USC vs UCLA Prediction, Game Preview

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

USC vs UCLA Prediction, Game Preview

College Football Predictions

USC vs UCLA Prediction, Game Preview


USC vs UCLA prediction and game preview.

USC vs UCLA Broadcast

Date: Saturday, December 12
Game Time: 7:30 ET
Venue: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
Network: ABC

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USC (4-0) vs UCLA (3-2) Game Preview

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Why USC Will Win

Now there’s the USC we were all waiting for.

It took a few games to get there, and the win over Utah provided a glimpse of what the team could be, and then came the first half against Washington State in the 38-13 win.

Kedon Slovis finished up completing 78% of his throws for 287 yards and five scores, and it was over fast. Amon-Ra St. Brown caught seven passes and four scores, the defense held down the Cougar offense to under 300 yards, and it all worked. Okay, so there were a few missing parts, but more on that in a moment.

UCLA is playing well, it’s getting good line play, and it’s dangerous, but it has a problem with turnover margin. USC lit up Wazzu helped by three takeaways and is a +6 on the year, and UCLA is -7 in its two losses.

However …

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Why UCLA Will Win

The Bruins are +4 and didn’t lose the turnover battle in the three wins.

The secondary has been solid – only Oregon went off and had a big day – the lines are terrific with a great pass rush taking over, and the run defense has to own the Trojans.

For all of the good things USC did against Washington State, running wasn’t a part of it with five net yards on 20 carries, and that’s coming off a rough outing against Utah. If Slovis isn’t great, USC is in big, big trouble.

On the other side, the UCLA offense showed what it could do once it got its quarterback back.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson went through the contract tracing protocol and missed two games, and then he came back to hit 18-of-24 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown with 49 rushing yards and a score in the thrilling win over Arizona State.

UCLA might have lost last year, but DTR gave the Trojans a ton of problems with 367 passing yards and three touchdowns to go along with a good day on the ground. He’s the quarterback USC hasn’t faced so far – even though Arizona State’s Jayden Daniels is close – and this is his chance to make his mark on the rivalry.

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What’s Going To Happen

This is it. This is the big moment for USC head coach Clay Helton and his talented team to make a giant statement.

The Trojans moved up five spots to 15 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, and while finishing in the final four is a big ask, a blowout win over the rival with everyone watching would make this interesting.

Everyone will show up for Slovis and the USC offense, but it’ll be the defense that takes over. UCLA’s running game won’t go anywhere, and as good as Thompson-Robinson will be, it won’t be enough to keep up as the Trojans get into a second half groove with two third quarter scoring drives to take control.

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USC vs UCLA Prediction, Line

USC 38, UCLA 30
Bet on USC vs UCLA with BetMGM
USC -3, o/u: 62
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3

Must See Rating: 4.5

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