Let the good times roll. The Trojans have won five straight games to creep back in the national top 25 rankings and are now starting to play real USC football back to the days of Pete Carroll and his dominant run in Southern California.
The UCLA Bruins (No. 22) stand in their way, and everyone involved with USC football certainly remembers last year's debacle in the Rose Bowl. The Trojans fell behind 24-0 in that game, much like the New England Patriots, but were unable to muster up the Brady-esque come-from-behind victory with their backs against the wall.
Among many of the disappointing facets from that particular game: Matt Barkley was lost for the season due to a fourth-quarter shoulder injury, the Bruins advanced to their first ever Pac-12 Championship Game, and the energy surrounding the program was lost heading into the much-maligned Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.
"Getting beat left a terrible taste in our mouth … We let down the Trojan Family. It wasn’t a very good feeling." -- USC interim head coach Ed Orgeron.
The stage is set and not much more needs to be said. Not only does Orgeron want to change things around, he firmly believes this group of players has taken huge strides and are destined to put their best foot forward on Saturday night.
To help encourage the Trojans this week, Orgeron has challenged the fan base to come out loud and proud much like they did in sell-out fashion against Stanford, this time by blasting the Bruins eardrums out of the Coliseum.
The loudest crowd noise at a sports stadium (outdoor) was 137.5 decibels this year let’s challenge that Trojan Nation . FIGHT ON.— Coach Ed Orgeron (@CoachOUSC) November 25, 2013
For a program that did not look over Colorado with UCLA in its sights, jumping out to a 23-0 halftime lead, one tends to think an entire week jabbing back and forth from both teams will add to an already fearsome rivalry in Los Angeles.
What makes this an even more exciting rivalry however is that 10 points of the GAUNTLET are on the line in the yearly USC vs UCLA Showdown. The Bruins won last year's gauntlet and already have an early lead through three sports (Soccer, Water Polo, and Cross Country) but football bears more weight in the overall standings.
CONQUEST takes place tonight on USC's campus as the entire student community will be out and about on McCarthy Quad to inspire the football program during its rigorous and festive week of preparation for the final game of the regular season.