The football season has started as expected for Los Angeles’ two Division I college football teams.
USC held a glorified scrimmage this past Saturday against Idaho, winning the game 59-9. Their 738 yards of offense was the most from the program since 2005, when they had team members the likes of Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, and LenDale White. The week before USC routed Arkansas State 55-6.
UCLA has also had their way with the first two opponents on the schedule, winning 37-3 this past Saturday at UNLV, and knocking off Virginia 34-16 the week before.
After convincing wins, both teams have moved up in the polls. USC started the season at No. 8 on the Associated Press’ poll, while UCLA was No. 13.USC has moved up to No. 6, while UCLA is currently No. 10.
As easy as both teams have had it so far, their schedules get tougher this week. USC’s first real challenge was supposed to be the upcoming game against Stanford, who started the season at No. 21. But the Cardinal fell out of the rankings, after they were upset by Northwestern to in their season opener. The showdown at the Coliseum has lost most of its luster, and USC should be able to win this game handily. But it will be a much tougher game than their first two matchups.
UCLA will have a much tougher opponent, because they are hosting a BYU team that has been moving up the rankings. They started the season unranked, but after wins over Nebraska and No. 20 Boise State, BYU has entered the top 25 at No. 19.
The biggest story revolving around UCLA is the play of true freshman quarterback Josh Rosen, who put the nation on notice that he is the real deal after his near-perfect debut against Virginia. He followed that up with a solid performance against UNLV, but UCLA also showed that they were a well-rounded team as they rushed for 281 yards, to go along with Rosen’s 223 passing yards. UCLA’s defense held UNLV to only 251 total yards for the game.
The season is going to get a lot more challenging for both USC and UCLA, because they play in one of the toughest divisions in college football. The PAC-12 South features four ranked teams. Besides USC and UCLA, Utah is ranked No. 21, and Arizona sits at No. 20. USC may have a tougher road over the course of the season, since they have to face No. 12 Oregon, but UCLA does not. USC also has No. 8 Notre Dame on their schedule.