USC and UCLA rivalry has been a pretty unique one. While it might not register on the national level like Ohio St/Michigan or Auburn/Alabama the rivalry still has plenty on the line. Through their long history both the Trojans and Bruins had their share of memorable and forgettable moments. Before the two clash in another installment of the cross-town rivalry, let’s take a look at some of the best USC/UCLA moments.
Game Of The Century: In 1967 A 7-0-1 UCLA team led by eventual Heisman winner in quarterback Gary Beban took on an 8-1 USC team led by star running back OJ Simpson. UCLA entered the game with the No.1 ranking while USC was right behind them at No.2. With a berth to the Rose Bowl on the line and trailing by six, USC put the ball in the hands of Simpson and watch him run 64 yards for the score to put the Trojans over the top. USC would go on to defeat Indiana in the Rose Bowl and win the AP and UPI National Championship.
Rodney Pete beats the measles: The 1988 installment saw the No.2 USC Trojans pay a visit to the Rose Bowl to face the No.6 UCLA Bruins led by Troy Aikman. A trip to the Rose Bowl was on the line for the Trojans, however their start quarterback Rodney Pete was hit with the measles the week before the game and had to be taken to the hospital. Pete was unable to practice the whole week, but showed up the Friday before the game. Pete managed to play that Saturday afternoon and led the Trojans to a 31-22 victory over the Bruins.
The 4th Quarter Comeback: What’s a USC-UCLA game without dramatic events? 1996 the UCLA Bruins played host to the USC Trojans. Bruins held a 5 game winning streak over the Trojans. UCLA trailed the Trojans by 17 in the 4th quarter it looked as if USC would run away with this game and break the streak, however, something would happen. UCLA would score 17 unanswered points to tie the game and force overtime. Keep in mind 1996 was the first time the overtime format was added to college football. The Bruins would cap the comeback by defeating USC 48-41 in double overtime to push their winning streak over the Trojans to 6. This would be the first and only time the rivalry went into Overtime.
USC ends the Streak: UCLA walked into the Coliseum as defending Pac-10 Champions and riding an 8 game winning streak over USC. Now streaks are bound to come to an end sooner or later and USC was ready to put an end to their 8 year struggle to the Bruins. The Trojans managed to do something that no other USC team has done since 1990, that’s defeat UCLA. USC won 17-7 that afternoon. Interestingly USC’s win wasn’t just the end of a losing streak to the Bruins, but the begging of the Trojans dominance over UCLA during the 2000’s
13-9: This is a game many USC fans would love to forget about and UCLA will never forget. USC came into this game as the No.2 team in the nation and could clinch a spot to play for their 3rd National Championship in 4 years. All they had to do was defeat UCLA, however UCLA had other plans. The Bruins knocked the Trojans out of the national title picture and embarrassed them while they were at it. UCLA upset the Trojans 13-9 and to this day is a loss that USC fans still get sick when looking back at the game.
50-0: While we’re on the subject of humiliating losses, none in recent history come close to this one for Bruin fans. 2011 USC was destined to make a statement in their final game and they did just that. USC flexed all its muscles inside the Coliseum that night and there was nothing the UCLA could do about it. USC’s 50-0 beating of UCLA was the largest margin of victory in the rivalry since 1930. It was also a game where UCLA wore the infamous “Surrender” all-white uniforms. Despite the loss UCLA represented the South division due to the NCAA Sanctions that banned USC from postseason play, however that wouldn’t be enough for Rick Neuheisel as he was fired after the game.
Follow us on social media!