In 1927, USC played Notre Dame before 120,000 at Soldier Field in Chicago. The night before the game, an event was held to hype the game and it featured baseball legends Babe Ruth (in a Notre Dame jersey) and Lou Gehrig (in a USC jersey).
Lou Gehrig in a USC jersey!
The event also promoted the Stanford-Yale game, which is why Stanford coach Glenn “Pop” Warner (far left) is in the picture along with Irish coach Knute Rockne (center next to Ruth) and USC coach Howard Jones (second from the right). Yale coach Tad Jones (far right, younger brother of Howard) and baseball agent Christy Walsh (center, left of Gehrig), who organized the event.
Don McCall played halfback at USC in 1965-66 and then played four years in the NFL, most notably with the New Orleans Saints. He led the Trojans in rushing in 1966 despite straining knee ligaments midway through the season. McCall returned from injury and scored a touchdown in the 1967 Rose Bowl.
Here’s some video of USC’s latest commit, linebacker Daelin Hayes. These are mostly running back highlights though Hayes was named linebacker MVP at the Rivals250 Underclassmen Challenge in Jacksonville, Fla., this month.
Steve Sarkisian noted this week that USC had 19 season-ending injuries last season and Washington had only one.
“You look at sports science right now and recovery is so critical to the body and the success,” he said. “We really invested in that a year ago at Washington. We had one season-ending injury a year ago at Washington. USC had 19. We were a no-huddle team a year ago, they were a traditional huddle team. So I think there are things we can do to preserve our players to get the best out of them.”
So does Kenny Bigelow’s knee injury count as one for next season in Sarkisian’s calculations?
Ron Ayala was a backup quarterback and safety but he is remembered for one play as USC’s kicker. In 1969, Stanford took a 24-23 lead over USC with 1:03 left at the Coliseum. The Trojans then drove 68 yards. And as time expired, Ayala kicked a 34-yard field goal to give USC a 26-24 victory over Jim Plunkett and Stanford.
Linebacker Daelin Hayes is visiting USC today and just announced he committed to the Trojans. This is unusual because Hayes (6-3, 227) is from Michigan and a Class of 2016 recruit. That means there is plenty of time before it means anything. Still, whenever USC gets someone from Michigan, that’s newsworthy, especially when the Wolverines were considered heavy favorites.
Duke entered the 1939 Rose Bowl undefeated and did not allow a point entering the game. USC trailed 3-0 with two minutes left when fourth-string quarterback/tailback Doyel Nave (bottom) entered the game.
Nave threw four straight passes to “Antelope” Al Krueger, who made the game-winning TD catch (above) by putting a move on Duke’s future College Football Hall of Famer Eric Tipton to score with 40 seconds left. Those were the only points Duke allowed all season and USC fans tore both goal posts down after the game.
Maybe the best part is how Nave entered the game. USC assistant coach Joe Wilensky manned the telephone on the sideline to assistant coaches Sam Barry, Julie Bescos and Bob McNeish in the pressbox. The trio started down to the field so Wilensky pretended he was on the phone and they suggested Nave enter the game. “Send in Nave and have him throw it to Krueger,” Wilensky shouted.
Coach Howard Jones agreed and the rest is history.