Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

College Football Notes: USC Show Hits the Road

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

College Football Notes: USC Show Hits the Road

Article excerpt

USC takes its show on the road for game at BC

Right, another right, down four flights of stairs, through a set of double doors, down some more stairs, across the concourse and through the gate to the field. The Trojans will be on the far side.

That's the path from the visiting athletics director's suite to the field at Boston College's Alumni Stadium. If all goes as expected, Southern Cal's Pat Haden won't be making the trip until after the ninth-ranked Trojans have wrapped up a victory over BC tonight.

One week after a late win over Pac-12 rival Stanford in which Haden went down to the field to argue with the referee, the Trojans are leaving the state for the first time. With the trip to play the struggling Eagles, who are coming off a 30-20 loss to Pittsburgh, USC has a chance to escape the tumult that has surrounded the school this season.

"We've had to deal with quite a bit of stuff so far, and our guys have handled it really well," coach Steve Sarkisian said. "Our guys work hard. They're a humble group, and they're excited for another opportunity to play."

A once-proud program that claims 11 national championships, USC has made more of an impact off the field the last few seasons. The school is in the final year of NCAA sanctions dating to the Pete Carroll era, and his replacement, Lane Kiffin, was fired last September. Interim coach Ed Orgeron led the Trojans to a 6-2 record but then walked away and was replaced for the Las Vegas Bowl when he wasn't hired for the full-time job.

Sarkisian was brought in to bring the program stability, but before his first game cornerback Josh Shaw claimed to have injured his ankles jumping off a balcony to save his drowning nephew. After USC publicized the story, Shaw recanted and admitted it was a fabrication. And then Haden, who is a member of the new national playoff selection committee, was fined $25,000 by the Pac-12 for his ill-timed excursion.

It's probably too much to hope for BC that all of the tumult will cause problems for the Trojans tonight, as their 13-10 victory over then-No. 13 Stanford showed.

"I think (USC) is a hungry team," BC coach Steve Addazio said. …

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