Utah football: All-time, USC owns the series with Utes (11 items)
Is Utah putting makeup on a pig?
USC is just seven-point favorites against Utah for the game this weekend in the Los Angeles Coliseum. The Utes have been close against the Trojans the past two years.
However, neither the prognostication nor the Pac-12 duels have reflected Utah’s typical mode of defeat in their all-time series against the Trojans.
The Utes have lost by 26-plus points four times. Another was a 13-point decision before 1993, when they fell by a touchdown at a neutral site. Overall, Utah is just 3-8 against USC (1-5 in Los Angeles), losing six straight in a series that began in 1915. That was before either Rice-Eccles Stadium or the Los Angeles Coliseum existed. The first four contests were played by the time A&W was started in 1919, at a parade honoring World War I veterans. The 1925, 1932 and 1948 games were all played at the Coliseum, where Saturday's game will be played.
The Utes won the first two matchups in as many seasons — but the next victory didn’t come for another 85 years, a defensive struggle in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Here's a look at the Utah-USC series:
Rhett Wilkinson is a project manager for UtahPolicy.com and hails the true-blooded Aggies from Utah. The co-founder of magazine Aggie BluePrint.com, he's been an intern for the Deseret News and other publications. email@example.com | @wilklogan
1 of 11. Nov. 20, 1915: Utah 20, USC 13
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.
2 of 11. Oct. 21, 1916: Utah 27, USC 12
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."
3 of 11. Nov. 17, 1917: USC 51, Utah 0
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.
4 of 11. Nov. 15, 1919: USC 28, Utah 7
The newspaper account partly blamed the weather for the Ute loss, saying "the visitors were playing under very adverse weather conditions for it was about as hot here as a July afternoon in Salt Lake." Also, "the heat was telling on the Utahns whose duds were wringing wet."
But at least they couldn't blame the loss on any home cooking. Unlike the 1916 game, "the work of the officials was highly commendable" read the newspaper account.
Or maybe Utah lost because of its pre-game activities. According to the Tribune, coach Thomas Fitzpatrick took his players out to Venice for a workout and "every member of the team was feeling fine after a little dip in the ocean surf."
5 of 11. Oct. 10, 1925: USC 28, Utah 2
Utah's only score came in the fourth quarter thanks to a bad pass from center when "the Trojan quarterback was smothered by a mass of Ute linesmen" for a safety.
USC's third touchdown was set up by a 25-yard penalty on a Utah player who "kneed" a Trojan player and was sent out of the game.
After the loss, Utah went on to win six straight games before losing to Utah State in the season finale.