One of the intriguing subplots of Saturday’s crosstown rivalry game between UCLA and USC will be UCLA offensive coordinator Norm Chow matching wits with USC defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.

Both are considered gurus, though it’s interesting to note that UCLA has been slowed by an ineffective offense this season and USC has struggled on defense. Still it should make for an interesting chess match.

“He’s a legend,” Chow said. “People respond to Monte Kiffin with awe because he’s done so much and obviously it’s a challenge and a tough challenge.”

Chow has faced off against Kiffin before, most recently when Kiffin coached at Tennessee last season and UCLA defeated the Volunteers. The two also squared off in the NFL when Chow was with the Tennessee Titans and Kiffin was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Chow also accompanied Lane Kiffin, Monte’s son, on a trip to Florida to visit Monte Kiffin when Chow was offensive coordinator at USC and Lane Kiffin was on his staff.

“We were trying to glean some stuff,” Chow said.

But Chow downplayed the significance of the meeting of the two great minds.

“Neither one of us plays,” Chow said. “It’s those guys on the field and we have to make sure they know what they’re doing.”