Tom Smart, All
SALT LAKE CITY — The history between the Utah and USC football programs may go back a long time, but it isn't exactly filled with a lot of tradition.
The Utes and Trojans first met on the football field nearly 100 years ago — 1915 to be exact — but their last regular-season game was back in 1948.
Since then, they've met in a pair of bowl games, with each school getting a win —- Utah at the 2001 Las Vegas Bowl and USC at the 1993 Freedom Bowl.
So when the Utes and Trojans meet Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles, it will be the first in-season game between the two in 63 years.
The Utes won that initial game at their former home field — Cummings Field — which was located north of Einar Nielsen Fieldhouse, a couple of football field lengths from the present stadium. Utah also won the following year in Los Angeles.
In the most recent game at the Las Vegas Bowl 10 years ago, the Utes defeated a Carson Palmer-led Trojans team, 10-6.
In between, however, it was all Trojans, who won six straight games by a combined score of 189-30. The 1925, 1932 and 1948 games were all played at the L.A. Coliseum, where Saturday's game will be played.
Here's a look at the Utah-USC series:
Nov. 20, 1915 — Utah 20, USC 13: Clarence "Dog" Douglas, Lowell Romney and Darrell Gardner led the Crimson, as they were called back then, to a one-touchdown victory.
The Salt Lake Tribune headline read "Utah Whales California in Fierce Battle" and the lead said, "the greatest crowd of the year rose to its feet and cheered lustily" after the victory.
According to the account of the game "they played with desperation and fury of few Utah teams" and "again and again the visitors were brought down in their tracks by the Crimson tackles."
Douglas, who played right tackle on offense and defense was the "hero of the day" as he "broke through the opponent's line and intercepted a lateral pass, sprinting a full 82 yards for the touchdown" in the second quarter.
Later in the third quarter, he recovered a fumble at the 5-yard line to set up a score by Gardner, who "tore through right tackle" for the touchdown.
USC got within one point early in the fourth quarter on a touchdown, but failed on the extra point try, leaving the score 14-13. Utah put the game away when Romney scored, set up by a 20-yard run by Gardner.
Oct. 21, 1916 — Utah 27, USC 12: Lowell Romney scored two touchdowns, and Harold Kay scored one TD and added three extra points as Utah won before 6,000 spectators in Los Angeles.
Utah would have won by twice as much, according to the Deseret News account, except for "the eagle eye of the referee, who penalized the Crimson more for holding than the USC gains combined."
Nov. 17, 1917 — USC 51, Utah 0: After seeing his team lose the previous two years, USC's 140-pound quarterback Frank "Rabbit" Malette beat Utah almost all by himself, according to the newspaper account.
He "shot forward passes, wriggled through his opponent's line and around the ends" to disappoint the Utah supporters who filled the stands at Cummings Field.
Utah had come into the game as the favorite but left with the worst loss in its 24-year history.
Nov. 15, 1919 — USC 28, Utah 7: After taking a 7-0 halftime lead, Southern California scored twice in the third quarter before Utah scored on a run by Milton Romney. But the Crimson couldn't score again and the home team added a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
- If hired, Jeff Hornacek will face same...
- The offseason status of NFL players with Utah...
- USA Rugby: 'What BYU won ... was a mythical...
- Dick Harmon: BYU coach Mike Littlewood...
- High school track: Ogden's Sarah Feeny breaks...
- Mormon NFL safety Eric Weddle: Balancing...
- High school track: Boys championship results...
- High school boys track: Davis wins another 5A...
- Considerable work, planning has gone... 71
- USA Rugby: 'What BYU won ... was a... 66
- Mormon NFL safety Eric Weddle:... 65
- Ryan Teeples: Ziggy Ansah's story... 61
- Utes football recruiting: Polynesian... 60
- Utes football: No changes imminent for... 56
- High school baseball: 5A, 4A, 3A state... 49
- BYU football to receive 6-figure payout... 41