Defeating their cross-town rivals 34-27, UCLA football held their heads high after going down 3-0 early in the game and came out victorious at the Rose Bowl on Saturday. It is the first time the Bruins defeated the Trojans since 2014, and the first loss to an opponent with eight losses or more in over fifty years. The Bruins have improved to 3-8 overall and 3-5 in Pac-12 play. Meanwhile, the Trojans have fallen to 5-6 and 4-5 and are on the verge of being bowl ineligible if they don’t turn things around on this troubled season.
In a game where the Trojans allowed Bruins running back Joshua Kelley to rush for 289 yards on 40 carries and two touchdowns, the USC defense was abysmal. Allowing the junior running back to rush for the third-most yards in school history and the most a UCLA player has rushed for since the schools started playing. The Bruins employed a scheme that focused heavily on running the ball. In the game, UCLA head coach Chip Kelly decided that they would rush the ball 52 times compared to 22 pass attempts.
Averaging 7.0 yards per rush, Kelley was able to control the pace of the game with a pair of touchdowns, none more electrifying that the 55-yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter to put the Bruins up ahead in the game – for good.
The Trojans were able to put together a final drive down 34-27 in the 4th quarter, after a couple of insurance field goals by Bruins kicker JJ Molson from 19 and 48 yards out, but a JT Daniels pass fell incomplete with under a minute to go in the contest. The Trojan’s quarterback finished the game throwing for 337 yards and two touchdown passes on 20-of-34 pass attempts.
USC must win on Saturday against Notre Dame at the Coliseum to salvage a lackluster season while UCLA hosts Stanford at the Rose Bowl to finish the season on a two-game winning streak.