USC vs. UCLA fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, November 17
Game Time: 3:30 ET
Venue: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
USC (5-5) vs. UCLA (2-8) Game Preview
One Reason Why USC Will Win
UCLA might be more competitive after the horrible start to the season, but it’s started to slide again because the run defense has fallen off the map.
The lines were the problem from the start for the Bruins, and now they’re having major issues giving up over 800 yards and ten touchdowns over the last three games. And it’s not like there are a whole bunch of massive plays happening, either – good backs are able to grind it out a bit, too.
There’s nothing big happening with the USC offense, and the running game isn’t consistent enough to be counted on weekly, but it was able to crank up big yards against Oregon State a few weeks ago and rumbled for 253 yards against Arizona.
USC has to make this easy on itself. O line, this game is on you.
UCLA has one of the nation’s worst run defenses, there’s no pass rush, and the offensive side isn’t doing enough to get the running game going – the USC D just has to worry about the passing game.
The Trojan defense hasn’t been good enough against the run lately – no problem this week – but it’s strong at getting off the field. UCLA stinks on third downs, and its defense really smells when it comes time to get off the field.
Yeah, USC is supposed to be about flash and dash, but being boring and methodical might not be a bad thing this week.
One Reason Why UCLA Will Win
The Trojans don’t take the ball away.
UCLA needs as many different breaks as possible to pull this off, and that starts with the turnover battle. USC hasn’t been on the right side of the margin since the opener against UNLV, going a -9 over the last nine games.
The Trojan defense has been banged up, but it hasn’t been awful. However, teams that commit to throwing the ball and get hot early have managed to come up with a whole lot of success. Oregon State, Utah, and Washington State all threw for over 300 yards, and that’s where Wilton Speight comes in.
UCLA can’t win this without its quarterback being better than USC’s.
There’s not going to be anything happening from the UCLA running game, but Speight is coming off a 335-yard, two touchdown day against Arizona State, and he has to be ready to bomb away to keep up the pace.
He’s the old veteran, and JT Daniels is the young guy who’s going to be under pressure for the Trojans after a few rocky weeks. The freshman has struggled, failing to come up with 200 yards since mid-October, and with eight interceptions on the year.
What’s Going To Happen
USC will rebound in a hurry from the weird collapse against Cal, and it’ll save its season – or come close – with a strong performance getting strong play from the lines.
The UCLA offense will get a big day out of Speight, but the offensive line won’t protect him enough, and the defensive line will get beaten on as the game goes on.
It won’t be anything pretty, but for now, USC will take any win it can get. Especially against That Team Up North.
Fearless Prediction & Line
USC 34, UCLA 21
Line: USC -3.5, o/u: 54.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 4
Must See Rating: 3
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