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USC-UCLA Power Rankings: Week 2

Reviewing the on-field hits and misses for L.A. teams after another disappointing win for USC, and another harrowing loss for UCLA.

PASADENA CA - SEPTEMBER 11:  Kevin Prince #4 of UCLA throws against Stanford during the first quarter at Rose Bowl on September 11 2010 in Pasadena California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
PASADENA CA - SEPTEMBER 11: Kevin Prince #4 of UCLA throws against Stanford during the first quarter at Rose Bowl on September 11 2010 in Pasadena California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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1.  USC's offensive line, who gave sophomore signal-caller Matt Barkley more than ample time in the pocket. The Cavalier defense was determined to keep the Trojans out of the endzone, and largely succeeded, but getting to the quarterback gave them fits.

2.  Matt Barkley himself, who wasn't a model of efficiency but still managed to throw for over 200 yards against an extremely stingy defense on the road.

3.  UCLA's kick return game. Look, after Saturday, Westwood faithful have a hard search for bright spots ahead of them, so here's one. Josh Smith had plenty of opportunities for practice, and averaged 20.8 yards per carry on five chances.

4.  UCLA's punting. Sophomore Jeff Locke landed two balls inside the 20, and one in the endzone.

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5.  Pac-10 referees, who will be reprimanded for costing Virginia a crucial offensive chunk of yards on a trick play. (Did Ron Cherry defect to the west, or is ACC refereeing acumen just contagious?) 

6.  USC's game prep, again. Lane Kiffin, safe to say, is not used to making headlines by admitting he and his were outcoached by a first-year guy in the ACC. And again, USC does have a very favorable schedule in which to iron out these kinks, but the four games against ranked teams in the Pac-10 will, in fact, get here eventually.

7.  UCLA's quarterbacking morass, where it's not clear they have a good path forward:

It is going to be all about his "mindset" from here on out. I think the biggest challenge Kevin Prince is facing right now is not his physical conditions (shoulder, back or whatever). It is all about his head. He needs to get the same confidence back, which he displayed towards the end of the season when he looked like  Pac-10 QB racking up 300 yards passing games.

8.  UCLA's turnover margin, a nasty +4 over Stanford. That encompasses two interceptions (one from each quarterback), and two fumbles, one of which was returned for a touchdown.

9.  USC's discipline. 13 penalties cost the Trojans 140 yards Saturday night. Eventually, the Trojans will find themselves in a situation where sheer talent won't be able to dig them out, and they'll need those extra yards.

10.  UCLA's conversion rate. The Bruins were 1/9 on third down, and 0-2 on fourth. That above all other numbers, they'll be the first to tell you, made for an utterly miserable conference opener.