UCLA head coach Jim Mora talked at length today about the Bruins’ preparation for USC, touching on Jake Brendel’s value to the offensive line, Jordan Payton’s pro potential, and what he thinks of Trojans’ interim coach Clay Helton.
Linebacker Kenny Young — a Louisiana native — shared some of his thoughts on the UCLA-USC rivalry, including how it compares to Alabama-LSU.
“It’s both crazy,” he said. “I’ve been up there in Baton Rouge when it’s Alabama-LSU. It’s crazy. But over here, last year when we played SC, it was crazy too. The whole vibe was different.”
Young added that he didn’t understand the nature of the Los Angeles football rivalry until he arrived in Westwood. He had only been familiar with the Trojans until his junior year at John Curtis Christian High.
“When I came here,” he said. “I was like, ‘Oh, it’s that big?'”
Josh Rosen might have been right after all.
More than a month ago, after an ugly 56-35 loss at Stanford, UCLA’s freshman quarterback promised a rematch in the Pac-12 Championship. On Saturday, the No. 13 Cardinal clinched the Pac-12 North with a win over Cal, while the Bruins moved to a first-place in their own division by beating then-No. 18 Utah.
That game bumped UCLA back into the AP poll at No. 22, while dropping the Utes out of the rankings. Utah had been ranked third in the country a little over a month ago.
USC is also no longer ranked after a 20-point loss at Oregon, which moved to No. 18. The Trojans and the Bruins will play for the Pac-12 South title on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
No. 20 Washington State is the only other ranked team in the conference.
Here’s the full AP poll: Continue reading
UCLA and USC will end the regular season with a 12:30 p.m. kickoff at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, broadcasting on either ABC or ESPN2 depending on the region.
The winner of the Los Angeles rivalry will clinch the Pac-12 South and advance to the conference title game on Dec. 5 against Stanford. The Bruins and the Trojans are both tied with 5-3 records. Utah is technically in a first-place tie as well, but was eliminated from the race after losing to UCLA, 17-9, yesterday.
This will be the fourth time in five weeks that the Bruins have kicked off a game before 2 p.m.