After spending most of the entire year contemplating negative thoughts around a crushing 10-point loss in Pasadena last season, the Trojans will look to regain its winning form much like the 50-0 beat down from their 2011 meeting from the much friendlier confines of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The final home game of the regular season will certainly have plenty on the line as both the Trojans and Bruins will look to set the stage for excellent recruiting classes in the Los Angeles area. Interim head coach Ed Orgeron has sparked life back into the Trojans sails and is begging fans to put their best foot forward on Saturday night.
The Bruins are coming off their most crushing loss of the season, and are looking to win two-straight games over the Trojans for the first time since 1997-1998. Both teams enter this game with three losses and would love nothing more than to regain city bragging rights and the better overall records for what has been a rather interesting 2013 campaign.
Game Time, TV channel: 5:00 p.m. PST, ABC
Radio: 710 ESPN (KSPN-AM)
Latest Preview: USC vs. UCLA Inside The Numbers
Odds and Wagers: Latest Odds from Bovada: USC -4/UCLA +4, O/U 52
QUICK USC OUTLOOK
USC OFFENSE: Quarterback Cody Kessler has completed 65% of his passes, 15 for touchdowns, with six interceptions. The third-year sophomore from Bakersfield has not had a pass intercepted in the last three games. Receivers Marqise Lee, Nelson Agholor and Darreus Rogers are a formidable trio, and offensive coordinator Clay Helton lately has increased the role of tight ends Xavier Grimble and Randall Telfer and fullbacks Vainuku and Jahleel Pinner.
USC DEFENSE: It starts up front with defensive ends Leonard Williams and George Uko along with Devon Kennard and J.R. Tavai clogging the line of scrimmage for linebackers Hayes Pullard and Anthony Sarao. That has all contributed to USC's high ranks as second nationally in red zone defense, 13th in interceptions (16, third in Pac-12), 14th in total defense 17th in scoring defense (20.2, second in Pac-12), 18th in rushing defense (122.0, second in Pac-12) and 23rd in sacks.
QUICK UCLA OUTLOOK
The Bruin offense rides the talented arm and legs of QB Brett Hundley, among the nation's best in passing efficiency. More than 2 dozen Bruins have caught passes this year, with WRs Shaquell Evans and Devin Fuller claiming 82 grabs and 12 scores between them. Besides Hundley, UCLA's top runners are RBs Paul Perkins and Jordon James, who run behind a line anchored by 2012 All-Pac-12 first team OT-OG Xavier Su'a-Filo.
True freshman sensation Myles Jack has starred on both sides of the ball as he starts at linebacker, collecting six rushing touchdowns in the last three games. On defense OLB Anthony Barr, another 2012 All-Pac-12 first teamer, is a semifinalist for the Lombardi, Bednarik, Butkus and Lott awards. Among his blue-and-gold defensive mates are ILBs Eric Kendricks and Jordan Zumwalt, plus CB Anthony Jefferson.
VICTORY BELL FLASHBACK