Page last updated on Sun Mar 09 06:30:39 EDT 2014
11/17/2012 8:51 PM EST
No. 17 UCLA knocks off No. 21 USC 38-28
UCLA 38, USC 28
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- When Anthony Barr roared through the
line and hit Matt Barkley squarely in the No. 7 on his back, the
roar rising out of the Rose Bowl was loud enough for a whole
city to hear.
After so many years underneath Southern California, UCLA is on
top of Los Angeles and the Pac-12 South, thanks to a first-year
head coach and a freshman quarterback who don't realize they've
done something that's not usual.
"Well, it is for me," Jim Mora said.
Brett Hundley passed for 234 yards and a touchdown and rushed
for two more scores as No. 17 UCLA beat No. 21 USC 38-28
Saturday, clinching the Pac-12 South title and emphatically
snapping a five-game losing streak in their crosstown showdown.
Eric Kendricks blocked a punt and made a fourth-quarter
interception for the Bruins (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12), who overcame
intermittent second-half rain and USC's star-studded lineup with
a steady effort.
"When the season started, obviously nobody thought we were going
to do what we're doing now," said Hundley, who went 22 for 30
and didn't throw an interception. "But we all knew deep down
inside that we could do it, that we had the talent. We can do
everything we set our mind to, as long as we work hard."
A year after USC obliterated the Bruins 50-0 in a game that led
to a coaching change in Westwood, UCLA punctuated its one-year
revitalization under Mora with its first win over the Trojans
(7-4, 5-4) since 2006 - just their second in 14 years. The
Bruins celebrated in the corner of the Rose Bowl and again with
an impromptu dance-off in the locker room, even while Mora
reminded them they've still got three games to play.
"It's a great moment, and I'm excited," said Mora, the
winningest first-year coach in UCLA history. "I can't wait to
hug my mom, shake my dad's hand and kiss my kids. I don't want
to minimize it at all."
Johnathan Franklin rushed for 171 yards and two touchdowns for
UCLA, including a clutch 29-yard scoring run with 4:02 to play
after USC trimmed its deficit to three points.
Shaquelle Evans had eight catches for 114 yards for UCLA, which
clinched a spot in the Pac-12 title game in two weeks with its
fifth consecutive win. The Bruins also played in that game last
year, but only by default after finishing two games behind
Everything has changed in Los Angeles this season: UCLA entered
this showdown with a higher ranking and more victories than USC
for the first time in a decade, and the Bruins backed it up.
"It's a great night, but we've got so many things we still want
to do," Franklin said. "We're going to enjoy it, but we were
confident coming into this game."
Barkley passed for 301 yards and three touchdowns, but threw two
interceptions in the Trojans' third loss in four games. USC was
the preseason's No. 1 team, but will return to the postseason in
a lower-tier bowl after next week's regular-season finale
against Notre Dame.
"You wouldn't think we would lose this game with a senior
quarterback versus a freshman," USC coach Lane Kiffin said.
"We're extremely disappointed with this season. We're too
talented to have that many losses."
While Hundley led UCLA with the same preternatural calm he has
shown all year, Barkley threw an interception on the game's
first play and rarely looked comfortable. Barkley was hammered
on a blind-side sack by Barr with 2:21 to play, spending a long
moment on the Rose Bowl turf before walking off gingerly and
watching USC's final drive from the sideline.
Nelson Agholor and Randall Telfer caught TD passes for the
Trojans, and Curtis McNeal rushed for 158 yards. Marqise Lee had
nine catches for 158 yards, and All-American Robert Woods had
five catches for 68 yards.
"UCLA did a great job, but we're very disappointed," said Lee,
who had a key early fumble. "We all knew about the stakes in
this rivalry game, and we competed. ... Other people, they'll be
sad. But to me, we came out against a great team and had too
Franklin and Joseph Fauria scored while UCLA jumped out to an
early 24-0 lead under a morning mist that turned into serious
rain by halftime at the Rose Bowl.
USC trimmed its huge early deficit to 24-20 on George Uko's
fumble recovery in the end zone in the third quarter. The
Trojans pulled within 31-28 with Lee's 14-yard TD catch and a
2-point conversion with 7:22 to play.
But Hundley and the Bruins coolly mounted an 83-yard drive,
converting a long third down before Franklin - UCLA's career
rushing leader, nicknamed Jet Ski - sped across the watery turf
for the clinching score.
After Aaron Hester intercepted Barkley's first pass into double
coverage, Hundley scored on a 1-yard keeper just 81 seconds in
to give UCLA its first lead in the rivalry game since 2008. The
interception was Barkley's 14th of the season, doubling his
total as a junior and matching his mark as a mediocre freshman
After Lee fumbled while curiously lined up as a tailback, UCLA
went up 17-0 on Hundley's pretty fade to the 6-foot-7 Fauria.
Franklin then made a 16-yard TD run up the middle in the second
A significant rain began to fall at halftime, and it immediately
bothered the Bruins on a wacky play during their opening drive.
Hundley and Franklin both fumbled before two diving linemen
knocked the ball into the end zone, where Uko fell on it.
The teams both wore their home jerseys on the verdant Rose Bowl
turf in a return to the distinctive tradition that was revived a
few years ago. UCLA abandoned the tradition last year,
inexplicably choosing its rivalry game to debut an all-white
ensemble that hasn't been seen since its 50-point thrashing.
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