Coming in at No. 4 on our list of the greatest games in the UCLA/USC rivalry is the 1996 thriller in…
VIDEO: McDonald talks about USC
Q: here, we're with Tevin McDonald. Just talking about matching up with those USC receivers. How tough of a matchup is it for a secondary?
TM: It's an exciting challenge. We know what they're capable of. Capable of a big play on any given play. We have to make sure that we're sound in doing our jobs.
Q: is there any personnel that you've played this year that kind of compare to them? Is there anything you can take, for example, from Oregon State's receivers?
TM: I think in the pro style offense. Having 2 receivers. Swings. Bubbles. Screens. I think like Oregon State.
Q: what jersey is dad wearing?
TM: 7. It'll definitely be a 7.
Q: what's it like, not only have a crosstown rivalry, but also playing your brother?
TM: it's an exciting challenge. I'm looking forward to the game. Another chance to play a good USC team.
Q: have you ever matched up against your brother before?
TM: way back when, we used to find ways to battle each other. Whether it's one-on-one with basketball.
Q: so this year with the implication of a PAC-12 championship on the line, is there added emphasis?
TM: beating USC is one of UCLA's biggest goals every year. So we're both going to play to win. And we understand what's at stake so we're doing all we can out here to prepare.
Q: with the history and USC taking 12 out of the last 13, is this the time to turn things around?
TM: we'd like to hope so. We're doing all we can in preparation. All we can defensively. Hopefully our plan works out.
Q: what's the plan after the game with the family?
TM: probably going to grab some dinner. Hopefully with a win.
Q: do a little trashtalking with your brother?
TM: we talked earlier in the week. He called me up to see where I was at mentally. He wants to see me do well. I want to see him do well. But at the end of the day, I'm going to play to win. I want UCLA to win.
Q: last week against Washington State, you were matched up against smaller, quicker receivers, and they seemed to exploit that pretty well. Any lessons to take from that game?
TM: I don't think it was the speed. I think it was that we kind of let up. We didn't pay as much attention to detail in the second half. We were up 30 points at half time. I think we let that get to us a little bit. We stopped being as sound on our routes.
Q: I know you don't want to blame anything on temperature. But did the sheer cold get to you by the end of the game?
TM: it was cold the whole game. But you have to deal with it. In the first half, we didn't let it become a problem. But in the second half, maybe we let that be an excuse. Maybe that's one of the things that led… but if we pay the same attention to detail and focus, then the cold won't bother you.
Q: did you go to Pullman 2 years ago when you were redshirting?
TM: no. Did do a trip to Utah last year though. They had snow.
Q: obviously, you're not a senior. You have some seniors in the secondary. Have you talked to those guys about how big it is to get a win this week?
TM: in this culture, you want to win the crosstown rivalry. I know they haven't had a chance to do that yet. So I know they're very excited for that chance.
Q: do you feel the same sense of urgency even though you are an underclassman?
TM: yeah, I feel that because it's my brother's last year there so it's now or never for me. Just like it's now or never for them.
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