Los Angeles, CA – The call was an outside zone play.
UCLA junior running back Joshua Kelley took the handoff and raced down the left sideline for 55-yard touchdown, giving the Bruins a one-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Kelley rushed for 289 yards on 40 carries with two touchdowns to lead UCLA to a 34-27 win over crosstown rival USC Saturday at the Rose Bowl.
“This is a game I’ve watched since I was like, 8 years old, and I was finally out there, and I was like, I’m gonna make sure I embrace every single moment,” Kelley said. “Make the best out of it. So it was a crazy experience, man. I loved it.”
The UC Davis transfer walked on at UCLA and has rushed for 1,188 this season. Kelley helped the Bruins snap a three-game losing streak to USC.
“It was crazy and finally I was out there and wanted to embrace every single moment of it,” Kelley said. “It was a crazy experience. I sure enjoyed it and our team did too.”
UCLA took a 14-3 lead in the first quarter on a 33-yard touchdown reception by Theo Howard and a 4-yard run by Wilton Speight.
The Trojans responded with a 44-yard touchdown pass from JT Daniels to Amon-Ra St. Brown, cutting the lead to 14-10.
USC cornerback Isaiah Langley blocked the UCLA punt and Devon Williams scooped and scored to give USC a 17-14 lead over UCLA..
Kelley scored from a yard out to regain the lead for UCLA but Velus Jones Jr. hauled in a 45-yard touchdown to give the lead back to USC with 5:54 left in the second quarter. USC led 24-21 at halftime.
“Coming into the game, we had a lot of respect for Joshua,” USC coach Clay Helton said. He’s a very physical back and a very good runner. I thought they did a nice job tonight of being able to get the ball outside on the perimeter and bouncing the ball outside.”
UCLA kicker JJ Molson added a pair of field goals to extend the lead in the fourth quarter.
The Trojans had one last shot in the final drive and reached the UCLA 29-yard line but Daniels pass fell incomplete on fourth down with 32 seconds left.
Daniels completed 20-of-34 passers for 337 yards and two touchdowns but threw a fourth-quarter interception.
“It was a deserved victory,” UCLA coach Chip Kelly said. “They didn’t kind of slide into it or backdoor into this win. There’s no question in this game that we played hard. We played harder, and that’s why we won the football game.”