Bruins Drop Contest To Trojans, 28-7
Nov. 28, 2009
LOS ANGELES (AP) -Malcolm Smith returned one of Southern California's three interceptions 62 yards for an early touchdown, and the 24th-ranked Trojans regained their defensive pride a 28-7 victory over UCLA on Saturday night.
Matt Barkley's 48-yard touchdown pass to Damian Williams with 44 seconds sealed the win for the Trojans.
Allen Bradford ran for 62 yards and two TDs, including a score with 1:30 to play, as the Trojans won Los Angeles' 79th crosstown showdown by rebounding splendidly from a rough defensive outing in the previous week.
USC has won three straight over UCLA - allowing just 21 total points - since the Trojans' 13-9 loss to UCLA in 2006.
The Trojans' defense gave up 47 points to Oregon and a school-record 55 to Stanford in the past three games, but UCLA didn't threaten to score until the final minutes. USC constantly rattled UCLA freshman quarterback Kevin Prince, and Will Harris' interception set up Bradford's first TD run early in the second half.
USC limited the Bruins to 180 yards and no points in the first three quarters, more than making up for the Trojans' unabated offensive struggles under Barkley, who passed for 206 yards in his first crosstown game. USC also lost starting tailback Joe McKnight on the first drive of the second half to a thigh injury.
But Barkley then made perhaps his best throw, hitting Ronald Johnson with a 20-yard pass on third down with less than 2 1/2 minutes to play. Bradford rumbled 21 yards to the UCLA 2 on the next play before scoring.
USC's defense then took over on downs near midfield with 54 seconds left, sealing the Trojans' 10th win in the last 11 meetings.
Craft passed for 98 yards and Prince had 90 for the Bruins, whose three-game winning streak ended. The Bruins are bowl-eligible, but they're the seventh-place team in a strong conference with just six automatic bowl affiliations.
Both teams marched into the Coliseum wearing their home jerseys, a long-dormant tradition revived last season by USC at the Rose Bowl. UCLA even went a step further with the powder-blue 1967 throwback jerseys that the Bruins first wore in a win over Washington three weeks earlier to snap a five-game skid.
USC led 7-0 after a 10-punt first half, the rivalry's lowest-scoring first half in 33 years.
Prince made the half's biggest mistake when he lost sight of Smith, throwing a short slant pass right into the USC linebacker's numbers in the first quarter. Smith outran Prince down the UCLA sideline, showing off the speed he shares with his brother, former Trojans receiver Steve Smith.
Most of the fans in the non-sellout Coliseum crowd wore multiple sweaters and scarves for a television-mandated nighttime edition of the rivalry game, traditionally an afternoon affair.