Culver City Observer -

Arizona Schools Are Next For UCLA, USC


September 29, 2016

The UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans football teams will host Arizona and Arizona State on Saturday.

If you are a fan of both teams you will need to flip a coin to determine which game you will attend. USC is 1-3 and 4-0 Arizona State play at 5:30 p.m. and 2-2 UCLA and 2-2 Arizona kick off at 7:30 p.m. If you decide to stay home USC’s game will be televised on Channel 11 and UCLA will be on ESPN.

Both teams are coming off heart-breaking losses to Pac-12 teams. Utah beat USC 31-27 and Stanford defeated UCLA 22-13. If both teams expect to get into the win column this week their defenses will need to stop teams at the end of the game.

The UCLA versus Stanford game was closer than the 22-13 score. The Cardinal scored a touchdown on the last play of the game when Bruin quarterback Josh Rosen was hit from behind and fumbled the ball. Stanford defensive line Solomon Thomas picked up the ball and ran it into the end zone.

“I didn’t want to throw the ball to early so I tried to hold onto the ball one second longer and I did not see the player behind me,” said Rosen after the game on Saturday. The play was supposed to be a Hail Mary but it never materialized.

Right now UCLA is facing three problems. They need to find a number one running back. The receivers need to cut down on dropped balls and the defense has to find a way to stop good teams at the end of the game.

The running back situation is crucial because that would take some of the pressure off their young receivers. The Bruins have three good running backs in Soso Jamabo, Nate Starks and Bolu Olorunfunmi but they are still looking for one of them to step up into the greatness category.

“The running game was disappointing,” said UCLA’s offensive coordinator Kennedy Polamalu after the Stanford loss. “I am disappointed on how they are producing. They are running hard but they have to use their athletic ability to break tackles and I have to help them more as an offensive coordinator.”

The USC Trojans will have their hands full against the high scoring Sun Devils. The Trojans’ defense has given up 117 points in four games but the offense may have found a spark in quarterback Sam Darnold who took over for Max Browne.

Darnold has the arm and legs to help the offense move the ball. Another player who is helping the Trojans move the ball is running back Justin Davis. Now they need to get the same production out of backup running backs Roland Jones II and Aca’Cedric Ware.

The Trojans also need to find a way to get their most electrifying player, Adoree’ Jackson the ball more on offense. Jackson, who is a starting defensive back, also plays on special teams. As a kickoff and punt returner he is one of the best in the nation.


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