LOS ANGELES — What do a lot of duct tape, camping supplies and a group of college students all have in common? For University of Southern California student Jack Stolerow the answer is simple. In fact, it takes just two words.

“Tommy Watch," Stolerow admitted. "Tommy Watch is the Trojan Knights annual watch during the UCLA week. We’ll be out here 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the whole week.”

What You Need To Know

  • Founded in 1921, the Knights are the oldest all-male service and spirit organization at USC

  • During rivalry week, one of their most sacred traditions is a 24/7 guard in front of Tommy Trojan

  • Each statue or mascot on campus is carefully wrapped and guarded to prevent damage or pranks from UCLA students

  • The Knights are also the keepers of the Victory Bell, the annual trophy given to the winner of the USC, UCLA football game

What is Tommy Watch? Why is it needed? And what are the Knights?

To answer those questions, one has to go back about 100 years.

“The Trojan Knights are the driving force behind rivalry week truly," Stolerow said. "We are the guardians of tradition, but it’s not just guarding it, it’s establishing it. We look for ways to better the campus every year. ”

Founded in 1921, the Knights are the oldest all-male service and spirit organization at USC. During rivalry week, their traditions truly come to life. Take camping out to protect Tommy Trojan and Traveler — both of USC's mascots — from paint attacks and pranks, to other events and festivities throughout the week.

To all throughout campus, this week, just has a different feel.

“Seeing all of the statues covered, Tirebiter, even with the weather change," Stolerow said. "It really hasn’t changed until this week, it started to get cold and you can just feel the intensity in the air.”

Because for Stolerow, UCLA week is a big deal — it is a rivalry more special and more unique than most.

“The USC, UCLA rivalry is just filled with incredible history," he said. "Starting as far back as the 1930s with the theft of the victory bell by the Trojan Knights. That sparked an incredible rivalry."

The victory bell is the trophy gifted to the winner of the football game every year. Throughout the offseason, it stays hidden away, not even Spectrum News 1 could find out where it has been hidden.

“We’re keeping it safe before game day," Stolerow said. "It’s got double biometric security, so, I couldn’t get you in even if I wanted to.” 

The perfect example of just how sacred this rivalry has become, and as far as the Knights go, do not even try to ask them about UCLA.

"UCLA who?" someone shouted. "Oh, you mean UC Westwood?" others joined in.

“You can see we’re not fond of UCLA in any capacity but we’re ready to take them on at all costs,” Stolerow echoed.

The Trojan Knights, the keepers of tradition are giving students a front row seat to one of the best rivalries in all of college football.