USC Falls To Cross-Town Rival UCLA 35-14
USC interim head coach Ed Orgeron suffered his first Pac-12 loss of the season as No. 23 USC fell 35-14 to cross-town rival No. 22 UCLA. The Trojans could not contain Bruin quarterback Brett Hundley, who led the Bruins (9-3, 6-3 Pac-12) in both passing and rushing. He completed 18 of 27 passes for 208 yards and rushed for 80 yards and two touchdowns.
"When you let one person beat you it's a tough pill to swallow," said safety Dion Bailey, who had five total tackles in the loss.
USC (9-4, 6-3) put together just two scoring drives, once in the second quarter and once in the third quarter. USC was stifled by UCLA's defense for the majority of the game.
USC running back Javorius Allen put together his fourth triple digit rushing effort in the last five games. Versus the Bruins Allen rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown. Allen's touchdown was the first score of the game for the Trojans. The 11-yard run came with just over six minutes remaining in the second quarter and narrowed the Bruins lead to 14-7.
After a touchdown run by Hundley at the start of the third quarter, USC responded with a score of its own. USC quarterback Cody Kessler connected with tight end Xavier Grimble for a 22-yard touchdown.
However, UCLA's offense didn't take long to respond as Hundley rushed for a touchdown on the Bruins next possession to put his team ahead 28-14.
UCLA controlled the rest of the game forcing two turnovers in the fourth quarter, and put the nail in the coffin on a 8-yard run by running back Paul Perkins with 3:50 remaining in the game. Time slipped away from the Trojans as they watch their cross-town rival defeat them on their field for the first time since 1997. With the win the Bruins snap a 7-game losing streak at the L.A. Coliseum, and will keep the victory bell for another year.
USC offensive linemen Marcus Martin (knee) and Andre Walker (ankle) both suffered season-ending injuries, and were carted off the field in the first half. With two key offensive linemen missing USC's offensive line struggled. Kessler was sacked six times for a total loss of 43 yards. He was 17 of 28 passing for 174 yards and a touchdown.
"It hurts, obviously we wanted to win this one for Coach O and these coaches that put everything into us, but we came up short and missed opportunities," said Kessler.
It was UCLA's first win at the Coliseum in almost 16 years, and their second-straight victory over USC. The Trojans had won five straight under Orgeron, who will try to guide his team to its tenth victory of the year in a bowl game.