P.J. Fleck Leaves Western Michigan and More USC Football News

Hotshot head coach P.J. Fleck left Western Michigan, the Trojans’ 2017 season opening opponent, for Minnesota, plus more USC football news.

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1st Word:

Well, that’s one less thing for USC to have to worry about in 2017.

P.J. Fleck is now the former head coach of Western Michigan, jumping ship to take the wheel at Minnesota.

Why does that matter for the Trojans? Fleck led the the Broncos to an undefeated record in the 2016 regular season and USC was set to launch the 2017 campaign against the hottest coach in the G5.

Western Michigan still figures to offer a test for the Trojans at the Coliseum on Sept. 2, but the Fleck-less Broncos will be in rebuilding mode with a new head coach rather than raring for a signature upset.

Considering USC’s tough out-of-conference slate in 2017, every break that goes the Trojans way will be welcome.

On top of Western Michigan in Week 1, USC will host Tom Herman’s Texas Longhorns in Week 3. In October, the Trojans are due to travel to South Bend for the annual rivalry tilt against Notre Dame.

10 Best USC Football and Basketball Links of the Week

  1. “Enduring ‘Conquest’ is special slice of hell for Big Ten fans” (Penn Live)
    David Jones penned an eloquent love-hate letter to the Trojan marching band and USC’s battle cry Conquest! after Penn State’s Rose Bowl defeat. If you’re going to complain about the Spirit of Troy, this is the way to do it.
  2. “USC, CFB’s Hollywood Team, Got A Hollywood Ending” (CFBHuddle)
    “The Heroes Journey” is a common theme in Hollywood scripts. Trenise Ferreira lays out USC’s own journey on way to a Hollywood ending at the Rose Bowl.
  3. “USC and Penn State deliver game of bowl season” (Yahoo! Sports)
    Pat Forde writes football fans of American “owe a sweaty hug and sloppy kiss” to USC and Penn State for delivering the best game of the season at the Rose Bowl.
  4. “Quinton Powell fired up the Trojans” (USCFootball.com)
    Quinton Powell’s inspirational speech on the sideline pumped USC up during the Rose Bowl. Keeley Eure talked to the linebacker about how the Trojans rallied.
  5. “How Deontay Burnett went from Wazzu commit to Rose Bowl hero” (ESPN)
    Kyle Bonagura describes Deontay Burnett’s journey to USC and his heroics in the Granddaddy Of Them All.
  6. “How close is USC to winning a national championship?” (LA Times)
    Lynn Swann said USC isn’t back until they’re playing in the championship game. But how close are they to getting there? Zach Helfand explores.
  7. “Rose Bowl Grades: Smith-Schuster, Darnold lead USC over Penn State” (PFF)
    ProFootballFocus graded all the participants of the Rose Bowl, giving JuJu Smith-Schuster and Stevie Tu’ikolovatu top marks.
  8.  “O/NSO: Replenishing edition” (WeAreSC.com)
    Greg Katz turns attention to recruiting with an edition of Obvious/Not So Obvious focusing on the U.S. Army All-American Game along with some Rose Bowl thoughts.
  9. “Grading the 2016 USC football team position by position” (OC Register)
    Joey Kaufman gives each position a grade for the season, including A’s for special teams, receivers and, of course, quarterback
  10. “Quick Takes On USC’s 14-1 Start” (Galen Central)
    Whether you weren’t paying attention to USC basketball’s hot start or not, Marshall Kelner has some takeaways from the 14-1 run including standout freshmen, improved defense and future goals.

Reign of Troy Round Up:

Stat of the Week:

USC outscored Penn State 17-0 in the fourth quarter of the Rose Bowl. The Nittany Lions had outscored opponents 166-55 in that quarter heading into bowl season.

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