Home College Football USC Beats Arch Rival UCLA In A Shootout 48-45

USC Beats Arch Rival UCLA In A Shootout 48-45

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Photo Credit: Chris Harris

Pasadena, Calif. —The past few weeks, the USC Trojans have been blocking out all the noise and playing Trojans football.

Caleb Williams amassed 503 yards of total offense and accounted for three touchdowns, the #7th ranked Trojans beat No. 16 UCLA 48-45 on Saturday night to reach the Pac-12 championship game in Vegas. USC (10-1, 8-1) got their first win of the season over a ranked team.

Williams performance might have him booking a trip to New York next month as a Heisman Trophy finalist. In his last five games, Williams has 2,027 yards of total offense and has accounted for 23 touchdowns.

He was 32-of-43 for 470 passing yards, two touchdowns, and one pick with 32 rushing yards for a score.

It  was the first matchup where both LA schools were led by a Black quarterback, Williams outplayed UCLA counterpart Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

“If you told me last year where we’d be now, I’d call you a dead liar,” wide receiver Kyle Ford said.

Korey Foreman, a former five-star recruit who has struggled to make an impact at USC sealed the Trojans’ win with an interception with 1:26 remaining in the game.

It was Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s fourth turnover and third interception of the game.

The Trojans had a season-high 648 yards of total offense. Williams completed passes to nine different players, but his go to receiver was Jordan Addison, who had 11 receptions for 178 yards and a touchdown.

“It’s obviously very, very meaningful,” USC coach Lincoln Riley said. “With all that was riding on it on top of that, it was a clutch performance by our football team to get it done.”

The Trojans fell behind 14-0 before rallying. USC scored on eight of nine drives, including five straight, after coming up short on their first three possessions.

Photo Credit: Chris Harris

Thompson-Robinson was picked off twice over the final 1:42 of the first half. The Trojans was able to convert on the second interception as Denis Lynch connected from 49 yards to get the Trojans within 21-20 at the break.

Nicholas Barr-Mira’s 46-yard field goal on the opening drive of the second half extended the Bruins’ lead to four before Williams hit Addison for a 35-yard TD to put USC ahead 27-24.

USC’s defense came up with its third turnover midway through the third quarter when Tyrone Talenj sacked Thompson-Robinson and forced a fumble, which was recovered by Latrell McCutchin at the UCLA 9-yard line. Two plays later, Jones scored up the middle from 2-yards to extend the Trojans’ lead to double digits.

The Bruins (8-3, 5-3) got the ball with 2:21 remaining in the contest after forcing the Trojans to punt with a chance to win. The Bruins moved the ball to midfield but Thompson-Robinson was intercepted by Foreman at midfield with 1:26 remaining in the contest.

Thompson-Robinson was 23 of 38 for 309 yards and passed for four touchdowns. He also rushed for 75 yards and two scores.

“Obviously, I feel disappointment, a lot of it on myself,” Thompson-Robinson said. “At the quarterback position, can’t have four turnovers and win the game, it’s just not acceptable.”

Zach Charbonnet had 95 rushing yards compared to USC’s Austin Jones, who had 120 yards and two touchdowns while subbing for Travis Dye.

“I’ve played in like two other games that are rivalries, and I went into this game expecting the same thing. You’ve got to do your job, and do your job at a high level and keep playing, keep swinging,” Riley said.

POLL IMPLICATIONS:

The Trojans could make a bid for the top five after this win, while the Bruins will try to hang on to being ranked.

UP NEXT:

USC: Hosts No. 18 Notre Dame next Saturday.

UCLA: Travels to California on Friday.