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UCLA Vs. USC: Johnathan Franklin, Bruins Need Strong Rushing Attack To Beat Trojans

The UCLA Bruins look to capture the Pac-12 South Division on Saturday night with a win over the USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The underdog Bruins will need a strong rushing attack to topple the Trojans, including quarterback Kevin Prince, but the heavy burden will fall on Johnathan Franklin's shoulders.

The junior running back ran for 109 yards on just 13 carries last season against the Trojans, including a touchdown, and is closing in on a milestone this season. He needs 143 rushing to give him 1,000 yards for the season, trying to become the seventh UCLA tailback with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons:

  • Wendell Tyler: 1975 (1,388 yards) and 1976 (1,003)
  • Freeman McNeil: 1979 (1,396) and 1980 (1,105)
  • Gaston Green: 1986 (1,405) and 1987 (1,098)
  • Karim Abdul-Jabbar: 1994 (1,227) and 1995 (1,571)
  • Skip Hicks: 1996 (1,034) and 1997 (1,282)
  • DeShaun Foster: 2000 (1,037) and 2001 (1,109)

Franklin had 1,127 rushing yards in 2010. Franklin ran for 162 yards and a touchdown in last week's 45-6 rout of the Colorado Buffaloes.

USC has allowed 110.3 yards per game on the ground, the third-best in the Pac-12 Conference, and they have allowed just two running backs to run for 100 yards this season: Cameron Marshall of the Arizona State Sun Devils (141 yards) and Kenjon Barner of the Oregon Ducks (123 yards). But UCLA has averaged 199.5 yards on the ground on offense this year, also third best in the conference.

The three-pronged rushing attack of Franklin, Prince, and tailback Derrick Coleman will give USC all they can handle on Saturday night.

Saturday night's 7 p.m. PST game will be televised by Prime Ticket. For more UCLA football news and analysis, be sure to read Bruins Nation. For USC football information, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles.