Theo Howard bolted past his USC defender to the right corner of the end zone and dove for Wilton Speight’s throw. Howard fell to his knees as he made the 33-yard touchdown catch, giving UCLA a 7-3 lead after the Bruins’ opening drive.
UCLA took control of momentum when Speight dropped back for a pass with Jonathan Lockett hurtling toward him. But Speight broke the tackle, and a would-be sack became a 29-yard pass to Caleb Wilson.
Speight completed all four of his passes on the drive while Joshua Kelley contributed 16 yards in three carries, giving UCLA a lead early in the first quarter, after an eight-play, 75-yard drive that took less than four minutes.