UCLA Football vs USC: 3 keys to a Bruin victory


It’s rivalry week!! UCLA Football faces off against the USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Here are three things the Bruins must do to win the game and pull off the upset.

UCLA Football is 5-5 but the season has not been boring. There was the Texas A&M comeback, which now seems like a decade ago. Then there was the unstoppable offense that featured Josh Rosen, Caleb Wilson, Darren Andrews, Jordan Lasley and no running game.

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Throwing the ball 60 times seemed like a potential game plan at one point. But then injuries and adversity hit. Andrews and Wilson went out for the season. Lasley faced a long suspension; Rosen took a pounding behind a struggling offensive line and things went south.

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Meanwhile, the defense could not stop the run. That’s a massive understatement. Let me try again. UCLA Football has the worst rushing defense in all of college football. They were able to overcome that last week against Arizona State by scoring 44 points. This week, it’s Ronald Jones II and USC. Here’s how UCLA can pull off the upset.

1. Win a high scoring affair

When your team gives up over 300 yards on the ground on defense every game, you are going to be in shootouts. It’s just a fact of life for these Bruins. Unfortunately, UCLA Football has been unable to run the ball. So once again, Rosen is cast in a familiar role. At least he will have Lasley’s big play ability to back him up. Jones II already has 1224 yards on the season and averages over 111 yards per game. He has to be licking his chops at the prospect of facing UCLA. Rosen and the offense have to match him.

2. Limit turnovers

When it comes to upsets, limiting turnovers is Football 101. It makes sense. Given more opportunities, the higher ranked team will bury you. Therefore UCLA Football must keep mistakes to a minimum to have a chance. Last week’s game against Arizona State is the template. The Bruins only turned the ball over once and were able to win the game despite losing the time of possession battle.

3. Stay out of third and long situations

To protect Rosen, UCLA Football has to avoid third and 6 or above. Whether by running the ball, quick passes, screens or trick plays, the Bruins must stay ahead of the chains. UCLA actually had success running the ball against the Sun Devils last week and they did it in a variety of ways.

Bolu Olorunfunmi had a healthy 5.3-yard per carry performance and ran the ball 15 times. Wide receivers Eldridge Massington and Christian Pabico even got in on the act. If UCLA can do the same against the Trojans, the Bruins will find success.

Next: Josh Rosen vs Sam Darnold. Time to get it on!!

UCLA Football faces off against USC at the Coliseum on Saturday, November 18 at 5pm.