An Underrated USC Victory

Here is a big win from 20 years ago that gets obscured today because of the Pete Carroll era.

In 2000, USC played UCLA at the Rose Bowl. Any win over UCLA would be big at that time. USC had lost eight straight to the Bruins before finally snapping the streak in 1999.

So the 2000 Crosstown Rivalry was interesting to see if USC could win again or go back to losing vs. UCLA?

USC led, 35-28, on a 57-yard TD pass from Carson Palmer to Steve Stevenson with 3:58 left. But UCLA tied the game at 35 on a 1-yard run by Cory Paus.

With nine seconds left, backup kicker David Bell barely made a 36-yard FG to win the game. It was Bell’s first made field goal of the season. He had missed one earlier in the game and USC coach Paul Hackett told injured starter John Wall to warm up.

“I asked (Bell) after the first missed field goal if we should put the freshman in,” Hackett said. “He told me he wanted to kick the field goal and win it for us.”

That’s Bell getting mobbed by teammates in the picture.

A side note: Palmer had perhaps his best pre-Carroll era game at USC: 26- of-37, 350 yards and a career-high four touchdown passes.

It was just the fifth win of the season for the Trojans and Hackett was fired 10 days later. But Bell was always a hero after that moment.

16 thoughts on “An Underrated USC Victory

  1. I remember hearing around town after the game that instead of being called David Bell, people in L.A. for weeks afterward would call him David “Victory” Bell.




    Liked by 5 people

      1. It’s been twenty years but I believe that may have been UCLA LB Ryan Nece. I think Malefou McKenzie gained big yardage on a draw play right after.




        Liked by 2 people

      2. You got it! I remember that without that personal foul Carson doesn’t hit Kareem Kelly with that bomb right before half to tie it up 21-21.


      3. Great question – I don’t remember…but do remember that Sultan had a big game, as did McKenzie. I also remember that the game shouldn’t have been close. I think Trojans had nearly 300 yards of offense in the first half.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. It was sugar sweet because Ryan is Ronnie Lott’s son and he chose unwisely. You are right, penalties were the only thing keeping the ruins in the game. Our D totally shut down Deshaun Foster.


  2. Thanks wolfman for taking us down memory lane. That one will never be forgotten ever. I still remember with who, when, and where I was watching that game. My brothers tiny apartment with our wives and toddlers in Garden Grove. Good times the simple things in life such a great memory. Seeing David victory Bell which he earned, man up and win the game for his school and teammates after being a goat earlier in the game. The epitomy of fighting on ending the 8 game losing streak against the Ruins.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Couldn’t Hackett predicted that the 2001 team would be the one to turn things around- Carroll’s 2nd year. To his credit, that team was special- by the end of the season no one wanted any part of Palmer and company, but it was Carroll who molded and led that team. Couldn’t Hackett failed to realized that a 5 win season at SC will (or should) get you axed. Clay hasn’t molded or led anything really.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Gentlmen,
    Please let us not forget that season so quickly.
    A certain team from Up North…beat both Los Angeles teams that year.

    And now It would be my pleasure to summarize events on DAY 25…

    During this “shelter in place” I went to Walmart to buy a bag of food for the dog.
    I was already in line and a woman behind me asked me if I had a dog.
    I thought to myself, “Really?” If you know me you know my sarcasm.

    So on impulse I told her no, that I didn’t have a dog, that I was starting the dog food diet again and that I probably shouldn’t because I ended up in the hospital the last time but 15 pounds less! I told her that it was the perfect diet and that all you had to do is carry the kibbles in your pocket and eat one or two every time you feel hungry (I have to mention that practically everyone in line was interested in my story).

    Frightened, the woman asks me if I ended up in the hospital because the dog food had poisoned me.
    I answered, “Of course not! I was admitted because I bent down to smell the butt of a bulldog and I was hit by a truck.”

    I thought the man behind her was going to have a heart attack…he was laughing so hard he nearly sh*t his pants.

    Liked by 4 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.