UCLA (5-5, 3-4 Pac-12) at No. 11 USC (9-2, 7-1 Pac-12)
Saturday, Nov. 18 | 5 p.m. PT | L.A. Coliseum
Radio: AM 1150 or AM 570
USC sewed up its second Pac-12 South title in three years last weekend with its 38-24 win over Colorado. The Trojans built up a commanding 27-0 lead before giving up 14 straight points in the third quarter, which injected a fleeting moment of drama into the battle between the two previous Pac-12 South champions.
While winning three straight games since a demoralizing loss to Notre Dame, quarterback Sam Darnold has thrown for 906 yards and seven touchdowns, completing 63 percent of his passes. Running back Ronald Jones is also surging with 184 rushing yards per game in the past three games.
The Trojans leads the Pac-12 in sacks (36), but UCLA just neutralized Arizona State, which entered last week’s game as the second-leading sack team in the Pac-12. The Bruins didn’t give up a single sack last week for the first time in a game this season.
UCLA hasn’t won a conference game on the road in two years while the Trojans have a 15-game home winning streak.
Jim Mora has lost two straight to USC after he started his career with three consecutive rivalry wins.
UCLA took two seven-point leads in the first half last year with backup quarterback Mike Fafaul, but the Bruins then gave up 29 unanswered points in an eventual 36-14 blowout.
This will be the first matchup between Darnold and UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen after Rosen missed last year’s game with a shoulder injury. Rosen did not fare well in his rivalry debut as he was sacked three times and committed three turnovers (two interceptions and a fumble that was recovered for a USC touchdown) as a true freshman in 2015.
USC leads the all-time series 46-31-7.
Players to watch
— QB Sam Darnold (243-383, 3,198 yards, 24 TDs, 11 INTs)
Darnold struggled with interceptions early in the season, but has thrown only three in the past six games.
— RB Ronald Jones (184 carries, 1,224 yards, 14 TDs)
The running back from Texas rushed for 121 yards against UCLA last year, including 60 on a third-and-1 in the second quarter that broke the game open. He is sixth on UCLA’s list of all-time rushers.
— DL Rasheem Green (36 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 8 sacks)
The Gardena Serra product leads the Trojans in sacks and recovered a fumble for a touchdown in 2015.