SCliff Notes: Trojans Try for a No-Loss November and Other USC Football News


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1st & 10:

Why dream of a White Christmas when you can hope for a No-Loss November?Under Pete Carroll, the Trojans were an incredible 29-1 in the month of November, with the only loss coming in the second to last game. Of those wins, 11 were against ranked teams.

USC was simply dominant in November, which allowed the Trojans to get over early season losses and continue their run of seven-straight BCS appearances and Pac-10 titles.

Take the 2007 season for example, when the Trojans entered November two games behind the Oregon Ducks in the conference standings, and with a pair of losses. USC went 3-0 in the month, including a 44-24 dismantling of No. 7 Arizona State on Thanksgiving Night in Tempe to re-gain control of the Pac-10 after getting perquisite help.

This year is seemingly no different.

More from Reign of Troy

USC entered the month with a pair of conference losses and

needing a wild scenario to get back into the Pac-12 South discussion

. But by simply winning the games in front of them, they can at least do their part and let the rest of the chips fall where they may.

Steve Sarkisian told reporters on Saturday afternoon that the Trojans have the ability to ‘do something special’, alluding to the phenomenon of the No-Loss November.

As a USC assistant, Sarkisian never lost a game in the month, and that’s perhaps helped with having the players buy into the idea.

“It’s how you’re going to be remembered, how you finish, how you end,” freshman wide receiver JuJu Smith told Vincent Bonsignore of the LA Daily News.

And it’s true. A strong finish would do wonders for the perception of the Trojans’ season.

Last year, USC finished strong under interim head coach Ed Orgeron, getting the alumni and fan base to buy-in to their comeback. Ultimately, they fell short of scrapping back into the Pac-12 South race and flamed out against UCLA, losing their final game in November.

It’s tall task this year with a pair of ranked rivals on the docket, including Notre Dame, who is an offensive pass inference call away from being the No. 1 team in the country.

Can they do it? We’ll find out.

The Trojans have been too inconsistent to fully buy into what they’re selling. But for a team with nothing to lose at this point, any rallying point is worth trying to build around and it could be how Sarkisian sparks a turn around.

In Other News…

  • In what is perhaps the best news of the season for the Trojans, Sarkisian told the media on Sunday night that Su’a Cravens does not have any structural damage to his knee. How soon he returns is still up in the air, but it’ll now be counted in days, as opposed to months. (Reign of Troy)
  • Josh Shaw is back in the headlines. Sarkisian said the Trojans are ‘in a process’ with regards to his return and would not rule it out. (Reign of Troy)
  • Ready to go bowling? How about The Weekender Pt. 2? USC could be headed up to Santa Clara for this year’s San Francisco Bowl. (Reign of Troy)
  • Cody Kessler and Nelson Agholor linked up for a career-long 87-yard TD pass on Saturday. Agholor praised the play call in his breakdown of the play. (LA Times)
  • Hayes Pullard got a big interception on Saturday to help set up the Trojans’ second touchdown. He talked about it with Marshall Cherrington, in addition what it was like playing against Washington State’s backup quarterback after preparing for Connor Halliday. (
  • Lane Kiffin was often criticized for caring too much about the record books and for padding stats. Is Sarkisian doing the same thing? Max Meyer thinks so. (Neon Tommy)
  • Another game, another awesome photo gallery from superstar photographer John McGillen. (The Ripsit Blog)
  • Let’s give it up for former USC singer-songwriter and part-time hoopster Renaldo Woolridge. He and fellow ex-Trojan Marcus Simmons were drafted into the D-League. (Conquest Chronicles)
  • A win at Washington State was worthy of a rise in the conference power rankings, as far the ESPN Pac-12 bloggers are concerned. (ESPN Pac-12 Blog)
  • Want proof that Sarkisian is better than Kiffin? A little fun with the transitive property proves it to be true. Here’s how: USC beat Arizona, who beat Oregon, who beat Michigan State, who beat Nebraska, who beat Florida Atlantic by 48 points. Alabama only beat them by 41. Therefore USC is better than Alabama and Sark trumps Kiffin. It’s science. (My Team Is Better Than Your Team)

Stat of the Day:

Cody Kessler is tied for fourth in the nation in touchdown passes with 25. However, 16 have come against Fresno State, Colorado and Washington State, who rank 128th, 110th and 123rd in defensive passing efficiency.

Tweets of the Day: