The USC coaching staff is known for its Oklahoma ties. But it really has strong Washington State ties.
Alex Grinch was the Cougars’ defensive coordinator from 2015-17. USC assistant head coach Dennis Simmons was wide receivers coach at Washington State from 2012-14. Linebackers coach Roy Manning held the same position at Washington State from 2015-17. Inside linebackers coach Brian Odom was a quality control assistant from 2015-16. And USC graduate assistant Payton Pelluer played six years at Washington State (2013-18).
Pelluer played in more games (54) than any player in program history.
“That logo meant the world to me,” Grinch said. “They’re my family. It’s a great place.”
- No one wants to talk about it now, but how many players packed it in last season at USC? No way should the Trojans have lost eight games.
- The Raiders announced Thursday their former star tailback Clarence Davis from USC had passed away but then deleted the story.
“The Raiders received notice of Clarence Davis’ passing but have found that information to be false. The Raiders extend our deepest apologies to the Davis family and the Raider Nation for the erroneous announcement.”
In eight seasons for the Oakland Raiders, the former USC star rushed for 3,640 yards and 26 touchdowns in 89 games while also catching 99 passes for 865 yards and two touchdowns.
Denver Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett really looks like his father, former USC coach Paul Hackett. Some would say like father, like son based on the way the Broncos’ offense has scored points the first few games too.
- And now for some history:
- Forget the Salute to Troy, in 1980, USC held its first kickoff picnic at the . . . Rose Bowl!
It started at 4 p.m. with fans having a picnic on the field or in the stands. At 4:45 p.m., the team showed up and fans were allowed to take pictures with players, coaches and staff. That’s more than what was allowed at the Salute to Troy in June.
At 5:30 p.m., the band and song girls showed up. At 6:15 p.m., John Robinson introduced the team. Athletic director Dick Perry and school president James Zumberge were in attendance.
At 7:30 p.m., the band played Conquest and fans were given one more opportunity to meet the team, visit the locker rooms and pressbox. That’s a lot more fan-player engagement than you get in 2022.
- Here’s an Art Brewster illustration from 1980 that holds up well. It features Dennis Smith, Ronnie Lott and Jeff Fisher.
- A fixture at USC during the era of the University Village mall was Perry’s Pizza, where you could get the Trojan Special. A slice of pizza, house salad and small drink for $1.60 (in 1980).
- You know which USC football coach gets overlooked? Not Howard Jones.
But Elmer C. (Gloomy Gus) Henderson, who has the best winning percentage, 45-7 (.865), of any coach in USC’s history.
Henderson was the first USC coach to recruit hard and persuade local Southern California athletes to stay home instead of going to Cal and Stanford.
His spread formations were copied by coaches and some elements of his offense were for decades by college and NFL teams.
He acquired the moniker “Gloomy Gus” because it was a well-known cartoon character of the era. Los Angeles Times sportswriter Paul Lowry gave him the nickname because of the way Henderson poor-mouthed the Trojans’ prospects before a game
Henderson had a 9-2 record in his last season at USC in 1924, with intersectional victories over Syracuse and Missouri. But he was fired after the season. Some said it was because he was 0-5 against Cal.
- It’s a shame USC offensive lineman Marvin Powell died before he could be inducted into the USC Hall of Fame. He is the only Trojan in the College Football Hall of Fame who isn’t in the USC Hall of Fame.
USC hasn’t even had a Hall of Fame class since 2018. It’s something that isn’t on Mike Bohn’s radar, apparently.
Powell knew he wanted to go to USC when he was 11 years old, watching the 1967 Rose Bowl at his home in Fayetteville, N.C.
Traveler ran onto the field and Powell’s heart raced.
”I was always a heavy child,” Powell told the New York Times in 1982. ”I was in the seventh grade, and I said, ‘I’m going to So. Cal.’ And my stepfather started laughing at me and I cried. By the time I was a high school senior I was the best offensive lineman in the country.”
- This is the Coliseum on Oct. 6, 1959 for Game 5 of the 1959 World Series between the Dodgers and Chicago White Sox. The crowd of 92,706 remains a World Series record. Sandy Koufax pitched but the Dodgers lost, 1-0. The Dodgers won the World Series in six games.
- Actress Brigitte Helm is assisted by crew during filming of the 1927 classic film, “Metropolis.” This picture was taken circa 1925-26. Helm plays a robot who comes to life and impersonates a human.
SONG OF THE WEEK
- Here’s a 1974 appearance by Italian singer Adriano Celentano performing his hit song “Prisencolinensinainciusol.” The song and title are gibberish but intended to sound like English. Some thought Celentano created a non-sensical song just to prove Italians loved any American-sounding music. But Celentano said he intended to explore communication barriers.
Joke or not, the song went No. 1 in Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden.