Sarkisian Wants To Limit Major Injuries

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?

Player Spotlight: Ron Ayala

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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.

Class of 2016 Linebacker Daelin Hayes Commits To USC During Visit

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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.

Player Spotlight: Al Krueger, Doyel Nave And A Crazy Rose Bowl

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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.

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Jim Mora v. Steve Sarkisian?

Who could UCLA coach Jim Mora be referring to in these comments?

“Most importantly, I’m committed to our players,” Mora said. “We go recruit these kids, go into their homes and talk to their parents and we ask them to commit to us. We see coaches run out on them, and I don’t think that’s right.

“We sit in our meeting rooms and talk to our kids about being selfless and sacrifice and putting a team first. Then you see coaches when the first opportunity comes up to take off and better their situation, they run and do it and leave these kids behind with these, to me, empty lessons.”

USC Morning Buzz: An Ad Campaign That Makes No Sense

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Gary Leonard/LA Observed

I was driving through downtown Los Angeles a couple days ago when I saw this billboard. I didn’t know whether to circle back and look again or just wonder what marketing genius came up with this idea?

Why? Because it makes no sense to promote that you are the official bank of USC Athletics with a picture of UCLA graduate Antonio Villaraigosa. The former mayor of Los Angeles did speak to the USC football team once after practice when it was fashionable during the Pete Carroll era, So maybe that balances it out

Neither Banc of California nor USC did much research on this ad campaign obviously. And they don’t want anyone to know about this either.

Chris Petersen On Traffic

Fortunately for the Pac-12 coaches attending media day Wednesday and Thursday, a bus took them to Paramount Studios in Hollywood. But Washington coach Chris Petersen, who interviewed for the USC job, was asked if he dealt with Southern California traffic.

“These freeways?” Petersen said. “No, but I’ve been in traffic in Seattle. Oh, gosh, and that’s one thing in Seattle is I’m not really far from the office so I don’t really have to deal with the traffic.

“But everything else is you have to plan your day out. Can’t go there. Why not? Well, it’s going to take two hours.”