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Los Angeles Football Club
It Still Matters

Friday, December 3

Although USC is ineligible for post-season play this year because of NCAA penalty, the Trojans still get to visit the Rose Bowl when they conclude their 2010 campaign there against UCLA. The Bruins' season also will end after this game, as they can't get enough wins to be bowl eligible. It's the 80th meeting between the crosstown rivals.

It's the first USC-UCLA game since 2000 when neither team is ranked. USC has lost just once in the last 11 matchups against UCLA, including having captured the past 3 games. Besides pride and year-long city bragging rights, also at stake in the game are possession of the Victory Bell and points in the Crosstown Gauntlet standings. Both teams will don their home jerseys. This is just the seventh night game in the series (but the first one in Pasadena) and the second latest start time. It's also USC's school record 10th night game of 2010.

A win over UCLA would give Lane Kiffin his eighth victory of 2010, the second most wins of any new USC head coach. USC, playing one of the nation's toughest schedules, lost a heartbreaker last Saturday to intersectional rival Notre Dame. QB Mitch Mustain filled in for injured QB Matt Barkley (his status against UCLA is uncertain), who ranks high on USC's career passing and total offense charts. Troy's top 2 receivers are also dangerous return specialists: Freshman All-American candidate WR Robert Woods, one of the nation's best all-purpose runners who owns USC season kickoff return marks in 2010, and WR Ronald Johnson, who is among USC's career Top 15 pass catchers. The USC defense has gotten stronger as the season has progressed. Top defenders include S T.J. McDonald (his status is questionable this week after getting injured against Notre Dame), DT Jurrell Casey, LBs Malcolm Smith and Chris Galippo and CB Shareece Wright.

UCLA has lost 5 of its past 6 games (including at Arizona State last Friday). QB Richard Brehaut, coming off a record-setting performance, is filling in for injured starting QB Kevin Prince. He directs the Pistol offense which features TBs Johnathan Franklin (he is over 1,000 rush yards in 2010) and Derrick Coleman. Top Bruin receivers include WRs Taylor Embree, Nelson Rosario, Ricky Marvray and Randall Carroll. Among UCLA's defensive leaders: LBs Sean Westgate and Akeem Ayers (a Butkus Award finalist) and Ss Tony Dye and 2009 All-Pac-10 first teamer Rahim Moore. UCLA has 2 of the nation's premier specialists in PK Kai Forbath, the 2009 Groza Award winner who has 85 career field goal (equaling the school record and just 2 shy of the NCAA mark), and P Jeff Locke, who is seventh nationally in punting.

The game will be shown live nationally on FSN cable.



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