USC’s Cravens looking for revenge vs UCLA’s Lucien

LOS ANGELES — For the first time in his young career, it’s rivalry week for USC safety Su’a Cravens. Although he wasn’t a part of the team yet, he’s well aware of the 38-28 defeat the Trojans suffered at the Rose Bowl to UCLA last season.

This time last year, he was still in high school but Cravens is intent on exacting some revenge … with a twist.

Of course, defeating his crosstown rival is the top priority, but there are some old, unresolved issues Cravens will carry into the Coliseum on Saturday as well. It will be personal. 

The USC freshman has known UCLA wide receiver Devin Lucien since they were “little.”

Their fathers grew up together and are former classmates going back to middle school, Cravens says, and they have remained friends throughout the years.

They competed from time to time when they were younger, including at certain football camps during their high school days. However, it was always a distant relationship with Cravens growing up in the Inland Empire and Lucien in the San Fernando Valley.

Despite the distance, their high school teams faced each other on Oct. 1, 2010 when Lucien’s Crespi Celts visited Cravens’ Vista Murrieta Broncos.

The excitement for Cravens preceding the game was replaced with memories he hasn’t been able to shake.

“Once we found out that we was playing each other he hit me up right away and I hit him up right away and we’re all talking trash to each other the whole week until we played and, I guess, he got the better of it that week,” Cravens recalls.

“I scored three touchdowns on him,” Lucien told’s Abbey Mastracco. “I remember it.”

Cravens, on the other hand, doesn’t remember it going that way.
“He didn’t score no three (touchdowns) against me,” Cravens said adamantly. “I was at linebacker at the time.” 

What’s not up for debate is Crespi won at Vista Murrieta, 45-31, behind Lucien’s eight catches for 184 yards and three touchdowns.

Cravens is hoping that same impact won’t be had by his friend on Saturday at the Coliseum.

“He came to our house and scored a couple of touchdowns on us (in high school) but it’s going to be a little different this time,” Cravens said.