Sam Darnold named USC starting QB over Max Browne

The move signals Helton is feeling heat after a disastrous start to the season for USC. Two losses were enough to keep Stanford out of the playoff a year ago, despite winning the conference and proving to be far superior over the Big 10's representative in Iowa in the Rose Bowl, because every other Power Five conference victor had only one loss, making the decision easy enough for the CFP selection committee.

Clay Helton is facing mounting pressure to turn things around at USC and after a disappointing, 27-10 loss to Stanford over the weekend, the first-year head coach has chose to change quarterbacks. Price, a freshman from Dacula, Ga., was homesick and dealing with a family illness, Helton said. He's played on both sides of the ball in his first two seasons, but the original plan was to limit him to defense and the return game in 2016. Browne was eventually given the nod, but Darnold impressed enough to lengthen the process and remain a presence on the depth chart.

However, there are several rumors spreading that USC has much bigger problems off the field.

Though Helton joked with reporters on Tuesday that internet rumors revolving an altercation between he and Price in the locker room at Stanford were untrue.

One circulating message-board post reported Price punched Helton in the face. "I wouldn't be here". I wouldn't be here; I'd be dead, one.

No, E.J. Price didn't punch Clay Helton in the face, Helton said.

Helton said he had no hard feelings about Price's departure.

Jackson didn't say how he reacted to the announcement Monday morning during a team meeting that Darnold would replace redshirt junior Max Browne, but is looking forward to seeing how he plays.

Freshman Clayton Johnston is now behind Wheeler and Edoga.

Things have gotten off to a good start, but he's still coming off a rough 2015.

"Climb out of a hole", Helton told them at one point. "They're a very talented team, probably the most talented 1-2 team in the country", Whittingham said. 'Which is amusing, ' Clay said in denying that any such thing had happened. Obviously we got to be the answer, not make excuses. USC won last year's matchup against Utah, 42-24, but the two would go on to split the Pac-12 South crown. "Nobody is going to care what's going on with our season".

  • Julie Sanders