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UCLA, USC to Meet for Victory Bell Saturday

Dec 9, 2020
(Photo: Don Liebig)

Week 6 Release (PDF)

Venue: Spieker Field at the Rose Bowl
Kickoff Time: 4:30 p.m. PT
Television: ABC (Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy, Allison Williams)
Radio (UCLA Sports Network from IMG College): AM 570 - Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Matt Stevens (analyst), Wayne Cook (reporter)
    Sirius: 136 / XM: Ch. 197

UCLA (3-2, 3-2) will host No. 16 USC (4-0, 4-0) on Saturday, December 12 in a Pac-12 Conference matchup to be played on Spieker Field at the Rose Bowl at 4:30 p.m. PT. The game will be televised by ABC. The Bruin IMG Radio Network will broadcast the contest, which will also be aired over SiriusXM, and and the TuneIn App.

This will be the 90th meeting of the teams. UCLA trails in the series 32-48*-7 (*two USC wins in '04 and '05 have been vacated due to NCAA penalties). Both teams will wear their home jerseys, a tradition restarted for the 2008 game. The winner of the game will take home the Victory Bell. This equals the latest meeting between the rivals as the teams met on December 12, 1942 with the Bruins coming away with a 14-7 victory. In eight of the last nine overall series meetings, the winning team has scored at least 30 points (not in 2017-28). The Bruins captured the last contest played in the Rose Bowl in 2018. In that Bruin victory, Joshua Kelley ran for a series-record 289 yards while dealing USC a 34-27 verdict. Trailing by six points in the fourth quarter, Kelley broke through the line and raced 55 yards for the go-ahead score with 10:39 to play in the game. JJ Molson added a pair of field goals for the final margin.

Last season at the Coliseum, the Trojans defeated the Bruins, 52-35, in the highest-scoring series game in 23 years. UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson accounted for much of UCLA's offense, passing for 367 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for 64 yards and one touchdown. Tight end Devin Asiasi and receiver Kyle Philips each had career days for the Bruins, with Asiasi finishing with a team-high and career-best 141 yards, and Philips recording career-high numbers in catches (12) and yards (123). USC quarterback Kedon Slovis threw for a USC single-game record 515 yards, tossing four touchdowns in the game.

• Victory Bell — The winner of the UCLA-USC football game is awarded the Victory Bell. The 295-pound bell originally hung atop a Southern Pacific freight locomotive. It was given to the UCLA Alumni Association in 1939 and then, in 1941, it was taken by a group of USC students. A year later, the student body presidents of both schools signed an agreement that the winner of the football game would keep possession for the next year.
• The teams have split the last eight meetings in the series ... Over those last eight meetings, the winning team in the crosstown matchup has averaged 37.6 points, with the victor scoring at least 34 points in all but one game (2017-28).
• The Bruins have won their first two home games of 2020 over Cal and Arizona ... The last time UCLA won three straight at home was in 2017 when it went 6-0 on Spieker Field at the Rose Bowl.
• UCLA has split its last four meetings with ranked opponents ... The last time UCLA defeated a ranked USC squad was in 2014 ... UCLA bested ranked USC teams in 2013 and 2012, as well ... The last time an unranked UCLA team topped a ranked USC unit was in 2006 (13-9 vs. No. 2 USC).
• Defensive Growth: UCLA's sacks progression -- (NCAA rank/avg) 2020: 8th/3.6 per game; 2019: 62nd/2.2; 2018: 118th/1.25
UCLA's tackles for loss progression -- (NCAA rank/avg) 2020: 16th/7.8 per game; 2019: 61st/6.0; 2018: 115th/4.6
• QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson's progression -- Pass Efficiency Rating-2020: 147.16; 2019: 134.86; 2018: 122.28 ... Brett Hundley (2012-147.7, 2013-153.7,2014-152.7) is the only Bruin QB since 2005 (Drew Olson-161.6) to finish with a rating above 147.0 for a season.
• The UCLA defense has 39 tackles for loss in the first five games this season ... The 7.8 average per game ranks 16th in the NCAA ... The 10.0 tackles for loss earlier this season at Oregon are the most since last year against Stanford (11 TFLs and 7 sacks).
• UCLA enjoyed a 17-3 halftime lead at ASU last week. It has now led at the half in all three games it has won this season. UCLA owned a halftime lead in three of the four games it won in 2019. The Bruins are 8-1 under Coach Kelly when ahead at the half.
• Junior college transfer Caleb Johnson led UCLA with a career-high 10 tackles in the win at ASU ... He added a fumble recovery and a team-best 2.5 TFLs and 2.0 sacks ... Johnson paces the Bruins in sacks on the season with 4.0 and is tied for second in TFLs at 6.0.
• UCLA's average rushing offense per game currently sits at 227.6 yards per game ... The Bruins have surpassed the 200-yards rushing per game average milestone just three times since the 1990 season -- 2014-209.5, 1995-212.5 and 1991-200.1.
• Junior college transfer Mitchell Agude leads the Bruins with 7.5 tackles for loss this season and he is the only Bruin to have at least one TFL in each of the first five games ... his 1.5 TFL/g mark is 26th-best nationally ... He registered a season-high 3.5 TFLs vs. the Ducks ... Agude was also credited with the forced fumble which was returned for a TD at Oregon and two forced fumbles vs. Arizona.
• Under Coach Kelly, UCLA is +15 turnovers in wins and -25 in losses ... UCLA enjoyed a 2-0 edge over both ASU and Arizona the past two weeks ... The last time UCLA went without a turnover was in a 2019 battle versus Oregon State.
• The last time UCLA has held two straight opponents (Arizona 27-10 / ASU 25-18) to less than 20 points came in 2015 wins over UNLV (37-3) and UVA (34-16).
• The Bruin offensive line has allowed an average of 1.60 sacks per game this season, which ranks 30th in the NCAA ... UCLA's best mark dating back to 1990 is 1.08 sacks allowed for a season.
• UCLA has dominated the second (75-41) and fourth (36-9) quarters of games this season, outscoring opponents 111-50.
• Nine different players have caught UCLA's season total of 10 touchdown passes. TE Greg Dulcich is the only receiver with more than one.
• The Bruins have been bowl eligible following six of the past 10 seasons (not in 2019, 2018, 2016, 2010) ... Last bowl game was 2017 Cactus Bowl.
• Felton registered a career-high total of 278 all-purpose yards at Oregon, the 10th-highest total in the nation this season and the second-best performance by a Pac-12 player in 2020 ... Felton had a career-best 206 yards rushing against Arizona on 32 carries after posting 167 on a career-high 34 carries at Oregon the previous week ... he also returned five kickoffs for 105 yards in Eugene.
• Dulcich is averaging 19.5 yards per catch (3rd in Pac-12 and 25th in NCAA) ... His 100-yard receiving game at Colorado marked the seventh straight season in which a Bruin TE has gone over the century mark in at least one game in a season (Devin Asiasi in 2019, Caleb Wilson in 2018 and 2017, Nate Iese in 2016, Thomas Duarte in 2015 and 2014).
• S Stephan Blaylock leads the Bruins in tackles this season (34) ... He picked off his first-career pass vs. Arizona ... He matched his career best earlier this season with 11 stops at Colorado ... Last season, he ranked 18th in the NCAA in solos (5.4/g) and had 11 stops at USC.
• RB Brittain Brown made his first-career start at Arizona State and ran for a Bruin-best 94 yards on seven carries; he also caught 2 passes for 36 yards ... He found the end zone in three straight games earlier this season -- on a 16-yard pass play vs. Arizona, a 2-yard rush at Oregon and a 31-yard run against Cal. The score versus the Golden Bears was his first TD run since the 2018 season vs. Temple while at Duke.
• WR Kyle Philips leads the Bruins in receptions again this season (23)... In 2019, he topped UCLA in receptions (60), which was the most receptions ever in a single season by a Bruin freshman/redshirt freshman ... Philips posted career highs in catches (12) and receiving yards (123) last season at USC ... He was the first redshirt freshman to lead a Bruin team in receptions since 2001 when Craig Bragg topped the Bruins' list.
• Thompson-Robinson has thrown at least one TD pass in 13 of the last 14 games he has played in (not Utah), including the last five straight.
• DL Osa Odighizuwa has started a team-high 25 straight contests ... DB Stephan Blaylock and OL Sean Rhyan have started in each of the last 17 games ... Odighizuwa is second on the Bruins with 4.0 sacks and is second (tied) in TFLs with 6.0 this season ... His 10.0 tackles for loss in 2019 were most by a Bruin interior lineman since Kenny Clark (now with Green Bay Packers) registered 11.0 in 2015 season.
• Felton has a reception in each of the last 17 games ... Philips is next with a catch in 16 straight.
• True-freshman punter Luke Akers is averaging 42.6 yards per kick and has four 50-plus-yard punts with nine placed inside the 20, including six in last two games ... Redshirt-freshman kicker Nicholas Barr-Mira has connected on all three FG attempts (31, 30 yds vs. Arizona and 44 yds at ASU).