UCLA Bruins at Southern California Trojans (-3.5, 51.5)
It appeared unlikely when head coach Lane Kiffin was fired in late September, but No. 23 USC has a chance to reach double-digit victories when arch rival UCLA comes to town on Saturday. The Trojans are 6-1 under interim coach Ed Orgeron, including an upset of then-No. 5 Stanford two weeks ago, followed by last Saturday's 47-29 victory over Colorado. The 22nd-ranked Bruins, meanwhile, are coming off a loss to Arizona State in a game to determine the Pac-12 South's representative in the conference title game.
"We just have to get better from it. And we will," vowed UCLA coach Jim Mora Jr. after his team's first home loss of the season. Orgeron, whose team has won five straight games, has stressed to his players the importance of staying focused in preparation for the 83rd all-time meeting between the schools. "It’s Game 8 of our new season," he said. "Obviously, this is a big game for us -- it’s a rivalry game, it’s our last regular-season game -- but there will be no difference in the planning, or the practice or the preparation."TV:
8 p.m. ET, ABC.LINE:
The Trojans have held steady as 3.5-point home faves. The total also hasn't moved from 51.5. WEATHER:
It will be clear with temperatures in the mid 60s. There will be a 6 mph wind blowing across the field.ABOUT UCLA (8-3, 7-4 ATS):
Brett Hundley has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 24 of his 25 career games, including all 11 contests this season, and has completed 70.1 percent of his passes over the last four games. The Bruins' defense has been a terror in the third quarter this season, holding its opponents to a total of 34 points. Overall, 20 points continues to be the magic number for UCLA, as the Bruins have won 20 straight games when holding their opponent under 20.ABOUT USC (9-3, 6-6 ATS):
USC will be honoring 20 seniors, although the Trojans are fortunate that Javorius Allen (439 rushing yards, nine TDs in his last four games) is not among them and will be back in 2014. Fellow sophomore Cody Kessler has not thrown for 300 yards in any game this season, but he has nine touchdown passes against only two interceptions over his last seven games. The Trojans' defense has not been their strength in 2014, although defensive end Leonard Williams (13 tackles for loss) was a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award.TRENDS:
* Under is 6-1 in the last seven meetings.
* Home team is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 meetings.
* Under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings in Southern California.
* UCLA is 1-7 ATS in its last eight meetings in Southern California.
1. USC leads the all-time series 44-29-7 (two other Trojans' wins were vacated), while UCLA defeated the Trojans last season when it scored the first 24 points en route to a 38-28 triumph.
2. The Bruins have not won at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum since 1997 when Cade McNown led them to victory.
3. USC junior WR Marqise Lee (shin) is expected to play after sitting out against Colorado.