College Football Preview: UCLA vs. USC

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 5, 2008

Associated Press
PASADENA, Calif. ó Time out! A new era begins today in one of college football’s most intense rivalries.
For the first time in 26 years, Southern California and UCLA will both wear home jerseys when they meet for the 78th time at the Rose Bowl. That means cardinal red for the visiting Trojans and powder blue for the host Bruins.
“I think it’s a cool thing,” Trojans guard Jeff Byers said. “It creates another aspect to this rivalry that’s really cool.”
The Trojans and Bruins played their home games at the Los Angeles Coliseum until UCLA moved to the Rose Bowl in 1982. They began wearing home jerseys against each other the first time they met, in 1929, when USC won 76-0.
The tradition continued the first time the teams played at the Rose Bowl, but when the NCAA passed a rule that would penalize teams one timeout if they didn’t wear their proper home and road jerseys, the Bruins wore white at the Coliseum in 1983. The visitors have worn white ever since.
USC coach Pete Carroll announced this week he would gladly suffer the consequences ó a lost timeout after the opening kickoff ó to get back to the home jersey tradition. Carroll said he had thought about making the move for several years, but it didn’t work out until now.
“It always looked awesome, it was just a part of the matchup and the spectacle, kind of playing for rights here in Los Angeles and in Southern California,” he said. “So hopefully everybody will get something out of it. I’m just willing to make the statement that we want to go for it.”
First-year UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel not only approves of the concept, he said he’ll call a timeout immediately after USC’s forced timeout.