UCLA: Keeping It Bruin
LOS ANGELES—The Bruins walked out of the Coliseum in one of the biggest wins to end the season. The 22nd ranked UCLA won the Battle of Los Angeles over 23rd ranked USC and retained the coveted victory bell in a 35-14 score. Quarterback Brett Hundley threw 18 for 27, for 208 yards in his first win on USC soil.
The game had heat even before the opening kickoff with both teams meeting in the middle of the field for the opportunity to throw cheap taunts at each other. It would eventually be settled on the field as Myles Jack who was to remain a defensive lineman turned running back and scored on UCLA’s opening drive for 80 yards ending in a nine yard run. During the Bruins drive, the rivalry exploded as UCLA offensive guard Caleb Benenoch threw a punch at USC’S JR Tavai and was ejected from the game. It would be the only ejection in what some consider being one of the biggest rivalries in college football.
With the score settled, the Bruins continued to grow their lead as they drove toward the end zone with a short run for Eddie Vanderdoes to make it a 14-0 margin with 12:36 left in the second quarter. The Trojans found leverage with an 11-yard run by Javorius Allen to cut the lead in half.
UCLA opened the second half regaining their 14-point lead with Hundley scoring for the Bruins on a dozen yard run. The Trojans responded with a big run in the third quarter going 80 yards on seven plays that ended with tight end Xavier Grimble catching a 22-yard pass from QB Cody Kessler to go down seven. It would be the last time USC would see a seven point margin again as Hundley ran another solo touchdown with a fake pitch for the Bruins for five yards to make it 28-14.
The fourth quarter spelled victory for the Bruins as they defended strongly on all four of USC’s drives with three ending with less than 10 yards gained for the Trojans. UCLA held the ball in four possessions with freshman running back Paul Perkins scoring the game’s final touchdown with an eight yard dash. The win marked UCLA’s second victory over the Trojans and first at the Coliseum since 1997.
The stadium emptied leaving a blue mass standing as the Bruins celebrated on every square inch of the field high fiving fans and taking the overdue win in their rival’s territory. With the season over for the Bruins and still holding a spot in the Top 25, UCLA will find out what bowl they could attend while some consider this to be the end of UCLA’s well played year.
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