USC vs. UCLA: Local high school coaches make their picks

The annual USC-UCLA game will be this Saturday.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

It’s USC-UCLA football week, and high school coaches in Southern California always have their opinions on which team is going to win, though many are influenced by their ties to alumni, current players and the schools themselves.

Here’s a sample of predictions and comments from head coaches who think they know best:

Bruce Rollinson, Santa Ana Mater Dei: USC 41, UCLA 38. “Chase McGrath will win it with a late-minute-drive on a field goal using Monarch magic to pull it out.”

Scott Altenberg, Gardena Serra: UCLA 15, USC 14. “It’s only close because the Bruins are caught looking ahead to the big rivalry game with Cal next week.”


Jim Bonds, La Canada St. Francis: UCLA 45, USC 42. “Chip Kelly owns the Trojans and the Bruins’ bowl hopes stay alive.”

Chad Johnson, Mission Viejo: UCLA 24, USC 17. “My coaches and UCLA legends Chase Moline and Robert Thomas would never let me pick USC.”

Dorian Thompson-Robinson has had plenty of good and bad moments for UCLA this season. The sophomore quarterback says he’s happy with his progression.

Dean Herrington, Lancaster Paraclete: USC 38, UCLA 24. “Too many weapons for USC on offense. But I’m terrible at picking games. My wife beats me in football pools.”


Jon Ellinghouse, Chatsworth Sierra Canyon: UCLA 21, USC 10. “I’m rooting for UCLA because they’ve taken a couple of our kids the last few years.”

Ed Croson, West Hills Chaminade: UCLA 38, USC 37. “The gutty little Bruins are going to win it in overtime.”

Jim Rose, Lake Balboa Birmingham: USC 35-17. “After watching UCLA Saturday night, I don’t like UCLA.”

Lorenzo Hernandez, Garfield: USC 35, UCLA 31. “I hope both coaches keep their jobs.”


Larry Muir, Valencia: UCLA 33, USC 29: “Lightning hits twice. Joshua Kelley is the real deal.”

Dan O’Shea, Corona del Mar: UCLA 24, USC 21. “Because if I was going to bet on a Bear vs. Horse in a boxing match, I’m going to stick with the one that is on our state flag.”

Casey Clausen, Mission Hills Alemany: USC 38, UCLA 28. “USC’s receiving corp is going to be the difference.”

Kedon Slovis wasn’t expected to have a big role with USC’s football team this season. But the quarterback is one of several freshmen to contribute.


Chris Claiborne, Calabasas: USC 31, UCLA 14. “USC is turning the corner and the quarterback is playing at a high level.”

Jaime Ortiz, San Clemente: USC 28, UCLA 21. “I am going with an overtime victory, with the next coming of Sam Darnold, Kedon Slovis, scoring the winning touchdown for USC.”

Angelo Gasca, Venice: USC 35, UCLA 21. “Maybe no team has improved as much as UCLA, but USC’s receivers are explosive, and I don’t know if UCLA can contain them.”

Matt Logan, Corona Centennial: USC 35, UCLA 31. “Drake Jackson will be the difference maker in the game.”


Andy Moran, Eagle Rock: UCLA 36, USC 33. “And thus begins the Urban Meyer era at USC.”