Pasadena, CA (Sports Network) - Johnathan Franklin scored two touchdowns and
the UCLA defense came up with huge stops, as the No. 17 Bruins downed the
21st-ranked USC Trojans, 38-28, to secure a spot in the Pac-12 Championship
Franklin rushed for a game-high 171 yards on 29 carries for the Bruins (9-2,
6-2 Pac-12), who came in as losers in 12 of the previous 13 matchups with
their crosstown rival.
The Bruins' defense registered five sacks, two interceptions, recovered a
fumble and blocked Andre Heidari's kick with 1:34 remaining in the game to
seal the win.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Brett Hundley continued to impress, as he
outdueled USC senior Matt Barkley. Hundley passed for 234 yards and a
touchdown on 22-of-30 efficiency, while also adding two scores on the ground
for the Bruins.
USC (7-4,5-4) nearly rallied from a 24-point deficit and came within three in
the fourth quarter, but came up short. Barkley completed 20-of-38 passes for
301 yards and three touchdowns but threw two interceptions.
Marqise Lee caught nine balls for 158 yards and a score, while Nelson Agholor
and Randall Telfer each hauled in touchdowns in the loss for the Trojans.
Trailing 31-21 with 9:21 left in the game, USC embarked on an 80-yard drive to
pull within three.
Facing a huge 3rd-and-10, Barkley escaped the rush and fired a 39-yard strike
on the run to Lee, who made the catch on the UCLA 28. Curtis McNeal, who led
the Trojans with 161 yards rushing, sprinted for 14 yards before Barkley found
Lee again, this time for 14 yards and the score, making it 31-26.
Robert Woods then made an incredible catch on the two-point conversion attempt
to bring USC within a field goal with 7:22 left to play in the game.
But UCLA responded, as a huge third and long conversion sparked a Franklin 29-
yard touchdown run to push the Bruins' lead back to 10.
Faced with 3rd-and-13, Hundley fired a 15-yard strike to Joseph Fauria to keep
the possession alive. Two plays later, Franklin bounced to the outside and
sprinted to the end zone to put UCLA on top 38-28 with 4:02 remaining in the
The Trojans marched down to the UCLA 24, but the wheels completely came off
On 2nd-and-7, Anthony Barr sacked Barkley and injured him on the play, forcing
him out of the game. USC nearly lost the ball on a bad snap, but McNeal
recovered and picked up five yards before the kicking unit came out.
After a UCLA timeout, Sheldon Price got through and blocked Heidari's 38-yard
attempt, clinching the win and year-long possession of the Victory Bell for
The win also made head coach Jim Mora just the second in school history to win
nine games in his first season.
As a result of big stops and capitalizing on turnovers, UCLA jumped out to a
24-0 lead in the first half.
Aaron Hester picked off Barkley on the first play of the game and returned it
to the USC 17-yard line.
Hundley then completed two passes to Jerry Johnson to push the ball inside the
Trojans' 5 and two plays later, he scored on a 1-yard rush to give the Bruins
the early 7-0 lead.
The Bruins forced the Trojans to punt on their next touch and used up nearly
seven minutes on an 18-play drive, but had to settle for three.
After Hundley found Shaquell Evans on 4th-and-13 for a first down, the UCLA
offense stalled inside the USC 10, but Ka'i Fairbairn salvaged the long drive
with a 23-yard field goal to put UCLA ahead 10-0.
The Trojans turned it over again on their next touch. Marqise Lee was stuffed
for a loss and then lost the football just before hitting the ground. Owa
Odighizuwa recovered for UCLA and the Bruins took over inside USC territory.
The Bruins needed just four plays to score, as Hundley found Fauria near the
front left corner of the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown and 17-0 lead near
the end of the first quarter.
In an early hole, the Trojans decided to go for it on 4th-and-2 from the UCLA
25, but Barkley's pass sailed over the head of Elijah Steen and USC turned it
over on downs.
Again, UCLA made the most of the opportunity, marching 74 yards down the field
for a touchdown. Franklin broke through the line and scampered 16 yards for a
score to give the Bruins a commanding 24-0 lead just over four minutes into
the second quarter.
The Trojans' offense finally got rolling, needing just four plays to reach the
end zone on their ensuing touch. Barkley began the drive with a 31-yard
completion to Robert Woods and hit Agholor three plays later with a 33-yard
touchdown pass to cut the Bruins' lead to 17.
Barkley led USC to a touchdown on its next series as well. He completed 4-of-5
throws, finding Telfer in the end zone for a 2-yard score to make it a 24-14
game at halftime. McNeal's 15-yard rush two plays earlier set the Trojans up
inside the Bruins' 5.
USC continued to ride the momentum into the second half, as George Uko
recovered a UCLA fumble in the end zone on the third play of the quarter.
The snap to Hundley was a bad one, and in trying to recover the loose ball it
squirted backwards even further, allowing Uko to pick it up in the end zone
for the score. Andre Heidari missed the extra point, however, and USC remained
UCLA stole the momentum back, however, after Eric Kendricks blocked a
USC punt deep in their territory with 10:45 to play in the third.
On the next play, Hundley tossed a 25-yard pass to Evans, who hauled it in
inside the Trojans' 10-yard line. Two plays later, Hundley crossed the goal
line on a 3-yard rush, extending the Bruins' lead to 31-20.
Before pulling within three at 31-28, Heidari missed a 44-yard attempt and
Barkley was intercepted on consecutive possessions. The Trojans used five and
half minutes of the remaining 7:02 in the third to get Heidari in field goal
range, but his kick sailed wide left.
After driving to the UCLA 36 on the Trojans' next touch, Barkley was
intercepted by Eric Kendricks with 11:49 remaining in the game.
The Trojans will need a win next week against undefeated Notre Dame in order
to finish with eight wins for the 11th consecutive time ... USC fell to 33-19
at the Rose Bowl ... UCLA has won five straight games and will host Stanford
The Sports Network