USC vs. UCLA Roundtable: Are We in Store for an Up-Tempo Game at the Rose Bowl?


Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

USC and UCLA will bring their high-flying offenses to the Rose Bowl, with nearly identical numbers on offense, as they both average around 37 points per game. Both teams can play up-tempo and both have shown they can grind out victories on defense. What kind of pace and style of game do you see happening tomorrow at the Rose Bowl?

Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres), Crystal Ball Run:

Both teams score in bunches, but only UCLA seems to be playing any defense at this point. Maybe it’s because they caught Arizona in a weird week (after a huge win) and Washington State is just, well, Washington State (don’t let the final score fool you, the Cougars scored a bunch in the fourth quarter to make the game look more one-sided than it really was) but this defense does seem to be improving. Personally, I’m expecting a bit of a more low-scoring game than most.

Michael Castillo (@ReignOfTroy)

I think it can definitely be an up-tempo game, but that’s probably not the game either team wants to play on both sides of the ball. If it ends up being a shootout, that’s bad news for USC’s defense as they’ve fallen in shootouts to Oregon and Arizona in previous weeks. For UCLA, an up-tempo offensive showing for both teams probably means that Marqise Lee is having a big day for the Trojans, which is paramount in defeating the Bruins. I expect to see more on the ground than most expect, but Johnathan Franklin and Marqise Lee will both have big days and big plays, which might make it look more up-tempo then it will be.

Trenise Ferreira (@Trenise_RoT):

After all the chatter and noise surrounding this game because of UCLA disallowing USC’s drum major from stabbing the field in the pre-game show, and prior to that the “Randall Goforth” twitter beef with Robert Woods, the Trojans are going to want to come into this game and score. Expect them to come out guns-blazin’ much like they did against Oregon two weeks ago. With the up-tempo, no-huddle (at times) offense, the Ducks defense had no chance to stop Matt Barkley and his arsenal of receivers. Neither will UCLA. Coming in at 105th in the nation, the Bruins pass defense is obviously something to be feared. And when you consider that they haven’t seen elite wide receivers like Marqise Lee, Robert Woods and even Nelson Agholor, it could be lights out early in Pasadena. For the Bruins, Johnathan Franklin at running back has been killing the game, so we can expect him to get the ball rolling for the Bruins. When he’s not trying to run through USC’s defense, QB Brett Hundley will be looking to do some damage in his own right, and with the success USC has against mobile quarterbacks, that is a real legitimate possibility. Both of these offenses are capable of moving very quickly efficiently, so it is going to be a matter of which team uses their respective first possession to set the tone of this game.

Charles Gilmore (@biggil91):

I see both teams staying true to who they are. UCLA will try to grind it out on the ground behind Johnathan Franklin and attack through the air with Brett Hundley. USC will try to deploy the big play with Matt Barkley and Marqise Lee. This game will come down to which defense is able to stop the other more consistently and this has the ability to be a fast paced, high scoring game. Just don’t expect the 50-0 blowout that USC accomplished last year.