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USC Football Hosts Rival UCLA At Coliseum For Annual Crosstown Showdown

Nov 15, 2021


*USC hosts UCLA on Saturday in the 91st version of the nation's most famous crosstown rivalry. It will be shown live nationally on FOX.

*UCLA has won just 5 of the last 22 meetings in the series with USC, including just once in its last 11 visits to the Coliseum. The Trojans hold a winning edge against unranked UCLA teams and when Troy is coming into the game with a sub-.500 record.

*At stake on Saturday are city bragging rights, the Victory Bell and Crosstown Cup points. Both teams will wear their home jerseys.

*The Trojans are coming off an unexpected bye week when their regularly-scheduled Nov. 13 game at California was postponed due to COVID issues in the Golden Bears' program (it will now be played on Dec. 4).

*Interim head coach Donte Williams' USC club, still 2 victories from bowl eligiblity, seeks to rebound from a 15-point loss at Arizona State that was a 1-point anybody's game midway through the final quarter. Troy has employed 2 quarterbacks lately: starter Kedon Slovis, whose career completion percentage remains above the school record, and then true freshman Jaxson Dart off the bench for some series. Although he was lost for the season with a broken ankle in Game 8, WR Drake London remains a leading candidate for the Biletnikoff Award and All-American honors based on his impressive body of work in 2021 (88 catches, 1,084 yards, 7 TDs). WRs Tahj Washington and Gary Bryant Jr. have stepped up in his absence (a combined 15 catches at Arizona State). RB Keaontay Ingram is on pace for a 1,000-yard rushing season. While the Trojan offense is hoping to find a better rhythm and be more productive in the red zone, the defense aims to be more stout (opponents have had 400-plus total yards in 3 of the past 4 games) while continuing to produce turnovers. ILBs Kana'i Mauga and Ralen Goforth and S Chase Williams are USC's tackle leaders, while DL Tuli Tuipulotu and OLB Drake Jackson make big plays with sacks and fumble recoveries. At ASU, S Xavion Alford became the first Trojan since 2017 with 2 interceptions in a game. PK Parker Lewis nailed 3 long field goals at ASU, including a 52-yarder (tied for fifth longest in USC history), while Aussie P Ben Griffiths' consistently booms 50-yard punts.

*UCLA, led by head coach Chip Kelly, became bowl eligible for the first time since 2017 with its home victory on Saturday over Colorado. Dual-threat QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson is in UCLA's all-time Top 10 in passing yardage, TD passes and total offense. Top rushers are RBs Zach Charbonnet, who has 5 100- yard rushing games this year, and Brittain Brown. Bruin pass catching leaders are WR Kyle Philips, in the school's career Top 10 for receptions, and TE Greg Dulcich. UCLA's defense is Top 25 nationally in turnover margin. Top tacklers are DB Qwuantrezz Knight, LB Jordan Genmark Heath and DB Stephan Blaylock.

*Throughout this weekend, the USC women's basketball and volleyball teams are in action in the Galen Center, including a hoops game during the USC-UCLA football game, while the Women of Troy soccer team hosts NCAA second and third round games.


*USC and UCLA are not ranked in the current AP sports media and USA Today coaches polls.


*USC leads the series with crosstown rival UCLA, 49-32-7 (dating to 1929, a 76-0 Trojan win), not including Troy's 2004 and 2005 victories that were vacated due to NCAA penalty (original record: 51-32-7). UCLA only has been victorious 5 times in the last 22 meetings dating to 1999.

*In games against UCLA in the Coliseum, including in years when the Bruins were the home team while it was their home stadium as well as Troy's, USC holds a 40-21-7 lead (not including the Trojans' 2005 win that was vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record, 41-21-7). The Bruins have posted just 1 win over USC in their last 11 trips to the Coliseum.

*In 2019 in the last meeting in the Coliseum, QB Kedon Slovis threw for a USC single game record 515 yards and 4 Trojans each had 100-plus receiving yards for the first time in school history as USC dominated UCLA, 52-35. It was USC's most points against the Bruins since 2005 and it tied the 1990 game for the most combined points in a regulation game in the series. USC piled up 643 total yards and 34 first downs, both figures its most since the 2015 Idaho game (737 and 35).

*Last year in the Rose Bowl, QB Kedon Slovis threw an 8-yard TD pass to WR Amon-Ra St. Brown with 16 seconds to play to help No. 16 USC overcome an 18-point third quarter deficit and defeat UCLA, 43-38. The win, Troy's third comeback win of 2020 (and its biggest since an 18-point comeback at Arizona State in 2005), gave USC its first 5-0 start since 2006.


*USC has a 6-4-1 record against UCLA when the Trojans enter the game with a record below .500 (like this season). The wins were in 1937-40-60-85-99-2000, the losses in 1950-57-83-91 and the tie in 1941.


*USC is 29-13-5 against unranked UCLA teams (not including 1 win vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record 30-13-5). When neither team was ranked by AP (like this season), USC is 13-7-4 against UCLA, with the wins in 1937-40-43 twice-48-49-56-63-64-99-2000-10-19, the losses in 1950-57-61-70-83-96-2018 and the ties in 1936-41-44-58.


*USC has a 266-135-20 (.656) all-time record while playing in the month of November (not including 3 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 269-135-20, .658).


*USC has won 69.8% (482-200-29) of its games against current Pac-12 opponents (not including 9 wins later vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 491-200-29, 70.2%).


*USC has a 454-144-27 (.748) all-time record in the Coliseum since the stadium opened in 1923 (not including 6 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 460-144-27, .750). USC's 631 games played in the Coliseum (including the 6 vacated wins) is the third most that any school has played in its home stadium (behind Georgia Tech's 712 in Bobby Dodd Stadium and Tennessee's 634 in Neyland Stadium).


*USC ILB Ralen Goforth's brother, Randall, was a cornerback at UCLA (2012-16).

*USC SNP Nathan Weneta's brother, Jay, was a long snapper at UCLA (2011-12).

*USC CB Ceyair Wright's cousin, Darnay Holmes, was a cornerback at UCLA (2017-19).

*USC ILB Spencer Gilbert's mother, former USC director of track and field Caryl Smith Gilbert, was a 3-time All-American sprinter at UCLA.

*USC TE Erik Krommenhoek's parents both attended UCLA.

*USC men's volleyball head coach Jeff Nygaard was a 3-time (1993-95) All-American and 2-time National Player of the Year at UCLA.

*USC women's volleyball head coach Brad Keller previoiusly was an assistant women's and men's coach at UCLA.

*Marisa Samaniego, a senior learning specialist in USC's Student-Athlete Academic Services, was an All-American and Pac-10 champion diver at UCLA.

*USC athletic medicine director of operations Russ Romano spent 1997 at UCLA.

*USC associate athletic director/Trojan Athletic Fund Scott Wandzilak held a similar position at UCLA

*USC sports science coordinator Kyle Voigt was a UCLA graduate assistant athletic performance coach.

*UCLA LB JonJon Vaughns is the brother of former USC wide receiver Tyler Vaughns (2017-20).

*UCLA OL Duke Clemens' grandfather, John Kamana (center in 1953-54), and uncle, John Kamana (fullback and wide receiver in 1980-83), played at USC.

*UCLA DL Jay Toia spent the spring of 2021 at USC.

*UCLA defensive line coach Johnny Nansen was an assistant coach at USC from 2014 to 2019.

*UCLA offensive analyst Tim Drevno was USC's offensive line coach in 2014 and from 2018 to 2020.

*UCLA defensive analyst Greg Burns was a USC assistant coach from 2002 to 2005 and in 2019.

*UCLA director of football performance Keith Belton was an assistant strength and conditioning coach at USC in 2017 and 2018.

*UCLA baseball coach John Savage was USC's pitching coach from 1996 to 2000

*UCLA women's basketball associate coach Shannon Perry-LeBeauf was an assistant at USC from 2000 to 2004.

*UCLA men's volleyball assistant coach John Hawks was a men's volleyball assistant at USC.

*UCLA women's swimming volunteer assistant coach Kristine Quance Julian was a 9-time NCAA champion swimmer at USC (1994-97), a member of the Women of Troy's 1997 NCAA championship team, a 2-time Honda Award winner (1996-97) and a 1996 Olympic gold medalist.

*UCLA senior associate athletic director/senior woman administrator Dr. Christina Rivera previously worked in USC's student athlete academic services department.

*UCLA assistant athletic director/sports medicine Mark Pocinich previously was an assistant athletic trainer at USC.

*UCLA learning specialist Dominique (Randle) Harris played on the USC women's soccer team (2014-18).

*BeeJay Lee, a staff associate in UCLA Athletics' Academic and Student Services, was a sprinter at USC (2013-15).

*UCLA track and field director of operations Olympia Jewett is the sister of former USC 800-meter runner Isaiah Jewett (2019-21).


*For the first time since 1982, both USC and UCLA wore their home jerseys in the 2008 game (a UCLA home game in the Rose Bowl) and the teams have continued to do so since (except for 2011 when the visiting Bruins chose to wear white jerseys). Per an NCAA football-playing rule (no longer in effect beginning in 2009), because the 2008 Trojans were not in their white road jerseys, they were charged with a timeout at the opening kickoff. UCLA responded by calling a timeout immediately after to even things up. The tradition of USC in its cardinal jerseys and UCLA in its blue jerseys, regardless of whose home game it was, went on from 1949 to 1951 and then 1957 through 1982 before an NCAA football rule change required the visiting team to wear white.


*The winner of the annual USC-UCLA football game gets year-long possession of the Victory Bell, a 295-pound bell off a freight locomotive. Originally given to UCLA in 1939 as a gift from the UCLA Alumni Association, several USC students took the bell in 1941 and hid it in a variety of locations for more than a year. A controversy ensued and school administrators had to intercede. In 1942, the bell resurfaced and, by agreement, became the trophy given to the game's winner. However, tradition calls for the Victory Bell to spend most of the year in storage…or, rather appropriately, in hiding. Since the bell became a trophy, its carriage has been painted cardinal 44 times while in USC's possession and blue 32 times while in UCLA's hold (there were 4 ties) (not including 2 USC wins vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 46).


*The winner of the USC-UCLA football game scores 10 points toward the Crosstown Cup, a trophy awarded annually to the school with the most successful athletic year against the other. The competition was formerly known as the Crosstown Gauntlet. Points are awarded to the winner of each Trojan-Bruin head-to-head contest and the Crosstown Cup will be awarded to the school with the most points at year's end (100 points is the magic number). USC has won the Crosstown Cup 12 times in the competition's 19 years, including a span of 5 consecutive years: 2001-02, 2003-04, 2005-06, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010- 11, 2011-12, 2013-14, 2015-16, 2018-19 and 2020-21. (The 2019-20 competition was suspended in the spring when collegiate athletic events were cancelled due to COVID-19.) UCLA leads the current competition, 25- 10.