USC: Facts and Factors

It's the 81st meeting between the two rivals, and history isn't on the side of an unranked Bruin team facing a ranked Trojan squad...

FACTS AND FACTORS

-- UCLA travels across town to take on rival USC Saturday, with the game kicking off at 7:00 p.m. It will be televised nationally by FSN with Craig Bolerjack and Joe Klatt in the booth.

-- USC is ranked 10th by AP, but isn't eligible to be ranked USA Today due to NCAA sanctions.

-- USC is 9-2 overall and 6-2 in conference play. The sit atop the Pac-12 South, one game head of UCLA (6-5, 5-3). But, of course, if USC did win the Pac-12 South it is ineligible to play in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game due to NCAA sanctions.

-- UCLA, if it beats USC, will win the Pac-12 South outright, and play in the championship game next Saturday.

-- If UCLA loses to USC, it can still "back in" to the Pac-12 Championship Game. It would take a loss by Utah against Colorado in Salt Lake City. That's regardless of what Arizona State does against Cal.

-- If UCLA loses to USC and Utah beats Colorado, and Arizona State beats Cal, the Sun Devils win the three-way tiebreaker and go to the Pac-12 Championship game.

-- It is the 81st meeting between the two schools in football, with USC leads the all-time series, 45-28-7, which dates back to 1929. UCLA has lost the last four meetings, and 11 of the last 12.

-- Before that run, UCLA won eight in a row (from 1991 to 1998), which is the longest streak in the rivalry.

-- In 1998, after UCLA had won eight in a row, it was narrowing the gap in the all-time series, when it stood at 34-27-7.

-- Of course, UCLA's one lone win in the last 12 years was in 2006, when it beat the #2-ranked Trojans, 13-9, and knocked them out of the BCS Championship Game.

-- Very rarely in recent years has the UCLA-USC game had bigger meaning beyond just city championship bragging rights. This year it will be instrumental in deciding the Pac-12 South champion.

-- USC has a 24-11-2 record against the Bruins when the Rose Bowl was on the line for at least one of the teams.

-- UCLA has not won at the Coliseum in 14 years, since 1997, which was Cade McNown's junior year.

-- That 0-6 mark on the road against USC is only UCLA's second-worst consecutive road record ever in its history against any conference opponent. UCLA actually lost 10 games in a road on the road against Washington, not winning a game in Seattle from 1958 to 1978.

-- In games played at the Coliseum, USC owns a 38-20-7 edge.

-- USC is coached by Lane Kiffin, who is in his second year at the helm. Kiffin is just 36 years old, and has probably had his best year as a head coach this season, leading the sanction-affected Trojans to a 9-2 record, his best at either USC or Tennessee. He is probably a candidate for some post-season honors, including Pac-12 Coach of the Year. The one-time USC offensive coordinator under Pete Carroll, Kiffin was hired as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, where he struggled for two seasons, before being hired at Tennessee in 2009. In his one season at Tennessee, Kiffin went 7-6, left abruptly when he was offered the USC job, and got the Volunteers under NCAA investigations for rules violations.

-- The winner of the UCLA-USC football game is awarded the Victory Bell. The 295-pound bell was originally from a Southern Pacific freight locomotive that was given to the UCLA Alumni Association in 1939. USC students then stole it in 1941, and was kept at an unknown location until, a year later, the student body presidents of both schools signed an agreement that the winner of the football game would keep possession for the next year. Whenever there is a new winner in the rivalry, the support structure of the bell is painted in that school's colors.

-- When Kevin Prince starts in this year's USC game, it will mark the fifth time in a row UCLA has started a new quarterback in the rivalry game. 2010: Richard Brehaut; 2009: Kevin Prince; 2008: Kevin Craft; and 2007: Patrick Cowan.

-- Running back Johnathan Franklin moved to 10th on the all-time school rushing list after gaining 162 yards against Colorado. He has a total of 2,550 yards, passing Maurice Jones-Drew (2,503), and is just 33 yards short of Kevin Nelson (2,583). If he stays on this track and avoids injury, he will have a chance to surpass the all-time career rushing record set by Gaston Green of 3,731 yards.

-- The longtime tradition of the crosstown rivalry was for UCLA and USC to wear its home jerseys in the game. That tradition was forced into a 26-year hiatus, starting in 1982 when the NCAA enacted rules that required all visiting teams to wear white. UCLA and USC agreed to violate the rule in 2008, and then the NCAA rescinded it in 2009. So, since 2008 UCLA and USC have upheld the tradition of playing in their home jerseys for the last three meetings.

-- UCLA, however, this season, plays on wearing alternate jerseys this Saturday, that consist of a white helmet, white jerseys and white paints. Initially, before the season, USC was considering a plan to wear alternate black jerseys, but sources tell us that USC Athletic Director Pat Haden nixed the idea. UCLA, though, has gone through with its plan to wear the white alternate jerseys.

-- Since USC is not allowed to play in any post-season game, this will be the Trojans' last game of the season. It also means it's the last game, and last home game, for 23 USC seniors.

-- The game will be only the eighth time in the all-time series that it was played at night.

-- It's the 15th time the UCLA-USC game is being played on Thanksgiving weekend (in addition, it was played twice on Thanksgiving Day, in 1936 and 1939).

-- There are two families that have a son playing for each program. UCLA safety Tevin McDonald's brother is USC safety T.J. McDonald, and UCLA running back Malcolm Jones's brother is USC safety Marshall Jones.

-- USC is 25-12-5 against unranked UCLA teams (one win was later vacated due to NCAA penalty). When a ranked UCLA team played an unranked UCLA squad, the Trojans are 13-6-2.

-- In the 82-year history of the rivalry, an unranked UCLA team has only beaten a ranked USC team twice. It happened in 1995, when unranked UCLA beat the #11-ranked Trojans, 24-20. And it happened just once before UCLA moved out of the Coliseum, in 1959 when UCLA beat #4-ranked USC, 10-3.

-- The weather forecast for Saturday is a high of 71 degrees, with a projected temperature in the 50s at game time.

-- According to sources, it very well could be the last game for Rick Neuheisel as UCLA's head coach.


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