UCLA-USC feature roundup: Larimore and life after football

patrick larimore

For rivalry week, the Los Angeles Daily News published a number of features covering both sides. My biggest piece ran on Thanksgiving, looking at former UCLA linebacker Patrick Larimore and how he has dealt with his post-concussion symptoms since retiring from football:

Nearly four months have elapsed since his PR rep first reached out by email. Mismatching schedules delayed the interview, but so too did a bad stretch of post-concussion symptoms.

Asked if he’s feeling OK right now, Larimore smiles a little.

“What do you mean by OK?”

Although his health is a constant work-in-progress, the Bruins’ former defensive MVP has busied himself with creating MyHeadHurts.co, a shared space for brain injury victims of all kinds.

Some of the other stories we ran this week …
– An amusing rundown of the pros and cons of USC hiring Ed Orgeron as its full-time coach.
– USC quarterback Cody Kessler tries not to take anything for granted.
– UCLA tight end/receiver Thomas Duarte is proud of his Japanese/Mexican heritage.
– Lakers guards Jordan Farmar and Nick Young are great friends despite going to rival schools.
– A brief overview of the UCLA-USC rivalry and its most memorable moments, plus things to do before and after the game.

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At a glance: No. 22 UCLA at No. 23 USC

No. 22 UCLA (8-3, 5-3) at No. 23 USC (9-3, 6-2)
Location:
Coliseum, Nov. 30, 5 p.m.
TV: ABC (Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman, Shannon Spake)
Radio: AM 570 (Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens, Wayne Cook)
Prediction below

Last meeting: UCLA beat USC, 38-28, just the Bruins’ second rivalry win in 14 years. Anthony Barr ends Matt Barkley’s college career.

Key storylines: With conference implications out of the picture, USC and UCLA will be playing almost purely for pride. For coaches on both sides, however, the game will reshape the narrative of their respective seasons. Continue reading

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Pac-12 links: No bowl tickets for rude Washington State fans

– If you sent Washington State athletic director Bill Moos a particularly nasty email last year, you might not be able to buy bowl tickets.

– Trying to earn home field advantage for the Pac-12 title game, Arizona State and Todd Graham are learning to deal with the limelight.

– Still undecided about his NFL draft plans, Washington tailback Bishop Sankey is on the brink of the school’s single-season rushing record. Continue reading

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Jim Mora votes USC’s Ed Orgeron as top Pac-12 coach


– Jim Mora said he voted Ed Orgeron for Pac-12 Coach of the Year last night, pointing out the way that he’s injected confidence and enthusiasm back into the USC program.

“He gave them a real spark,” Mora said. “He really did. … Coach O, I think everybody who knows him knows he’s got an infectious personality. You see it in the way his team plays.”

– USC receiver Marqise Lee reminds Mora most of eight-time Pro Bowler Marvin Harrison, praising everything from his elusiveness to route-running. Continue reading

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Pac-12 links: Should USC hire Ed Orgeron?

– After an upset of Stanford, many USC players called for the school to retain Ed Orgeron as head coach. NBC Sports’ Chris Huston, also known as the Heisman Pundit, argues against removing the “interim” tag.

– Utah quarterback Travis Wilson’s career might be over after a post-concussion exam revealed a pre-existing neurological condition.

– Washington State has extended Mike Leach through the 2018 season.

– Arizona State’s secondary has a club called the, uh, “Bird Gang.” Members must abide by three rules. Continue reading

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Pac-12 links: Ed Orgeron berated former player; Arizona adds unique display facemasks

– A USC player from the late 1990s and early 2000s says Ed Orgeron called him a “motherf—-r” for leaving practice 20 minutes early once a week for a statistics class. Best quote: “He M-F’d me all over the place.” Orgeron did not comment.

– These won’t be on the field, but Arizona is getting some unique display-model facemasks — including ones with an A-logo and “Cats” script.

– Stanford released a slick “You Can Play” video, one that features forward Josh Huestis and running back Barry Sanders Jr. Athletic director Bernard Muir opens by setting up chairs for everyone.

– Cal’s speedy but oft-injured tailback Brendan Bigelow has had wheels since he was a kid. The Bears also gave their basketball court a paint job.

– SI’s Andy Staples and former NCAA compliance officer John Infante both break down the problematic nature of the NLI. Continue reading

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