It all comes down to this. UCLA. USC. Battle For The Victory Bell. Winner is the Pac-12 South Champion. Our staff gives their predictions for the final regular season game.
Trajuan Briggs: USC 38 UCLA 35. USC receivers will have a huge game and the defense will key in on huge stops throughout the game. Special teams will become a critical factor especially on punt return
Julian Lopez: The thought of an entire senior class going all four years without beating UCLA is crazy. USC needs to pressure Josh Rosen and I feel that blitzing 75% of the game might be a good option. On offense, a balanced approach with play-action deep passes could lead the Trojans against a banged up but still good UCLA defense. USC is going have just enough to beat the Bruins, 28-24.
Nick Dempsey: USC 31 - UCLA 27. The USC defense will need to have a much better day, particularly in the secondary. If the secondary can do a better job (than last week) executing and disguising their cover packages then the Trojans will have a much better chance today. On offense USC will need to get the running game going. UCLA has been a bit soft on run defense and the Trojans have to take advantage of this. If Rosen gets hot and lights up the USC secondary forcing the Trojans' to move away from the run then the Bruins will likely take this game.
Lopez: Secondary. UCLA has a great duo of Duarte and Payton and they could create a lot of problems for USC.
Dempsey: Clay Helton, and any USC player who, with a loss today, would leave USC without ever beating UCLA. Rivalry games can be driven by emotion and the USC Trojans have a lot riding on this game beyond beating UCLA and winning the South. If Clay Helton feels like he is competing for his job he may be more inclined to leave everything on the field or pull out all the stops. Likewise if players buy in to this same belief they too could step up in a major way. The USC veterans who risk never beating UCLA will also dig deep to get a win over the Bruins. It is possible we could see historic performances tomorrow from the Trojans.