USC and UCLA Week Three Predictions


When last we saw the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans they were grabbing wins and moving their record to 2-0. However, they did it in incredibly different fashion.

The Trojans miraculously beat Stanford 13-10 in a blood bath of a game. USC stopped Stanford on 7 of their 9 trips within the Trojans 30-yard line, Pat Haden ran on to the field to make a stink about something, and the Trojans offense did just enough, and we mean JUST ENOUGH, to grab a huge win and propel the program into the AP Top 10.

Meanwhile, the UCLA Bruins, who were preseason ranked 7th by the AP, are now ranked 12th after two consecutive lackluster wins against Virginia and Memphis. The Bruins offense has looked absolutely putrid at times, while UCLA’s defense has been hit or miss. The Bruins have time to turn it around and are still 2-0 despite their faults. However, games against Texas and Arizona State are looming. The Bruins better get it together quickly.

Sep 6, 2014; Stanford, CA, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Cody Kessler (6) looks to pass the ball against the Stanford Cardinal in the third quarter at Stanford Stadium. The Trojans defeated the Cardinal 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

USC Trojans @ Boston College Eagles

Line: USC -17

While the Trojans record is impressive, as is a win over Stanford in Palo Alto, there is a lot of room to grow for the Trojans. The defense has looked very good, despite the fact that they made Stanford QB Kevin Hogan look like a stud for 3.5 quarters last weekend.

USC’s offense, which only scored 13 points against Stanford, needs to grow up and grow up fast. We know that Buck Allen is a stud running back. He showed that last week. Cody Kessler has a ton of room for improvement, as do the young wide receivers and offensive line. It’s a maturation process. But the Trojans are this good without being mature. Imagine how good they could be if everything goes right this season.

Boston College isn’t exactly the toughest opponent, but it’s a good opportunity for the Trojans to get to the East Coast, recruit some players, increase their visibility, and get a solid win over a Power 5 conference team.

This shouldn’t really be a contest, though Boston College is a feisty bunch. It’ll be closer than people think at halftime but the Trojans will pull away in a big way in the second half.

Prediction: Trojans 45 – Eagles 17

Oct 12, 2013; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins head coach Jim Mora reacts after a penalty call during the first half against the Cal Golden Bears at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA Bruins vs Texas Longhorns (AT&T Stadium – Dallas, TX)

Line: UCLA -7

The good news for the Bruins is that they’ve won two games this season while playing absolutely dreadful football. The bad news is that they’ve played terribly.

UCLA should be able to beat Texas, even in the state of Texas, simply because the Longhorns are in a transitional state and the Bruins are talented enough to be a Top 5 or Top 10 team in the nation.

New head coach Charlie Strong has already booted eight players from his program and it’s likely he’ll boot more out by the time he’s done. While he’s doing that, however, his team will still be struggling on the field. The Longhorns got demolished last week by BYU to the tune of 41-7. While BYU is certainly a strong opponent, Texas looked completely overmatched in the process.

I expect the Bruins to have a much more complete game and dominate Texas’ young players, especially their own offensive line.

The Longhorns are also without David Ash, their starting QB. The combination of a fresh quarterback and an inexperienced offensive line should smell like a freshly cooked steak to the Bruins. They should pounce.

However, due to where the game is being played and UCLA’s struggles so far this year, I do not think this game will be a blowout. I think Texas keeps it close and the Bruins just barely cover the spread.

Prediction: UCLA 31 – Texas 23