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Play It Forward Nov. 13-19: Some may be thankful for an early USC-UCLA football encounter

By in Press Enterprise on November 13, 2017

By Tom Hoffarth

Ranking the top 10 sports events Nov. 13-19 you won’t want to miss:

NO. 1: COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 12
UCLA at USC
Details/TV: At the Coliseum, Saturday, 5 p.m., Ch. 7
If there’s something a bit odd about how this annual meeting has come upon us this year, well, the timing just seems … too early.
Because it kind of is that way.
Since 1945, when the contests were focused on the end part of the season, a Trojans-Bruins matchup has occurred on Nov. 17 or 18 just 10 times before this year. The last time was in 2002, a UCLA 38-28 win on Nov. 17. However, the Nov. 18, 1967 date is significant. The signature meeting took place exactly 50 years ago, famous for O.J. Simpson’s 64-yard TD run against Gary Beban’s Bruins in “The Game of the Century,” a 21-20 USC win on ABC with Chris Schenkel and Bud Wilkinson that has its own Wikipedia page. You’ll surely relive that game in the days ahead. For good reasons.
What’s odd about this 87th edition is USC follows this with a bye week – nothing to do but enjoy an extended Thanksgiving weekend — and UCLA has a rather anticlimactic encounter on a Friday night against Cal that could be their last shot at a six-win season and a bowl bid.
For the record, USC has painted the Victory Bell red the last two seasons, including a 36-14 win at the Rose Bowl last Nov. 19, erasing a 14-7 UCLA lead in the second quarter on a Ronald Jones 60-yard TD run and two De’Quan Hampton touchdown catches from Sam Darnold (25-of-36 passing, 256 yards). UCLA star QB Josh Rosen couldn’t play because of injury. Depending on the upcoming NFL draft, this could be the only Darnold-Rosen meeting in a USC-UCLA contest.
The Pac-12 South […]    

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