USC athletics secured the Crosstown Cup over UCLA without USC football’s help while there was bad news for a former Trojan in the NFL on Monday.
As it turns out, USC athletics didn’t need USC football to best UCLA this season to take back the Crosstown Cup.
The Trojans were confirmed as winners of the annual rivalry series across all sports with the Bruins this weekend, thanks to a victory by USC’s women’s rowing team. USC won the cup with 105 points over UCLA’s 85.
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Head-to-head wins between the two rivals are worth 10 points per 19 different sports.
USC grabbed 10 points each in women’s and men’s volleyball, women’s and men’s water polo, women’s swimming, women’s track, women’s golf and women’s rowing. Split series for women’s and men’s basketball, women’s and men’s tennis and women’s beach volleyball netted the Trojans five points each.
Clay Helton and company missed out on handing the Trojans an additional 10 points in football when they fell to Chip Kelly’s Bruins 34-27 in November.
The Bruins had controlled the Crosstown Cup for the last two academic years. It’s now back in cardinal and gold hands for the 11th time since it was started 18 years ago.
Jack Follman of Pacific Takes mused over every Pac-12 team’s greatest weakness on Monday and he landed on a pretty reasonable one for the Trojans: Defensive back.
USC graduated five starters from last year’s defensive backfield including Iman Marshall, Marvell Tell, Ajene Harris, Isaiah Langley and Jonathan Lockett. As a result, the secondary will have a completely new look to it when they line up this fall. Since most of those new faces will be players with extremely limited experience, concern is certainly heightened.
Not good for Nico Falah
Bad news for Nico Falah, the former USC center who has been trying to establish his place in the NFL since going undrafted in 2018.
He went down injured while practicing with the Denver Broncos on Monday and it is feared he tore his Achilles tendon, according to Ian Rapoport. That injury would certainly end his season.
Doubting Notre Dame
One of USC’s biggest challenges of the 2019 season will be the trip to South Bend to face Notre Dame at the end of a grueling six-game opening to the campaign
The Irish are slated as a preseason Top 10 team, but there seems to be a recent theme of doubting the seriousness of Brian Kelly’s squad.
Brad Crawford of 247Sports listed 10 bold predictions for the 2019 season, proposing a Notre Dame flop, at least when it comes to playoff contention.
Meanwhile, Caleb Friedman of Sports Illustrated placed Notre Dame among their five college football teams expected to regress this coming season.
That won’t necessarily help USC when they go on the road in a rivalry game, but it’s something to think about as the season nears.