Game Preview: USC at UCLA
USC (7-5) at UCLA (4-7)
Saturday, 7:30 p.m. PT
USC players to watch:
- WR #83 Ronald Johnson, Sr. - The dependable senior has 59 grabs and 8 TDs while averaging a respectable 15.6 on punt returns.
- TB #26 Marc Tyler, Jr. - The talented son of ex-UCLA and NFL star Wendell Tyler leads the Trojans with 884 yards rushing and 9 TDs.
- LB #6 Malcolm Smith, Sr. - One of the Trojans' top leaders, this player is skilled as both a run defender and cover linebacker.
- DE #94 Armond Armstead, Jr. - The 6'5 300-pound defensive stalwart has the long arms needed to be a disruptive pass rusher.
UCLA players to watch:
- LB #10 Akeem Ayers, Jr. - The Butkus Award finalist has been a sensation this season.
- FS #3 Rahim Moore, Jr. - The ballhawking Moore recently recorded his 14th career interception.
- QB #12 Richard Brehaut, So. - Has filled in well this season for the injured Kevin Prince, showing a strong arm with both touch and accuracy.
- WR #83 Nelson Rosario, Jr. - The 6'5 target has made several clutch catches late in the season showing ability to make difficult catches in traffic.
This intense cross-town rivalry might lack some luster this season due to the inconsistent play of both teams but make no mistake about it, this is as good a rivalry as any in the country. Both teams have had their share of key injuries this season, but have continued to play with pride and passion. If USC QB Matt Barkley can't go, back-up Mitch Mustain will be ready and is very capable. The Bruins' Richard Brehaut came to UCLA as a highly decorated prep star and has filled in well for injured starter Kevin Prince this season. The Trojans have better overall talent across the board than UCLA, but anything can happen in this heated game. The edge definitely goes to USC due to a more potent ground game as well as several more playmakers at the wide receiver position. The game should be close into the 2nd half.