- Garry Paskwietz, Publisher, WeAreSC.com
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What: USC Trojans (7-3 overall, 5-3 Pac-12) vs. UCLA Bruins (8-2 overall, 5-2 Pac-12)
When: Saturday, November 17, 12 p.m. PT
Where: Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.)
Radio: ESPNLA 710 (pre-game show begins at 7 a.m. PT)
Scouting UCLA: The Bruins, under new coach Jim Mora Jr., scored a 44-36 victory at Washington State last Saturday, giving UCLA its most wins (eight) in a season since 2005.
UCLA’s offense is among the nation’s best, ranking 13th nationally in total offense (496.8, third in Pac-12), 17th in passing efficiency (155.3, third in Pac-12), 22nd in scoring (37.7, third in Pac-12) and 23rd in rushing (210.9, third in Pac-12).
Redshirt freshman QB Brett Hundley (226-of-328, 68.9 percent, 2,729 yards, 24 TD, nine INT in 2012, plus 111 carries, 272 yards, 2.5 avg, six TD), who is 17th nationally in passing efficiency (157.5, third in Pac-12) and 19th total offense (301.1, second in Pac- 12), directs the offense. Senior TB Johnathan Franklin (199 carries, 1,270 yards, 6.4 avg, eight TD plus 24 receptions, 276 yards, 11.5 avg, two TD), the school’s career rushing leader (3,939) and owner of 17 100-yard rushing games, is sixth nationally in rushing (127.0, third in Pac-12) and 17th in all-purpose running (155.1, fourth in Pac-12). Top receivers include junior WR Shaq Evans (39 receptions, 571 yards, 14.6 avg, two TD), senior TE Joseph Fauria (31 receptions, 417 yards, 13.5 avg, nine TD) and redshirt frosh WR Steven Manfro (27 receptions, 279 yards, 10.3 avg, one TD, plus 15 punt returns, 132 yards, 8.8 avg and four kick returns, 80 yards, 20.0 avg and eight carries for 70 yards and two TD).
The UCLA defense creates pressure on opposing quarterbacks, as it is tied for fourth nationally in sacks per game (3.7, third in Pac-12) and is seventh in tackles for loss per game (7.8, fourth in Pac-12) thanks to the play of junior OLB Anthony Barr (54 tackles, 17 for loss, 11 sacks, three forced fumbles). Other key defenders include sophomore ILB Eric Kendricks (101 tackles, five for loss, two sacks, three fumble recoveries, one forced fumble), who is tied for 16th nationally in tackles (10.2, first in Pac-12), soph FS Tevin McDonald (62 tackles, one INT, six passes defense, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble) and senior OLB Damien Holmes (43 tackles, nine for loss, 4.5 sacks, one fumble recovery).
4dChantel Jennings and Ted Miller