Huddled outside the visitor’s locker room at the Coliseum, UCLA head coach Jim Mora declared to his Bruins: “WE OWN THIS TOWN.”
No. 22 UCLA (8-3, 5-3) at No. 23 USC (9-3, 6-2)
Location: Coliseum, Nov. 30, 5 p.m.
TV: ABC (Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman, Shannon Spake)
Radio: AM 570 (Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens, Wayne Cook)
Last meeting: UCLA beat USC, 38-28, just the Bruins’ second rivalry win in 14 years. Anthony Barr ends Matt Barkley’s college career.
Key storylines: With conference implications out of the picture, USC and UCLA will be playing almost purely for pride. For coaches on both sides, however, the game will reshape the narrative of their respective seasons. Continue reading
– Running back Damien Thigpen (ankle) game-time decision for UCLA this Saturday. Head coach Jim Mora said he liked how tailbacks Jordon James (ankle) and Malcolm Jones (head) have looked in practice, however.
– Cornerback Fabian Moreau (hamstring) is also a game-time decision. If he doesn’t play, the team could slide Anthony Jefferson or Randall Goforth over from safety.
– Jim Mora said he voted Ed Orgeron for Pac-12 Coach of the Year last night, pointing out the way that he’s injected confidence and enthusiasm back into the USC program.
“He gave them a real spark,” Mora said. “He really did. … Coach O, I think everybody who knows him knows he’s got an infectious personality. You see it in the way his team plays.”
– USC receiver Marqise Lee reminds Mora most of eight-time Pro Bowler Marvin Harrison, praising everything from his elusiveness to route-running. Continue reading
UCLA must beat Arizona State to keep its Rose Bowl hopes alive. Here’s how the matchups break down. (Prediction below.)
UCLA offense vs. Arizona State defense: Brett Hundley’s current three-game streak without an interception is the longest of his career. The Sun Devils have 17 picks on the season, tied for first in the Pac-12 and seventh nationally.
Cornerback Robert Nelson is coming off a career game, taking one of his two interceptions against Oregon State to the end zone. Continue reading
– Running back Jordon James is also expected to play after missing five of UCLA’s last six games. Coach Jim Mora admitted that he should not have let James play against Colorado, a game in which the junior tweaked his ankle after six carries.
“That’s on me,” he said. “He wanted to play, but sometimes the coach’s job is to protect him from himself. … But he’s really been good this week.
“Last week, when he was going to his left and trying to catch a swing pass, he couldn’t put his right foot in the ground and burst off of it. This week, I haven’t seen anything. I haven’t seen him limp, I haven’t seen him favor it at all on any of the cuts.”
Senior Malcolm Jones has also been cleared to play after taking a blow to the head on Friday. Continue reading
No. 14 UCLA (8-2, 5-2) vs. No. 17 Arizona State (8-2, 6-1)
Location: Rose Bowl, Nov. 23, 4 p.m.
TV: FOX (Gus Johnson, Charles Davis, Kristina Pink)
Radio: 570 AM (Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens, Wayne Cook)
Last meeting: UCLA eked out a 45-43 win in Tempe, with then-freshman Ka’imi Fairbairn hitting a 33-yard field goal as time expired. Tailback Johnathan Franklin rushed for two touchdowns, while Damien Thigpen had two scoring catches.
UCLA offensive tackle Torian White was arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of sexual assault. Already out for the season with injury, he has been suspended from the team indefinitely.
Police were called to an off-campus apartment on Glenrock Avenue at approximately 3 a.m. UCLA police department logs indicate an arrest on suspicion of “sexual penetration with force.”
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has not filed charges, and has asked for more investigation. Continue reading
– Three redshirt juniors will be honored with UCLA seniors at halftime against Arizona State this Saturday: fullback Luke Gane, offensive/defensive lineman Brandon Willis and linebacker Aramide Olaniyan. The trio will graduate and leave the team after this season.
“We’ll miss them,” coach Jim Mora said. “They’ve been great contributors and great guys.”
– Mora said safety Tahaan Goodman has improved over the past few weeks. Continue reading