Hundley leads No. 22 UCLA past No. 23 USC
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Brett Hundley passed for
208 yards and rushed for two touchdowns, leading No. 22 UCLA past No.
23 Southern California 35-14 Saturday night and winning the crosstown
showdown for the second straight season.
Linebacker Myles Jack and defensive end
Eddie Vanderdoes also rushed for touchdowns as the Bruins (9-3, 6-3
Pac-12) earned their first win at the Coliseum since 1997, retaining the
Victory Bell by grinding out just their third victory over USC (9-4,
6-3) in 15 years.
Javorius Allen rushed for 123 yards and a
score for the Trojans, who had won five straight in their revitalized
season under interim coach Ed Orgeron.
Cody Kessler passed for 174 yards and
hit Xavier Grimble with a TD pass for USC. But its defense couldn’t
handle Hundley, who rushed for 80 yards.
Hundley and UCLA coach Jim Mora have
never lost to the Trojans, and Jack had his latest big game in his first
taste of the rivalry. After the freshman scored his seventh touchdown
in four games, he also recovered Allen’s fumble deep in UCLA territory
early in the fourth quarter.
Anthony Barr then swatted the ball out
of Kessler’s hand from behind with 6 minutes left, and Cassius Marsh
fell on the fumble near midfield. After Hundley rushed 23 yards up the
middle on another nimble draw, Paul Perkins scored the clinching TD from
8 yards out with 3:50 to play.
The game didn’t help the unlikely cause
of Orgeron, who emerged as a legitimate candidate for the full-time USC
job by revitalizing a stagnant USC program since replacing Lane Kiffin
in late September.
Orgeron got the Trojans back into the
national rankings, shocked No. 5 Stanford earlier this month, and made
football fun again at USC — but he also lost to Notre Dame and UCLA,
the Trojans’ two biggest rivals. Athletic director Pat Haden hasn’t said
when he’ll pick a full-time coach.
Marqise Lee had six catches for 69 yards
in what’s expected to be the final home game for the USC junior, who
won the Biletnikoff Award last year before struggling with injuries all
The crosstown rivals had rarely been so
evenly matched heading into their annual meeting. UCLA and USC hadn’t
been next to each other in the AP rankings for the game since 1976, and
both schools are headed to bowl games after solid seasons.
Both teams wore their home jerseys at
the Coliseum, sticking to tradition at the venerable arena they shared
for decades. UCLA broke from that tradition two years ago and debuted an
all-white uniform at the Coliseum, only to lose 50-0 in a game that got
coach Rick Neuheisel fired.
Two hours before the game, USC’s
players and coaches gathered in a large circle at midfield in what’s
become a tradition under Orgeron. The Trojans exchanged angry words with
several Bruins attempting to warm up on the field, but security and
coaches preventing anything but insults from being thrown.
The Coliseum crowd roared for USC’s
seniors before the game — and then went crazy when former linebacker
Willie McGinest led the rest of the Trojans onto the field after ripping
off his sweatshirt to reveal his old No. 55 jersey and pulling on a
UCLA made a 48-yard scoring drive late
in the first quarter, with Hundley calling plays at the line of
scrimmage and scrambling repeatedly to set up Jack’s 3-yard TD run. Jack
scored 6 touchdowns on 35 carries in the Bruins’ previous three games
when the freshman was pressed into offensive service by injuries to
several UCLA tailbacks.
UCLA added an 80-yard scoring drive
early in the second quarter ending in a TD run by the 305-pound
Vanderdoes, who committed to USC and Notre Dame before switching from
the Irish to UCLA earlier this year.
The Trojans finally replied with a
sturdy drive and an 11-yard TD run by Allen, who has seized the top job
at Tailback U. from injured Silas Redd and Tre Madden.
UCLA’s offense was stopped on fourth
down at the USC 12 late in the first half, but the Bruins went up 21-7
early in the second half on an 11-yard TD draw by Hundley, who went in
The Trojans responded with a 22-yard TD
pass to Grimble, but the Bruins got another huge kick return from
Ishmael Adams and scored less than three minutes later. Hundley took it
in on a 5-yard run, beating USC’s Devon Kennard to the corner for his