When In Rome . . .

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is taking his team to Rome (in Italy) for three spring football practices. This does not violate the new rule prohibiting off-campus practices during spring break because this trip occurs near the end of Michigan’s semester.

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Ex-USC Punter Marty King Dies

MARTY.KINGMarty King, an All-Pac-10 punter on the 1978 national championship football team, died Saturday of cardiac disease. He was 60.

King was USC’s punter in 1977-78, averaging 39.9 and 41.7 yards per kick. He set USC season records for most punts (70) and punt yards (2,921) in 1978.  For the past 17 years, he was an attorney in San Jose. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations sent to the Lincoln Law School of San Jose, in memory of the Martin King Scholarship.

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USC Morning Buzz: Does Rose Bowl Seem More Believable Now?

penn-state-kneeIt’s the three-week anniversary of the Rose Bowl. I’ve heard Adoree Jackson’s ankle is still not 100 percent, which makes it a good time to remember something from the game that is easy to overlook because of Sam Darnold’s heroics.

USC outscored Penn State, 17-0, in the fourth quarter despite missing Jackson and linebacker Cameron Smith (ejected) while cornerback Iman Marshall was in-and-out of the game after being hit in the head. And this was a defense that already allowed 49 points.

Now maybe it was Penn State’s playcalling too. Why you would throw two straight times in the same spot of the field at Leon McQuay is something people in State College must still be talking about.

And let’s face it, Darnold’s touchdown pass to Deontay Burnett is something the coaches never dreamed up. But all these things made it a “perfect storm” for a comeback. And it’s worth noting 21 days later.

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USC 82, Arizona State 79

USC was outscored 12-1 to end the game and held on for the victory before 2,931 at the Galen Center. Elijah Stewart scored 29 points, including 7 shots from 3-point range, to lead the Trojans. Next up: UCLA on Wednesday.

UPDATED: Andy Enfield said after the game forward Bennie Boatwright (knee) will not play against UCLA but should be back the following week against the Washington schools.

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USC vs. Ed Orgeron

ORGERON.LSU.2USC is trying to get defensive tackle Neil Farrell to switch his commitment from LSU. If only someone could hear what coaches from both schools are telling Farrell. The irony is USC’s defensive tackles coach, Kenechi Udeze, played for Ed Orgeron at USC.

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Free Trip To L.A.

Tony Wallace, a three-star “athlete” from Las Vegas, visited USC this weekend despite being committed to Arizona. Today, Wallace announced he would stick with Arizona. At least he got one day of decent weather on his recruiting trip.

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Lots Of 2-3 Stars In NFL Games

NFL.STARS.CHARTHere’s an interesting article by SB Nation on how 68 of the 88 starters in today’s NFC and AFC championship games were three-star, two-star or unrated recruits, as the chart above reflects.

But . . . the article also points out the following: The reason is so few recruits are five-and-four stars. “Five-stars make up less than one percent of Division I recruits, yet five percent of the AFC and NFC Championship starters,” the article states. “Four-stars make up just nine percent of Division I recruits, yet 18 percent of the AFC and NFC Championship starters.”

So, yes, stars do matter.

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