December 1, 2006

X&0 Preview of UCLA

The Irish lay vanquished, and the Trojans are one step away from a remarkable fourth straight year of playing for a national title.

That last step: a far from scintillating 6-5 UCLA team who would likely nothing more than to snap a seven game losing streak with their rival and ruin their season. The Bruins want the Trojans to play their next two games in Pasadena. Do they have the manpower and the will to get it done? Here are the match-ups.

USC Offense vs. UCLA Defense

First things first. This is not your father's UCLA D. After floundering through the last two seasons with god awful defensive teams, the Bruins found their stride under defensive coodinator DeWayne Walker, who was on Pete Carroll's staff at SC for a while. Walker has reinforced assignment football, and has gone to a lot more blitz packages than the past coordinator.

The young Bruins have embraced the aggresiveness, and have played great football. They lead the conference in rush defense and sacks per game. Eleven different players have logged sacks, which shows the change in philosophy along with the better depth and quality in the front line.

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