If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

While everyone waits for Caleb Williams to commit at any second, let’s look at another intriguing prospect in the transfer portal who may end up a Trojan.

There is a lot of buzz Oregon tailback Travis Dye, who is from Norco, could be headed home.

This would be a huge pick-up for USC, but I still wonder what Dye gets out of it? He would join a backfield that just added Stanford tailback Austin Jones. And has three other promising tailbacks (Brandon Campbell, Darwin Barlow, Raleek Brown).

I wouldn’t want to share carries when I’m trying to improve my NFL stock. But that’s me, I guess.

  • USC punter Ben Griffiths has declared for the NFL Draft. Makes sense because Griffiths is 30-years-old.
  • USC’s 61-58 victory over Colorado on Thursday night snapped the Trojans’ seven-game losing streak to the Buffaloes and earned their first win since 2018.
  • USC hired UCLA assistant Jane Alukonis as its women’s soccer coach this week. The interesting part is UCLA had an opening for a women’s soccer coach and decided not to hire Alukonis.

USC now has hired two former UCLA assistants — Alukonis and women’s volleyball coach Brad Keller — under Mike Bohn. Obviously, USC doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on these positions.

  • The one non-major sport coach getting — Lindsay Gottleib ($1 million per year — lost to UCLA, 66-43, on Thursday night and has a 9-6 record.


  • And now for some history:

Earlier this week, I wrote about how Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall turned down the USC job in 1979. Hall won a national championship in 1978.

He lost in the national title game to UCLA in 1975, which was the final game for John Wooden. Hall later recalled how the referees treated him and Wooden differently in that game, during an incident where UCLA had been called for a technical foul.

“The referee was Bob Wortman and he very politely, like he would help his father off the floor, gently had the elbow of Coach Wooden and said, `Please Mr. Wooden, go back to your bench.’ And Coach Wooden wouldn’t go,” Hall said.

“So I walked to the scorer’s table and told Wortman to let Kevin Grevey shoot his free throws and he pointed at me and said, `If you don’t get back to your bench I’m going to call a technical.’ So I knew I was not in home territory.”

  • Here’s a 1948 photo of a game between the L.A. Dons and Cleveland Browns. The Browns defensive player who ran into the goal post, Tony Adamle, is the father of former NFL player/NBC Sports announcer Mike Adamle.

Remember, the infamous Stubby Shaw played for the L.A. Dons.

But the main reason I ran this photo is the clean look of the Peristyle, free of all the bric-a-brac USC stuck there over the years.

  • A USC student during the early 1960’s told me about his first trip to New York City, when he stopped by P.J. Clarke’s restaurant and bar on Third Avenue.

All of a sudden there was commotion around two guys who walked in: The USC student recognized them immediately, as NFL stars Frank Gifford and Hugh McElhenny.

“The women flocked to them,” the USC student said.

Naturally, there were USC ties: Gifford played at USC. McElhenny wanted to go to USC.

In 1948, McElhenny graduated from Washington High School in Los Angeles. If you talk to anyone who was around in those days, they can tell you about McElhenny’s exploits in football and track.

McElhenny wanted to go to USC but did not have the grades. So he went to Compton College, coached by former USC player Tay Brown. But after just one season, he learned the University of Washington could accept him immediately. USC needed him to go another year to Compton.

McElhenny went to Washington, became an All-American, rushed for 296 yards and 5 TD’s vs. Washington State and returned a punt 100 yards for a TD vs. USC. He then became the ninth player selected overall in the 1952 NFL Draft and was selected for the Pro Bowl six times.

23 thoughts on “If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

  1. I don’t believe SC was tough to qualify for admission, a B-average was good enough back then, so McElhenny apparently was not an All-American in the classroom.

    Another aspect of that comical picture of a player running into the goal post with a bare peristyle is that pro football was not very popular until it started to take off in the 1980s. I bought a scalper ticket for a Super Bowl for $60 to see Washington v Miami (1973?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My best friend and his dad went to the first super bowl. They had to put up rabbit ears for a TV attena to watch the game. At halftime they drove from Montery Park and got in at the beggining of the second half. It cost him a total of $10 for two tickets. Amazing now. Now they want $700-800 for a ticket. I have been to a couple of super bowls at the Rose Bowl. If you have been to one, you have been to all of them. You just need one to go to understand what it is all about.


      1. funny thing PT, my dad and I went to the first super bowl. I was about 15 at the time and it was blacked out in the LA area. However, I imagine it’s a far bigger deal now than it was then and the experience may be slightly different

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not buying the RB hate this Friday, Mr. Wolf.
    Dye will be making a good choice if he moves to USC.

    Academically–a far superior school to U Oregon (#19/780 vs #350/780)*
    I think his NFL stock is limited at best. Better have a plan for 5 years from now, Mr. Dye.

    Keontay Ingram had a banner year despite lackluster offensive coaching and a passing game that was suspect ALL YEAR (even before London was injured). The USC O-line was quite good in 2021 when asked to run block and not do the “air raid” thing. No reason that Dye can not expect to “do an Ingram” and have a 1000 yd year. The UO QB was not overly talented. Hopefully Dye and Riles and the QB at USC can develop Dye’s passing game talents.

    The Stanford fella will get a chance, but I’m not optimistic for him.
    Since Bryce Love graduated, Stanford has not had much run success.
    I was not impressed with Barlow, though his quality touches were limited. Hoping he may prove me wrong.

    Raleek could be a real star. It’ll be up to Riles and the RB coach to develop his game. I am impressed by how quickly the Mater Dei kid–AR StBRown –was CFB ready as a freshman. That may have been ARSB and not Mater Dei in particular. Bryce Young sure did impress–though he had a year of practice prior to starting.

    *Sorry to keep harping on this, but it’s my “recruiting pitch.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t ascribe to this “cancel culture” trend, but what does the blog think about NEVER MENTIONING the name…well you know which name I’m thinking of….ever again?

      Liked by 2 people

  3. ….and finally, hard to replace Keidane McAlpine. Here’s to hoping coach Alukonis can bring USC back to Natty contention. Trojan Soccer came to Boulder during the recent Natty year and I got to watch a really disciplined and talented squad dominate the Buffs. Heck, CU brought the LIVE Bison to the game–though Ralphie didn’t get to run on the soccer pitch. The standsin Boulder were full of Cardinal and Gold on a mid-week afternoon. Standing room only for my wife and for me.

    I hear that Keller has brought in a strong recruiting class. Time to bring Women’s Volley back to prominence–even if the Pac 12 is rapidly falling behind the Big10 (+4).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Caleb Williams —
      “Hi everybody!
      I’ve narrowed my decision down to LSU or USC. But now I’m really stuck.
      First, I need to think about who is better for me –Coach Kelly (who I’ve been thinking about night & day for 3 weeks) ….or… Coach Riley (who I’ve practiced under and played for—so I should know pretty well —but I would like to know more about). Secondly, I have to think about both o-lines. I’ve been thinking about both of them for 3 weeks now. I probably need to keep thinking, though. Maybe there is something I haven’t thought about yet.”
      Caleb’s “personal journey” is beginning to read a lot like the first act of Hamlet.


      1. Is this another Ball family? Seems to me they want the drama centered on them. Thing is LR won’t put up with a prima dona so that could be part of Balls, err Williams delay. I sure can’t see anything at LSU that would build him to be a better Qb than what coach Riley could do. It is the dad and a kid who is gullible enough to listen to him.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Scooter,

    You did not mention that Ollie Matson was traded from the San Fransico team to the Dons in a trade with nine players. Ollie for nine players. I played against Ollie Matson’s son in football and I tackled him for a safety. he played for Daniel Murphy, I for loyola. All of Ollie’s children did very well in life, banker, dentist, etc. Good to see.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Starting early on the Jimmy Beam today, uh PT?

      The Chicago Cardinals traded Ollie to the Ram for nine players in 1958. That trade gutted the Rams roster and lead to the Rams performance decline that lasted until the Ram’s hired Geo. Allen in 1963.


  5. “The one non-major sport coach getting — Lindsay Gottleib ($1 million per year — lost to UCLA, 66-43, on Thursday night and has a 9-6 record.”
    Scott, Is it asking too much to have you unscramble this?


  6. hello football fans, subject the transfer portal, what it consists of well number 1 players who are actors ,bodies 2 alcohol or other abuse issues. regards, E


  7. hi football fans, the wallace allen is quotting a movie maker william goldman nobody knows anything ! lets clarify that hes talking about folks who produce movies and sports writers like wallace a knucklehead ! yes i agree with that no question about it! Regards , E


  8. hello football fans, the gage roy can pass down the field well and moves very well on his feet !? believing the video tapes of games are legit and not phony! gage is a fine player !? regards, E


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