The first year of the Chip Kelly Era at UCLA got off to a rocky start, as it took the Bruins six tries to pick up their first win. Their crowning moment of the season came two weeks ago, when they beat the USC Trojans, sending USC to their worst season in 18 years, but they came back to earth this past weekend.
The Bruins were beaten by the Stanford Cardinal at home in Week 13, although they hung tough, and got a valiant effort from quarterback Wilton Speight. In his final collegiate game, Speight threw for nearly 500 yards, and had his team driving at the end of the contest until a turnover on downs ended their chances.
UCLA got another strong effort from Adarius Pickett in the game against Stanford, leading the team with eight tackles, while also nabbing an interception. Joshua Kelley ended his fantastic junior season with a two-touchdown performance against the Cardinal, and for the season, he finished with 1,243 yards and 12 touchdowns. He will be crucial to the team’s success in 2019.
The USC Trojans punched their ticket to a losing season last weekend, as they lost on the road to the UCLA Bruins. This weekend, they faced an uphill battle against No. 3 Notre Dame, and for once this season, they actually stepped up to the plate, although they came out on the wrong side of a 24-17 score.
JT Daniels was able to protect the ball all game long, throwing for 349 yards and a touchdown against one of the better defenses in the country. However, the Trojans could not reach the 100-yard mark as a team against Notre Dame’s front seven, as the Fighting Irish finished their regular season with a 12-0 record and the owners of the Jeweled Shillelagh.
Tyler Vaughns led the USC offense with 12 catches for 120 yards and a touchdown. Cameron Smith ended his storied USC career with another double-digit tackle performance, leaidng the team with 12 tackles, and will likely be an early round pick in the NFL Draft next April. For USC, the loss could spell the end for head coach Clay Helton.