USC 50, UCLA 0 (final)
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USC has finished off the shutout, and perhaps closed Rick Neuheisel’s reign as UCLA’s head coach.
A highlight in the closing minutes: Matt Barkley staying in the game to complete a pass to his cousin, redshirt junior Robbie Boyer, who came to USC without a scholarship and has played only sparingly in four seasons.
Barkley finished the game having completed 35 of 42 passes for 423 yards and a school-record-tying six touchdowns.
Here are some postgame comments off televison:
From USC Coach Lane Kiffin:
“These players played their hearts out. They had nothing to play for. Everything was taken away from them. We talked about it at halftime. This is it. We ain’t going to any bowl game. Let’s make sure we finish this off with a big statement for our fans.
“It’s a great day for the Trojans.”
Kiffin about Barkley:
“I cannot respect anyone any more, no matter how young they are. He’s done a phenomenal job leading this team and this university through this, and we just keep moving away from those clouds.”
Asked what he said to Barkley as he came off the field, Kiffin said, “I just said, ‘Congratulations. Have fun in New York.’”
“What a finish to the season. I couldn’t ask for anything better. A shutout versus UCLA, 50 points on the scoreboard. I mean, could you ask for anything better? I don’t think so.’
About the pass to his cousin, Boyer: “That was the biggest play of the game to me. I was so happy. He’s earned it. He’s been here for four years and he deserved that. I’m glad we got all those guys in at the end.”
Asked about the Heisman, he ignored the question and instead offered this, referring to UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel, saying he felt UCLA had closed the gap on USC in his four years as coach:
“We decided that someone was trying to close the gap, so we decided to not let that happen.”
As for his future at USC or in the NFL, he said: “I don’t know. This night is too special to be thinking about that. That’s still a long ways off and I’ll have time to think about that. I want to enjoy this game tonight.”
Comments from UCLA Coach Neuheisel:
As Neuheisel started taking questions, he ran his fingers hard up the side of his head, mussing his hair and showing some frustration.
“Wow,” he started. “Congratulations to USC. They were outstanding tonight. In all facets. Certainly outplayed us. Disappointed to play in this type of game and not play your best, but that was unfortunately the case. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We’ve got to get up and we’ve to get back to work and see if we can play a much better game in the conference championship game next weekend.
“We can’t allow this to distract from what has to be a great week of preparation. We’ve got to look and find out and figure out what we did that kept us from being more efficient tonight and we’ve got to correct it because we’re playing another great, great football team next week. We’ve got to go to work. I’m very disappointed it didn’t go better tonight but I can’t wallow in that. We have to move on.
“We just didn’t stop them and we were too inconsistent on offense to be in a scoring fest with them, so it just got out of hand.
“We got ourselves in too many third and longs. The key is to us is being in third and manageable and then executing. We missed some passes that we should have hit. We had guys wide open, we just didn’t hit ‘em. And on the other side, Barkley hit everything. It was a tale of the tape.
“We are going to go back to work and do our best to get this out of our system as fast as is humanly possible and hopefully play a whale of a game next Friday night for the conference championship.”
USC 50, UCLA 0 (2:48 left in fourth quarter)
The smattering of UCLA fans left in the Coliseum still have nothing to cheer about.
The Bruins drove inside the USC 10-yard line for the third time in the game, but Trojans safety T.J. McDonald waylaid quarterback Kevin Prince for a three-yard loss on third down and Prince’s pass fell incomplete on fourth down. Now time to see if Matt Barkley can break USC’s single-game record for completions.
USC 50, UCLA 0 (9:16 left in fourth quarter)
USC quarterback Matt Barkley has 34 completions and needs one more to break the school record he set earlier this season against Minnesota. But the Trojans don’t appear to be in a hurry for him to break it.
On USC’s last possession, Curtis McNeal ran the ball on three consecutive plays before the Trojans punted for only the second time all night. UCLA took over at its own 16-yard line.
USC 50, UCLA 0 (13:56 left in fourth quarter)
Before the start of the fourth quarter, UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel collected his players in a circle on the field and appeared to issue a challenge.
It didn’t make any difference. USC scored three plays later on a 41-yard touchdown pass from Matt Barkley to Robert Woods, putting the Trojans within striking distance of their record 79-0 rout in the series’ first game in 1929.
It was Barkley’s sixth touchdown pass of the game, tying the school record he set earlier this season, and his 39th scoring pass of the season, breaking the Pac-12 Conference record.
USC has amassed 526 yards of offense to UCLA’s 279.
USC 43, UCLA 0 (3:50 left in third quarter)
Well, at least UCLA still has its basketball team.
The Bruins are struggling in both of their marquee sports, and things aren’t getting any better for the football team in its crosstown rivalry game after USC quarterback Matt Barkley completed his fifth touchdown pass of the game on a four-yard connection with Robert Woods.
It was Barkley’s 38th touchdown pass of the season, tying the Pac-12 Conference record.
USC 36, UCLA 0 (10:55 left in third quarter)
USC isn’t letting up.
After a deep pass fell incomplete on the Trojans’ first play from scrimmage in the third quarter, quarterback Matt Barkley aired it out again. This time, he connected with Marqise Lee for a 52-yard touchdown to only further compound UCLA’s woes.
It was Lee’s 10th reception of the game, a career high. Barkley also could be headed for some records after completing 23 of his first 29 passes for 267 yards and four touchdowns without an interception.
USC 29, UCLA 0 (halftime)
Everything else went wrong for UCLA, so why not the final moments of the first half?
The Bruins moved all the way from their own 20-yard line to the USC 25 before failing to get off one final play as players frantically scrambled back to the line of scrimmage and the clock reached zero.
UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel better pull out his best halftime speech, because his team is on the verge of becoming the laughingstock of the West Coast if it doesn’t have a better showing over the final 30 minutes before heading to the inaugural Pac-12 championship game against Oregon.
Wonder if Neuheisel still thinks the gap between USC and UCLA is narrowing.
USC 29, UCLA 0 (3:57 left in second quarter)
UCLA came up empty again inside USC’s 10-yard line when quarterback Kevin Prince floated a third-down pass into the end zone that was intercepted by Trojans safety T.J. McDonald.
McDonald returned the ball to the 25-yard line, where USC will attempt to build on its already seemingly insurmountable cushion.
USC 29, UCLA 0 (6:53 left in second quarter)
Larry Scott must be embarrassed.
The Pac-12 Conference commissioner will preside over an inaugural conference championship game that matches a national juggernaut in Oregon against something resembling a junior varsity squad in UCLA.
The Bruins are getting trampled by their crosstown rivals, who executed a fourth-down play perfectly when quarterback Matt Barkley scrambled before connecting with fullback Rhett Ellison on a four-yard touchdown pass.
Barkley’s stats so far are mind-boggling. He’s completed 21 of 25 passes for 213 yards and three touchdowns without an interception.
USC 22, UCLA 0 (12:48 left in second quarter)
The Trojans are rubbing it in already.
After USC quarterback Matt Barkley’s one-yard touchdown pass to tight end Randall Telfer in the corner of the end zone, the Trojans unveiled a trick play on the conversion. Barkley connected with Xavier Grimble for two more points, padding USC’s three-score lead.
Trojans receiver Robert Woods broke a school and conference record for single-season receptions on the drive and now has 105 with more than half the game to play.
USC 14, UCLA 0 (5:15 left in first quarter)
Ninety-eight yards isn’t all that far to go when you have an offense like USC’s unit.
Behind a couple of passes from quarterback Matt Barkley to Marqise Lee, a 10-yard run by Marc Tyler and a 73-yard touchdown run from Curtis McNeal, the Trojans have already taken what feels like a commanding lead.
USC students have already started pleading with Barkley in what could be his final home game, chanting ‘One more year!’ while he spoke to Coach Lane Kiffin during a break in the action.
USC 7, UCLA 0 (6:58 left in first quarter)
For UCLA, it was like Stanford all over again.
The Bruins went for it on fourth and goal at the one-yard line on their first drive and came up short, with Derrick Coleman getting stuffed for no gain.
UCLA converted a pair of third downs on the drive, which moved 79 yards before stalling. The big play was a 28-yard completion from quarterback Kevin Prince to Jordon James, but things got trickier once the Bruins moved inside the USC 10.
USC 7, UCLA 0 (13:15 left in first quarter)
The Trojans got away with one.
On USC quarterback Matt Barkley’s 42-yard touchdown pass to Marqise Lee, there was an obvious block in the back by a Trojans lineman that the officials missed.
Lee sprinted away from defenders on the play, easily beating UCLA free safety Tevin McDonald to haul in the scoring pass. This could get ugly in a hurry.
UCLA and USC fans could be in for a surprise when they arrive at the Coliseum: the Bruins’ uniforms.
UCLA is debuting all-white adidas HI OCTANE uniforms, along with matching white helmets, for the rivalry game. The jerseys feature dark blue and gold numbers and a short-sleeved base layer emblazoned with the traditional UCLA stripes, in dark blue and gold, on the arms. The pants, also white, have the same blue and gold trim, with the traditional UCLA script on the upper left thigh.
It will be the first time that UCLA will wear alternate uniforms since their 2009 matchup against USC, when the Bruins wore powder blue uniforms from the Gary Beban era. The Trojans won that game, 28-7.
‘UCLA has one of the most classic looks in college football, and to celebrate their crosstown rivalry our team wanted to create a bold look that would excite the Bruins and their fans as they head into the biggest rivalry game of the year,’ Mark Daniels, director of football for Adidas, said in a statement.