3 takeaways from UCLA's physical, 38-20 beatdown of USC
Well, that was a statement.
With its head coach’s job security in question, the UCLA football team went across town to the Los Angeles Coliseum on Saturday and smacked USC in the mouth.
Were the Bruins playing for Chip Kelly? Were they giving D’Anton Lynn a fantastic audition tape?
Or are they just simply better and more physical than the weak-minded Trojans?
On Saturday, they undoubtedly were.
Ethan Garbers was good in his return from injury, the UCLA running game was very good and the defense was great.
Here are 3 takeaways from the Bruins’ 38-20 win over USC.
Why not start with 3 takeaways?
Against one of the best offenses in the country, the UCLA defense emerged from its 2-week slumber to put the handcuffs on the Trojans in perhaps Caleb Williams’ last college football game.
Williams put up decent stats against a relentless pass rush, throwing for 384 yards, but USC finished with just 3 rushing yards as a team and committed 3 turnovers, including 2 fumbles. The Trojans also allowed 4 sacks and 9 tackles for loss.
Simply put, the Bruins owned the line of scrimmage.
And, as usual, it was Laiatu Latu doing the dominating.
With Utah’s Jonah Elliss reportedly sidelined for the rest of the year, Latu is making his push for Pac-12 defensive player of the year, highlighted by his 7-tackle, 2-sack, 2-tackle-for-loss performance against the Trojans.
Bruins bounce back in a big way
Give that UCLA was down to its 3rd-string — and sometimes 4th-string quarterback last week — it’s perhaps understanding the offense laid an egg in a 17-7 loss to Arizona State.
Then again, the Sun Devils sandwiched that win with a blowout loss to Utah two weeks ago and what was shaping up to be a blowout loss to Oregon on Saturday.
But college football is a week-to-week sport, and the Bruins responded from the disheartening defeat.
“Awesome,” Kelly said about his team’s response to last week’s loss. “They were dialed in from the jump. Fb is an unbelievable sport. You have highs and lows but the way they responded was unbelievable and I was really, really proud of them.”
For Trojans, it’s really that bad
It’s not quite Michigan-Ohio State, where you can go 0-11 against the rest of the schedule but win against the hated rival and it’s a successful season.
But beating UCLA on its home turf would’ve at least put a positive spin on a down season for the Trojans.
Instead, they wait for their bowl bid having some truly despicable facts.
- Has lost 5 of 6 after a 6-0 start.
- The one win was by one point over Cal.
- Lincoln Riley has lost 3 straight for the first time in his career.