The USC Trojans enter a college football game. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
The USC Trojans enter a college football game. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

USC announced it will play non-conference football games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum against Utah State in 2016, Western Michigan in 2017 and UNLV in 2019.

The Trojans are 5-0 against Utah State, winning 17-14 in 2013 in the most recent meeting between the teams. USC defeated UNLV, 35-21, in 1997, their only meeting.

The Trojans have never played Western Michigan.

The idea for the Sept. 2, 2017 game against Western Michigan, which will be USC’s season opener, was initiated by Alec Gores, a billionaire investor who lives in Beverly Hills and played football for Western Michigan in 1974 and 1975, according to Adam Bodnar, an assistant director of media relations for Western Michigan’s athletic department.

At a dinner with USC president C.L. Max Nikias and athletic director Pat Haden, Gores discussed his desire to see his alma mater play the Trojans. From there he contacted Broncos athletic director  Kathy Beauregard, Bodnar said.

The final contract was signed by Beauregard and Haden in Gores’ Beverly Hills home in in the presence of Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck and university President John M. Dunn.

“The biggest accomplishments require the greatest risk,” Gores said. “I took the risk in calling Kathy Beauregard and initiating contact to help in any way to make this game possible.

“I’m extremely proud of my degree from Western Michigan and my time with the football program. There is no better way to show my pride for WMU than helping arrange this game.”

The Broncos were 8-5 in the 2014 season, including a 38-24 loss to Air Force in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

—City News Service

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