Discuss The USC-UCLA Game

I’m glad I waited a bit before writing this post because I want to put it in perspective.

I would say this game falls more into the “highly entertaining” category than “classic.” But it was a great game to watch from beginning to end.

Imagine being told before the game that Austin Jones would outgain Zach Charbonnet (120-95) and Korey Foreman would make the game-saving play.

Why don’t I call this a classic? The defense was too bad for that. On both sides. So was the USC special teams.

Imagine if USC had given up a TD at the end? How big would those two missed chip shots by Denis Lynch look?

“A lot of people are calling this the Lincoln Riley Era, but for (the returning USC players) this is the revenge tour,” Tuli Tuipulotu said.

Other than the surprises I listed above, the game went just according to expectations. Caleb Williams was a one-man show who had to outscore the Bruins. There wasn’t a lot of defense. It went over 77.5 points.

“We talk about it all the time,” Alex Grinch said. “We can’t just have a first-row seat to Caleb Wiliams and Lincoln Riley’s offense. Our expectations are higher than what we’ve done. I’m just really proud of the fight.”

Williams passed for 470 yards and it looked like he grasped the importance of the rivalry at the end of the game.

128 thoughts on “Discuss The USC-UCLA Game

    1. He is very quick and able to go around offensive tackles. What he needs to develope is the power to bull rush. He’ll get that in the weight room. If he can ever get that power, he reminds me a lot of Tibideau from Oregon

      Liked by 7 people

      1. High praise indeed although I haven’t been following his development,
        so glad to hear it for what this kid’s gone through trying to get better

        Liked by 1 person

      1. You haven’t heard, Michael– TB, JO and other ucla hecklers were caught purchasing shares in USC NIL contracts late last night

        Liked by 2 people

      1. As the Blue Fairy told Pinocchio –“For being brave and trustworthy your debts are forgiven.”
        #You’reAClassAct,TBruins

        Liked by 1 person

      2. TBruins, just to be on the safe side, ask owns to be following behind you in his putt-putt skiff.
        #AlwaysGoodtoHaveBackUp
        #EvenIfItIsOwnsandHisPuttPuttSkiff

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Are you setting our friends up, 67?
        [Not a happy ending for the 2 guys who tried that in one of the Jurassic Park movies]…..
        #DoYouHaveAvyIdeaWhatAMosasaurusCouldDo…
        #..ToAPuttPuttSkiff?
        #[Well,ItCouldHappen]…

        Like

      4. P. S.
        I want T Bruins to be happy & alive for the whole Riley Experience….year…after year…after etc…..

        Like

  1. Addison’s best game as a Trojan. He ran some great routes. Terrific running game for the team, Jones in particular. Brown showed some great athleticism and quickness. Barlow has a Beast Mode!
    I didn’t understand the short kickoff – it gave UCLA terrific field position and then they scored in one play. Caleb should have run more, one play he threw behind the Tight End instead of taking advantage of the open turf ahead of him.
    Offensive line was impressive, but had a couple of bad plays. Overall the game was very intense but really fun at the same time. The take aways on defense saved the game and Caleb was absolutely amazing.!

    Liked by 7 people

  2. This defense is a weird defense. They get a lot of turnovers but they can’t stop anyone. So far they are playing well enough to win but I just don’t think you can win a NC by outscoring the other team every week. I would give Grench one more year. If there is not drammatic improvement on the defense next year, I would start looking for another DC.
    I do think that they will beat ND next week. They’ve gotten better as the season has progressed but I still think, like Clemson, they are over-rated.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Watching Bobby Hawkins cry after learning about what his old team is dealing with in Virginia made me glad to see him move on in a difficult circumstance. The Trojans don’t win without him. Worst game of the year from Caleb and Riley in terms of decisions. The team won this game. They better get ready for worse because Notre Dame will be tougher than the Bruins.

    Chip needs to be more faithful with his staff and team. Pendergast was a mistake. Throw the ball down the field. Yeah, they scored but 3 picks, a fumble and a messed up qb deserved better support from the head coach.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Worst game from Caleb? I didnt see that. The kickoff strategy was dumb and I might have just gone for it in the redzone instead of attempting field goals, but at least one of the drives was stalled based on a receiver drop and one on raleek’s backwards running. Simply put the best receivers on the field and continue to develop Raleek.

      You have to give Riley credit for his excellent schematics, which are winning the game. If USC had ANY defense, they would be smoking teams.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. We won let’s be proud of that, but can anyone explain the two short kickoffs in this game after we scored which gave a high powered UCLA excellent field position. Both kicks looked intentional, and were definitely poor decisions.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Riley said he wanted sky kicks — Much higher and a little further….
        #WeObviouslyDidn’tGetThem
        #AnExperimentThatFailed…
        #BigTime

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sky Kicks—-??????????? Our kickoff specialist is a joke. We gave the Bruins great field position both times, and they cashed in. You know if you want a sky kick you do have the option to punt the ball on the kickoff.
        It was not like UCLA had Gale Sayers as their kickoff returner..

        Liked by 1 person

      3. If you’re scared of the potential run back just kick the fucking ball outta bounds…..
        …35 yard line is better than 45 yard line, no?

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Yep. [We can’t have any more of “a $10 a month paycheck raise offsets a $1000 a month increase in your food and gas bill”]….
        #NotReally

        Like

  5. I have to admit at the end of the game it felt like 2006 against Texas. Lost opportunities and getting burned in the last few seconds.
    Love all the emotion of the team… hope this bodes well for the next few games if not more.
    Still felt for Travis Dye watching from the sidelines. What a class act supporting his teammates. Also… wife thinks he looks a little like a young Burt Reynolds.
    Haven’t seen anything about Eric Gentry… did he even play at all.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Riley let him warm up to give Chip something to think about….hope he’s ready for Notre Dame….[or, at the latest, the Pac 12 Championship]….

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Sorry to say SC needs to recruit another field goal kicker. Too many times this year the score was closer than it needed to be because of missed FG’s especially in clutch situations. Contrary to most everyone else, the game was boring and predictable. More like basketball with a 6 second clock. How could the score be that close when SC gets 4 turnovers?

    Like

      1. Exactly MG it’s close to Thanksgiving. Be thankful, USC is 10-1; instead of 4-8 with clueless clay Helton as head coach. The sttench is officially gone from USC! From the Helton era. Fight on! Notre lame is next.

        Like

  7. Keep in mind that that terrible USC defense kept Charbonay to 95 yards rushing, his lowest all season. USC beat a good ucla team, they made the mistakes that could have cost them the game but played on. This team knows how to win, that is the sign of a championship caliber team. The short kicks, drops, not getting the first downs are simply mistakes made by college football teams. This is a game this team will remember and learn from. We will never see Brown go laterally when he needs to go forward again. I doubt we will ever see short kicks again. Depending on who the receiver is we will see a few drops, cuz shit happens.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Here’s to all the Grinch haters (I’m not one)…

      Maybe Grinch schemed to keep Charbonnet to a cool 100 and make DTR beat USC with both the legs and the arm. If Zach runs all night long, we lose. Knowing DTR can throw the INT and the UCLA WR corps is not stellar, sounds like a smart game plan.

      Hard to be proud of a D that gives up 500 yards, but I think Grinch came up with a good scheme FOR THIS GAME. Without our best MLB and knowing UCLA would handle Tuli, I think this was a pretty good effort.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The human element was everywhere you looked in the Rose Bowl–

    SC and ucla student bodies took turns jumping up and down like madmen (madgirls) Foreman shed nearly 2-years of fan abuse as his teammates showered him with love
    The ucla QB kept coming back despite a limp throwing hand and a savage SC assault
    While ‘Celeb’ majestically continued to answer every time ucla got close
    Causing Celeb at the end to skip around as if he were back in Third-Grade
    Several players on both teams had a cry after leaving everything they had on the field
    And opposing fans peacefully departed with perhaps a new respect for the other

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Both teams ranked with CFP on the line for USC. I think this game was a classic. Don’t know if they were classics, 45-42 in 1990 and 37-38 in 1992 a couple of other high-scoring games.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Definitely a classic.

      While the USC defense had its usual troubles– allowing conversions on multiple third and long situations (ugh)–like so many CLASSIC cross-town rivalries, a much-maligned USC (or sometimes UCLA) defender comes up big in the rivalry game to secure the W.

      Like so many over the past 50 years, guys who will likely never play in the NFL come up big in the game. DTR willed his team to win. Put the game on his back and tried to use his legs for the W. Hell, did you see him LEAD BLOCKING on running plays at the perimeter? Well, I’ve said it before…(recall the Kahlil Tate story)…when a running QB gets hit repeatedly as a scrambler–late in the game with his thinking a bit scrambled–he will toss the game losing INT.

      Riles knows this meme. That’s why he and Caleb use the run verrrrrry SELECTIVELY.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Smart — & you’re right: it was only a matter of time before DTR made a fatal mistake after getting hit so hard he had to sit for 30 seconds just to clear his head.
        #GuttyPerformance

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I must admit, I was so amped up after that win that I knew I’d never get to sleep, so I saved the Blanton’s for the next few weeks. A double shot of small batch, Maker’s Mark private selection (from Costco of all places) got me off to dream land, even if it was a bourbon induced coma.

        Angel’s Envy is always a good choice! As smooth as a Williams to Addison connection.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Yeah…. great wins over major rivals do have a way of messing with your sleep….
        #TooHappyToCloseYourEyes!

        Like

  10. Notre Dame will not make the same mistakes that Chip Kelly did. Their defense is way tougher than UCLA. If USC is back then it’s all hands on deck against Notre Dame. Gentry has to be healthy for next week. He clearly wasn’t ready against the Bruins. What happened to the posters who predicted a blowout?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That was about as good of an offensive performance as I have ever seen by a USC team, and as exciting of a USC-ucla game as I have ever seen. Right up there with’67, ’69, ’90 games.
    Austin Jones, is a man among boys. Caleb Williams should be the Heisman front runner after last night. Jordan Addison, great hands, great speed, unbelievable route runner. Tremendous catch by Kyle Ford for the TD.

    USC wins the Battle of the City, and the Vic Bell is back where it belongs.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. A real competitor!
        With Travis Dye on the sidelines, Caleb stepped up both on the field and in the leadership role. Really gotta like this kid.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I have held quiet about Caleb and the Trophy, as winning is far more important. I think he gets it too. Cue his post game answer last night.

      Hopefully Caleb does NOT feel the Heisman Hype pressure next Saturday and in Vegas. Just keep playing like you have, young fella and
      win the next two.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Only knock on Caleb —his greatest strength is also his greatest weakness: his emotional heart. He takes it hard when a series goes awry. And gets red hot after he’s made a big play or two. Lincoln’s job is to keep this phenomenally talented player “up” no matter the situation…..
        #…WhichHe’sObviouslyDoing…
        #[AndNeedsToContinueDoingThruNotreDameAndBeyond]

        Liked by 3 people

      2. We have had the good fortune to watch the best season any USC QB has had.

        For 11 games:

        2022 – Caleb Williams – 65%, 316 yards per game, 33 TD, 3 INT
        2002 – Carson Palmer Heisman year – 63%, 303 yards per game, 28 TD, 9 INT
        2004 – Matt Leinart Heisman year – 65%, 281 yards per game, 28 TD, 5 INT

        Riley has really delivered. As one of you fellas said above, look what LR has been able to do with just 6 months with these guys, and you can tell they have become a team in the best sense of the word.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Good analysis. I believe USC would be 6-5 without the transfer portal (still an improvement) and maybe Riley wouldn’t even have taken the job if not for the portal.

        Like

    1. Scottie, no matter what you say, this was a classic. Brett Neilon knows it is a classic, because his quote below is what the rivalry is all about:

      “We heard all their stuff,” Trojans center Brett Neilon said. “You know, you can tell those teddy bears we beat them. So they can say whatever they want, do whatever they want, but we run L.A., so I’m happy.”

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Plaschke is a buffoon. He claims the baseball games are too fast for Dave Roberts, thought UCLA would win because Chip Kelly is better than Lincoln Riley and believes the Lakers should trade LeBron James. I wish Mike Downey would come back to the times or just reprint Jim Murray’s columns.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Somebody said on twitter or maybe here that Plaschke probably didn’t really believe UCLA would beat USC, but wrote it anyway just to stir USC fans up. Plaschke does writing exercises for a living (these are for public speaking, but I think it applies to journalism too): state your hypothesis, 3 supporting points, re-state your hypothesis.

        Like

  12. What a game! They key for the offense is simply putting the receivers on the field that will consistently make the play and targeting them.

    Obviously, Jordan Addison, then Taj Washington, Kyle Ford, MJ3 all deserve to be getting the majority of targets. Mario Williams needs to get worked back into it. But as I have been saying, Branden Rice ends drives. Josh Falo sometimes ends drives (but he is great for run blocking). Over the coming two weeks and then the CFP/bowl game, USC cant afford to target any player who is not making the play. With our porous defense, a single stalled drive can be the difference between winning a game and losing it. You can see it written on Caleb’s face after a dropped ball – that isnt acceptable.

    Taj Washington and Kyle Ford both brought in contested catches. Addison is incredible. MJ3 made a good play on a tough catch and gains yac. Those players should be getting the targets.

    At least the refs dont seem to be throwing the games now.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. ….asking for a friend, Charles…

      I watched the first 5 minutes of college game day in Montana and thought, WTF? Fox had the Baylor TCU site–with Baylor having an epic game day experience every game!

      Explain to me why College game Day was in freaking Montana for a game that was over in the first qtr?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Copied this from somewhere:

        Everyone knows that the two weeks at the end of the season are normally rivalry games and one of those games is the Montana Grizzles vs the Montana State Bobcats.

        This will be the first time that College GameDay will be in Montana for the “Brawl of the Wild.” College GameDay has tried to be more diverse over the years, such as their recent trip to Jackson, Mississippi for a SWAC game, a previous trip to see North Dakota vs North Dakota State, and now to Montana for a Big Sky contest.

        Like

      2. …my friend’s answer…

        ESPN College Game day is NOT gonna come to So Cal for a USC/UCLA match up ever. The USC/UCLA game was the marquee match up by rankings yesterday–#7 versus #16 (or so).

        Yes, Montana vs Montana State has been a rivalry game for about 120 years, and at least 250,000 Americans might have cared about the outcome.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. He is still hanging on to his ciggy – ground did not cause a fumble on this play.
        #TheGuttiesStillHaveOneSchollyLeft

        Like

      1. Michael, now that you mention it, the smile factor would seem to rule out that job for FU.

        #PostOffice?

        Like

  13. This was a great game.

    Reminds me of 1990 – Johnnie Morton catch in the end zone.
    Not sure anyone said both teams had bad defenses in that game.

    A new thought – Maybe, just maybe, these teams have really good offenses with amazing QBs. The long completion pass to Addison, the touchdown pass to Addison and Kyle Fords touchdown pass. Those were great passes. Not sure any defense could stop that.

    I have nothing for respect for DTR after that performance. Likely played with fracture, maybe even concussion. He was good but underestimated the defense coverage. Not sure, I would have wanted to go to OT last night.

    We will have to live with a bend don’t break defense in the PAC 12.

    Not sure the majority of the Big 10 could have kept up with Caleb last night.

    On to the Irish !!

    Liked by 4 people

  14. A 3 point win in a rivalry game on the road? That puts you in the conference championship with a late score and an interception? What could be more classic?

    Liked by 3 people

  15. In a very quiet home–I muted Klatt and Johnson when UCLA had the ball, as I could not stand to both WATCH and LISTEN while the USC D was getting repeatedly slashed–and after the first and only USC punt, I resigned myself to either a game tying FG by UCLA…or worse.*

    I thought to myself, “in a rivalry game, a key Q4 INT often seals the game” but I did not dare speak up. My wife, of course, has the gall to say, “time to dial up an interception!”

    Smartest woman on the planet.

    *100% true recounting of last night’s events.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Final thoughts on The Game (move over Ohio St-Michigan)–

    My wife and I laugh at how ‘Celeb’ is almost always talking to everybody, making them feel as if he is their best friend
    But as is the case with most very emotional people
    he has a contrary side like when he rudely looked down when he thought Wiley was taking too long to send in a play
    However I guess we’ll just have to put up with him

    And the “Sky-Kick,” is that what they call it, can be useful if the ball is indeed kicked high which a poster opined is more easily accomplished with a free kick than a kickoff-type

    Finally, with the way ucla was moving the ball I believe they would have scored the winning touchdown at the end had not the improving Corey Foreman not made the interception

    So let’s count our lucky stars and move on to Neuter Dame where SC will be out-manned when it comes to luck as the Irish like to claim
    SC casts a mystery spell over ucla, usually winning the big games
    But Notre Dame casts that same mystery spell over SC with few exceptions

    Liked by 1 person

      1. When last I checked, Oregon State and Wazzu and Utah all had better defenses than ND on a “statistical/computer” basis. We did pretty well versus two of those defenses!

        Really gonna be fun to watch a high-powered offense versus a disciplined, talented defense. Freeman is a defense-minded coach, and the results show on his offense’s performance.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. I told Pasadena yesterday (before the game) that these kind of wins were preferable to 50-0 wins and I stand by it!

    At 14-0 they thought they were going to run away with it. But we came back and ripped their hearts out.

    BEAT THE IRISH!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I laughed when I saw people post all the negative things about Korey Freeman. I had my doubts about Alex Grinch being sophisticated to take advantage of UCLA. It is hard to trust people in the climate that exists today. But this group has achieved so much when 9-3 was the expected outcome for this team. I would have respected that. I’m truly grateful to have seen this team do something so extraordinary.

    But now I’m gonna get greedy and I want these dudes to win out! 770 points on the Irish! They lost to Marshall at home! Stanford in front of Touchdown Jesus!! Take their pride, girlfriends and their NIL deals!!!

    Like

  19. Let’s savior this season for being one of the most enjoyable n exciting, since PC era. Despite our lack of talent on the DL/OL and in experience at some secondary positions and depth at LB. We have exceeded my expectations as well as the national media. SUCLA win just made my football season more enjoyable. Beating ND n whomever we play in PAC12 CG n making the Playoffs will be icing on the cake. Great job LR n many more wins like this to go down as the coach that made USC great again.

    Like

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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.