It looks like the Trojans and the Bruins are set to football in the fall, and the start of Week 1 on Sept. 26 will be the rivalry game against the two teams at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
It looks like UCLA received the short end of the stick when it comes to scheduling because they aren’t facing Oregon this season, while USC Football will not be playing Oregon State.
In the NCAA’s Preseason Top 25 rankings, Oregon is ranked No. 6 with a projected 12-2 record, USC is No. 19 with an 8-5 record, Utah is No. 22 with an 11-3 record, and Arizona State is No. 25 with an 8-5 record.
Oregon is the reigning Pac-12 champs after being Utah in December, and they will likely continue their dominance. Oregon, Utah, and USC were the only three teams in the conference with winning records last season. The conference is usually competitive year after year, so despite that, any team can be able to win their section if they play solid games.
USC’s schedule has UCLA, Cal, and Stanford for three consecutive weeks followed by Colorado and Arizona before their Week 6 bye. They will finish out their schedule with Washington State, Oregon, Arizona State, Utah, and Washington.
UCLA’s schedule has USC, Oregon State, and Washington State in the first three weeks followed by Utah and Arizona State before their Week 6 bye. They will face Stanford, Colorado, Washington, Arizona, and Cal in the next weeks.
The conference placed a Week 12 opening in case of rescheduling, and the following week on Dec. 18 or Dec. 19 will be the Pac-12 championship game between the top two teams of the North and the South.
USC and UCLA finished second and third in the Pac-12 South last season with an 8-5 overall and 7-2 conference record for the Trojans, and a 4-8 overall and 4-5 conference record for the Bruins.
Then-No. 23 USC played in the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl against No. 16 Iowa on Dec. 27 and got outplayed to the tune of a 49-24 final score.
UCLA lost three straight games against Utah, USC, and Cal to finish last season.
USC embarrassed the Bruins in their win last season. Kedon Slovis threw for 515 yards on 47 attempts and four touchdowns. Stephen Carr led the backfield with 87 yards on 11 carries. The receiving core of Michael Pittman, Jr., Drake London, Tyler Vaughns, and Amon-Ra St. Brown each had over a hundred yards receiving.
UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw for 367 yards on 44 attempts with three touchdowns and an interception. Thompson-Robinson also led his team in rushing with 64 yards on 16 attempts and a touchdown with Joshua Kelley right behind him with 45 yards on 15 attempts and a touchdown. Wideouts Devin Asiasi and Kyle Philips both had over a hundred yards receiving in the game.
The game will probably be a similar result. If everyone plays, USC will have a healthy Slovis, a dominant backfield, and a receiving core that is hungry. USC has won four of the last five meetings and six of the last 10 meetings.
The first game of the 2020 season will set the tone for both teams — USC, who is trying to improve on last season’s disappointing finish, and UCLA, who is simply trying to contend for a chance at the championship game.