Kickoff time for the annual USC vs. UCLA rivalry game in 2018 was announced with an early start time under the sun at the Rose Bowl.
This year’s USC vs. UCLA game will kickoff at 12:30 p.m. on FOX, the Trojans announced on Twitter on Sunday morning.
The announcement of the start time had been delayed to the six-day window after USC’s win over Oregon State.
Despite the Trojans’ discouraging loss to Cal on Saturday and UCLA’s own late misstep against Arizona State, the rivalry will still feature on a network in a relatively prime hour.
Neither the Trojans nor the Bruins are having a particularly fun time of it in 2018.
UCLA has lost three in a row, though those losses have come in increasingly encouraging fashion. Following a blowout loss at home at the hands of Utah, the Bruins went to Oregon and lost by 21 before traveling to Tempe to face ASU. There, Chip Kelly’s squad challenged Herm Edwards’ Sun Devils to the brink, falling 31-28 after a botched final drive aiming to tie or take the lead.
UCLA now stands 2-8. Coincidentally, one of their two loss was was an impressive 37-7 victory over Cal, who just stifled USC 15-14 at the Coliseum.
The Trojans were hoping to turn a corner after Clay Helton made midseason coaching changes, firing offensive line coach Neil Callaway and taking playcalling duties away from Tee Martin.
However, the USC offense was unable to replicate their Oregon State performance, committing critical errors like a bad snap resulting in a safety and an interception setting up a touchdown in the second half. Cal took those boosts and held on long enough to win 15-14.
The Bruins have no hope of making a bowl game, but they could spoil it for USC. The men of Troy are 5-4 and need to win one of their last two games to clinch bowl eligibility. The game against UCLA seems like the best chance of that, with highly-ranked Notre Dame looming on Thanksgiving weekend.