Culver City Observer -

By Steve Finley
Sports Editor 

UCLA and USC football starts this week

 

August 29, 2019

George Laase

Trojan head coach, Clay Helton, has announced that sophomore J T Daniels will be the starting QB in USC's opening game against Fresno State this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the newly renovated Coliseum.

College football started this week for UCLA and USC and everyone is waiting to see if both teams will be competitive. Last year was a down year for both teams but this year we will have to wait and see. Both teams have tough schedules in 2019 and both coaches are on the hot seat.

UCLA opened their season last Thursday against a very good Cincinnati team and USC will face a solid Fresno State team on Saturday at the newly renovated United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at 7:30 p.m.

The Trojans had a below average season last year with a record of 5-7 so they are looking to bounce back this year against some of the best teams in the nation. After Fresno State they face Stanford at home on September 7, at 7:30 p.m. then they travel to BYU on September 14 for a 1:30 p.m. game.

On Friday night, September 20 they battle one of the best teams in the Pac-12, Utah at 6 p.m., at home. They go back on the road on September 28 to face Washington. USC stays on the road when they play Norte Dame on October 12 at 7:30 p.m. The Trojans return home on October 19 to face Arizona.

On Friday October 25 they travel to Colorado for a 7 p.m. game and November 2 they play a home game against Oregon. They go back on the road for their next two games against Arizona State on November 9 and California on November 16. USC's last game of the regular season is against UCLA at home on November 23.

The Trojans offense will be once again be led by returning starting quarterback JT Daniels. Daniels threw for 14 touchdowns last season as true freshman but he also had 10 interceptions in 11 games. He will have plenty of weapons to throw to in Michael Pittman Jr., Tyler Vaughns , Armon-RaSt. Brown and Velus Jones Jr. The Trojans also have several talented freshmen receivers that can step up if needed.

The running backs will be led Vavae Malepeal and Stephen Carr. If Carr can stay healthy he may be the spark that the offense was missing last year. He combines speed and power. Redshirt freshman Markese Stepp will also see action this year.

On defense the Trojans will return six starters from last year . Defensive lineman Christian Rector and Marlon Tuipuotu, linebackers John Houston Jr. and Jordan Iosefa and safeties Talanoa Hufanga and Isaiah Pola-Mao.

The UCLA Bruins will play their second game of the season at the Rose Bowl on September 7, against San Diego State at 1 p.m. On September 14 they face Oklahoma at the Rose Bowl at 5 p.m.

The Bruins will be on the road for two games in a row when they play Washington State on September 21 and Arizona on September 28. They return home on October 5 against Oregon State and they go back on the road to play Stanford on Thursday October 17 at 6 p.m. They play a home game on October 26 against Arizona State.

On November 2 UCLA will face Colorado at home and November 16 they will travel to Utah. They will stay on the road when they battle USC at the Coliseum on November 23. They play their last regular season game at home against California on November 30.

On offense the Bruins will be led by running back Joshua Kelly. The 5'11 215 pound senior ran for 1,243 yards last season and he is looking for a repeat performance in 2019. Other players to watch on offense are receivers Theo Howard and Demetric Felton.The offense will also be led by guards Michael Alves and Christaphnay Murray, center Boss Tagaloa and tackle Jake Burton.

On defense the Bruins will rely on corner backs Elijah Gates and Darnay Holmes, safety Quentin Lake, linebackers Keisan Lucier, Tyree Thompson, Krys Barnes and Odua Isibor. The defensive line will be led by Osa Odighizuwa and Atonio Mafi.

UCLA and USC will need to avoid injuries and turnovers if they expect to have winning seasons in 2019.

 

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