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Wolf: USC, UCLA rivalry was more dangerous in 1950’s

By in Press Enterprise on November 17, 2017

By Scott Wolf

The USC-UCLA rivalry is considered intense but you could never get away with some of the things attempted in the past.

Consider that in 1958, two USC students planted a potential time bomb under a UCLA cheerleader platform as a “prank” at the Coliseum. The students said the bomb was harmless and would only produce smoke but police said it posed a danger.

The bomb was discovered by two small children who climbed under the platform and yanked the wires loose from an alarm clock. More than 50 USC students who belonged to the Trojan Knights were involved in the prank, according to a university investigation.

Police eventually declined to file charges against the two USC students. With all the security at today’s games, imagine the uproar if something similar happened today? The game might be canceled. Of course, sneaking into the Coliseum and planting a bomb was a lot easier in the 1950’s.

Perhaps everything wasn’t always better in the past.

>>About 20 NFL scouts are expected to attend Saturday’s game to watch Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen.

>>Has USC ever had a coach with the laid-back style of Clay Helton? I would say the closest comparison might be Jess Hill, who was USC coach from 1951-56. Hill was known for his bland answers and saying, “mighty fine.”

The opponent was “mighty fine.” USC’s players were “mighty fine.” Hill resented UCLA coach Red Sanders, a media favorite who gave witty responses. Helton doesn’t resent anyone in the Pac-12. But he said UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen was “magnificent” after he watched tape of the Bruins’ game against Arizona State. That’s close to mighty fine.

>>This will be a big recruiting weekend for USC, with at least six official visitors: Defensive tackles Michael Thompson and Trevor Trout; offensive tackle Penei Sewell, cornerback Noah Boykin (a Maryland commit), tailback Mychale […]    

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