UCLA jumped out to an early 24-0 lead over USC thanks to a series of miscues from the Trojans. On the opening play of the game, USC starting quarterback Matt Barkley tossed an interception and the mistakes continued to pile up for the Trojans.
USC had three turnovers, two missed field goals, two kicks blocked and a missed extra point. But give credit where it is due: UCLA outplayed the Trojans in all three aspects of the game.
Running back Johnathan Franklin led the way for UCLA on offense, gashing the Trojans defense with 171 yards and two scores — including a 29-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
USC had one final chance to pull within a score when they lined up for a 38-yard field goal attempt. Fitting to the games storyline, Sheldon Price came up huge on special teams and blocked the kick for the Bruins.
UCLA will now face either Stanford or Oregon in the Pac-12 championship, depending on the outcome of tonight’s game. An Oregon win puts the Ducks straight through to the conference championship, while a Stanford win would set the Cardinal up for a showdown against UCLA next week in which they would need a win.
This was a statement win for the Bruins and could signal a changing of the guard in Los Angeles.