California Daily Bruin Blows Out Southern California Daily Trojan


The de facto Pacific Coast Conference championship game in early December of 1939 between the # 3 ranked USC TROJANS and the # 9 ranked UCLA BRUINS may have ended in a scoreless tie but, when it comes to the post-game coverage of this monumental sporting event from the respective school newspapers of the two intra-city rivals, there is a clear winner and by a wide margin, as well.

In the prime space just below the school newspaper’s banner, UCLA’s publication, “CALIFORNIA DAILY BRUIN”, features a headline, “Bruins, Trojans Battle To Scorelss Draw”, that stretches across almost the entire width of the front page. To compare directly with USC, the headline, “Trojans, Tennessee Selected As Rose Bowl Elevens”, has to share top billing on the front page of the “SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DAILY TROJAN” with three other ‘regular’ news stories. One is a must-read piece about the naughty and “undesirable” Kappa Alpha fraternity being thrown out of the West Adams residential district by the Los Angeles city planning commission.

It also is interesting to note that the Southern California Daily Trojan’s main report concerning USC’s epic football contest with cross-town rival UCLA, entitled “‘Biggest Game’ Ends In 0-0 Deadlock”, does not begin until almost halfway down the front page.

ucla-39-usc-statsBoth the California Daily Bruin and the Southern California Daily Trojan ran the same photograph from the “Los Angeles Times” newspaper that shows UCLA head coach BABE HORRELL presenting his counterpart, USC bench boss HOWARD JONES, with a symbolic bowl of roses. But the California Daily Bruin has also has several photographs from the actual football game, itself, whereas the Southern California Daily Trojan features but a single ‘action shot’ from the sensational scoreless engagement. That photo does well to document the hand and leg injuries that USC consensus All-America guard HARRY SMITH heroically played through but the California Daily Bruin’s panoramic view of a jam-packed Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum probably does better to capture the overall atmosphere of this record-setting occasion.

On matters of more traditional journalistic content, the California Daily Bruin scores major points by taking the time to print the standard “Game Statistics” chart for the two teams. Most impressively, the Westwood school’s publication also provides the individual rushing statistics for both UCLA as well as USC. Indeed, the California Daily Bruin printed the standard “Game Statistics” chart for all ten of UCLA’s games in 1939 and also listed the individual rushing statistics of the two teams for each of the Bruins’ last eight games that season.

In contrast, the Southern California Daily Trojan had no such affinity for charting numbers that year and, thus, missed many opportunities to provide their readers with rather valuable information.

It is interesting to note that the California Daily Bruin report that USC star quarterback GRENVILLE LANSDELL gained 99 net yards rushing on 15 total carries against UCLA in 1939 but, in the Trojans’ official football media guide for 2013, the two-time All-America selection is given credit for 101 net yards on the same number of attempts :


For a link to the editions of the “CALIFORNIA DAILY BRUIN” that span the entire length of UCLA’s highly successful football season in 1939 as well as continuing discussions with respect to the Bruins’ famous scoreless draw with the USC Trojans that year, please refer to the following :




Filed under UCLA Football, UCLA vs USC

2 responses to “California Daily Bruin Blows Out Southern California Daily Trojan

  1. Very interesting (and entertaining) assessment of the different coverages!

    Thanks for mentioning my football blog!

    –Tom Sawyer

    • Classic UCLA Bruins, Rediscovered

      No problem, Tom. It’s truly my pleasure. This particular UCLA football blog has always been able to cruise at a higher altitude than the flight plan originally called for and this is because of the existence of your own Bruins football blog, there is absolutely no question.