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USC football vs. UCLA: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Trojans battle Bruins

Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown #8 celebrates with tight end Tyler Petite #82 of the USC Trojans after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game against the UNLV Rebels at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 1, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown #8 celebrates with tight end Tyler Petite #82 of the USC Trojans after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game against the UNLV Rebels at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 1, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

PASADENA, Calif. – Normally when crosstown rivals USC and UCLA meet there are major implications on the Pac-12 Conference title race and sometimes even for the national championship. But this year's 88th meeting between the Trojans and Bruins on Saturday afternoon at the Rose Bowl is significant for another reason ... most combined losses (13) between the two schools entering the game.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: USC -3.5

 

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There's still a lot riding on the contest for the two teams -- city bragging rights, the Victory Bell and Crosstown Cup points not to mention an edge in recruiting local blue chippers. And in the case of USC coach Clay Helton, it could also mean the difference of being around to coach the 2019 season as pressure mounts on athletic director Lynn Swann to make a change after the Trojans lost for the third time in four games with a 15-14 home loss to Cal last week. "I told them my plan is to be here another 15 years," Helton said he told his team during a team meeting earlier this week. "Lynn, every Monday, walks into my office and has given me nothing but, 'Coach, we're in this for the long haul.' We're going to get this done. That's what I've felt from day one, and what I felt after the Cal game also. I know, in my heart, I'm going to be here." However, a loss to a 2-8 UCLA squad that has lost three straight games might be the final straw and would likely mean USC, which ends the season with a home game against No. 3 Notre Dame next week, would not go to a bowl game this year.

ABOUT USC (5-5, 4-4 Pac-12)

The loss to Cal ended 14-game win streak vs. the Bears and eliminated the defending Pac-12 champion Trojans from the Pac-12 South Division race. The Trojans led 14-0 at halftime but managed just 40 yards in offense after intermission. Tailback Aca'Cedric Ware posted his second straight 100-yard game (103 yards on 16 carries) and wide receiver Tyler Vaughns had a career-best eight receptions for 91 yards and two TDs to lead the offense while all-Pac-12 safety Marvell Tell III had a team-best eight tackles to lead a Trojan defense that held Cal to just 207 yards of total offense, the lowest by a USC opponent since Oregon State finished with 181 yards in 2014. 

ABOUT UCLA (2-8, 2-5)

After back-to-back blowout losses to Utah (41-10) and Oregon (42-21), the Bruins nearly pulled an upset last Saturday at Arizona State, losing 31-28 and driving to the UCLA 41 on a potential game-tying or game-winning drive before quarterback Wilton Speight was sacked and back-to-back false start penalties dashed comeback hopes. "We've got to execute," UCLA coach Chip Kelly said afterward. "They executed better than we executed, and that's what the bottom line is." Speight threw for a UCLA-best 335 yards on 26-of-35 passing and two TDs while tight end Caleb Wilson, who began his career at USC when his father Chris was a member of the Trojan coaching staff, had 11 receptions for a season-high 164 yards and two scores, and defensive back Adarius Pickettfinished with a team-high 12 tackles.

EXTRA POINTS

1. There's still a possibility that USC could finish in a multi-team first place tie at 5-4 in the Pac-12 South with Utah, Arizona State and Arizona but the tiebreaker doesn't favor the Trojans.

2. USC is 34-19 in regular and postseason games it has played in the Rose Bowl but is just 7-10 against UCLA there, including one win vacated by NCAA penalty.

3. Both teams wear their home uniforms in the series that USC leads 47-31-7, not including 2004 and 2005 victories that were vacated due to NCAA sanctions.

PREDICTION: USC 27, UCLA 21

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