Huntsville, Tex./Huntsville); ATH Tony Nicholson (Grand Prairie, Tex./South Grand Prairie); QB Bryce Perkins (Chandler, Ariz./Chandler); OT Mason Walter (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral); TE Tommy Hudson (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty); ATH Alfred Smith (Destrehan, Calif./Destrehan); OG Cade Cote (Gilbert, Ariz./Williams Field); OT Steve Miller (Gilbert, Ariz./Gilbert); OLB Malik Lawal (Murrieta, Calif./Chaparral); RB Nick Ralston (Argyle, Tex./Argyle); TE Raymond Epps (Yuma, Ariz./Arizona Western College)

CALIFORNIA

Commits: 10 | ESPN 300 commits: 0

QB Ross Bowers (Bothell, Wash./Bothell); WR Greyson Bankhead (Corona, Calif./Centennial); CB Malik Psalms (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala); RB Lonny Powell (Sacramento, Calif./Sacramento); OG Ryan Gibson (Bay Saint Louis, Miss./Saint Stanislaus); OT Johnny Capra (Auburn, Calif./Placer); WR Austin Aaron (Napa, Calif./Napa); DT Luc Bequette (Little Rock, Ark./Catholic High School For Boys); TE Zeandae Johnson (Fresno, Calif./Central); DE Trevor Howard (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian)

COLORADO

Commits: 8 | ESPN 300 commits: 1

OG Tim Lynott (Aurora, Col./Regis Jesuit); QB Steven Montez (Del Valle, Tex./Del Valle); DE T.J. Fehoko (Salt Lake City/Cottonwood); OG Dillon Middlemiss (Arvada, Col./Pomona); K Alex Kinney (Fort Collins, Col./Rocky Mountain); OLB N.J. Falo (Sacramento, Calif./Inderkum); DT Brett Tonz (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial); WR Josiah Blandin (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach City College)

OREGON

Commits: 12 | ESPN 300 commits: 4

WR Alex Ofodile (Columbia, Mo./Rock Bridge); RB Taj Griffin (Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern); QB Travis Waller (Anaheim, Calif./Servite); OG Zach Okun (Newbury Park, Calif./Newbury Park); OT Jake Hanson (Eureka, Calif./Eureka); WR Jake Breeland (Mission Viejo, Calif./Trabuco Hills); S P.J. Locke (Beaumont, Tex./Central); OT Shane Lemieux (Yakima, Wash./West Valley); OT Brady Aiello (Lafayette, Calif./Acalanes); CB Jihree Stewart (Corona, Calif./Centennial); OT Calvin Throckmorton (Bellevue, Wash./Newport); S Dylan Kane (Honolulu/Kamehameha Schools)

OREGON STATE

Commits: 11 | ESPN 300 commits: 0

TE Matt Pistone (Yuma, Ariz./Yuma Catholic); OG Beau Hott (Plano, Tex./Plano Senior); S Solomon Matautia (Ewa Beach, Hi./Campbell); QB James Pensyl (Land O'Lakes, Fla./Land O. Lakes); OLB Tyrin Ferguson (New Orleans/Edna Karr); S Omar Hicks-Onu (Carrollton, Tex./Hebron); OG Miki Fifita (Bradenton, Fla./IMG Academy); DE Hunter Mattox (Chatsworth, Calif./Sierra Canyon); OG Jacob Jimenez (Pflugerville, Tex./Pflugerville); OLB Angelo Garbutt (Carrollton, Tex./Hebron); CB Treshon Broughton (Tustin, Calif./Los Angeles Harbor College)

STANFORD

Commits: 9 | ESPN 300 commits: 3

OG Nick Wilson (Milton, Ga./Milton); S Arrington Farrar (College Park, Ga./Woodward Academy); C Brian Chaffin (Charlotte, NC/Charlotte Christian); ILB Christian Folau (Salt Lake City/East); WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (Roebuck, SC/Dorman); K Jake Bailey (Solana Beach, Calif./Santa Fe Christian); DT Rex Manu (Mililani, Hi./Mililani); ILB Reagan Williams (Jackson, Ohio/Jackson); OLB Casey Toohill (San Diego, Calif./Cathedral Catholic)

UCLA

Commits: 14 | ESPN 300 commits: 5

QB Josh Rosen (Bellflower, Calif./Saint John Bosco); TE Alize Jones (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman); OG Fred Ulu-Perry Jr. (Honolulu/Saint Louis); OT Andre James (Herriman, Utah/Herriman); OG Tevita Halalilo (Moreno Valley, Calif./Rancho Verde); WR L.J. Reed (Elk Grove, Calif./Cosumnes Oaks); DT Bryce English (DeSoto, Tex./DeSoto); ATH Stephen Johnson (San Leandro, Calif./San Leandro); CB Will Lockett (Manvel, Tex./Manvel); ILB Victor Alexander (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian Academy); RB T.J. Simmons (Lakeland, Fla./Lakeland Christian); DE Rick Wade (Rancho Sant Margarita, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic); RB Bolu Olorunfunmi (Clovis, Calif./Clovis North); OLB Josh Woods (Upland, Calif./Upland)

USC

Commits: 15 | ESPN 300 commits: 7

OT Chuma Edoga (Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern); QB Sam Darnold (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente); QB Ricky Town (Ventura, Calif./Saint Bonaventure); DT Jacob Daniel (Fresno, Calif./Clovis North); WR Tristan Payton (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast); ATH Isaiah Langley (Pleasanton, Calif./Foothill); ILB Cameron Smith (Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay); WR Desean Holmes (Mission Hills, Calif./Bishop Alemany); DT Noah Jefferson (Las Vegas/Liberty); RB Aca'Cedric Ware (Cedar Hill, Tex./Cedar Hill); CB Taeon Mason (Pasadena, Calif./John Muir); OT Clayton Johnston (Anaheim, Calif./Servite); DE Christian Rector (Los Angeles/Loyola); OT Roy Hemsley (Los Angeles/Windward); WR De'Quan Hampton (Compton, Calif./Long Beach City College)

UTAH

Commits: 9 | ESPN 300 commits: 0

WR Donzale Roddie (Paramount, Calif./Paramount); OT Jake Grant (Scottsdale, Ariz./Horizon); WR Justice Murphy (Vancouver, Wash./Evergreen); K Chayden Johnston (South Jordan, Utah/Bingham); ATH Tuli Wily-Matagi (Kahuku, Hi./Kahuku); WR George Wilson (Tustin, Calif./Tustin); QB Michael Jacquet III (Beaumont, Tex./Central); OLB Cody Barton (Salt Lake City/Brighton); OT Zach Lindsay (Kaysville, Utah/Snow College)

WASHINGTON

Commits: 9 | ESPN 300 commits: 1

QB Jake Browning (Folsom, Calif./Folsom); OT Trey Adams (Wenatchee, Wash./Wenatchee); WR Isaiah Renfro (Chatsworth, Calif./Sierra Canyon); WR Andre Baccellia (Westlake Village, Calif./Westlake); RB Myles Gaskin (Seattle/O'Dea); TE Michaeal Neal (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Etiwanda); OT Jared Hilbers (Beaverton, Ore./Beaverton); CB Jordan Miller (Oceanside, Calif./Oceanside); LS A.J. Carty (Anaheim, Calif./Servite)

WASHINGTON STATE

Commits: 12 | ESPN 300 commits: 2

DT Thomas Toki (Mountain View, Calif./Saint Francis); RB Austin Joyner (Marysville, Wash./Marysville-Pilchuck); CB Darrien Molton (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral); WR Deontay Burnett (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra); RB James Williams (Burbank, Calif./Burbank); S Kameron Powell (Upland, Calif./Upland); QB Tyler Hilinski (Upland, Calif./Upland); S Dominic Davis (Mission Hills, Calif./Bishop Alemany); K Matt Abramo (Petaluma, Calif./Casa Grande); OG Cedric Bigge-Duren (Oceanside, Calif./Oceanside); OG Noah Myers (Walnut Creek, Calif./Las Lomas); ILB Aaron Porter (Norwalk, Calif./Cerritos College)

Notes:
  • These classes are already beginning to fill up pretty well, some better than others (cough, Arizona). And looking forward, the coaches are getting in early on some younger guys, too. Throughout the conference there are already three 2016 commits and two 2017 commits. The three 2016 commits are running back Trevor Speights (Arizona), safety Brady Breeze (Oregon) and athlete Daelin Hayes (USC). The 2017 commits are defensive end Loren Mundy (Arizona State) and quarterback Tathan Martell (Washington).
  • So far, there are five special team commits in the Pac-12, keeping with the national trend of placing higher importance on special teams players. Stanford, Utah, Colorado and Washington State have all picked up commitments from kickers while Washington has a verbal from a long snapper.
  • The conference has 11 commits who are within the top five nationally in their respective position groups. UCLA leads the way with three top-5 commits (Rosen - No. 1 QB, Jones - No. 1 TE-Y, Ulu-Perry Jr. - No. 4 OG). Behind the Bruins are USC (Edoga - No. 3 OT, Darnold - No. 3 QB-PP), Oregon (Ofodile - No. 5 WR, Griffin - No. 4 RB) and Stanford (Chaffin - No. 3 C, Bailey - No. 4 K) with two apiece. Arizona has Walker, the No. 4 OT, and Washington has Browning, the No. 5 QB-PP.
  • There are 10 juco players already committed to Pac-12 schools. Arizona, which leads the league with 22 commits, has four verbal commitments from junior college players. There are six other schools with commitments from junior college players -- Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon State, USC, Utah and Washington State.
  • Stanford is doing a tremendous job recruiting nationally. Its nine commitments hail from seven different states ranging from Georgia to Ohio to California to Hawaii. But Arizona is doing the best internationally with a commit from British Columbia.
  • Early front runner for best name in the Pac-12 is UCLA running back Bolu Olorunfunmi. C'mon Olo-RUN-FUN-mi. He's going to have so much FUN being a RUNning back. And writers (and editors who write headlines) are going to have a lot of fun, too.

WeAreSC Roundtable: First scrimmage 

August, 13, 2014
Aug 13
7:00
AM PT
The WeAreSC staffers give their thoughts on the first scrimmage of fall camp to be held Wednesday night at the Coliseum.

Give one player you expect to shine and why.

Garry Paskwietz: I'll go with Nelson Agholor, because he always seems to shine in these settings. The Trojans big-play weapon will likely strike for a long gain at some point and he might even get a chance to return a few kicks as well.

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The only thing the Pac-12 has to fear in the new era of the College Football Playoff is itself. Oh, and other conferences gaming the infant system.

Whatever negative perceptions formerly were held about the Pac-12 -- finesse, pass-first, defense-optional league with half-full stadiums -- are mostly dead. Though there always will be trolling mouth-breathers with tired insults, Pac-12 folks now can show up to the verbal brawl with facts and numbers and game scores and commence to deliver a dose of frenzied verbal MMA that leaves said trolls whimpering for mercy.

OK, perhaps that's going overboard. But the Pac-12 deserves credit for two things: (1) Its rating as the nation's No. 2 conference (2) Making things tougher on itself than any other conference.

The overwhelming national consensus is the Pac-12 ranks second to the SEC. As ESPN Stats & Information noted in January, "Overall, the Pac-12 finished with six teams ranked in the AP Top 25 and five teams ranked in the top 10 of ESPN's Football Power Index. As a result of its strength in the computers, the Pac-12 was the clear No. 2 conference in the Power Rankings."

[+] EnlargeRich Rodriguez
Crystal LoGiudice/USA TODAY SportsThe Pac-12's $3 billion broadcasting deal with ESPN and Fox has been followed by an influx of big-name coaches like Arizona's Rich Rodriguez.
It wasn't just ESPN. Jeff Sagarin ranked the Pac-12 No. 2 in 2013. Phil Steele ranked the Pac-12 the No. 2 conference in 2012 and 2013, and also projected it as No. 2 in 2014. Athlon Sports did the same. In fact, if there is a conference rating system that ranked the Pac-12 anything different in 2013 and projects a lower rating this fall, we haven't seen it.

Another vote in the Pac-12's favor comes from an unquestionably unbiased -- cough, cough -- constituency: Pac-12 coaches.

"[The SEC] should claim themselves as the best league in the country because they've earned it," Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said. "But to go through the Pac-12 and win a national championship may be the most difficult thing to do because of our schedule."

Ah, that's the worrisome rub. No other conference rides the scheduling tricycle like the Pac-12: 1. Challenging nonconference slate; 2. Nine-game conference schedule; 3. Conference championship game.

While some conferences have improved their nonconference scheduling, they don't play nine conference games. The Big 12 does play nine conference games, but it doesn't play a championship game. Pac-12 coaches aren't shy about noting that a conference team, in almost all cases, will have to play at least 11 quality games -- one tough nonconference foe, nine conference games and the Pac-12 title game -- to earn a spot in the CFP. No other conference can claim that.

There is a big reason the other conferences can't: They don't want to.

"Fair or unfair, whatever the words you want to use, we play a nine-game schedule and a conference championship game and other conferences don't on purpose," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said. "There is obviously a reason for that."

That's the big issue for the Pac-12 heading into the season. There is no longer a worry about respect or the perception of the Pac-12. Rather, it's about how unscathed a conference champ can hope to be against such a demanding schedule, and whether the committee will stick to its stated insistence that strength of schedule will be paramount. When a conference plays eight of the nation's 13 toughest schedules, as the Pac-12 did in 2013, the challenge to go unbeaten or even to lose just one game is far greater.

Of course, this issue won't be solved today, or even in the next couple months. The ultimate answers will be delivered in January when four semifinalists are picked and seeded.

So then, how did the Pac-12 gain ground in the perception battle -- one that has the conference starting with six teams ranked in the preseason USA Today coaches poll, including three in the top 11 with two others receiving votes?

The easy answer: money. The $3 billion broadcasting deal with ESPN and Fox was a game-changer. That money has flowed into facilities improvements and more aggressive investments in coaching -- head coaches and assistants. A concomitant influx of A-list coaches, most notably Mike Leach, Rich Rodriguez, Todd Graham, Jim Mora and Chris Petersen, has boosted the conference's Q-rating. Those coaches also have been able to hire and -- critically -- retain key assistants with competitive salaries, such as Arizona State offensive coordinator Mike Norvell ($700,000), UCLA offensive line coach Adrian Klemm ($650,000), Washington State defensive line coach Joe Salave'a ($275,000) and USC defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox (north of the $800,000 he made at Washington), among others.

No team has had a better, and perhaps more unfortunate, seat while watching the Pac-12 improve than Utah. The Utes joined the conference in 2011 as a program that had posted two unbeaten seasons and won two BCS bowl games as a member of the respected Mountain West Conference. Though they went a solid 4-5 in conference play in 2011, they slipped to 3-6 in 2012 and 2-7 in 2013, with lineups that might have been better than the 2011 squad.

[+] EnlargeMarcus Mariota
AP Photo/Eric GayOregon's Marcus Mariota is part of an impressive group of returning QBs in the Pac-12 this season.
"The thing that has been very apparent with the Pac-12 in 2011 when we entered, is the Pac-12 now is far superior from top to bottom," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. "The progress this conference has made in the last few years is phenomenal."

What separates the Pac-12 this season -- and could make it a legitimate threat for the No. 1 conference -- is behind center. Not only does the conference welcome back 10 starting quarterbacks, a majority of those are NFL prospects.

"I've never seen anything like this," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "You have multiple guys that you could say could be the No. 1 pick overall in the draft. You have multiple guys in the conference that could be All-Americans and lead the nation in quarterback rating or lead the nation in passing."

The most notable quarterbacks are Oregon's Marcus Mariota and UCLA's Brett Hundley, Heisman Trophy candidates blinking brightly on NFL radars who lead teams favored to win their respective divisions. Hundley will get an early showcase game against Texas, and Mariota and the Ducks play host to Michigan State, the Big Ten favorite, in Week 2. And the Ducks and Bruins could meet each other twice this season.

But they also must contend with Arizona State's Taylor Kelly, Oregon State's Sean Mannion, USC's Cody Kessler, Stanford's Kevin Hogan, Washington State's Connor Halliday, Utah's Travis Wilson, California's Jared Goff and Colorado's Sefo Liufau, each capable of posting a spectacular individual performance that could spawn an upset.

The Pac-12 is plenty hyped heading into the 2014 season. There is no perception problem. There might, however, end up being a reality problem. If the Pac-12 champion ends up with two losses, and the selection committee has a handful of Power Five conference teams with one or fewer defeats, the Pac-12 could get a respectful tip of the cap but end up out of luck in the inaugural College Football Playoff.
video

USC coach Steve Sarkisian talks about his first year with the Trojans and what to expect from his team this season.
video
1. Much has been written about the defensive talent Florida State has been able to attract to Tallahassee under Jimbo Fisher, but what truly impresses rival coaches is the stockpile of offensive talent.

“We try to tell the recruits that they’re loaded everywhere -- quarterback, running back and receiver -- but they just keep picking FSU,” an ACC recruiting coordinator said.

Opposing coaches point to Fisher’s background as a quarterback coach and offensive coordinator as a big reason why FSU’s had success recruiting on the offensive side. And boy have they had success. The 2014 class featured the No. 2 receiver, No. 3 running back, No. 6 receiver, No. 7 tight end and No. 11 quarterback. It’s much the same in 2015. On Monday, FSU added No. 7 running back Johnny Frasier. He joins a class that has the No. 4 quarterback, No. 9 quarterback, No. 11 quarterback, No. 7 offensive tackle and No. 9 tight end.


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Pac-12 NFL training camp update

August, 12, 2014
Aug 12
10:00
PM PT
Before NFL teams trim their rosters down to 53 players, plus whoever remains on the practice squads, we thought it would be interesting to see how players from Pac-12 schools are dispersed around the league.

[+] EnlargeMalcolm Smith
Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY SportsSuper Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith, a USC product, is one of 16 Pac-12 players on the Seattle Seahawks roster.
Here's a closer look at the Pac-12 alumni in NFL training camps:

  • There are 338 players from Pac-12 teams in NFL training camps, which represents about 11.6 percent of the players currently on NFL rosters.
  • Of those 338 players, 78 are rookies.
  • Total number of players in NFL training camps, by school: USC 55, Oregon 41, California 37, Stanford 36, Utah 30, Arizona State 28, UCLA 27, Oregon State 22, Arizona 20, Washington 18, Colorado 14, Washington State 10
  • Total number of rookies in NFL training camps, by school: Arizona State 11, Stanford 11, USC 10, Oregon 7, Utah 7, UCLA 7, Oregon State 6, Cal 5, Washington 5, Arizona 4, Washington State 3, Colorado 2
  • Players with three years experience or less: Stanford 26, USC 26, Oregon 24, ASU 22, Cal 20, UCLA 20, Utah 17, Washington 12, Arizona 11, Oregon State 11, Colorado 7, WSU 6
  • Offensive players 175; defensive players 149; specialists (K/P/LS): 14
  • Chip Kelly might be gone, but he has not forgotten his conference roots. The former Oregon coach's roster in Philadelphia includes 21 former Pac-12 players -- easily the most of any NFL team. Of those 21, eight are from Oregon.
  • Former USC coach Pete Carroll has 16 Pac-12 players in camp, but just four are from USC (LB Mike Morgan, LB Malcolm Smith, TE Anthony McCoy, S Dion Bailey). The Super Bowl champions also currently have three Pac-12 rookies (Colorado WR Paul Richardson, Washington WR Kevin Smith, UCLA DL Cassius Marsh).
  • The 49ers, coached by former Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, have 12 Pac-12 players, but Harbaugh does not have final say on the team's roster. Among those 12 are former Stanford stars, LB Shayne Skov, LB Chase Thomas and OT Jonathan Martin. In addition to Skov, the 49ers have three other Pac-12 rookies in camp: USC TE Kevin Greene, USC C Marcus Martin and Oregon State OL Michael Philipp
  • Teams with least amount of Pac-12 players: Rams 3, Jets 6, Chiefs 6, Ravens 6, Bills 7, Cowboys 7, Falcons 7, Lions 7
  • Teams with most Pac-12 Pac-12 players: Eagles 21, Chargers 16, Seahawks 16, Dolphins 15, Panthers 14, Raiders 14
  • Three NFL head coaches attended Pac-12 schools: Carolina's Ron Rivera (Cal); San Diego's Mike McCoy (Utah) and St. Louis' Jeff Fisher (USC)

We'll revamp this post once NFL rosters are set in early September.

By the Numbers

Arizona
Total: 20
Offensive players: 9
Defensive players: 10
K/P/LS: 1
Rookies: 4 -- RB Ka'Deem Carey (Bears); LB Marquis Flowers (Bengals); TE Terrence Miller (Patriots); DB Shaquille Richardson (Steelers)

Arizona State
Total: 28
Offensive players: 16
Defensive players: 12
K/P/LS: 0
Rookies: 11 -- DL Will Sutton (Bears); DB Robert Nelson (Browns); WR Kevin Ozier (Cardinals); RB Marion Grice (Chargers); DB Alden Darby (Chargers); DL Gannon Conway (Colts); DL Davon Coleman (Cowboys); OL Evan Finkenberg (Dolphins); LB Carl Bradford (Packers); WR Rashad Ross (Redskins); LB Chris Young (Texans)

Cal
Total: 37
Offensive players: 18
Defensive players: 15
K/P/LS: 4
Rookies: 5 -- DB Kameron Jackson (Colts); LB Chris McCain (Dolphins); DL Deandre Coleman (Jaguars); TE Richard Rodgers (Packers); LB Khairi Fortt (Saints)

Colorado
Total: 14
Offensive players: 7
Defensive players: 5
K/P/LS: 2
Rookies: 2 -- Chidera Uzo-Diribe (Saints); WR Paul Richardson (Seahawks)

Oregon
Total: 41
Offensive players: 24
Defensive players: 17
K/P/LS: 0
Rookies: 7 -- RB De'Anthony Thomas (Chiefs); DB Terrance Mitchell (Cowboys); DL Taylor Hart (Eagles); DL Wade Keliikipi (Eagles); WR Josh Huff (Eagles); DL Ricky Havili-Heimuli (Jaguars); TE Colt Lyerla (Packers)

Oregon State
Total: 22
Offensive players: 11
Defensive players: 10
K/P/LS: 1
Rookies: 6 -- WR Brandin Cooks (Saints); WR Micah Hatfield (Chargers); DL Scott Crichton (Vikings); OL Michael Philipp (49ers); OL Josh Andrews (Eagles); DB Rashaad Reynolds (Jaguars);

Stanford
Total: 36
Offensive players: 23
Defensive players: 13
K/P/LS: 0
Rookies: 11 -- LB Shayne Skov (49ers); FB Ryan Hewitt (Bengals); OL Khalil Wilkes (Chargers); DL Ben Gardner (Cowboys); DB Ed Reynolds (Eagles); OL Cameron Fleming (Patriots); RB Tyler Gaffney (Patriots); LB Trent Murphy (Redskins); DL Josh Mauro (Steelers); OL Kevin Danser (Titans); OL David Yankey (Vikings)

UCLA
Total: 27
Offensive players: 13
Defensive players: 10
K/P/LS: 4
Rookies: 7 -- DB Brandon Sermons (Cardinals); RB Damien Thigpen (Cardinals); WR Shaq Evans (Jets); DL Cassius Marsh (Seahawks); LB Jordan Zumwalt (Steelers); Xavier Su'a-Filo (Texans); LB Anthony Barr (Vikings)

USC
Total: 55
Offensive players: 27
Defensive players: 28
K/P/LS: 0
Rookies: 10 -- OL Marcus Martin (49ers); TE Kevin Greene (49ers); DB Demetrius Wright (Dolphins); OL Kevin Graf (Eagles); LB Devon Kennard (Giants); TE Xavier Grimble (Giants); WR Marqise Lee (Jaguars); RB Silas Redd (Redskins); DL George Uko (Saints); DB Dion Bailey (Seahawks)

Utah
Total: 30
Offensive players: 13
Defensive players: 17
K/P/LS: 0
Rookies: 7 -- DL Tenny Palepoi (Chargers); LB Trevor Reilly (Jets); L.T. Tuipulotu (Patriots); DB Keith McGill (Raiders); FB Karl Williams (Raiders); TE Jake Murphy (Raiders); TE Anthony Denham (Texans)

Washington
Total: 18
Offensive players: 9
Defensive players: 8
K/P/LS: 1
Rookies: 5 -- TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Buccaneers); DB Greg Ducre (Chargers); WR Kevin Smith (Seahawks); K Travis Coons (Titans); RB Bishop Sankey (Titans)

Washington State
Total: 10
Offensive players: 5
Defensive players: 4
K/P/LS: 1
Rookies: 3 -- DB Deone Bucannon (Cardinals); K Andrew Furney (Jets); OL John Fullington (Packers)

*Roster information taken from each NFL team's official online roster on Aug. 12. This includes those suspended, on injured-reserve and the PUP/NFI lists. Does not include players who retired during training camp or have been waived.

Send any corrections to Kyle.Bonagura@ESPN.com (it's a lot of data to sift through)
The USC Trojans will hold a scrimmage in the Coliseum on Wednesday night, giving USC coach Steve Sarkisian a chance to see where his team currently is at this point of fall camp.

“It’s an opportunity to see how far we’ve come in a week-and-a-half time,” Sarkisian said. “It won’t be a full-game atmosphere but it will be a chance to play live football and tackle, a chance to work on special situations and substitutions, a chance to get all of our special teams some work. We’ve worked on so many different phases of the game in camp, and now it’s time to try and pull them all together.”

There will be a lot of attention paid to the performance of the offense, particularly the pace of play. Sarkisian had said earlier in the week that he was looking for the offense to pick it up, that it needed to play faster, and he sounded pleased with the results he saw in Tuesday’s practice.

“I thought the tempo was much better today, and it’s something I’m going to point out tonight when we watch film,” Sarkisian said. “When we watch film we watch it from two different ways. One is the traditional sideline and end zone views, but we also have a running camera on the sideline, and it never stops. So when I watch film I can watch an entire period in real time. I can time our guys from snap of the ball, the end of the play, to when the ball is snapped again. It gives me a real good gauge of the tempo that we’re operating at.”

Sarkisian said the goal is to snap the ball anywhere from 10-15 seconds into the play clock, but that amount can vary based on substitutions, different personnel groupings, or putting a player in motion. The goal is to average more than 80 snaps per game, another number that can vary based upon the circumstances of the particular game.

“We’re at the point in camp where the installation is minimal, and we’re really focusing more on fundamentals and schemes,” Sarkisian said. “Naturally, the execution should improve in those areas as camp goes along so the scrimmage, while it won’t be a full game, it will have that game feel to it.

“What will be different is that we won’t have the time to fix any mistakes like we would in one of our teaching periods in a normal practice; we just won’t have that luxury because of the pace we operate at. We’ll just have to fix things on the sideline between series and move on. It will be a good chance for us to operate as a staff on our communication and ultimately get the right message to our players.”
In anticipation of the college football season, Grantland is previewing each power conference and today Holly Anderson made a stop in Pac-12 territory and took a look around at the "wild, wild West Coast."

Anderson says that Oregon is the spotlight team for many reasons, one of which is the schedule the Ducks face in 2014.
"Please adjust all perceptions of the concept to account for the Ducks’ position within the maelstrom of the Pac-12, particularly as residents of the Hydra-headed North division. This team gets Michigan State in Week 2; plays Arizona and UCLA out of the South; and operates in a division containing defending Pac-12 champ Stanford, can’t-be-discounted peskiness enthusiasts Oregon State and Washington State, and a looming legitimate threat in Washington. The very least the Ducks have to manage just to maintain respectability in this league is, in itself, a big damn deal."

She also analyzes a few different story lines, mentions a few notable players and touches on some other categories -- toastiest coach, breakout stars, must-watch games and outlandish predictions.

It's worth checking out. To read the full preview, click here.

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PAC-12 SCOREBOARD

Thursday, 8/28
Friday, 8/29
Saturday, 8/30