USC-Cal Throwback Memory

This Saturday is the Joe Roth Memoral Game, which honors the beloved Cal quarterback and will feature the Bears wearing throwback uniforms. Well, the first Joe Roth game was in 1977 (above).

And that featured a fight that cleared the sidelines in the fourth quarter. According to reports, Cal’s Anthony Washington punched USC tailback Charles White in the face while White laid on the sideline. White retaliated and the sidelines emptied. Cal upset the Trojans, 17-14.

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USC Morning Buzz: 10 Things To Fix To Beat California

It’s time for this week’s column on 10 things USC needs to fix after last week’s game against Texas.

Excerpt: Fewer penalties, please: USC averages more than eight penalties per game. That ranks No. 105 in the nation. Do you think there will be fewer at Cal, where the offensive line will undoubtedly have a false start? It had several false starts against Texas at the Coliseum, which is almost inexcusable. Again, this is a coaching issue.

Full story here

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Post-Practice Report

Defensive end Uchenna Nwosu returned but a lot of other players missed practice, including tailback Ronald Jones, wide receivers Steven Mitchell and Joseph Lewis, defensive Porter Gustin, defensive tackle Rasheem Green and cornerback Ajene Harris.

No updates on when they might return from Clay Helton, who said he didn’t have any concerns with Stephen Carr getting 20 carries against Cal if Jones cannot play. With Mitchell out, Tyler Vaughns assumes his spot, which was the case during spring practice and the first few weeks of training camp.

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Bowl Projection

USA Today has USC playing Alabama in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama in a College Football Playoff game. Does anyone think USC would beat Alabama today? I don’t even know if Sam Darnold could pull that off . . . at least not without some help.

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Try Something Different

I will expand on this later but here is a question to ponder. Texas true freshman Sam Ehlinger, in his second career start, was pretty bad in the first half against USC and then played much better in the second half.

Simply a case of a young player maturing in a game, right? Maybe. But here’s another way to look at it: Perhaps USC’s defense never changed and Ehlinger got more comfortable because he knew what he faced. So why didn’t USC mix up its defenses more in the second half?

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