The Associated Press preseason Top 25 poll is out and USC is ranked No. 8. The Trojans are just behind No. 7 Oregon. UCLA is No. 13. Full poll after the jump:
Here are statements from USC coach Steve Sarkisian and athletic director Pat Haden about Sarkisian’s behavior at the Salute to Troy last night.
Social media was full of comments last night about Steve Sarkisian at the Salute to Troy. Several people told me he said, “get ready to fight the —- on,” to the crowd before he departed and there were plenty of other colorful remarks from the stage during the event. Hopefully, he didn’t jump off an apartment balcony afterward.
Former USC athletic director Mike Garrett, who told some friends he would never set foot on campus again, was introduced at Salute to Troy for the 1965 team reunion and received a standing ovation.
UPDATED: Here’s the video of Mike Garrett speaking followed by legendary assistant coach Dave Levy.
Generally, defenses are ahead of offenses during training camp. But so much has been made of USC’s experience at quarterback and even wide receiver that today’s scrimmage was a mild surprise. And here’s another surprise: Why is the offensive line struggling? Every starter returned from last season. Chad Wheeler is not 100 percent but he did not play every game last year because he got hurt. Damien Mama was held out today but he was not starting at the end of last year. So these are not viable excuses.
The offensive line was supposed to be an area of strength, especially compared to a year ago. But it is not so far. Meanwhile, defensive players like cornerback Iman Marshall, linebackers Porter Gustin, Michael Hutchings and Osa Masina, defensive ends Greg Townsend and Kevon Seymour, to name just a few, had good scrimmages.
And offensively, tailback Dominic Davis caught a TD pass, ran for a TD and returned a kickoff for a TD.
Well, at least USC coach Steve Sarkisian was unhappy after today’s scrimmage, which was dominated by the defense. The biggest play was Max Browne throwing an interception that linebacker Michael Hutchings returned 99 yards before getting tackled at the 1-yard line.
“I was disappointed with the execution of our offense,” Sarkisian said. “We were very average (at quarterback) at best.”
Asked about today being the last day of training camp, Sarkisian said, “I wish we had two more weeks to get better.”
And then he ended abruptly, apparently unhappy over the offensive performance.