Check out the USC vs. UCLA fearless prediction and game preview.
USC (7-3) vs. UCLA (4-6) Game Preview
Date: Saturday, Nov. 19
Game Time: 10:30 pm
Venue: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
There’s a great chance USC will play two of its next three games in Pasadena, but there’s a shot the second time it could be as the Pac-12 champion.
It’s not going to be easy – Colorado has to lose to either Washington State or Utah, and Utah has to lose once more – but if Washington gets to the playoff, the Trojans could get into the Rose Bowl just by winning out and being the hot team in the College Football Playoff rankings.
Before getting too ahead of things, it’s been an outstanding run under Clay Helton, who got up off the hot seat after a 1-3 start to rip off six straight wins including a dominant win at Washington last week. Beat UCLA, beat Notre Dame, and all of a sudden, this becomes a terrific season with or without a Pac-12 title.
This has been a horrible season for UCLA, and there hasn’t been any hope of a Pac-12 title for a while.
There’s a chance to finish on a high note, needing to win the last two games against USC and Cal to become bowl eligible, or it’ll be possible to get in on its Academic Progress Report if it goes 5-7, but more than that, the team needs a good win.
It’s been ugly, with the close-call win over BYU the best victory of the year. But with a fun passing attack, and a defense that’s not getting enough credit for being solid – the Utah shootout screwed up and perception of that – this hasn’t been a totally miserable team.
The Bruins had their shot in each of the six losses, and there but for one one play here or there, this could’ve been a far different season.
As bad as things have been, as is always the case in rivalry games, all anyone might remember about 2016 UCLA is whether or not it puts a halt to all of USC’s fun.
Stepping in for Josh Rosen, Mike Fafaul has been mistake-prone, with ten picks in five games with one touchdown pass in his last two. But he’s been competent enough to get past a miserable running game that ran for 163 yards and three touchdowns last week against Oregon State – by far the best performance by the ground attack since tearing off 219 yards and five scores against UNLV in Week 2.
That’s not happening this week.
Yeah, teams play above their heads in rivalry games, and strange things happen when USC and UCLA face each other, but the Trojans are playing way too well right now.
Sam Darnold and the offense will be held in relative check, but the Trojan defense will be a rock against the Bruin ground game – consider it a wild success if UCLA runs for more than 50 yards – and should take advantage of three Fafaul interceptions to make this an easy step to keep Pac-12 hopes alive.
USC vs. UCLA Prediction
USC 27, UCLA 17
USC -13.5, o/u: 52.5
ATS Confidence: 5: Taco Bell Cinnabon Delights – 1: Chinese yuan … 3
Must See Rating: 5: Office Christmas Party – 1: Harry … 4