LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Jim Hill spoke with USC Athletic Director, Mike Bohn about the football team’s most recent game against UCLA, its upcoming match against the Oregon Ducks, and Head Coach, Clay Helton.

USC Athletic Director Mike Bohn looks on before a college basketball game between the Utah Utes and the USC Trojans. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

With their second straight win against UCLA on Saturday, the Trojans are now 5-0, putting them first in the Pac-12 South division. Hill asked Bohn what he thought of the game.

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“It was such a great game and my hat’s off to all the student-athletes who participated in the game and the coaches. When you think of 2020, all that competitive spirit and energy and passion and performance and teamwork has to come within. I just was proud of our team and proud of UCLA and everybody just putting on an incredible game,” Bohn said.

“When you think again of all the obstacles our student-athletes on both sides are involved in and across the country, It’s just really an incredible testament to their character, what they represent how much they love the game, how much they enjoy each other, and how much they really understand the history of that great contest and wanting to be a part of it.”

The Trojans were originally set to take on Washington in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday, however, the decision was made by the Pac-12 on Monday to pull the Huskies due to “a number of positive football student-athlete COVID-19 cases and resulting isolation of additional football student-athletes under contact tracing protocols.”

Under the Pac-12 Football Championship Game policy, the Oregon Ducks, as the team with the next best record in the North Division, was chosen to play against USC.

Bohn acknowledged the hard work that the team faced with this late announcement.

“You know, the way it worked out, and only how it can work out in 2020, is Oregon’s had two weeks to prepare for us and be ready and we, up until five minutes ago, were preparing for Washington and that will shift gears here on Monday afternoon to start trying to prepare for a Friday night game against Oregon and we all understand the history of our two institutions on a football field and it should be a great game, but I know our players will be excited to go out there and do everything they can in the Coliseum and play their hearts out.”

Hill asked Bohn about Head Coach Clay Helton and what he has done during the COVID pandemic.

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“Our coaches and our athletes and support staff, think of the trainers and the facility staff and equipment staff, all making major sacrifices to ensure that they can play football, and being in a tight-knit group, and being able to battle, and as you said, come over, get through those games where those games were in doubt. Very end of the game last second place and time and time again they’ve come together with great confidence and pride and trust in each other, and I believe that’s a wonderful representation of the culture, that Coach Helton and his staff are building.”