Who will win Saturday’s USC-Arizona State game?
I think Herm Edwards is a better coach than Clay Helton. I think USC has better talent than ASU. I think USC’s defense could have problems with QB Jayden Daniels, who is dying to face the Trojans after missing last season’s game.
If you are going to beat USC, this might be the time to do it. The defense is learning a new system and might be better later in the season. That said, I do think USC should go 7-0 with its joke schedule. Also, ASU tends to disappoint when there are expectations.
So I’m taking USC, 38-31. Talent over coaching.
- USC is going to do something Saturday that I predict will enrage some alumni and please others. Remember this.
- I will be posting live updates Saturday on this blog for you to follow the game Saturday morning.
- A story going around Heritage Hall (virtually during COVID-19) is that USC no longer required Jacob Brown, the hype-video maker from LSU, after it created BLVD Studios with branding agency J1S.
So USC had Brown move across the country from LSU only to jettison him a few months later? Cold move, if true.
- I spoke to a Coliseum suite holder again this week and the answer was the same: No admittance to the game Saturday.
- Jack Sears will lead Boise State vs. No. 9-ranked BYU tonight. Sears has been mobile and rushed for 36 yards last week against Air Force. Remember, USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell doesn’t want his QBs to run so Sears wouldn’t be able to show his athleticism if he were running the Air Raid at USC.
- Arizona State is going to wear all-white uniforms Saturday morning.
all white for the weekend. pic.twitter.com/Z2Px6aFHNE— Sun Devil Football (@ASUFootball) November 6, 2020
And now for some history, specifically in 1974:
- During the Energy Crisis, USC needed to conserve electricity so it switched two night games against Iowa and Oregon State to 1:30 p.m. kickoffs.
Can you imagine how happy fans would have been if that happened in 2019?
- Can you believe USC students waited in line to get tickets to a basketball game? This was the day before tickets were distributed for the USC-UCLA game in 1974.
The game was huge, a Sports Arena sellout on a Saturday night and televised on Channel 5. Both teams were 22-3 and the winner would win the Pac-8 and get the conference’s only bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Gus Williams scored the first basketball of the game to give USC a 2-0 lead. But the Trojans made only three field goals the rest of the first half and lost, 82-52. Williams scored 12 points and guard Danny Anderson added 11 but no one else scored in double figures.
USC had to settle for going to the Collegiate Commisioners Association Championship instead.
- Later in 1974, on Nov. 30, USC played Notre Dame in perhaps its most memorable game in school history and certainly its greatest comeback. After USC trailed 24-0, the Trojans scored 55 straight points and won 55-24.
- Everyone knows about the game so here are some forgotten facts:
- Notre Dame defensive back Reggie Barrett said after the game that Michigan State was better than the Trojans. Notre Dame beat Michigan State, 19-14.
- Irish coach Ara Parseghian said it was too cold in South Bend to prepare for the game and then too warm in Los Angeles.
“We had a week of preparation and it was very difficult for us.” said Parseghian. “We had to work indoors under limited conditions. It snowed. There was ice outside. We wound up working out in 20- and 30-degree temperatures. The blood thickens.
“We have never played a good second half out here. Look what happened to Minnesota here last week against the Rams. It looked like Minnesota was dominating the football game and in the fourth period the same damn thing happened.”
Parseghian then added: “I may discuss with the administration the possibility of changing this game so we play on comparable dates in October rather than play it late in the season.”
One footnote: USC did move up in the Associated Press or United Press International polls despite the dramatic nationally televised victory.
- As I write this, I’m reminded John McKay wanted to avoid speaking to USC boosters after losing to Notre Dame, 51-0, in 1966.
- McKay had little desire to go to the old Sheraton-Town House hotel on Wilshire Blvd., where he would go after home games to talk to boosters. McKay stayed in the locker room for so long after the game that stadium staff informed him they were turning out the lights. When McKay and assistant coach Dave Levy walked up the tunnel, there were no fans around. Or even wives, who had the cars.
- Instead of trying to get a taxi or going back to USC, McKay and Levy walked to the Town House via Vermont Ave. That’s about 4.5 miles. By the time the pair got to the hotel, there were about 15 boosters left to hear McKay speak.