The Bruins' credentials are well documented. The only lingering question is whether the Trojans can play a championship-caliber game--as Tollner said they must--as this disappointing season nears its end.
Knight, who'll be USC's starting tailback today, summarized his team's feelings when he said: "If we play to our ability, there is no doubt in our minds that we can beat them."
Of course, the Trojans' best game may not be good enough.
Trojan-Bruin Notes Kickoff for today's game is 1:30 p.m., and the game is a sellout, with all 92,516 tickets having been sold. . . . It will not be televised because USC is still on NCAA probation, prohibiting TV appearances. A taped replay will be shown on Channel 2 Sunday at 9:30 a.m. . . . UCLA's 6 1/2-point favoritism is the largest for the Bruins since they were a 13 1/2-point choice over USC in 1960. The Trojans upset the Bruins in that game, 17-6. . . . UCLA is ranked eighth in both the Associated Press and United Press International polls, its first appearance in the Top 10 since the first week of the season. . . . Injury report: UCLA cornerback Dennis Price is questionable with a shoulder injury and will be replaced by redshirt freshman Marcus Turner. Darryl Henley, who normally backs up Price, is out with a kidney injury. UCLA lost another cornerback, Craig Rutledge, earlier, so the UCLA secondary is patched up. USC has lost several key players to injuries this season, among them nose guard Tony Colorito and flankers Randy Tanner and Gene Arrington. But the Trojans came out of the Washington game without any additional injuries that will keep a player out of today's game. . . . The Daily Bruin defeated the Daily Trojan, 14-12, at USC in the annual football contest between the newspaper staffs of the two schools. According to the Daily Bruin, it is the first time in the series that the road team has won. In past years, the newspaper that won saw its football team lose on Saturday. Last year, the Daily Bruin and the UCLA football team both won.
Fans are advised to get to the game earlier than usual because of the large crowd. Lots 1 and 3, located on the east side of Menlo Avenue, and Lot 5, on the northwest side of Hoover and King Boulevards, have been reserved for groups from both schools. Three other large lots are still available for public parking--Lot 2 (Menlo Avenue and 39th Street), Lot 4 (Menlo Avenue and Exposition Boulevard) and Lot 6 (on King Boulevard). . . . Even if USC beats UCLA, the Bruins can still go to the Rose Bowl if Arizona (4-2 in the Pac-10) beats Arizona State (5-1) tonight at Tempe, Ariz. USC could knock UCLA out of the Rose Bowl with a tie, providing that ASU beats Arizona. Ted Tollner said his team is trying to win but that some circumstances would dictate playing for a tie. . . . This is only the third time in 25 years that USC has come into the UCLA game with a losing record. . . . Terry Donahue has a 4-5 record against USC. He lost four straight from 1976 through 1979, before winning in 1980. Donahue's teams have compiled a 34-9-2 record from 1982 to the present. USC is 25-17-1 during that period. . . . Donahue has won eight or more games six times in his 10-year career. . . . John Lee needs to kick only two field goals to break the NCAA career record of 78 (in the regular season) held by Arizona State's Luis Zendejas. . . . Tollner said that he wouldn't be surprised if UCLA tries to exploit USC with option plays today. Other teams have been successful with the option against the Trojans. Gaston Green set up a UCLA touchdown last year with a 27-yard run off the option. . . . Donahue discounted his team's No. 1 ranking in rushing defense by saying, "USC might be the only (good) rushing team we've faced all season." USC is averaging 195 yards rushing. . . . The Bruins are ranked ninth in the Pac-10 in pass defense, permitting an average of 222.6 yards a game. That statistic is a bit misleading, though, because teams go to the air when they can't move on the ground. . . . USC's defense has allowed an average of 140 yards rushing and 151.6 passing, which leads the league.