Crosstown Rivals Collide for Pac 12 South Crown: #18 USC Trojans at #17 UCLA Bruins

#18 Southern California Trojans at #17 UCLA Bruins
Saturday, November 17, 2012, 3:15 pm Eastern, TV: Fox
Rose Bowl – Pasadena, California
Opening Line: USC -3 1/2
Current Line: USC -3 1/2 (-105)
Opening Total: 65
Current Total: 66
Opening Money Line: USC -165 / UCLA +145
Current Money Line: USC -165 / UCLA +145

UCLA hosts rival USC Saturday with the Pac 12 South Division on the line. The Trojans are 3.5 point road favorites.

The #18 USC Trojans and #17 UCLA Bruins meet for the 82nd time Saturday in Pasadena. Besides LA bragging rights and the Victory Bell Trophy that the rivals play for each year, this game means more to both teams than it has in years. The winner will clinch the Pac 12 South division title and a berth in the conference championship game.

USC leads the series 46-28-7, including 7-8 in the Rose Bowl. The Trojans have won 12 of the last 13 against the Bruins, including the last 5. USC humiliated UCLA 50-0 last year at the Coliseum. This is the first time since 2001 that UCLA is ranked higher than USC and the first time since 2000 that the Bruins have more wins than the Trojans.

USC is 7-3 overall and 5-3 in the Pac 12 under coach Lane Kiffin. The Trojans beat Arizona St 38-17 last week at home to snap a two game losing streak. The  losses for USC came at Stanford 21-14 and Arizona 39-36 and at home to Oregon 62-51. The Trojans have home wins over Hawaii 49-10, Cal 27-9, and against Colorado 50-6. USC has road wins over Syracuse 42-29 in New Jersey, at Utah 38-28, and Washington 24-14. The Trojans are 3-7 ATS and the total is 4-6 this season. USC was an 10 point favorite in the Arizona St game and the total was 63.5.

USC is averaging 462.9 yards per game including, 303.6 passing yards and 159.3 rushing yards. On defense, the Trojans are allowing 390.8 yards per game including 242.5 passing yards and 148.3 rushing yards. USC is outscoring teams 37-24 this season. The Trojans have forced 28 turnovers this season, and have a turnover margin of +2. USC is averaging 73 penalty yards per game. The Trojans have allowed 14 sacks and forced 37 of their own. USC is 64/163 on third and fourth down conversions, and 35/45 scoring in the red zone with 29 touchdowns. Trojan opponents are 57/144 on third and fourth conversions, and 30/39 scoring in the red zone with 21 touchdowns. The Trojans have four defensive/special teams touchdowns.

USC quarterback Matt Barkley has completed 226 of 349 passes (64.8%) for 2,972 yards with 33 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He has been sacked 13 times this season. Running back Silas Redd has 135 carries, 732 yards and 9 touchdowns, along with 6 catches for 99 yards. He is probable with an ankle injury after missing the ASU game. Curtis McNeal has 83 carries, for 497 yards and 2 touchdo0wns, along with 5 catches for 86 yards and a touchdown. D.J. Morgan has 39 carries, 195 yards and a touchdown, along with a touchdown catch for his only reception of the year. He is questionable with a leg injury. Receiver Marqise Lee has 98 catches, 1,447 yards and 13 touchdowns, along with 110 rushing yards. Lee also has a kickoff return for a touchdown. Robert Woods has 61 catches, 653 yards, and 10 touchdowns, along with 76 rushing yards. Lee and Woods are arguably the best receiver tandem in the country, but no other Trojan has more than 25 catches. Xavier Grimble has 5 touchdown catches, and Randall Telfer has 3. Tight end Christian Thomas is questionable this week with a hip injury. Thomas hasn’t played yet this season.   Seven Trojan defensive player are out indefinitely or for the season.

UCLA is 8-2 this season and 5-2 in the Pac 12 under first year coach Jim Mora, Jr. The Bruins have losses at at home to Oregon St 27-10 and at California 43-17. UCLA has home wins over Nebraska 36-30, Houston 37-6, Utah 21-14, and Arizona 66-10, along with road wins at Rice 49-24, Colorado 42-14, Arizona St 45-43, and last week at Washington St 44-36. The Bruins have won 4 straight games. UCLA is 6-4 ATS and the total is also 6-4 this season. The Bruins were 16.5 point road favorites at Washington St last week and the total was 61.5.

UCLA is averaging 496.9 yards per game including 285.9 passing yards and 211 rushing yards per game. The Bruins are outscoring teams 38-25 this season. UCLA is #31 or higher nationally in all offensive categories. The Bruins are +4 in turnovers with 21 giveaways. UCLA is averaging 90 penalty yards per game and has allowed 31 sacks this season. The Bruins are 66/159 on third and fourth down conversions and 43/53 scoring in the red zone with 32 touchdowns. On defense, UCLA is allowing 411.1 yards per game, including 266.4 passing and 144.7 rushing yards. The Bruins are #106 nationally in pass defense out of 124 FBS teams. UCLA has forced 39 sacks and 25 turnovers. Bruin opponents are 52/166 on third and fourth down conversions and 30/34 scoring in the red zone with 22 touchdowns. UCLA has 4 fumble returns for touchdowns.

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley has completed 227 of 329 passes (69%) for 2,739 yards with 24 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, along with 111 carries, 272 yards and 6 touchdowns. Running back Johnathan Franklin has 199 carries, 1,270 yards and 6 touchdowns, plus 24 catches, 276 yards and 2 touchdowns. Damien Thigpen has 49 carries, 249 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 17 catches, 216 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jordon James has 49 carries, 199 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 22 catches, 169 yards and a touchdown. Steven Manfro has 8 carries, 70 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 27 catches, 279 yards and a touchdown. Including the running backs, 8 UCLA receivers have at least 14 catches.  Shaquelle Evans has 39 catches, 571 yards and 2 touchdowns. Joseph Fauria has 31 catches, 417 yards and 9 touchdowns. Jerry Johnson has 18 catches, 237 yards and a touchdown. Jordan Payton has 14 catches, 171 yards and a touchdown.

USC is 36-17 ATS in November, 7-15 after a cover, 5-11 after rushing for 200 yards or more, 3-7 overall, 3-8 after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 7-19 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, 1-4 against teams with winning records, after allowing less than 275 yards, and after allowing less than 20 points, 1-5 after a straight up win, 0-4 in road games against teams with winning home records, and 0-5 in road games. The Trojans are 9-4 ATS in this series recently. The last 6 games in this series have gone under the total, and so have the last 4 played at UCLA.

UCLA is 4-0 ATS after rushing for 100 yards or less, 5-1 after failing to cover, 4-1 against teams with losing records, 12-3 at home against teams with winning records, 4-1 after allowing 280 passing yards or more, 6-2 at home, 6-13 after allowing more than 450 yards, 5-11 after a straight up win, and 1-5 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards. The home team is 7-2 ATS in the last 9 games in this series.

Although USC has dominated this series in recent years, the two teams are pretty evenly matched this year. Neither defense is that great and both offenses are explosive. They should combine for a lot of points. There really isn’t a home field advantage between the teams as the Rose Bowl is so huge and should be almost evenly divided between fans of the two teams. I think the Trojans escape with a close win.

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Posted by on Nov 15 2012. Filed under College Football, Headlines. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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