The UCLA Bruins made a statement on Saturday, defeating the USC Trojans for the first time in six years. Entering the game underdogs despite being ahead of USC in the Pac-12 standings and the BCS rankings, the Bruins jumped out to an early 24-0 lead and managed to fight off every attempt at a USC comeback.
Devin Hester intercepted Matt Barkley's first pass, and the Bruins quickly capitalized with a touchdown. A fumble by Marqise Lee set the Bruins up for another easy score, and by the end of the first quarter it was 17-0 UCLA. They would score one more touchdown before the Trojan offense woke up, but when Barkley finally began to connect with Lee the Bruins managed to score touchdowns on consecutive drives that combined for just 3:58 and pull within 10, 24-14.
USC's momentum continued into the second half, as they took advantage of a Bruin fumble, falling on the ball in the end zone. The extra point went wide, and the Bruins' lead dwindled to just four. The game was back-and-forth from there, but UCLA was able to make a crucial interception at the end of the third quarter to keep the Bruins in front.
The Bruins put the game away midway through the fourth quarter, putting together a nine-play, 83-yard drive that finished with a 29-yard run from Johnathan Franklin.
For the second week in a row, the Bruins made a big impact in the kicking game, blocking a punt early and a field goal late in the game.
Barkley was hurt late in the fourth quarter after a hard hit by Anthony Barr. He took a few minutes to get up but walked off the field under his own power and favoring his shoulder. Barkley finished the day 20 for 38 for 301 yards, with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Curtis McNeal had 161 rush yards on 21 carries, and Marqise Lee had nine receptions for 159 yards.
Box Score Hero: Brett Hundley was 22 for 30 for 234 yards, and Franklin added 171 yards on 29 carries with two touchdowns. Shaquelle Evans was the standout in the receiving corps, pulling in eight catches for 114 yards.
Rankings Ramifications: Ranked at No. 17 going in, the Bruins are likely to climb a few spots. The Trojans were just below them at No. 18, and they'll likely see a drop.
But Did They Cover? At UCLA +4.5, the Bruins easily covered.
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Next Week's Schedule: The Bruins will face the Stanford Cardinal, while USC faces Notre Dame.