PASADENA, Calif. -- Good morning from The Rose Bowl and not-so-sunny Southern California.
The most obvious storyline for this afternoon’s game between USC and UCLA is that the winner is the Pac-12 South champion and punches its ticket to the Pac-12 championship game.
But there are also plenty of subplots -- like the resurgence of the Bruins under new head coach Jim Mora and the fact that UCLA is ranked ahead of USC for the first time since 2001.
But the Trojans have a pretty good offensive weapon named Marqise Lee. The receiver has 663 receiving yards and five touchdowns in his past three games. For the season, Lee has seven 100-yard receiving games, which leads the Pac-12 and is tied for the most in FBS. He has 792 yards after the catch, the most of any player from an AQ school.
Look for him to tax a UCLA defense that ranks 10th in the conference against the pass and yields 266 yards per game.
UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin has been pretty good also -- especially when he runs outside the tackles, where he averages 8 yards per carry.
With plenty of offensive weapons on both sidelines and middle-of-the-road defenses, we’re expecting a high scoring affair.