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USC Trojans at UCLA Bruins - Fan's Early Preview

Battle for the Victory Bell

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USC Trojans at UCLA Bruins - Fan's Early Preview
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The Victory Bell

This nearly winds things down with a late season game against crosstown rivals when the University of Southern California Trojans visit the Rose Bowl against the UCLA Bruins. This matchup is one of the biggest rivalries in all of college football with the victor attaining the 'Victory Bell'.

UCLA will be coming home for their last two games of the season after having traveled to Pullman to play the Washington State Cougars. USC will have been home for a couple weeks and comes into this contest after having played the Arizona State Sun Devils (see related articles). This rivalry game is late in the season and if there are any problems with depth, it will be showing by this time.

UCLA is new

Jim Mora is the new UCLA Bruins head coach and he's made changes throughout the program.

UCLA's offense has been somewhat anemic although their running game should be fairly solid in 2012, led by running back Johnathan Franklin - but depth is an issue here for the Bruins and if Franklin doesn't get some breathers during the season, he may not be effective by this time of year. The big question is at quarterback. Redshirt freshman Brett Hundley has a lot of potential and will be given the reins to start the season as the signal caller but seniors Richard Brehaut and Kevin Prince, who have shared duties the last few years, are capable replacements.

UCLA will likely try to spread the field and then run at the Trojans because USC's defensive line is thin this year and may be the team's weak point. If the Bruins can develop the passing game with their new fast-tempo spread offense, they could be a dangerous squad on offense although the Trojans secondary may very well be their best unit in 2012.

Last season, the UCLA defense wasn't very good so now they'll change to a 3-4 - with excellent linebackers to fill the new positions. The Bruins may have a tough time pass rushing this year which will put more pressure on the secondary. The USC offense may be the best in the country but for sure, their passing game will be tough to stop with Matt Barkley at quarterback and receivers Robert Woods and Marqise Lee.

Who wins Victory Bell?

UCLA will put a decent product on the football field in 2012 ... but good enough to pull the upset off and beat their rivals, the Trojans? No. USC won't be looking past the Bruins because, well, they never look past their fellow Angelenos. It won't be a 50-0 blowout like last season but the Trojans should win by at least a couple touchdowns.

Is should be noted that this rivalry can be hard to figure and just when you expect one team to be better than the other, there's an upset.

After this battle, both teams finish out the season the following week (November 24) with UCLA at home against a tough California rival in the Stanford Cardinal while USC plays at home versus another huge rival, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. These will be yet two more big games to be played in Los Angeles.

Sources - UCLA, USC

Related articles:

A Fan Looks at USC Trojans' Secret Weapon

Arizona State Sun Devils at USC Trojans - Fan's Early Preview

Pac-12 Conference Teams Voted by Associated Press - Fan's Perspective

Is USC's Defense Up to the Task? - Fan's Take

Daryle lived in Los Angeles Ca. most of his life and has been a longtime fan of USC and the Pac-12, having closely followed the Trojans since he was just a youngster. Fight On!

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