Time flies, and six years after an ill-advised advertising campaign by UCLA’s marketing department, the Bruins can say that they have ended the college football monopoly in Los Angeles.
And they have begun another: Theirs.
By the time the Bruins were done with USC on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl, they had a 38-20 victory and clear possession of the city after winning the third consecutive game in the rivalry.
The series can easily flip, but none among the Bruin-heavy crowd of 82,431 was worried about that as they chanted “UCLA” as the clock wound down.
USC’s Pete Carroll years have been permanently assigned to history. The Trojans are on their second coach, plus two interim coaches, since. On the other side, Jim Mora has resurrected a program that had an 82-81 record from 1999-2011.
Those were things painfully obvious -- to the Trojans -- in one of UCLA’s most dominant victories in the series.
After USC beat California last week, tackle Zach Banner said that UCLA had “renting” the city the past two seasons. It’s looking more like leased-to-own after the Bruins rolled up 461 total yards.
This was another step for the Bruins (9-2 overall, 6-2 in Pac-12 play) on a path back to the national discussion. They were assigned to the also-ran bin after losing to Utah and Oregon in October. Saturday’s victory left them close to the Pac-12 Conference South Division title. UCLA needs only to beat Stanford Friday to get a crack at Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game.
The Bruins’ position in the national discussion also improved. They started the day ranked ninth in the College Football Playoff poll. A victory over the No. 2 Ducks in conference championship game and UCLA would have a strong argument for making the four-team playoff.
The Trojans (7-4, 6-3) were left with some what-ifs as they lumber toward another rivalry game against Notre Dame Saturday.
What if Hayes Pullard had batted down a Hail Mary pass against Arizona State? What if Nelson Agholor had taken one more step to clinch a victory at Utah? What the Trojans had kept better tabs on UCLA receivers Saturday.
Those unanswerable questions left the Trojans looking at a six-season stretch where they have been to four lower-tier bowl games and spent two years of bowl ineligibility because of NCAA probation.
First year Coach Steve Sarkisian -- called seven-win Sark as Washington’s coach --is facing a possible 7-5 record in his first season at USC.
Hundley completed 22 of 31 passes for 326 yards and three touchdowns. His receivers ran free down field when they weren’t running through the arms of USC defenders.
Paul Perkins took over the Pac-12 rushing lead with 93 yards and a touchdown in 24 carries.
USC quarterback Cody Kessler completed 22 of 34 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown with one interception. He was sacked six times -- a season high for UCLA.
USC’s onside kick try fails as the Trojans touch the ball before it goes 10 yards, and the Bruins recover anyway.
UCLA takes over at the USC 43, but immediately moves back 10 yards on a holding call.
Paul Perkins gains two yards on a run. He’s closing in on 100 yards in the game.
Perkins tries the left side for a yard.
Perkins tries the outside for no gain.
Javorius Allen runs for a short game, and that’s the ballgame!
UCLA 38, USC 20 (3:08 left in fourth quarter)
File this under, “Too little, too late.”
USC just completed its most impressive drive of the night, marching 91 yards in 15 plays with Javorius Allen scoring on a three-yard run.
USC tried for two points on the conversion, but a Kessler pass failed.
USC takes over at its own nine-yard line.
Justin Davis rushes six yards and 11 yards in consecutive carries.
Cody Kessler throws behind Nelson Agholor and the ball flies out of bounds.
Kessler completes a five-yard pass to Allen, Eddie Vanderdoes tackles him.
Third and five, Kessler completes an 11-yard pass to JuJu Smith.
Kessler completes a 11-yard pass to Darreus Rogers, that’s Rogers’ first reception. USC establishing a rhythm on offense - but it appears to be a little too late.
Just as I say that, Kessler is sacked by Ellis McCarthy.
Davis is tackled by Eric Hendricks after rushing four yards.
Third and 11, Kessler’s pass tips off the hands of Rogers and falls incomplete, but there’s a flag. Fabian Moreau is called for holding.
Kessler completes a six-yard pass to Davis.
Kessler is sacked again -- this time by Owamagbe Odighizuwa.
Third and 14, Kessler completes a pass to Bryce Dixon.
UCLA fans are waving goodbye to USC fans and a loud “U-C-L-A” chant has broken out in the Rose Bowl as Trojans’ fans stand to leave after the last drive.
UCLA will start at its own 24-yard line.
Nate Starks rushes five yards in consecutive carries.
Brett Hundley completes an 18-yard pass to Mossi Johnson. USC’s defense looks gassed.
It’s a Johnson drive now. He rushes five yards before catching a three-yard pass.
Starks carries a couple of USC defenders for an eight-yard game.
Jordon James rushes five yards.
UCLA now running all over the Trojans. Starks rushes for a first down.
Hundley completes a 25-yard pass to Starks, who broke a tackle by Leon McQuay and made it to USC’s one-yard line.
UCLA botches a snap, Leonard Williams recovers it.
USC will start at its own 39-yard line.
UCLA’s defense has been too physical for USC. Javorius Allen catches a short pass and is dropped for a two-yard loss by Eric Kendricks.
Allen tackled by Hendricks again after rushing a yard.
Third and 11, Cody Kessler completes a five-yard pass to Nelson Agholor.
USC’s offense still unable to find a rhythm and the Trojans punt.
Tonight’s attendance is 82,431 -- the first time UCLA has had three home crowds of 80,000-plus at the Rose Bowl.
UCLA will start at its own 10-yard line.
Brett Hundley’s pass to Jordan Payton falls incomplete and Jordon James rushes for no gain to start the drive.
James rushes three yards on the next play.
That’s the end of the third quarter.
UCLA fans are sticking around to see this. USC fans still trickling toward exits.
UCLA punts, Nelson Agholor fielded it at USC’s 47-yard line -- but ran backwards lost eight yards.
USC will start at its own 45-yard line.
Cody Kessler’s pass incomplete, Zach Banner is called for holding.
Kessler hands off to Justin Davis, who rushes two yards.
USC calls a timeout. The Trojans look out of sync and have not been able to get anything going since scoring in the second quarter.
Kessler throws to Randall Telfer -- the pass is incomplete.
UCLA defenive back Priest Willis went down on the play and was helped off the field by the training staff.
Third and 18, Kessler scrambles and is tackled by Deon Hollins.
UCLA will start at its own 12-yard line.
Paul Perkins with three consecutive carries and eventually a first down.
Brett Hundley sticking with Perkins on this drive, Perkins rushes three yards.
Leonard Williams puts pressure on Hundley, who throws an incomplete pass to the sideline.
Third and seven, Hundley’s pass falls incomplete.
Nelson Agholor returns its ten yards before he is knocked out of bounds on the UCLA sideline, flags fly, and UCLA is called for a late hit.
USC will start at its own 21-yard line.
Javorius Allen rushes four yards.
UCLA’s crowd -- despite a 24 point lead -- is still into this game and making a lot of noise as USC drives.
Allen catches a 13-yard pass from Cody Kessler.
False start called on Viane Talamaivao, that’s USC’s fourth penalty.
Allen rushes four yards.
Kessler is sacked again, this time by Takkarist McKinley. McKinley had his choice of schools -- USC was one of them -- chose to be a Bruin.
Third and 17, Kessler scrambles and completes a 19-yard pass to George Farmer.
Farmer catches a four-yard pass before he is tackled by Eric Kendricks.
Allen rushes five yards.
Third and two, Kessler is sacked by Eddie Vanderdoes - a one-time USC commit.
The Rose Bowl press box is shaking as UCLA fans go wild.
UCLA 38, USC 14 (9:22 left in the third quarter)
UCLA will start at its own 34-yard line.
Leonard Williams gets a quarterback hit on Brett Hundley and the two get into a scuffle on the ground.
Williams is flagged with unsportsmanlike conduct, a 15-yard penalty.
Paul Perkins rushes for no gain.
Hundley with a swing pass to Mossi Johnson for 21 yards. Johnson broke multiple tackles. Gerald Bowman flagged for a personal foul - face mask - so UCLA moves up 15 more yards.
Next play, Hundley rushes 15 yards for a touchdown.
UCLA is rolling and dancing on the sideline.
USC’s sideline has no energy and Trojans’ fans are starting to trickle to the exits.
USC will start at its own 20-yard line.
Cody Kessler’s pass is tipped again and falls incomplete UCLA’s defense is on the verge of intercepting Kessler again at this pace.
The Bruins’ defense swarming - this type Javorius Allen is knocked out of bounds by Eric Kendricks after gaining two yards.
Third and eight, Kessler is sacked and didn’t stand a chance against Owamagbe Odighizuwa.
UCLA 31, USC 14 (11:48 left in the third quarter)
UCLA will start at its own 16-yard line.
Brett Hundley hands off to Paul Perkins. Perkins rushes three yards.
Anthony Sarao nearly intercepts Hundley’s pass for the second time, but it falls incomplete.
Devin Lucien makes a nice 10-yard catch in front of Adoree’ Jackson.
Perkins breaks two tackles to rush for a first down.
Thomas Duarte makes a huge 38-yard catch over Leon McQuay. McQuay is having a rough night - Duarte is shining.
Perkins with rushes three yards and then loses one on consecutive carries.
Mossi Johnson catches a 10-yard pass and then Hundley hands off to Perkins who rushes 10 yards for a UCLA touchdown.
UCLA’s drive went 84 yards in nine plays and the Bruins made it look easy.
A couple of halftimes notes.
USC and UCLA are two of the most penalized teams in college football, but the Pac-12 officials are letting them play.
USC has one penalty for four yards, UCLA two for 12. The Trojans average more than nine a game, the Bruins seven.
USC quarterback Cody Kessler has completed 10 of 19 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown, with an interception.
UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley has completed 15 of 19 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns, with an interception.
UCLA has 248 total yards to USC’s 172.
USC will start at its own 25-yard line with 14 seconds left in the first half.
Javorius Allen rushes six yards to end the half.
UCLA 24, USC 14 (14 seconds left in the second quarter)
USC will start at its own 25-yard line.
Cody Kessler completes a 31-yard pass to JuJu Smith.
Kessler throws behind Nelson Agholor and the pass falls incomplete.
Javorius Allen rushes six and five yards on consecutive carries.
Jahleel Pinner tips Kessler’s pass and it falls into the hands of Eric Kendricks. That is USC’s second turnover.
The play was reviewed and the call stands.
UCLA tackles over on its own 32-yard line.
Brett Hundley hands off to Paul Perkins, who rushes nine yards.
Hundley completes a 13-yard pass to Devin Fuller.
Jordon James rushes three yards.
Hundley completes a eight-yard pass to Jordan Payton. Payton fought his way through an Adoree’ Jackson tackle for a first down.
Hundley crafting a nice drive, completes a nine-yard pass to Ahmaad Harris.
Hundley keeps the ball for no gain the next play. USC appearing to do a better job containing a mobile quarterback than against Boston College.
UCLA first down, James rushes two yards.
Hundley intends for Payton in the end zone, but the pass falls incomplete. Jackson with nice coverage again.
Hundley completes a nine-yard pass to Payton.
Hundley keeps it for UCLA’s 10th first down.
Hundley completes a 13-yard pass to Eldridge Massington for a touchdown.
The extra point is good.
That drive took three minutes 54 seconds and went 68 yards in 11 plays.
UCLA 17, USC 14 (5:54 left in the second quarter)
UCLA will start at its own 24-yard line.
Brett Hundley hands off to Paul Perkins, who rushes five yards.
Hundley completes a 10-yard pass to Devin Fuller.
Perkins rushes six yards. UCLA’s offense picking up steam.
Freshman cornerback Adoree’ Jackson saves a UCLA touchdown. Hundley was aiming deep to Devin Fuller, but threw short. Jackson closed in time.
Hundley completes an eight-yard pass to Mossi Johnson. Su’a Cravens gave Johnson all he could handle, but Johnson held on.
USC calls a timeout.
Hundley is eight of 10 for 127 yards and two touchdowns, with an interception.
First and 10 at USC’s 36, Hundley complets and eight-yard pass to Myles Jack.
Jack takes a few defenders on his back the next play, rushes eight yards for a UCLA touchdown.
UCLA tackle Conor McDermott is called for holding.
First and 20, Hundley rushes two yards.
Hundley throws for the end zone, intends for former USC commit Eldridge Massington - but Kevon Seymour is all over the play and it falls incomplete.
Hundley completes a 14-yard pass to Jordan Payton. Jackson made the tackle.
UCLA kicks a 32-yard field goal.
USC 14, UCLA 14 (11:07 left in the second quarter)
USC will start with good field position again, at its own 46-yard line.
Cody Kessler completes a 16-yard pass to Justin Davis.
Deon Hollins tackles Davis for no gain.
Kessler throws to George Farmer, but the pass is incomplete -- Ishmael Adams with the break up.
UCLA calls a timeout.
Third and 10 on the 30 -- the UCLA crowd making plenty of noise -- Kessler completes 26-yard pass to wide-open JuJu Smith who was standing alone on the four-yard line. Today is Smith’s 18th birthday.
Davis rushes three yards.
Kessler keeps it and is dropped for a loss.
Kessler completes a two-yard pass to Davis, who squeaks across the goal line before he was knocked out of bounds.
Andre Heidari’s extra point is good.
UCLA will start at its own five-yard line.
Paul Perkins rushes five yards.
Perkins rushes a yard.
Third down, Hundley completes a two-yard pass Nate Iese. UCLA is one of four on third down.
The Bruins punt.
USC starts with great field position at UCLA’s 30-yard line.
Cody Kessler completes a five-yard pass to Javorious Allen.
Kessler throws to Agholor, who was hit by Ishmael Adams as he crossed the goal line and dropped a would-be touchdown. It’s been a tough game so far for Agholor.
Allen rushes 12 yards to UCLA’s 13-yard line.
Allen rushes three yards.
Kessler scrambles, throws a touchdown to Agholor -- but it is coming back. UCLA called a timeout before the play.
Kessler is sacked by Deon Hollins, who ran right by Zach Banner.
Third and 10 from the 13, Kessler completes an eight-yard pass to Allen.
Fourth and two, Coach Steve Sarkisian elects to go for it. Allen is dropped short.
USC in a rivalry game, away game... should have kick three points.
That’s the end of the first quarter.
UCLA will start at its own 19-yard line.
Paul Perkins is dropped for a two-yard loss by Hayes Pullard.
Brett Hundley completes a seven-yard pass to Devin Fuller.
Gerald Bowman sacks Hundley.
Another wild play, punter Matt Mengel fumbles the snap, recovers and somehow manage to still punt the ball 13 yards.
USC starting from its own 25-yard line.
Cody Kessler hands off to Justin Davis, who rushes two yards before being tackled by Eddie Vanderdoes and Myles Jack.
Davis rushes seven yards.
Third down, Davis rushes two yards for the first down.
Kessler completes a short pass to Davis, who is tackled by Kenny Young.
Kessler throws a sideline pass to the feet of Nelson Agholor, flags on the field.
Agholor is called for a false start.
Kessler completes an 11-yard pass to JuJu Smith, for Smith’s first reception.
Third and two, Kessler hands off to fullback Soma Vainuku who is tackled short of the first down.
UCLA 14, USC 7 (8:01 left in the first quarter)
UCLA will start at its own 43-yard line.
Brett Hundley completes a pass over the middle to a wide open Thomas Duarte who burns safety Leon McQuay for a 57-yard touchdown.
That was quick.
The extra point is good.
USC will start at its own 13-yard line.
Cody Kessler’s tipped pass was tipped by Tahaan Goodman and nearly interecepted, but fell incomplete.
Kessler scrambling, threw a pass at the knees of JuJu Smith, it fell incomplete.
Kessler’s pass tipped again, this time by Myles Jack.
Rough three-and-out series for the Trojans -- they punt.
USC 7, UCLA 7 (8:40 left in the first quarter)
USC cornerback Josh Shaw is in for his first play of the season -- special teams kick off. Shaw made the tackle.
UCLA will start on its own 18-yard line.
Quarterback Brett Hundley completes a pass to Devin Fuller, who fought through traffic to gain 31 yards.
Paul Perkins rushes nine yards.
Hundley is sacked by Antwaun Woods.
Third and four, Perkins is dropped for a three-yard loss.
USC cornerback Josh Shaw was in on defense at nickelback.
UCLA punts, Nelson Agholor fumbles, and UCLA’s Taylor Lagace recovers it on USC’s eight-yard line.
UCLA’s Myles Jack is dropped for a four-yard loss
Hundley completes a two-yard pass to Devin Fuller.
Devin Lucien is left wide open in the end zone, Hundley completes an easy 10-yard pass for a touchdown.
The extra point is good.
What a wild start at the Rose Bowl - but we did not expect anything less.
USC 7, UCLA 0 (11:53 left in the first quarter)
UCLA will start on its own seven-yard line.
Running back Paul Perkins rushed three yards on UCLA’s first play.
USC linebacker Anthony Sarao intercepts Brett Hundley’ pass and returns it 17 yards for a touchdown. That is Sarao’s second interception this season.
Andrei Heidari’s extra point is good.
Adoree’ Jackson fields the kickoff and takes a knee in the end zone.
USC will start from its own 25-yard line.
Cody Kessler completes his first pass to Nelson Agholor for 11 yards.
Kessler hands off the Javorius Allen, who rushes five yards.
Allen is stufed by linebacker Eric Kendricks, which brings up third down.
Agholor breaks an Anthony Jefferson tackle to pick up a first down.
Jefferson bounces back with a great breakup on a Kessler pass intended for Steven Mitchell.
These guys came to hit tonight. Adoree’ Jackson rushes and is knocked hard out of bounds.
Kessler’s third-down pass to Agholor falls incomplete, Agholor was hit by Myles Jack.
Fourth down and Coach Steve Sarkisian is going for it -- oh, no he is not. Kessler punts and it is down on the UCLA seven-yard line.
Kessler also punted when USC played Arizona State.
USC won the toss and elected to receive.
UCLA is dancing on the sideline and the Rose Bowl is roaring with the 8-clap.
UCLA is honoring Jackie Robinson at tonight’s game with a No. 42 between the 30 and 35-yard lines on both ends of the field. UCLA helmets also have a No. 42 sticker on them.
Robinson grew up in Pasadena and attended UCLA.
UCLA sophomore receiver Sam Handler was on the field apparently trying to prevent the USC drum major from stabbing the field. Security escorted Handler off.
The drum major did not stab the field.
Two seasons ago there was controversy surrounding the drum major’s tradition of stabbing the field -- which he does both at home and away games.
Orange Lutheran defensive end Keisean Lucier-South announced his commitment to UCLA on twitter minutes ago.
Lucier-South is considered one of the top defensive players on the West Coast.
“This was a difficult decision for me," Lucier-South tweeted. “I wanted to thank all the coaches and staff from all of their universities for their gracious hospitality.”
USC announced freshman tight end Bryce Dixon has been cleared to play. Dixon was sidelined last week because of a “student-conduct issue,” Coach Steve Sarkisian said.
USC announced its starting lineup.
The offense: Quarterback Cody Kessler, tight end Randall Telfer, fullback Jahleel Pinner, tailback Javorius Allen, receivers JuJu Smith and Nelson Agholor, offensive linemen Toa Lobendahn, Khaliel Rodgers, Max Tuerk, Viane Talamaivao and Zach Banner.
The defense: Defensive linemen Leonard Williams, Antwaun Woods and Delvon Simmons, outside linebackers Su’a Cravens and J.R. Tavai, inside linebackers Anthony Sarao and Hayes Pullard, cornerbacks Adoree’ Jackson and Kevon Seymour and safeties John Plattenburg and Leon McQuay.
USC freshman tight end Bryce Dixon is warming up. Dixon was sidelined last week because of a “student-conduct issue,” Coach Steve Sarkisian said.
The school has not announced if Dixon is available to play.
With less than two hours until kickoff, UCLA players are on the field tossing a few footballs around.
USC players just arrived and are gathering on the 50-yard line.
Last season, pregame words were exchanged when USC made a big “O” at the 50-yard line at the Coliseum with Bruins surrounding them.
UCLA Coach Jim Mora stood between the Bruins and Trojans this time with a few other UCLA coaches to keep the peace.
USC now heads toward the locker room.
UCLA used all of its allotted tickets for recruits. UCLA commits expected at the game include quarterback Josh Rosen from Bellflower St. John Bosco High, cornerback Will Lockett from Manvel, Texas, offensive lineman Andre James from Herriman, Utah, and running back T.J. Simmons from Lakeland, Fla.
Oklahoma City’s Josh Wariboko, who is regarded as a top offensive lineman in 2015, is also expected at the game.
Patience was needed driving to the Rose Bowl early this afternoon. Surface streets in Pasadena are packed and there are long backups leading into the Rose Bowl.
Tailgate lots opened at 11 a.m. and were filling up quickly, fans clad in blue and gold easily outnumbering cardinal and gold.