|Conference Pacific-10 Conference|
Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson (1st year)
|1997 record 6–5 (4–4 Pac-10)|
Defensive coordinator Keith Burns (4th year)
|Head coach John Robinson (12th year)|
Home stadium Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (c. 92,000, grass)
The 1997 USC Trojans football team (variously "Trojans" or "USC") represented the University of Southern California during the 1997 NCAA Division I-A football season, finishing with a 6–5 record and tied for fifth place in the Pacific-10 Conference with a 4–4 conference record; despite a qualifying record, the Trojans were not invited to a bowl game. The team was coached by John Robinson, in his second stint as head coach of the Trojans, and played their home games at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Before the season
USC entered the preseason with 75 players from its 1996 squad that went a disappointing 6–6; it returned starters at 14 positions, eight on offense and six on defense along with both the punter and placekicker. The Trojans had a top 10-ranked recruiting class with 18 high school players and two transfer players from junior college programs; 16 of the 20 incoming players were All-Americans at previous levels. The Trojan running game, led by Delon Washington, hoped to improve a ground game that was ranked 90th in the nation; considered very disappointing at a school that had been known as "Tailback U". USC brought in Hue Jackson as the new Offensive Coordinator; Jackson had previously served as offensive coordinator for California under Steve Mariucci, who had been hired to coach the NFL's San Francisco 49ers.