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USC announces 2016 football schedule

The schedule features the team’s first game against Alabama since 1985 and a Thursday date against California

by USC Athletics
Freshman linebacker Cameron Smith returns an interception for a touchdown in USC's 42-24 win over Utah on Oct. 24.
Linebacker Cameron Smith returns an interception for a touchdown in USC’s 42-24 win over Utah. (Photo/Percy Anderson)

The 2016 football schedule for defending Pac-12 South Division champion USC announced by the Pac-12 features six home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, including the annual battle with intersectional rival Notre Dame, Oregon’s first visit to the Coliseum since 2012 and a Thursday night contest against California.

Overall, USC’s 12-game schedule includes 11 teams playing in bowls this season, six that have won at least eight games (including three with 10 or more victories) and five in the current AP Top 25 poll.

The Trojans’ nonconference opponents in 2016 are Alabama, Notre Dame and Utah State. The Trojans will play nine Pac-12 foes in the regular season (all except Oregon State and Washington State).

New season tickets, starting at $295 for all six home games, can be purchased online or by calling (213) 740-4672. Fans who purchase new season tickets by Dec. 21 will receive a USC mini helmet signed by Trojan head coach Clay Helton, while supplies last.

Current season ticket holders will receive 2016 renewal information in early January.

Taking on the Crimson Tide in Texas

USC will open its 2016 season Sept. 3 (Labor Day weekend) against Alabama at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. All 2016 season ticket holders will receive priority access to purchase tickets to the first meeting between the Trojans and Crimson Tide since 1985.

The Trojans will welcome Utah State of the Mountain West Conference in their home opener Sept. 10.

For the sixth year in a row, USC will play the Pac-12’s first conference game of the year when it travels to defending Pac-12 champion Stanford on Sept. 17. USC then goes to Utah on Sept. 23.

The Trojans then return home for a pair of games, first versus Arizona State on Oct. 1 and then Colorado on Oct. 8, before traveling to Arizona on Oct. 15.

USC will host California on Thursday, Oct. 27. It will be just the fourth non-Thanksgiving or non-bowl Thursday game that the Trojans have played in the Coliseum.

The Trojans remain at home the following week to host Oregon on Nov. 5, the Ducks’ first appearance in the Coliseum in four years.

USC then will play its first game in Husky Stadium since 2009 when it faces Washington on Nov. 12. Troy’s last game against UW in Seattle was at CenturyLink Field in 2012 while Husky Stadium underwent renovations.

The team stays on the road when it meets crosstown rival UCLA on Nov. 19 in the Rose Bowl. USC then concludes its regular season by hosting Notre Dame in a Thanksgiving weekend clash on Nov. 26.

Title game

Game times and television plans for the games will be announced at a later date. All games will be nationally televised by either the ESPN channels, ABC, Fox, Fox Sports 1 or Pac-12 Networks.

The 2016 Pac-12 Championship Game will be played Dec. 2 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

USC currently is 8-5 in 2015 and headed to meet Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego on Dec. 30. The Trojans have won five of their last eight games since Helton was named interim head coach Oct. 12 and then permanent head coach Nov. 30. Up to 15 starters from this year’s squad could return in 2016, including All-Pac-12 first teamers JuJu Smith-Schuster, Adoree’ Jackson and Zach Banner and Freshman All-American first teamers Cameron Smith and Iman Marshall.

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