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Pregame Guesses: BEAT SC! Bruins Travel Across Town for Rivalry Game at Southern Cal

How will UCLA’s defense fare versus Michael Pittman, Jr.? How will DTR perform at the Coliseum? Can Joshua Kelley come close to delivering the performance he gave us versus Southern Cal last year?

UCLA’s Joshua Kelley gashed Southern Cal in 2018.
Photo by Keith Birmingham/Digital First Media/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

After being blown out, 49-3, on the road last weekend by CFP contender the Utah Utes, the UCLA Bruins (4-6, 4-3 Pac-12) travel approximately ten miles southeast to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the 2019 rivalry game against the Southern Cal Trojans (7-4, 6-2 Pac-12). The Bruins will look to retain the Victory Bell after wresting it away from Southern Cal in a 34-27 Bruin victory at the Rose Bowl in 2018.

Other than LA City bragging rights, the Trojans need a win to have a chance to win the Pac-12 South. Although it already may be a foregoing conclusion, a loss to a rebuilding UCLA team for a second straight year would likely end the Clay Helton era at Southern Cal.

On the other hand, UCLA needs a win to have a chance of being bowl-eligible. So, there is a lot on the line for both teams.

This week is always the easiest week for the musical selection for PGG. I give you the Solid Gold Sound of the UCLA Marching Band! It’s the “Sons of Westwood” followed by “The Mighty Bruins”!

Go Bruins! Beat $c*!

Southern Cal’s Michael Pittman Jr. is a beast. The junior wide receiver has 82 catches for 1,118 yards on the season. He has found the end zone nine times.

Pittman will face a UCLA defense that is among the worst in passing yards allowed (#123 out of #130), averaging 298.4 passing yards against per game. This could be a match-up that Coach Helton exploits to gash the UCLA defense. If he fails to do so, it would be a major indictment of his game-planning ability.

PREGAME GUESS NUMBER ONE: Predict the number of catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns that Pittman will score versus the Bruins.

This will be Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s first time facing Southern Cal. Last year, in the UCLA win, it was Wilton Speight who led the Bruins to victory with a “game management”-type performance, going 13 of 22 for 166 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

How will Thompson-Robinson fare in the hostile environment across town? Will it be a “game management”-type performance similar to Speight’s game last season? Will it be a poor performance like the ones against Cincinnati and Utah? Or will be a good to great performance like the ones against Wazzu, Stanford, or Colorado? DTR’s performance has varied so much from game-to-game, this one is a hard one to predict.

PREGAME GUESS NUMBER TWO: Predict the number of passes thrown, passes completed, passing yards, and passing touchdowns for DTR tomorrow versus the Trojans.

Joshua Kelley had the game of his career versus Southern Cal last year. Kelley carried the ball 40 (forty!!!) times for 289 yards and two touchdowns. The Trojans had no answer for Kelley.

After coming off an injury early in the 2019 season, Kelley has been getting into his groove in the past six or seven games. The blocking in front of him has improved as well. How will Kelley’s performance versus the Trojans match-up with his career-game last season?

PREGAME GUESS NUMBER THREE: Predict Joshua Kelley’s number of carries, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns versus Southern Cal.

BONUS GUESS: Predict the crowd at the Coliseum this Saturday.

Get fired up! Beat $c*!

Let us know your guesses and vent again our crosstown rivals in the comment section below.

Go Bruins!