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The Scouting Report

December 04, 2004|Lonnie White;Gary Klein

NO. 1 USC (11-0, 7-0)

at UCLA (6-4, 4-3)

Today, 1:30 p.m., Rose Bowl

TV: Channel 7.

Radio: KMPC (1540),XTRA (690/1150), KSPA (1510), KVEN (1450).

WHEN USC HAS THE BALL

The Bruins have had trouble stopping the run all season, so don't be surprised to see the Trojans turn to running backs LenDale White and Reggie Bush early and often. If USC is able to move the ball on the ground, quarterback Matt Leinart will be dangerous with play-action passes. UCLA also has to be concerned about USC's tight ends, Dominique Byrd and Alex Holmes, who have become key targets for Leinart.

WHEN UCLA HAS THE BALL

With sophomore Maurice Drew limited because of an ankle injury, the Bruins will count on senior Manuel White to set the tone of their ground attack with his power running. Freshman Chris Markey, UCLA's top breakaway threat after Drew, will also get his share of touches. Look for quarterback Drew Olson to spread the ball around to his playmakers -- Craig Bragg, Marcedes Lewis, Tab Perry and Junior Taylor.

KEYS TO A USC VICTORY

1. Avoid turnovers. In an emotional game like this one, the Trojans cannot afford to give UCLA any early opportunities to turn mistakes into touchdowns and whip the Bruin faithful into a frenzy.

2. Stop the run. Notre Dame ran for 195 yards against the Trojans. UCLA is capable of doing the same, with backs who can turn long gains into touchdowns.

3. Establish the run. UCLA's rush defense ranks near the bottom nationally. LenDale White needs to carry the ball and set up play-action passes. Note to the line: Protect Leinart.

KEYS TO A UCLA VICTORY

1. Justin London. The Bruins' middle linebacker is the heart and soul of the defense, and if he has a big game USC will have a difficult time running the ball.

2. Win the turnover battle. USC leads the Pacific 10 Conference in turnover margin; UCLA is next to last. The Bruins have recovered only four fumbles and hope that it's time for the ball to bounce their way.

3. Eliminate the big play. Throughout the season, the Bruins have been hurt by big plays running and passing. UCLA could pull off an upset if it wins the field position battle and forces USC into long drives.

HOW THEY COMPARE

*--* USC UCLA 37.5 Scoring 31.6 11.5 Points allowed 25.6 268.9 Passing offense 223.8 170.7 Rushing offense 207.6 439.4 Total offense 431.4 188.8 Passing defense 210.3 80.6 Rushing defense 221 269.5 Total defense 431.3

*--*

-- Lonnie White and Gary Klein

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