It got off to a shaky start on the national stage, but for the ninth time in the 13-year history of this sporting competition, USC has officially captured the Crosstown Gauntlet Trophy over the UCLA Bruins.
USC scored 60 points in the 2013-2014 competition, which was just enough to clinch the title to UCLA's 55-point effort. This was extremely important because this race was the tightest since the Trojans won the third-ever running of the Gauntlet in '03-04. After losing last year, snapping USC's five-year reign, the Trojans responded in strong fashion.
USC should be most thankful to their spring sports teams that overcame a large deficit left by football and men's basketball. Back on Feb. 10, UCLA led the competition by a score of 40-20, but thanks to some impressive victories over the Bruins, USC came storming back (including a 30-to-7.5 run since March 10) to gain the lead for good.
In their comeback efforts, USC got some key points from Trojan baseball, women's track, men's and women's golf, women's sand volleyball, women's rowing and men's volleyball. Women's track ultimately secured the Trojans' place by dominating UCLA in the Crosstown Dual Meet, and that was just one of the great moments for USC Athletics.
While no event may have had the dramatic ending that USC Baseball was able to accomplish, coming from four runs behind in the top of the 9th inning to secure a series sweep in Westwood, the Trojan spring sports certainly came to play down the stretch.
Women's Sand Volleyball, who finished 3rd in the NCAA Tournament last month, rolled through the Bruins in a decisive 5-0 sweep and the women's rowing team put their best foot forward outpacing the Bruins for an incredible 13th straight time. Both men's and women's golf steamrolled the Bruins on the course, and USC Women's Golf is battling UCLA (among other squads) in the NCAA Tournament finals this week in Tulsa, Okla.
Tough losses in both football and men's basketball may have dampened the enthusiasm behind the Trojans' sixth Gauntlet Trophy in the past seven years, but certainly things are looking up for both these revenue generating programs for the immediate future.
We vividly remember the fantastic meeting on the gridiron back in 2012 when USC laid the lumber all over UCLA. Combine that with some tough emotions following back-to-back losses with an improved recruiting class under coach Sarkisian and the hyped lead up to the November 22nd meeting at the Rose Bowl will make for must-see television.
USC men's basketball landed the No. 12 recruiting class according to Scout.com and Enfield's staff's starting to reel in the local talent that could mold into an offensively-strong program that can compete with UCLA in the years to come.
50-0 USC over UCLA...Never Forget, Always Remember