James Snook-US PRESSWIRE
The Bruins, led by redshirt freshman quarterback Brett Hundley (pictured above) and senior tailback Johnathan Franklin, ride a four-game win streak into this weekend's game.
No. 18 USC (7-3, 5-3) travels to Pasadena to take on crosstown rival No. 17 UCLA (8-2, 5-2) for a trip to the Pac-12 title game.
Per Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com:
UCLA has beaten USC once in the past 14 years, that 2006 shocker that knocked Pete Carroll's team out of the BCS title game. Since then, the Trojans have outscored the Bruins 158-35 head-to-head. The closest UCLA loss has been by two touchdowns.
Let's take a look a closer look at the matchup.
Jim Mora on 50-0 loss to USC in 2011. "it would be naive to say some of the guys who played in that game don't remember it."— ESPN_Pac12blog (@ESPN_Pac12blog) November 13, 2012
The Trojans capped off their year winning seven of their final eight games. Matt Barkley threw for 423 yards and six touchdowns, setting the Pac-12 record for touchdown passes in a season; Robert Woods notched 12 receptions, 113 receiving yards, while also breaking the conference's single-season receptions record; and Marqise Lee finished his freshman campaign with 224 yards and two scores.
UCLA jumped out to a 44-14 lead on Washington State, but the Cougars rattled off 22 unanswered points to bring it within one score late in the fourth quarter. The ensuing onside kick was recovered by the Bruins, though, and UCLA hung on for its fourth straight win 44-36.
The Bruins rank third in the conference at nearly 38 points per contest, third in rushing yards (210.9) and fifth in passing yards (285.9). UCLA has topped at least 44 points in their last three contests, including a season-high 66 points two weeks ago against Arizona at home. Nationally, the Bruins rank 13th in total offense (496.8 yards).
UCLA ranks in the middle of the conference in points per game allowed (24.7), but rank fourth in rushing defense (144.6 yards per contest). Their pass defense, though, comes in at 10th out of 12 teams, only ahead of Colorado and Arizona. The Bruins defense has recorded 38 sacks, good for third nationally, and 13 interceptions, tied for 17th in the nation.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
RB Johnathan Franklin: The senior has recorded 1,270 rushing yards (seventh in the nation) and eight touchdowns on the year, including two games of 200+ yards, and 24 receptions for 276 yards and two scores.
QB Brett Hundley: The redshirt freshman, a dual-threat quarterback, has thrown for 2,729 yards and 24 touchdowns, and rushed for 272 yards and six scores.
LB Eric Kendricks: Leads the team in tackles (102) and also has three fumble recoveries, along with two sacks and a forced fumble.
LB Anthony Barr: Ranks third on the team in tackles (54), first in tackles for loss (17) and sacks (11).
Kickoff is scheduled for noon and the game will be televised on FOX.