Bruins fullback Chane Moline picks up yardage against Arizona State on… (Kirby Lee / US Presswire )
UCLA running back Chane Moline grew up in Orange County and knew exactly what the UCLA-USC rivalry was all about . . . until he played in it.
Moline had a limited role in the Bruins' 13-9 upset of second-ranked USC in 2006, ending a seven-game losing streak against the Trojans.
"I thought I knew how huge it was, then I played at the Rose Bowl that day," Moline said. "That was an eye-opening experience."
Moline is one of four current UCLA seniors who were in uniform that day and on Saturday will get their last crack at the Trojans.
"I'd like to even things out at 2-2," Moline said.
The Bruins' victory in 2006 was going to reshape the rivalry, some thought. Instead, USC has beaten UCLA the last two seasons.
"I'm hoping we have the same feeling Saturday that we did in 2006," said wide receiver Terrence Austin, a freshman that season.
"I remember the defense coming off the field after the first few plays and saying, 'Hey, they're not as tough as we thought they were, we can do this.' "
Cornerback Alterraun Verner, another senior veteran who played in the 2006 game, will try to use his experience to guide the younger players.
"I remember I didn't have anyone to take me under their wing and calm me down," Verner said. "Everything went so fast. That was probably the most excited I have ever been. I have to tell the younger guys what it's like, and that they have to play it like it is a regular game."
Bucking the odds?
UCLA opens as a 13-point underdog, not that the Bruins are concerned about it.
What linebacker Reggie Carter, then a redshirt freshman, remembers about UCLA's 13-9 victory: "We cost a lot of bettors a lot of money that day."
His other recollection: "The look on Pete Carroll's face after the game."
Moline came out of Saturday's game because of a sore knee, after having 25 carries for 84 yards against Arizona State. He was injured on a screen pass late in the game.
"It's just a little bruise, it's fine," Moline said.
Mobley grades out
Willie Mobley, the defensive tackle who left Ohio State in August and tried to transfer to UCLA, said he would play at Arizona next season. He is attending Orange Coast College and needed to get an associate of arts degree in core classes to be admitted to UCLA.
"I didn't know it was that bad," Mobley said. "Credit-wise, it would be impossible to get into UCLA."
Arizona, he said, "has different rules. I can get my regular AA and enroll. After sitting down for weeks and weeks with my counselors at OCC, I learned it was going to be impossible to get into UCLA."
Meanwhile, Kip Smith, a kicker at Broomfield Legacy High in Colorado, committed to the Bruins.
Forbath a finalist
Kicker Kai Forbath, who leads the nation with 26 field goals, is a finalist for the Lou Groza Award, along with Alabama's Leigh Tiffin and Georgia's Blair Walsh.