Tommy Trojan is getting some early protection this year.
Although the Nov. 22 football game against rival UCLA was more than a week away, on Friday the USC campus icon was already duct-taped for safekeeping. Both schools are already looking ahead to the big game, since neither team plays this weekend (USC beat Cal on Thursday night, and UCLA has a bye week).
Tommy Trojan isn’t alone: Across Hahn Plaza, the Traveler statue is also taped up. And at the edge of campus near Exposition Park, the statue of George Tirebiter — the university’s unofficial first mascot — is in the doghouse, literally: A wooden structure protects him.
This year’s rivalry game takes place at the Rose Bowl.