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

USC landed a commitment Thursday from Sam Greene, a three-star defensive lineman from Baltimore, Md.

  • A friend who bought tickets to the Fresno State game said they got a free upgrade this week. That means tickets are readily available.
  • Lane Kiffin’s daughter has transferred to Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana.
  • UCLA basketball will host USC on Thursday, Jan. 5, at Pauley Pavilion when students are on winter break. When are UCLA students not on break? The second game between USC and UCLA will be Thursday, Jan. 26, at the Galen Center.

And now for some history:

  • Phil Hoover was not recruited by USC when he graduated from Pasadena High School. He later played at Pasadena City College. One night, John McKay took him to Julie’s for a beer and Hoover turned down offers from Cal and Fresno State.

Hoover played left end (receiver) at USC but during the 1963 Rose Bowl, USC ran out of defensive linemen. Gary Kirner sat on a luggage rack that collapsed and the fall cut his finger to the bone. He tried to play in the game but collapsed from the pain. Marv Marinovich got thrown out of the game.

So late in the fourth quarter, Hoover was sent in to play defensive end. He covered Wisconsin star tight end Pat Richter so well that QB Ron Vander Kelen stopped throwing to his favorite target and instead threw a pass that was intercepted by Willie Brown in the end zone and sealed the Trojans’ 42-37 victory and national title.

  • About eight years later, Hoover decided to become an actor and usually played bad guys on TV shows like The Rockford Files, Barnaby Jones, Cannon, The Bionic Woman, The Incredible Hulk and T.J. Hooker.
Phil Hoover on Barnaby Jones.
  • Imagine in 1956 an article with the headlines “FOR WOMEN ONLY” and “Watching Football.” Oh that illustration is for a 5-4-2 formation defense.
  • If you walk by Mudd Hall of Philosphy on Saturday before the game, check out “the reader” sitting above the main entrance. USC’s oldest buildings have plenty of these gargoyles on campus.
  • Of course Bridge Hall has the football gargoyles.
  • Here’s one of my favorite USC players that I ever covered, R. Jay Soward, vs. UCLA in 1998. He was fun, unpredictable and electric on the field.
  • Did you get flashbacks Monday night watching Denver Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett mismanage the end of the game vs. Seattle? Like father, like son, as Nathaniel is the son of Paul Hackett.
  • Speaking of Hackett, the 2000 season got off to a great start as USC defeated Penn State, 29-5, before 78,902 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Carson Palmer gains yardage vs. Penn State
  • The opening success didn’t last, however, and the Trojans lost five-straight games. They finished the year with a 38-21 loss to Notre Dame and Hackett was fired on Nov. 27. The highlight of the season was 38-35 victory over UCLA as David Bell kicked a field goal to win the game.
Malaefou MacKenzie runs upfield vs. Notre Dame.
  • USC actually had security guards at this Heritage Hall press conference to introduce Pete Carroll. It also shut down the phones because of angry fan reaction to the news.
Pete Carroll and Mike Garrett as Carroll was introducted as USC’s new football coach.
This great color photo is Heisman Trophy winner John Huarte facing USC in 1964. No. 55 is Marv Bain while No. 68 is Mac Byrd. Huarte and Bain both went to Mater Dei.

Here is a 1964 Art Brewster illustration featuring fullback Ron Heller and kicker Dick Brownell.

  • Some notes on Heller: He started playing football as a 12 year-old on the lawn outside of the Coliseum and sold programs before USC and UCLA home games. He bought his first car at age 14, when he had a bum sign the paperwork for him. 

Heller served in the U.S. Army in Korea and Japan from the age of 18-20.  He was given the choice by a Los Angeles County superior court judge to enlist in the Army or go to jail, after he and a few friends smashed a jewelry store window in a Fairfax neighborhood and stole a few watches.

He then played at Santa Monica City College before transferring to USC.

On his second carry as a USC player, he ran 19 yards for a touchdown in USC’s 7-0 upset victory at No. 6-ranked Iowa.

Heller was an extra in movies while he played at USC, including a scene in the 1965 Stanley Kubrick film, “Ship of Fools” with Lee Marvin and Vivien Leigh.

Ron Heller takes a handoff from Bill Nelsen vs. Washington in 1962.
  • This 1935 photo has an interesting caption: “In their pursuit of Mrs. Celia L. Holme’s murderer, Detectives Miles Ledbetter and Joe Filkas question Ernest LaValle, the winter sports coach at USC and a friend of Mrs. Holmes. From left to right, Ernest LaValle, Joe Filkas, and Miles Ledbetter.”

Holme was found shot and bruised in a ravine on Mulholland Way.

I’ve done some initial research but haven’t found out yet exactly what a “winter sports coach” meant? And so far, I haven’t seen anything that said LaValle was officially a suspect. We’ll see.

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

  1. Sam Greene is a good prospect, uses his hands to beat the offensive linemen with technique. He seems to be kinda of small to be on the trenches. By his redshirt freshman year he will probably be around 280. We need the DL from St. John Bosco and couple of flips to secure a nice haul. Hopefully we keep improving as a team, and we will see an uptick in recruiting for sure.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I loved the fact R J. was suspicious of his number: 18…….cuz “it equals 3 sixes.”
      P. S.
      We need Ed to do something with Scott’s Ship of Fools reference….it’s right up his comedic alley.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Have to admit, I was one of the ones who wasn’t thrilled about Pete’s hire. Although I wasn’t upset about it and certainly not enough to call Heritage Hall.

    I’m glad he proved me and many others wrong. However, the impending sanctions WERE a factor in his decision to hightail it out of LA, contrary to what he claimed. Even if a very small factor, it weighed into his decision making process.

    But I will still root for him no matter what he’s doing, be it coaching or motivating people off of the field. The seeds he planted with A Better LA will touch lives for decades to come.

    https://spectrumnews1.com/ca/la-west/sports/2020/11/16/how-pete-carroll-helped-turn-man-s-life-away-from-gang-life

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Looks like the new “meds” have provided you with the much-needed clarity. Stay on track and don’t disappoint us….. I’m watching you.

      Like

      1. See the anger management classes are finally paying off , Gabby. Good job and keep up the good work. This gives me a renewed sense that there is still hope.

        Like

  3. I hope Sam Greene turns out to be as good as Aaron Donald. He went from a small high school to playing at a high level against better players than before the year. Seems coaches say he has an incredible work ethic.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Micheal,

        What is so interesting and hilarious at the same time is that Mater Dei has 3 Heisman winners, Huarte, Leinhart, and Young, and ugly has one, who backed into the Heisman due to OJ being a junior and the committee at that time did not give it to juniors. Beban was average at best.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Beban was given the award strictly on the basis of beating USC….
        #HisLastMinuteTDRunAgainstTennesseeWasMemorable..
        #…[ButIBelieveThatWasTheYearAfterHeisman]

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Marvienna,

        How true, just like the Poles, Baptists, Italians, Epsicoplians, Irish, Methodists, Germans, Buddists, Chinese, and everyone else in this world. But it takes two, the briber and the bribee to make it go.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This might be a trap game with the Beavs road game coming up. So I expect a close contest. USC will win,but won’t cover. But they will hammer the Beavers in their house. Reminds me of my high school days.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re living with that old attitude we had with Helton. This staff will not let the team overlook Fresno, or anyone. The ghost of Clah Helton still lives on.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love those 2 ND-SC pictures, with the one showing the Irish futilely chasing the SC boy,

    And the other of Neuter Dame QB John Huarte, 1964, ND No. 1 versus a
    so-so Trojan outfit– Trailing 17-0 at half things looked bleak for the
    SC faithful, but in the second half matters turned in favor of Troy as it held down The Irish while crawling back in the game at 17-14, but with only minutes remaining.

    And so it was Fertig to Rod Sherman on a crossing pattern that crossed-up ND in their quest for a National Championship

    The end of that 1964 game rivaled the 55-24 1974 game, except ’64 was more dramatic and the Trojan fans were equally crazy-loud!

    I had fallen in love with SC football when the 1962 team won the National Title, but that 1964 game sealed the deal for me, I was headed to ol’ SC

    Liked by 2 people

      1. My first exposure was in ’67, watching the ND game with my pop. Great payback for the ’66 game, in which I recall I was playing out in the yard, my pop was working in the yard listening to the game on the radio, and hearing him screaming at the old Philco transistor special we had outside.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Trojans 48, Fresno 27.

    Fresno’s D can’t stop the Trojan O, particularly trying to match up with the fast USC skill players. I could see Raleek having a big game. Defense is still a work-in-progress, but will get a needed test against a potent passing attack. Maybe we see a lot of blitzes tomorrow against Fresno’s passing game.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sorry for jumping the gun; this was the topic of conversation between me and my youngest this morning. He is picking USC 55, Fresno 20.
      #TheYoungAreOptimists

      Liked by 2 people

      1. …Corona tastes like piss? Even that time we looked into each other’s eyes & drank it together in the old Rose Garden on Exposition?
        #ThatHurt,P.T.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Pasadena, Carta Blanca takes me back…probably 30 or more years ago I had that beer, and I remember really like it.

        I hear what you are saying about the super light/low alcohol beers. I personally like them, but understand that they are not for everybody.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Give me Belching Beaver’s Mexican Chocolate (7.8%) or Sin Tax (8.1%) any time over those others. Voodoo Ranger’s Imperial IPA at 9.0% is also not a bad choice, if you don’t care for the dark stuff.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. I am thinking USC offense will score lots of points. If Fresno puts 8 back there, there is Travis Dye and Austin Jones and hopefully Raleek to run the ball against a 3 man front. And the o-line is a lot better this year both in run blocking and pass blocking. But the the D performance is a lot more up in the air IMHO.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, agreed — I KNOW we’ll outscore them —but, same as you, I have no idea how many TD’s they’ll score…
        #IJustKnowItWillAtLeastBeOneFewerThanWeGet

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thinking about it, if USC puts up a lot of points, Fresno has no choice but to try to create a shoot out. Even if the D line has problems they can’t keep up with the score with a ground game, they would have to go to the air. That is when I believe USC gets the turnovers.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Hate to say this [and hope I’m wrong]…. but I think So Cal’s score may be closer to where we wind up on Saturday…..
        #Don’tYouLOVETheWayWe’reStealingScott’s”PickTheScore”?

        Like

  7. It’s hard to remain consistent through a whole season without a let down. In 2002, they lost 2 games early in the season….to Kansas State 27-20 and to Washington State 30-27. They were nine points from going 13-0. In 2003, they had one loss in O.T. 34-31 to Cal(an unranked team). That kept them from going 13-0 and not having to share the NC. In 2005 they were 3 points from an NC(41-38 versus Texas). In 2006, they lost 2 games that they should have won…..33-31 to Oregon State and 13-9 to UCLA. They were 6 points away from a NC undefeated season. Neither of those teams were highly ranked. In 2007, they lost to Stanford 24-23(a game were they were favored by 41 points) and to Oregon 24-17. Again, 8 points from going 12-0. In 2008, again they lose to an unranked Oregon State 27-21…..6 points from going 13-0.
    Only in 2004 were they consistent in every game and never let down.  It’s really hard to never let down game after game for a whole season. I just don’t think that they will make the playoffs this year. There will be let downs and losses. This year reminds me a lot of 2002. This is a rebuilding year. If they are able to win 10 games in the regular season and maybe win the Pac-12 championship game and then win a bowl game(12 wins), that would be great. Their recruiting would take off like a rocketship. They would actually flip a lot of quality athletes who had already committed to other schools and in 2023 they would be ready to make a run at the play-offs.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I still think that we should 10 games. LR has never had a season where he didn’t win ten games. Why would this be the first season that he doesn’t? Besides, I like what he is doing so far.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Great blog Parcelman007. You are so right dead on about the losses, IMHO, I believe this offensive scheme is way better than the Matt L. Bush era. Deeper at QB, WR, RB, OL is on the same par as 03-05. Defense has a chance to be as good as if they clear up miscommunication and schemes issues. I feel that we will score at will final score 64-27, game will be over by 3rd qtr, with 28 unanswered points with the defense contributing with 3 turnovers. We need to impose our will on both sides of the ball.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. With some luck and not too many injuries, this team could go 12-0. But they would have to make sure that they had no let downs throughout the whole season. That’s hard to do in a long season. Pete Carroll was unable to do it in most of his seasons at SC.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. From 2002 to 2008(those 7 years), Pete Carroll was just 35 points away from going 90-0. Outside of the Texas game, their losses were games that they just were not up for the game. Only in the Texas game was there a team that was could claim equality to them. All the other losses were to teams that were inferior to them. Maybe LR will do what PC couldn’t do. I still think that we are a year away especially on the defensive line. Offensively, we are as good as anyone right now.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Clay Helton 9 points from going 2-4 in 2020. But let’s focus on the present gutless President Flo, although you wasted two years. But who effing cares as you have more money than god. $81K per student per year. Nice racket babe!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You could make the argument that athletes are being paid aside from NIL today. If they want to make more money, let the NFL do what the NBA does….allow kids to enter the NFL right out of high school. I’m not convinced that this NIL will work. It definitely has to be tweaked or it is going to destroy college football. The schools with the money will win simply because they will have the best athletes and coaches that money can buy. You won’t be winning a championship anymore. You’ll be buying a championship.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. It is 2001 and SC fans are in an uproar over the Pete Carroll hiring with the Trojan authorities having to shut down the telephone lines filled with profane-laced Troy fans, and a security force hired to surround Heritage Hall to protect Carroll and Garrett–

    If this ever occurred at the White House they would have to shut the place down

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Symptomatic of the S-hole that Los Angeles has become.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This hype video is dope. Ronnie Lott picking off SUCLA is the best mini hype video. Now all we have to is keep on winning and do a hype video with this season stars showing how and stating “The Tradition Continues With New Wall Stories”. How far City Football has fallen off. Gang infested areas are making private and prominent public schools in the CIF, get rich with City area athletes to go to St. John Bosco Mater Dei on scholarships and private chauffeurs How does a kid from South LA get to Mater Dei on Cal Works n FoodStamps? “If your not trying your not cheating”.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Nicely put, Eric. As Leonard Cohen put it, “The fight is fixed. The poor stay poor, the rich stay rich.”

        Like

    1. Charles that is ludicrous and bs. What hotel stay cost over 10k for two days none So they basically paid Arch Manning 250k to come visit and will eventually sign a letter of intent unless TAMU gives $500k to flip. This is Peyton n Eli nephew. They said he was not entertaining any NIL deals, now we know he must have made about 1.5 million for his officials visit. #MustBeNiceToBeAYoung5☆QBWhoIsAManning.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. I think the comments about the teachers and the union are way out of line and since I have kids who play football in L A City I can tell you the truth to the stupidity going on at Fremont High is due to a new Superintendent who has staff under him who have no clue or respect for student athletes within LAUSD. As to the assinine crack about organized crime then look no further than the stupid ass Republicans who will lose the House as well as the Senate even though the President suffers from 58% of the voting public disliking him. Keep your ignorant thoughts about Los Angeles schools to your phony privledged selves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The L. A. Teachers’ Union represents the most dangerous form of organized crime in American history and will one day soon be the subject of a Federal Rico prosecution ….. it doesn’t serve the interests of students, parents… or even teachers…..
      #YouKindaMadeMeGoATeenyWittleBitOverboard…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. MG your right LAUSD, is an organized crime syndicate. Who pray on the weak minded people who are less educated than them. The school curriculum is trash, my daughter doesn’t know how to write in cursive WOW!!!! My sister is professor at LB State, he she tells me how these kids don’t even know how to write outlines to term papers. DOUBLE WHAMMY. #TiredOfCaliforniaEducationalCurriculum#NotFondOfPoliticiansWhoAcceptsBribesAndThenLieNeverInnocentJustPlainSelfishMorons#FightOn24Hours58MinutesToUSCFOOTBALL

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Crap! We’re really agreeing today, Eric! As for “This World”: I’m always suspicious when I make what is obviously a half serious comment about a politician or agency or team —and someone loses their mind over it. The trick is to win people over to your side —not alienate them completely. Anybody can do that.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. How does a person who claims his family business was in Pasadena now claim to have a child in an LAUSD school? Like I said, my kids play at LAUSD high schools and the new Superintendent could have played the game at Southwest College or L A City College or at West Adams High. If you don’t have any facts or proof of crime then your pathetic, and a silhouette of human. UTLA made a mistake declaring Israel a terrorist county but the real problem is the new people running LAUSD don’t care about sports or providing elective classes to students. But you fake USC frauds wouldn’t know that. Come help out and make a difference and meet me at a LAUSD school instead of hiding and crapping out stupidity.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No one questions your commitment or the degree you care, This World. Or the challenges you face every day. I have many friends inside your district…they work their asses off …but they tell me they don’t always feel 100% supported by the union or the administrators….
      #Don’tMeanToOffend….
      #[IGuess”OrganizedCrime”IsATinyBitOffensive,Though]

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.