There’s a good news/bad news aspect to USC’s trip to Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday night.
Here’s the bad news first: Utah has won 11 straight home games.
Here’s the good news: USC was the last team to beat Utah at Rice-Eccles, a 33-17 victory.
- It’s a “dark mode” game, which means Utah fans have been asked to wear black Saturday.
- Utah was the first regular-season television opponent for the Trojans in 1948. The Trojans and Utes were the featured attraction for the first night of commercial broadcasting on KLAC-TV, as local Los Angeles station Channel 13 was known then.
Channel 13 used two cameras to cover the game. It was USC’s first televised win, as the Trojans shut out Utah, 27-0. USC’s first television appearance was on KTLA, Channel 5, when it lost to Michigan 49-0 in the 1948 Rose Bowl.
- Former USC linebacker Oscar Lua will be honored tonight by Indio High School for having his jersey retired. Lua’s No. 45 was actually retired the first game of the season but the public-address system wasn’t working properly so he is coming back tonight. Former NFL star and Cal offensive lineman Ed White is also having his number retired.
- Andrew Nemec of Scorebook Live predicts five-star point guard Isaiah Collier will commit to USC on Nov. 16.
- Former USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker played 78 snaps at right guard for the New York Jets in Week 3. He played 70 snaps at left tackle in Week 4. And he played 59 snaps at right tackle in Week 5.
And now for some history:
- Here is the 1967 USC track team, which won the NCAA title, at BYU.
The 4×110 yard relay team of Earl McCullough, Fred Kuller, O.J. Simpson and Lennox Miller set a world-record of 38.6 seconds. It remains a record today because 440-yard races are no longer run.
McCullough also won the 110-yard high hurdles at the NCAA championships. Bob Seagren and Paul Wilson went 1-2 in the pole vault. Dennis Carr finished second in the 880-yard race after making up 12 yards in the homestretch, when he was in last place.
One footnote: The relay team set the world record but it is not an American record because Miller is from Jamaica.
The foursome ran 440 yards faster than any relay team in the world could run 400 meters at the time. That is impressive because 440 yards is actually 402.336 meters. So they held the 400-meter record for awhile too.
- McCullough might be my pick for greatest two-sport star in USC history.
McCullough was a wide receiver at USC and played on the 1967 national championship team. He was a first-round pick in the NFL draft and offensive rookie of the year with the Detroit Lions.
He was a two-time NCAA champion in the 110-yard high hurdles (1967-68) and that world-record holding 4 x 110-yard relay team.
McCullough also won a NCAA indoor title in the 60-yard dash and a gold medal in the hurdles at the 1967 Pan-American Games.
Note how football stars rountinely did track in those days.
- A beautiful color photo of the 1966 USC-Notre Dame as Irish defensive tackle Alan Page rushes USC QB Toby Paige. Page tackles Paige!
Alan Page was the NFL’s most valuable player in 1971. A defensive tackle as MVP! Naturally, he is in the College Football and NFL Hall of Fame.
Page went on to become a judge for the Minnesota Supreme Court from 1992-2015.
USC famously lost to Notre Dame, 51-0, in 1966. John McKay vowed never to lose to Notre Dame again (he would go 8-1 after that loss).
- In the 1964 USC-Notre Dame game, Page hit QB Craig Fertig after his dramatic game-winning TD pass that gave the Trojans a 20-17 victory after the Irish built a 17-0 lead.
The game official ordered Page to get off Fertig but the players’ face masks became interlocked.
“I can’t,” Fertig recalled Page telling the ref. “We’re stuck.”
- Remember the Olympic rings (above) that adorned the Coliseum during the 1984 Olympics? Well, they have popped up on the side of the 1932 Olympic Swim Stadium facing Martin Luther King Blvd.
- Former USC pitcher and baseball Hall of Famer Randy Johnson went viral this week because he was shown taking pictures at an NFL game.
But that’s not news to those at the Daily Trojan, where Johnson worked as a photographer. The below photo featuring Johnson is the Daily Trojan team that faced the Daily Bruin in the 1982 Blood Bowl. I wonder if Rod Dedeaux knew Johnson played in the game? He probably didn’t mind, knowing Dedeaux.
- Art Laboe died last week at age 97. Laboe was the first DJ to play rock and roll on the radio on the West Coast. He was a fixture in Los Angeles radio but in the mid-1950’s broadcasted live from Scrivner’s Drive-In in Hollywood.
In 1957 started having live concerts every other week at the El Monte Legion Stadium. Jerry Lee Lewis and Ritchie Valens were among the acts that played at the stadium.
The radio legend is credited with features like audience requests and song dedications on his shows. He was heard in Los Angeles on KFWB, KXLA, KPOP, KDA, KPPC, KRTH, KRLA and KFI.