Author Archives: Brian Wagner

About Brian Wagner

The name is Brian Wagner. I was born in West Texas, but have now lived in Los Angeles for the past ten years. You could say I’m getting used to the perfect weather. I am currently a Public Relations student at USC and am a huge Trojans fan, as you might have guessed. I am a lifelong sports fan – and have been ever since my Dad groomed me to do so. But as of late, I have just created an interest for sports journalism. And a major one, in that. I am a sports fanatic. My two favorite teams are USC Trojans (football) and the Minnesota Vikings. I devote my life to sports. But nothing gets my blood flowing more than the Purple & Gold…and Cardinal & Gold. Must be the Gold! Literally, my life revolves around those two programs. And I am convinced before I die; I will see the Vikings hoist the Lombardi.

USC football needs new student managers

The USC football program is looking for new student managers (Jimokes) for next season.  Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to work directly with the coaches and players on a daily basis!

If you love Trojan football, there is no way to get closer to the program than this.  You will be a part of something very few people can  say they have the privilege of seeing. Duties include: assisting coaches during games and practices, setting up the Coliseum locker  room before games, preparing the practice field and more.

If you want more information on how you can be a part of one of the best programs in the nation, send me an email at brwagner [at]

NOTE: You must be a USC student.

Fight On!

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USC wins annual USC-UCLA Manager Game

First off all, sincere apologies for not updating the past few weeks. Finals and the end of the semester caught up with me and it was busy.

But nonetheless, we continue on.

Every year, the USC managers play the UCLA managers in a game of flag football during Rivalry Week.

As a matter of fact, we spend much of the year preparing for this game every year. After practice once or twice a week, we scrimmage against each other. Getting conditioned and developing chemistry with each other is very important.

On the Wednesday before the USC-UCLA “varsity” game, we ventured to UCLA’s practice field. We arrived to a rockin’ field, filled with a sound system, fans and about 30-40 UCLA football players. We knew this game was important.

However, we came prepared as well. We arrived in a convoy of 6 cars. Fellow students, trainers, student workers, family and 10 or so players made their way out to Westwood. It was amazing.

The game rules included:

– Flag football
– Two, thirty minute halves (running clock)
– 7 vs. 7
– 80 yard field
– 4 downs to get 20 yards
– Pass rush allowed

The pass rush slowed our offense in the first half. We only earned one first down in the first 30 minutes, and that was on the final play of the half. We had never played with a rush before, so it took some adjusting.

Defensively, we were on fire. Despite allowing one touchdown in the final minute, our line and defensive specialists all played marvelously. On the line, Eric Ziskin and Jeff Pardue held it down. Great effort.

Down 7-0 at halftime, we had some game-planning to do in the second half. We scrapped the playbook we had created the previous week. Our plan: Run a fast-paced, Oregon-like offense and ‘wing it.’ Our athletic ability and team chemistry would take us from there. We scored touchdowns on 3 of our 4 possessions: 1 pass from me to Sean Bell, and 2 to Alden Weiss. Couldn’t get any more productive than that.

Again, our defense was stellar. Gavin Williams and Wilson Palmer got interceptions and Sean Bell had about 5 or 6 pass deflections. Again, our line was stellar. On both sides of the ball. Matt Anzueto and Asad Sayed were also big contributors to that.

Our final drive was really epic. We got the ball back with 10:00 trailing in the game after the Palmer interception, leading 14-7.We held the ball for the next 9 minutes, going 3-for-3 on 4th down conversions and ended with a game-clinching 15-yard touchdown pass to Weiss. UCLA got the ball back with 1:00 minute to go, trailing by two touchdowns. It was over.

It was an emotional game; so fun. So great to see this team come back and get a win, especially after an ugly 1st half. The victory extended our winning streak to three games.

Before we make it four-in-a-row, check out some pictures below:

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Tough loss on Senior Night

It was another rough weekend for Trojan football after our loss to Notre Dame…on Senior Night. Without QB Matt Barkley, Mitch Mustain played well, but we failed to get the ball in the red zone.

And, of course, our loss came on the hands of another dramatic comeback by an opposing team in the final minutes. It was another heart-breaker. Speaking of breaking hearts, I feel so bad for our senior wideout Ronald Johnson, or RoJo. He is one of the nicest players on our team. He was absolutely crushed in the locker room following the game. Here’s to him having a rocking game at UCLA this week.

It’s wild to think we only have three more days left of the season. So sad. But looking to finish strong against our Crosstown rivals, UCLA!

Fight On and Beat the Bruins!

Here are some cool pictures from last weekend:

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Losing streak in Oregon continues…

Another trip to Oregon. Another loss.

Last week’s loss at Oregon State on the hands of thousands of orange and black fans was the fifth straight loss in Oregon in as many years for the Trojans.

There’s something about that 30-degree cold and exposure to nature that doesn’t quite capture the Trojans’ spirit.

While it was a very lopsided score, I felt the score wasn’t a testament to the game played. Up until the late-3rd quarter, I still felt confident we could make a comeback. But it didn’t happen. It’s always rough to lose, one of the things I dislike most. It’s especially tough when your star quarterback goes down.

Our prayers are with Matt Barkley for a healthy recovery after enduring a terrible tackle in the final seconds of the first half and sustaining a high ankle sprain in his left ankle. We don’t know how long he will be out for, but we do know he will continue to Fight On!

While we get ready for the two biggest rivalry games of the year–and two of the biggest in collegiate sports–take a look at these photos from last week’s loss:

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Trojan Takeover in Tuscon

It has been classified as the best win of the year for our squad. Against a great opponent, AP No. 18 Arizona, the USC Trojans dominated on all three facets of the game to get a signature win. On the road. Against a ranked opponent.

While the offensive statistics don’t jump out at you like they did against Cal, the O played incredibly. On the back–and feet of running back Marc Tyler (31 carries for 160 yards)–the Trojans ate up clock and scored touchdowns. Defensively, the Trojans stifled a high-powered Arizona offense led by senior quarterback Nick Foles. They forced turnovers, quickly turning them into points for the Trojan O.

And remarkably, the special teams continues to dominate. If it wasn’t for an offside penalty on Arizona’s final PAT attempt, USC would have been the first team to take back a blocked extra point for a touchdown in consecutive games. BUT, the penalty overturned that exciting play. Regardless, special teams coach John Baxter has made USC’s special teams one of the best in the country, making our squad so valuable in every game.

We’re gearing up for Oregon State this week, and fly out tomorrow afternoon to Corvallis. Temperatures will hover around 40 degrees during the weekend, with a high percentage of rain. To keep it simple, it will be miserable. But, are equipment team has packed a few extra trunks this week, filled with warmer clothing for all players and staff members. Don’t you worry, we are ready for God’s call.

We’re going to Fight On! in Corvallis.

But first, enjoy these pictures from last week’s gem:

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Electric atmosphere vs. Oregon…but no “W”

In my three years as a student manager of USC football, never have I been in the Coliseum with the atmosphere it had this past Saturday night against No. 1 Oregon.

It ranked higher than our epic match against Ohio State in 2008. No question.

I have said the first 35 minutes (1st half + first 5:00 of the 2nd) were the most exciting 35 minutes I have witnessed while working with the program. With the back and forth scoring, big plays and a rocking “RedOut” atmosphere, the Coliseum provided an unbelievable place to watch a football game.

With College GameDay on hand for our Homecoming game, as well, USC was simply buzzing.

While the excitement was all there, the Trojans couldn’t finish the job, losing to the best team in the country, 53-32. It was rough to watch our Trojans drop another game this season. I hate losing.

But that doesn’t mean USC is no longer the “USC” we have become accustomed too. Although we’re going through a rough patch now, the Trojans will be back. Bet on it.

Fight On!

Now, enjoy some behind-the-scenes photos from Saturday:

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Bye week…See you next week

This weekend is the lone bye weekend for the Trojans for the entire season.

And all this week–while preparing for the No. 1 Oregon Ducks–the Trojans have been practicing at 6 a.m.; meaning your Jimokes have been at work at 5 a.m. Early mornings, to say the least.

And after last week’s victory against Cal, the team gets this Sunday off, as well.

We will be back with the team on Monday, getting ready for the biggest week of the season. The best team in the country is coming to the Coliseum! If you’re going to the game, make sure you wear Cardinal for the Red Out!

Fight On!

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Domination of Cal: Back to the Good Ol’ Days

I’m still living off the excitement off Saturday’s game. It was an extraordinary performance by our Trojans. Everything seemed to click: The offense continued to roll, dialing up over 600 yards of offense, against the 6th ranked pass defense in the country. The defense played its best game of the year, as the 1st team defense allowed only three first downs. The special teams continued to dominate. Joe Houston was 7-7 on PATs, made two field goals and pooched punted down to the 8-yard line.

It was an incredible game, especially that first half. I couldn’t stop from looking back to my first year as a Jimoke: the 2008 season. That year, our defense dominated each and every team and our offense scored points like it was trendy.

It was the ultimate game for the Trojans to have to get momentum for the bye week, and a visit from No. 1 ranked Oregon in two weeks. It’s going to be incredible.

Here’s to the upward trend; to the future. And here’s to Oregon on October 30. I already can’t wait.

Fight On!

But first, please enjoy these pictures from USC-Cal:

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Photos from Stanford

It’s tough to relive pictures from a loss, but here is a great slideshow of the weekend at Stanford. Pictures of the locker room, Stanford’s goofy band and miscellaneous Jimokes lie ahead:

Fight On!

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No posts and two losses

First of all, I’m sorry it’s been so long since I have last posted. I didn’t have a camera during our victory in Washington State, so I failed to have visual media of the game. For cool pictures from that game, check out Sean Bell’s blog.

I also recently had a death in my family, which caused me to miss the USC-Washington game last week. While it was obviously appropriate to skip the game, it felt weird. I had gone to 27 consecutive USC football games prior to last week. Well, guess I’m back at one. If you’d like to see a recap of last week’s loss, check out Sean’s blog again. He’s been covering for me the past couple weeks. And, of course, does an excellent job!

But, now on to this week. As you know, it turned out to be another heart-breaker for the Trojans. Who would’ve thought the rarity of losing on a game-winning field goal as time expires would happen two times in a row! Man, it is truly tough to walk off the field after something like that. But all in all, it was an incredible game (from a spectator standpoint). The predicted offensive shootout played to be just that, with two of the nation’s best QBs (Stanford’s Andrew Luck and USC’s Matt Barkley) battling it out until the clock read 0:00. True freshman wide receiver Robert Woods also had a career game (12 catches, 224 yards, 3 TDs).

USC’s offense continued to roll, piling up yards and putting up points. But, again, it was the defense that allowed another last second drive to allow the other team put up points in the final moments. Tough, indeed.

All in all, however, it was a great weekend up in Stanford. I enjoy the beautiful campus and the thousands of USC fans coming up for the “Weekender,” as USC students dub the yearly trip to the Bay Area.

While we have lost two games in a row, our focus has already turned to Cal. We’re ready to Beat the Bears come Saturday!

Fight On!

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