USC vs. UCLA: Rivals protect their iconic statues ahead of crosstown football clash

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Days before the USC and UCLA football teams are set to clash at the Coliseum, several USC students on Thursday, Nov., 16, 2017, were keeping a watchful eye on Tommy Trojan and three other statues on their campus. (KABC)

Days before the USC and UCLA football teams are set to clash at the Coliseum, several USC students on Thursday were keeping a watchful eye on Tommy Trojan and three other statues on their campus.

The round-the-clock guard seeks to prevent any vandalism or pranks involving the statues amid the longtime rivalry between the two universities.

The USC statues have been covered with a silver protective wrap - a tarp wrapped in duct tape -- since earlier this week.

Meanwhile, at the UCLA campus in Westwood, the iconic Bruin Bear statue has been in a hibernation of sorts - encased in a box to ward off pranksters.

Bruins football players and fans rallied Wednesday night at a massive on-campus bonfire, an annual tradition. USC is scheduled to hold its own rally Thursday evening.

Each team has a lot at stake in Saturday's game, whose kickoff is set for 5 p.m. The Trojans are trying to stay in the bowl hunt after locking up the PAC-12 South Division title. The Bruins need a win in order to remain eligible for a bowl game.

Watch the UCLA Bruins take on the USC Trojans this Saturday on ABC7. Coverage of the game starts at 4:30 p.m.

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