The USC Trojans and its crosstown rival the UCLA Bruins, have gone head-to-head against each other 81 times entering Saturday’s contest at the Rose Bowl. There is never any love lost between these two schools and their fans bases and don’t expect that to change come Saturday afternoon. The Trojans have won a majority of their games against the Bruins, leading the series 49-31-7. With that said, Trojan fans have seen plenty of those 81 games go right down to the wire, with USC coming out on the winning and losing side. Here are three of the best USC vs. UCLA showdowns.
3. The Reggie Bush Game
With running back Reggie Bush already leading the race for the Heisman Trophy, he cemented his case for the honor with a huge game on the ground against No. 11 UCLA’s defense. USC needed a victory against the Bruins to punch their ticket to a second consecutive national championship game and Bush essentially packed the bags for the Trojans, rushing for 260 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 24 carries. USC wound up cruising to a 66-19 victory, but it was a game where Bush put on a show for the Trojans’ fans base in what would end up being his final game at the Coliseum.
2. The Heartbreak at the Rose Bowl
UCLA derailed the Trojans’ chance to play in a third-straight national championship game by toppling USC 13-9. The Bruins, who entered the game with a record of 6-5, pulled off one of the biggest upsets in college football history. The No. 2 ranked Trojans featured one of the fiercest defenses during the Pete Carroll era, with future NFL linebackers like Rey Maualuga, Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews. The Bruins ultimately snapped USC’s seven-game win streak against them and killed their arch-rival’s hopes of playing Ohio State in the title game. It will go down as one of those games Trojans fans will never forget.
1. The Game of the Century: USC 21, UCLA 20 (1967)
Many USC fans and historians might consider this to be the greatest game played in this rivalry. The fourth-ranked Trojans stunned the then No. 1 Bruins thanks to a 64-yard touchdown run by running back O.J. Simpson. After upsetting its crosstown rival, who would have went to the championship game had the Bruins defeated the Trojans, USC went on to win the national title that year. Simpson would go on to win the Heisman Trophy the ensuing season.