Brett Hundley threw for 326 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a fourth score as UCLA defeated USC 38-20 at the Rose Bowl today, the Bruins’ third consecutive victory over their crosstown rival.
Hundley completed 22 of 31 passes, with one interception. His 328 yards of total offense gave him 11,353 for his college career, erasing the previous school record of 11,285 set by Cade McNown.
The victory means the Bruins (9-2, 6-2 in Pacific-12 conference play) would win the conference’s South Division championship if they defeat Stanford Friday at the Rose Bowl. UCLA could also win the division championship by finishing tied for first at 6-3 with multiple teams.
“This was a good win and it just helps us chase our dreams,” Bruin coach Jim Mora said after his third victory in three tries against the Trojans, referring to the conference championship.
The loss before a crowd announced at 82,431 dashed USC’s hopes of winning the division championship.
The victory gave the Bruins their first three-game winning streak over the Trojans (7-4, 6-3) since they won eight straight from 1991-98.
UCLA broke a 14-14 tie by scoring 24 unanswered points in the second and third quarters. Ka’imi Fairbairn kicked a 32-yard field goal with five minutes, 54 seconds left in the second quarter.
Hundley threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Eldridge Massington 14 seconds before the end of the first half, 11 plays after Eric Kendricks intercepted a pass thrown by Cody Kessler.
Paul Perkins and Hundley ran for 10- and 15-yard touchdowns in the third quarter.
USC running back Javorius Allen ran three yards for the fourth quarter’s only touchdown.
Kessler completed 22 of 34 passes, with one interception, for 214 yards, including a two-yard touchdown pass to Justin Davis in the second quarter.
Trojan linebacker Anthony Sarao intercepted a Hundley pass on the game’s second series and returned it 17 yards for a touchdown.
Hundley threw 10- and 57-yard touchdown passes to Devin Lucien and Thomas Duarte in the first quarter.
UCLA led in total offense, 461 yards to 276, and 24-16 in first downs.
Trojan coach Steve Sarkisian credited the Bruins’ “ability to extend drives” and success in the “red zone” — the area between the 20-yard-line and end zone — for their victory.
In the first five times UCLA had the ball in the red zone, it scored four touchdowns and kicked a field goal.
USC reached the red zone three times, scoring two touchdowns and turning the ball over on downs the other time.
“I felt like they did a nice job on the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball,” said Sarkisian, who was coaching as head coach in the UCLA-USC game for the first time. He coached in the game as an assistant coach or coordinator seven times under Pete Carroll, with the Trojans winning six out of seven times.
“Over time, that took a toll on us,” he said. “We couldn’t get off the field. Some of the plays (they) were getting one, two or three yards and then started to get five, six, seven and eight yards.”
The loss cuts USC’s lead in the series in the series to 46-31-7, although their victories in 2004 and 2005 were later vacated due to NCAA penalty.
Each UCLA player wore 42 on his helmet to honor legendary Bruin four- sport standout Jackie Robinson in connection with the 75th anniversary of his arrival at UCLA. The number, which Robinson wore when he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1947-56, was painted onto the field between the 30- and 35-yard lines on both sides of the 50-yard line.
A video honoring Robinson’s legacy was played during the first-quarter break when UCLA announced it would retire the number 42 in all sports.
John Sciarra, UCLA’s starting quarterback in 1974 and 1975, was also honored on the field in connection with his election to the College Football Hall of Fame.
Sciarra was a consensus All-American and seventh in voting for the Heisman Trophy in 1975 and the Player of the Game in the 1976 Rose Bowl when he helped lead the Bruins to a victory over top-ranked and undefeated Ohio State.