Bonfires. Trust funds. Coaches that are easy to hate. It’s the Los Angeles Football Rivalry. USC plays UCLA with the Pac 12 South and a Victory Bell on the line. USC has won five in a row, though the Bruins are much improved. Will the USC drum major stab the turf?
Last Year’s Meeting: It was Pistol Rick’s depressing denouement. He came to Los Angeles pledging to close “the gap” with USC. The 50-0 gap he left was the largest since 1930.
Mazzone: Noel Mazzone had success against the Kiffins coordinating at Arizona State the past two years. The Sun Devils dropped 43 on the Trojans in a 21-point win last year. ASU came within a point of beating USC at the Coliseum the year before. Monte Kiffin’s defense got torched through the air by both Arizona and Oregon. UCLA has scored at least 42 points in five of its last six games.
What’s the Deal With Matt Barkley? You can feel his draft-stock fading. Though he’ll be talked back into the Top Ten by April. The once Heisman-favorite has thrown seven interceptions the past three weeks. Part of that is throwing more in shootouts. Part of that is not throwing well. Not the season he intended coming back for his senior year, but he can still take the Trojans to the Rose Bowl.
Home Uniforms: Both USC and UCLA will wear their home uniforms. Every rivalry game with contrasting colors should do this. In fact, college football should adopt soccer rules where away uniforms are only used when necessary. No one is watching this on a black and white TV anymore. This can be done.
Prediction: We’ll go out on a limb and say it will be much closer than last year. Barkley has a better game. USC pulls away late 45-35.
[Photo via Presswire]