Wolf: USC-UCLA week opens without war of words


BOULDER, CO - NOVEMBER 11: USC Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold #14 eludes Colorado Buffaloes defensive back Evan Worthington #6 for a first down in the third quarter at Folsom Field November 11, 2017. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)
BOULDER, CO – NOVEMBER 11: USC Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold #14 eludes Colorado Buffaloes defensive back Evan Worthington #6 for a first down in the third quarter at Folsom Field November 11, 2017. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)

LOS ANGELES – This is the time of week when the Crosstown Rivalry is supposed to feature USC and UCLA trading barbs with each other.

Remember UCLA wide receiver Shaq Evans?

“This year, we’re going to try to embarrass them, honestly,” he said. “They’re struggling, it’s just awesome to see that. I hate them. So I’m just loving it. I’ve always hated them.”

Or when USC fullback Brandon Hancock said, “”All bets are off against those pansies over there.”

But this week got off to a genteel start. USC quarterback Sam Darnold talked about how he is friends with UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen.

“I know him pretty well,” Darnold said. “Josh is a great guy. We talk every now and then about the games we had on the weekend.”

The pair could be linked for the next 10-15 years if they become high-profile NFL quarterbacks.

“That’s pretty deep,” Darnold said. “If that happens to be the case, that would be sweet.”

But Darnold also mentioned that he likes former UCLA quarterback Mike Fafaul, who filled in for Rosen.

“I shook hands with him after the game and got to know him, and it started a relationship,” Darnold said.

So, no animosity or trash talk yet. Maybe USC wide receiver Michael Pittman is a better bet. He is close friends with UCLA wide receiver Theo Howard and Darnay Holmes. He is also friends with UCLA wide receiver Jordan Lasley.

This would seem a perfect situation for some quality banter.

“We’re all friends, but not at the Coliseum,” Pittman said.

That’s a good start, but only if he keeps going and builds some animosity toward the Bruins.

“We’ll talk before the game and after the game,” Pittman said.

Talk or trash talk?

“We’re friends,” Pittman said.

So no repeat of Evans’ trash talk here, apparently.

But Pittman also originally committed to UCLA, so maybe he has some lingering anger toward the Bruins.

“They have some good coaches and a good quarterback,” Pittman said. “I just thought it would be best to come here.”

OK, so nothing really to build on there either.

A good candidate to deliver a rant on UCLA might be USC cornerback Jack Jones, but he was busy doing pushups as he walked the field with a strength coach, perhaps as punishment for getting yet…



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