High School

Southland high school football coaches divided on outcome of USC-UCLA

Leonard Williams
USC defensive end Leonard Williams looks on during the second half of the Trojans’ 38-30 win over California on Nov. 13.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

It seems like everybody around Los Angeles this week has an opinion about which football team will win Saturday evening’s crosstown rivalry game between UCLA and USC. Columnist Eric Sondheimer polled 10 coaches who guide some of the Southland’s best high school teams for their takes on the game. These are the responses he received:

Coach, School | Pick Comment

Jason Negro, St. John Bosco | USC 27, UCLA 24 | “I think there is magic in those chrome helmets and facemasks. Can’t lose in chrome.”

Troy Thomas, Crespi | USC 28, UCLA 27 | “I don’t even know either team. What’s their record?”


Scott Altenberg, Gardena Serra | UCLA 42. USC 31 | “It’s not even a rivalry anymore. UCLA is dominating. We’ve won two in row. Our rivalry game is next week against Stanford.”

Bruce Rollinson, Santa Ana Mater Dei | USC 36, UCLA 32 | “I love my Trojans. They’re a fighting good group for three quarters. Hopefully, they eat their Wheaties and give the Bruins a great game.”

Jim Benkert, Westlake | UCLA 27, USC 21 | “I like UCLA because of depth. USC’s scholarship numbers are way down.”

Rick Curtis, Santa Margarita | USC 28, UCLA 24 | “I always look at the offensive and defensive lines, and I think USC’s defensive line may have the edge.”


Dean Herrington, Alemany | USC 35, UCLA 31 | “I wouldn’t bet the game if my life depended on it. It’s pretty even. But I think Cody Kessler is playing well and the USC receiving corps is pretty special.”

Matt Logan, Corona Centennial | USC 34, UCLA 31 | “It could go either way. As a kid, it was my Super Bowl watching the game on TV. I’m going to be there for my first time ever.”

Jim Hartigan, JSerra | UCLA 37, USC 31 | “I’m going with UCLA because last time I picked USC and lost. I like the way UCLA plays defense.”

Tim Salter, Upland | UCLA 31, USC 24 | “I haven’t seen anything but Hart High film all week. Since I want both teams to recruit my kids, I have to root for both.”