By Lee Washington
ABC is hoping that the emotion and storied tradition of this great Southern California rivalry will inspire a competitive football game. UCLA needed to win against Oregon to have a chance at a post season bowl game and they didnt come close.
Under first year coach Carl Dorrell the Bruins are now under .500 for the season. Losing to Oregon 31-13, both the offense and defense can share the collective blame. An early interception from a Drew Olson pass on UCLAs first possession was only the beginning of the end for the Bruins. UCLA senior linebacker Brandon Chiller continued to impress the scouts with 14 more tackles for 121 this year. Craig Bragg caught 10 more passes but none for any touchdowns.
A yawner after the first quarter, the Bruins couldnt get anything going all day. Certainly the highlight of the day was the U.S. Navy parachute team who circled above the Rose Bowl and landed through colored smoke at halftime.
The national spotlight upon the USC Trojans could make this years contest a must kill for the men of troy. The BCS has reared its ugly head again. The Trojans, (9-1) who essentially clobbered the Arizona Wildcats 45-0 have been rewarded by dropping below Ohio State in the national polls.
The strength of schedule feature could potentially haunt the Trojans if the Bruins forget how poor a team they are and make this a real football contest. Once again, quarterback Matt Leinart was sensational as he was 22 of 30 for 296 yards and four touchdowns. Hershel Dennis, Reggie Bush and LenDale White rushed for 52, 64, and 90 yards respectively. Mike Williams had another 11 catches for three touchdowns.
USC hasnt been this close to a national championship since John Robinsons 1978 team. Trojan fans will certainly be rooting for Michigan as they take on Ohio State just prior to the UCLA game. By 12:30 the players will know the outcome and their mission will be clear. Beat UCLA by a lot!
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