The USC Trojans face off with the UCLA Bruins for the right to advance to the Pac-12 Championship game. Our Pac-12 writers make their picks.
USC and UCLA for the Pac-12 South! What are your thoughts on the matchup?
Avinash Kunnath, Pacific Takes & California Golden Blogs: UCLA is peaking and USC is slumping. The Bruins have had an easy schedule in the run-up to this game and have to feel pretty confident where they are as a team. The Trojans have to feel a bit like they’re playing spoiler the rest of the way, which is funny because the Rose Bowl is right there for them.
If the Trojans are to win, Marqise Lee and Robert Woods need to have MONSTER games (which they very well could against UCLA’s CBs), and if UCLA is to win, Brett Hundley and Johnathan Franklin have to keep the football moving.
Jack Follman, Pacific Takes: It’s a tough one to size up. My gut tells me that USC should win by a couple of touchdowns because I think they are a little bit better at every position, but logic suggests that the Bruins should at least make it very close.
I think it will all come down to if USC is motivated, and they better be, because I’m sure Mora will have the Bruins breathing fire after last season’s embarrassment. This game is huge for the Trojans though, imagine if they lose this and then lose to Notre Dame the following week? Can Kiffin survive 7-5 after all of the expectations coming into the season?
Andy Wooldridge, Building The Dam: One of the PCC/Pac-8/-10 classics renewed in the Pac-12 for the city and division championship. All is right with the world order again, or at least as far as the city of LA is concerned.
Jim Mora wasn’t around for 50-0, but I think there might be enough Bruins who were who remember, rather than having purged all memories of that, to make the difference. At the very least, this won’t be 50-0, round 2.
Pac Hoops & Pacific Takes: This is awesome. Rivals, one season removed from what everyone thought was a program debilitating 0-50 loss, will go toe-to-toe for the South Title. The first ever South Title that won’t be mocked (again, we laugh at the Bruins). Alas, there’s not much else to be laughing at in Pasadena. I’m ecstatic to watch this one. I really have no idea what to expect from UCLA; for the most part they’re a solid group and that hasn’t quite had a major challenge yet. USC will be a challenge. For all of the Kiffin antics, he certainly seems to have his group up for big games and certainly rivalry ones (see the aforementioned 50-0). I’m going to give UCLA the edge at home and with a chip on their shoulder.,