LOS ANGELES—Darnold vs. Rosen! The hype surrounding the fierce Crosstown Rivalry focused squarely on the two elite quarterbacks who finally faced off on Saturday, November 18. The No.11 Trojans narrowly beat the UCLA Bruins, 28-23, at the Coliseum.
USC earned their 16th straight victory at the Coliseum. It was the 87th edition of the Crosstown Rivalry. The city of Los Angeles has a plethora of local teams facing off, i.e. the Dodgers vs. the Angels, or Lakers Clippers.
Yet, the UCLA vs. USC rivalry is by far the most intense one we have. The fervor, the passion and the history all plaed a role on this gorgeous Saturday night.
The Sam Darnold/Josh Rosen battle was the most compelling storyline headed into the storied rivalry. Both schools, USC as well as UCLA are blessed with two star QB’s who will certainly be selected in the top 10 of the 2018 NFL Draft should either choose to declare for eligibility, and leave early.
Josh Rosen posted better individual stats, 32 of 52, 421 yards and 3 touchdown passes, however, it wasnt enough for the Bruins.
Darnold threw for 264 yards, and ran for a TD for his second W against the Bruins. The Victiry Bell belongs to the Trojans for a third steaight year, the PAC-12 South Champion improved to 10-2 on the season. Ronald Jones was outstanding, rushing for 123 yards and two touchdowns in the victory.
The games first score was a bizarre punt return for USC, UCLA’s Special Teams completely misjudged the ball. Michael Pittman JR. wisely trapped the ball, and raced 72-yards to make it 7-0, USC.
The Bruins responded with a TD pass to Wide Receiver Jordan Lasley to even the score. Lasley had a career night, hauling in three TDs in the loss.
The Bruins wasted opportunities in the Red Zone cost UCLA the victory. Rosen threw an interception in the end zone, he also lost a fumble after being pummeled by an USC lineman deep in Trojans territory.
Compound that with a missed field goal and a touchdown called back on a clipping penalty.
UCLA drops to 5-6, the Bruins haven’t won a game away from the Rose Bowl all season long. The Bruins were resillient in defeaet, nearly earning the massive upset.
Their final game is on Black Friday, when UCLA hosts the University of Cal Berkeley. On the line, the winner will be bowl eligible with six victories.
The 11th ranked Trojans will have a brief respite before hitting the gridiron in the PAC-12 Championship on Friday. December 1. The game will be held at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara.
Amazingly, no team from the Southern Region has won the PAC-12 Title. The game was the most entertaining, thrilling installments of the Crosstown Rivalry in years.