Sam Darnold and The USC Trojans Up Close During Rose Bowl Week (Video)
Above is iFolloSports.com original video of the USC Trojans football squad arriving at 2017 Rose Bowl media day, held at the L.A. Hotel Downtown. Located in downtown LA’s financial district (three miles north of the USC campus), this property is serving as the media headquarters for the 103rd edition of the Granddaddy of Them All.
From 2002 through 2008, the Trojans shined as college football’s most dominant program, putting together a stretch that included seven consecutive Pac-10 championships (conference officially became the Pac-12 in 2011), two national championships, three Heisman Trophy winners and a bevy of players who would go on to play in the NFL.
Amid Pete Carroll’s departure to the Seattle Seahawks and the subsequent scholarship reductions and postseason ban brought upon the school, as a result of the Reggie Bush financial benefits scandal, the early 2010’s were a very topsy-turvy period for the “Men of Troy.” The team struggled through multiple head coaches and athletic directors, only truly finding its footing in the middle part of this season, under the guidance of second year head coach Clay Helton.
After a 1-3 start, Helton led USC to 8 consecutive victories, with the Trojans scoring at least 40 points in 5 of those triumphs. All told, the school finished with a 9-3 record and a second place finish in the Pac-12.
Much of the team’s sudden success can be attributed to the play of redshirt freshman Sam Darnold. The 19-year-old Orange County (CA) product burst onto the scene; throwing 26 TD passes and just 8 interceptions, all while posting a very impressive 68 percent completion percentage.
Darnold (wearing jersey number 14) is easily visible early in the above video.