Pac-12 Football

UCLA vs. USC: Last-Second Preview for Saturday's Pac-12 Rivalry Game

19 NOV 1994:  THE UCLA OFFENSIVE LINE LINES UP AGAINST THE USC DEFENSIVE LINE DURING UCLA''S 31-19 WIN AT THE LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL COLISEUM IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn/ALLSPORT
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2013

When the No. 22 UCLA Bruins (8-3, 5-3 Pac-12) take on the No. 21 USC Trojans (9-3, 6-2 Pac-12) Saturday night in front of a national television audience, the Pac-12 rivalry game will be the focal point of the sports world.

Each program will be fighting for second place in the Pac-12 South and for its spot in the BCS Top 25. Add in the history between these two schools, and there is no doubt that the battle between UCLA and USC will have the attention of football fans everywhere Saturday night.

Here is all the vital viewing information to catch the Pac-12 matchup and a preview of what should be a fast-paced game.

 

When: Saturday, Nov. 30, at 8 p.m. ET

Where: Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles

Watch: ABC

Live Stream: ABC Go

Radio: Free Football Radio

 

Nov 23, 2013; Boulder, CO, USA; Southern California Trojans interim head coach Ed Orgeron congratulates offensive tackle Chad Wheeler (72) and quarterback Cody Kessler (6) and guard John Martinez (59) and and offensive tackle Kevin Graf (77) after a touch
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Preview and Prediction

Under interim head coach Ed Orgeron, USC has won six games in a row coming into Saturday’s meeting with the Bruins, including a huge upset win over the Stanford Cardinal on Nov. 16.

UCLA will be a tough test, but the Trojans have proven against stiff competition that the program is not to be taken lightly.

PASADENA, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Head coach Jim Mora of the UCLA Bruins shouts instructions in the game against the Utah Utes at the Rose Bowl on October 13, 2012 in Pasadena, California. UCLA won 21-14.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Bruins are coming off a devastating 38-33 loss to Arizona State last week, but the defeat could be a sign of bigger issues with the team. UCLA has totaled three losses in 2013, all coming against currently ranked programs.

That should be the window of opportunity USC needs to expose the Bruins and win the game.

As if the momentum squarely being on the Trojans’ side wasn’t enough of an advantage, the possible returns of wide receiver Marqise Lee and running back Silas Redd to the lineup, according to USC’s official Twitter account, is a great sign for the program’s chances of winning.

UCLA is dealing with injuries of its own, but the news isn’t good. Starting offensive lineman Simon Goines and WRs Gray Mazzone and Darren Andrews are all likely to miss this week’s game, according to Greg Beacham of the Associated Press.

The injuries have created serious holes across the depth chart that a team playing as well as the Trojans will be able to exploit. If USC doesn’t take the Bruins lightly and plays as hard in the final week of the regular season as it has played during the last six games, there is no doubt that the program has the talent to outperform its rivals.

Led by the Trojans' stingy defense, allowing just 20.2 points per game, USC will dominate UCLA for all four quarters and move into 2014 with supreme confidence in the direction of the program.

For the Bruins, another heartbreaking loss will have the program questioning whether Jim Mora is the right head coach for the future.

With so many intriguing storylines to follow, college football fans can’t afford to miss this game.

Predicted Final Score: USC 30, UCLA 20

 

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