USC, UCLA Head For Bowl Games
December 10, 2015
By Myke Williams
It’s a great time to be a local college sports fan.
USC and UCLA football teams are headed to local bowl games. The Bruins and Trojans women’s volleyball teams are in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The UCLA men’s water polo team won the NCAA championship with a victory over USC last week and the Bruins and Trojans men and women basketball teams have come up with some impressive wins so far this season.
The 8-4 UCLA football team will face a 5-7 Nebraska team in the Foster Farms Bowl at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on December 26 at 6:15 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN.
The 8-5 USC Trojans will 9-3 Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on December 30 at 7:30 p.m. That game will also be televised on ESPN.
USC was hoping to land in the Rose Bowl on January 1, but Stanford had other ideas when they beat the Trojans 41-22 in the Pac-12 championship game last Saturday at Levi’s Stadium.
USC could not stop Stanford’s all-purpose running back Christian McCaffrey and quarterback Kevin Hogan. The Heisman Trophy finalist McCaffrey ran the ball 32 times for 207 yards and caught four passes for 105 yards. He also threw a touchdown pass to Hogan in the first quarter.
For USC the situations surrounding their football program slipped to another low level when their former coach, Steve Sarkisian, sued the university alleging the school discriminated against him when they fired him in October because of his alcoholism.
USC’s newly appointed head coach, Clay Helton, surprised a lot of people last week when he fired most of his defensive coaches. Firing coaches are not unusual but the timing of the dismissals was a little strange. The defense gave up over 40 points in four games this season but the firing of the coaches should have taken place after the season.
The UCLA football team should be able to bounce back from its loss to USC on November 28. Although their freshman quarterback sensation, Josh Rosen had a bad game against the Trojans, he should be able to bounce back against Nebraska.
The 25-7 UCLA team and the 32-2 USC Trojans women’s volleyball teams will try to advance to the Final Four by winning games this weekend. On Friday the No.1 seeded Trojans will face a 27-8 Creighton team at the Jenny Craig Pavilion in San Diego at 8 p.m. and if they win they will face the winner of 28-2 Kansas and 24-8 Loyola Marymount on Saturday.
Also on Friday the Bruins will battle a 27-2 Texas team that will be playing in its own back yard. That game will be played in Austin, Texas at 5 p.m. and televised on ESPN3. If UCLA wins it will face the winner between Florida and Wisconsin. The NCAA semifinals and finals will be played December 17 and 19.
Although the Bruins are taking on the No. 2 seeded Longhorns they have a chance to upset Texas. They are led by the play of 6-5 Claire Felix and 5-11 Jessyka Ngauamo. Mgauamo had 14 kills against Lipscomb and 17 kills against Michigan last Friday and Saturday.
“I think we can compete really well against a lot of top teams,” said Ngauamo last Friday night. “I think we can really be successful in the tournament. We have become a very disciplined team and we adapt well and play good defense. That’s what makes this team special.”
The UCLA and USC men’s and women’s basketball teams will be in action this weekend when the Trojans host a men’s and women’s double header on Sunday when the 7-2 men play Yale at 1 p.m. and the 8-0 women face Long Beach State at 4 p.m. The 6-3 UCLA men travel to the state of Washington to battle Gonzaga Saturday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 and they return home on Tuesday to play Louisiana-Lafayette at 6 p.m. The 4-2 UCLA women travel to Michigan on Sunday for a 11 a.m. game and return home on Wednesday to face UC Irvine at 7 p.m.