Not too long ago, the UCLA Bruins beat the USC Trojans three times in a row. But Southern Cal has won the last two meetings convincingly and covered the spread both games. In the annual battle for the Victory Bell, USC takes on UCLA on Saturday night at the Coliseum.
How the Bruins Stack Up
The Bruins just snapped a two-game losing streak with a 44-37 victory over Arizona State last week. UCLA spotted the Sun Devils the first 14 points of the game but scored 27 of the next 34 to take the lead early in the third quarter. Later the Bruins used a 10-0 run to snap a 34-34 tie and hold on for the win and the cover as three-point favorites.
On the night, UCLA racked up 573 yards of offense, as quarterback Josh Rosen, who missed the previous game with a head injury, threw for 381 yards and one touchdown and ran for another.
At 5-5 overall, the Bruins need one win in their last two games to become bowl-eligible.
Why the Trojans are Favored
The Trojans now own a three-game winning streak, after beating Colorado in Boulder last week 38-24. USC went scoreless through the first quarter but led 20-0 at the half and scored the first touchdown out of the locker room. The Trojans later led 38-17 but gave up a long touchdown midway through the fourth quarter and settled for a push of a 14-point spread.
On the day, USC piled up 522 yards of offense, as quarterback Sam Darnold threw for 329 and two touchdowns while running back Ron Jones ran for 142 and one score.
USC might have cashed had it not had a punt blocked, resulting in a Buffaloes touchdown, and missed both a field goal and an extra point.
At 7-1 in conference play, Southern Cal has already clinched a spot in the upcoming Pac-12 championship game but still harbors slim hopes of making the College Football Playoff. And style points would still mean something.
USC has won the last two meetings in this rivalry by scores of 36-14 and 40-21, and there’s not much reason to believe Saturday’s result will be much different. According to Bleacherreport.com, smart money here takes the Trojans.