This obviously wasn’t the season that we all expected from the Bruins. But, Jim Mora has a chance to salvage the season as they face rival USC this Saturday. USC made a statement last week with a convincing victory against then No. 4 Washington. But, this could be a trap game for the Trojans as rival UCLA try to upset their bitter enemy.
Last weeks victory against Oregon State showed that the UCLA offense is still as anemic as we all thought it was. Mike Fafaul threw the ball 47 times and did not get into the endzone. The run game was the only part of the offense that could get into the endzone, which in this UCLA season is rare. Jalen Starks and Bolu Olorunfunmi combined for three touchdowns as the team ran for a total of 163 yards. The balance in the offense helped but in the end still wasn’t enough to score more than Oregon State. The main reason the Bruins were able to walk away with a victory was their defense and special teams. Jordan Lasley turned a punt for a touchdown and Randall Goforth’s pick six sealed the result for the Bruins. Now, the real question is, will this translate over to USC. Probably not. USC’s defense absolutely shut down Jake Browning and the Huskies on their home turf. No one had done that all year and this resurgent USC team did it and came away from the upset. Now, everyone is talking about how great USC is now and how they have a chance to win the Pac-12. USC is starting to feel good about themselves; this a perfect recipe for an upset special.
UCLA has nothing to lose anymore. They can play as free and as loose as they wish because the locker room knows how important this rivalry game is. UCLA will throw everything they have at USC and I believe that USC is overlooking the Bruins. They are looking ahead to bigger and better things and forgetting how dangerous the Bruins can be. The UCLA defense has played great all season, with the exception of the Utah game. Sam Darnold has heard for a week about how great he is, maybe he starts getting careless and Goforth comes away with an interception or two. If UCLA wants to win this game then the defense will have to come up with turnovers. As for the offense, Fafaul has to play the game of his career. He cannot throw interceptions and he has to find his playmakers Lasley and Darren Andrews.
Coming into this game, I have confidence in the Bruins that they can serve the Trojans with a little humble pie in a upset special. They will come back down to earth after UCLA comes away with a three point victory via a JJ Molson game winning field goal and a defensive stand. 34-31 Bruins.