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Game 12: USC vs. UCLA

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UCLA (6-5, 5-3) at #10 USC (9-2, 6-2)

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at 7 p.m. pacific on Fox Sports West

Tevin-McD.jpgBruin to Watch: Redshirt freshman CB Tevin McDonald

T.J.'s younger brother has made an impression during his first active season at UCLA.  Tevin is sixth in the conference with three interceptions and 10 passes defended.  He will face his toughest test to date going up against Robert Woods and Marqise Lee, but if he is anything like brother T.J. or father Tim, he is unlikely to back down from the challenge.

(Photo by Gus Ruelas/AP)

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3 Keys

Stay Grounded

Matt Barkley will eventually get the ball outside to Woods and Lee, but UCLA's weakness is in run defense.  RB Curtis McNeal is expected to play despite a knee injury, while RB Marc Tyler will be inspired on Senior Day.  The Bruins best chance is to force interceptions (12 picks on the season), so the Trojans' offense should bludgeon them early and finish them off through the air.

Shooting Blanks

The pistol offense has stimulated UCLA's running game the last two seasons, but they are 11th in the conference in passing offense.  Kevin Prince is the quarterback du jour, but he is turnover prone (8 TDs to 6 INTs).  If the Trojans front seven concentrates on stopping the run, Prince has not proven that he can carve up a defense with his arm. 

Finish Strong

The Trojans have shown incredible mental toughness this season, but the distractions were everywhere this week.  From the Oregon hangover to #Barkley4Heisman to Senior Day, concentration will be the key to avoiding a letdown.  No player on the USC roster has ever lost the "Crosstown Showdown."  The Trojans have a chance to close the season in style in front of a packed house by getting to 10 wins, letting the seniors play and giving Barkley his Heisman moment.

Allen Bradford carried USC to a victory at the Rose Bowl last season...


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