Los Angeles, CA – The victory bell is headed to Westwood. UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson passed for 349 yards and four touchdowns with two rushing touchdowns in a dominating 62-33 win over crosstown rival USC on Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
“It means everything,” Thompson-Robinson said. “They had our tails the last two times we played, and to really hang it up on them this time and get that win out on their turf means something special.”
The 62 points scored by UCLA today were its most in the history of the series. The previous high in points USC had allowed to UCLA was 48 in a double-overtime loss in 1996 (48-41).
USC dropped to 4-6 (3-5) and UCLA improved to 7-4 (5-3). The Trojans must win their next two games to become bowl eligible. True freshman Jaxson Dart got his first career start for USC and finished 27 of 47 for 325 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
“They capitalized on a lot of mistakes that we made today and we didn’t capitalize on the mistakes they made,” USC interim head coach Donte Williams said. “We came
out and got two turnovers in the first quarter but got no points out of it. The kickoff return to the house in the second half, just different things like that, that every time momentum swung in our way, they did things to all of a sudden swing it back in theirs.”
On the Trojans opening possession, Dart led a 10-play, 63-yard drive that led to a 29-yard field goal. Two dropped passes in the red zone hurt the Trojans. After throwing two interceptions, UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson put the Bruins on the board with a 45-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Kazmeir Allen.
USC came right back on Vavae Malepeai’s 7-yard touchdown run to give the Trojans a 10-7 lead with 10 seconds left in the first quarter. UCLA took the lead back after Thompson-Robinson connected with Kyle Philips for a 23-yard touchdown.
UCLA took a 21-10 lead when Thompson-Robinson launched a 58-yard touchdown pass to Allen. After forcing a punt, UCLA capped a 5-play, 69-yard drive with a Thompson-Robinson 4-yard touchdown run to give the Bruins a 28-10 lead.
With just over two minutes left in the first half, USC drove down the field and Malepeai scored from four yards out to cut the UCLA lead 28-17. UCLA opened the third quarter with a Thompson Robinson 11-yard touchdown pass to Philips for a 35-17 lead.
The Trojans went on a 16-play drive but settled for a 23-yard field goal after failing to get into the end zone. USC had 1st and goal from the one and couldn’t score a touchdown. After forcing a punt, Dart hit Gary Bryant Jr. in stride for a 44-yard touchdown. USC trailed 35-26 with 2:09 left in the third quarter.
Just when momentum seemed to shift towards the Trojans, Allen returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and a 42-26 UCLA lead. Zach Charbonnet added a touchdown in the fourth quarter and Thompson-Robinson leaped over a defender to score on a 15-yard run to give UCLA a commanding 55-33 lead.
“I always take personal satisfaction in every game we win,” UCLA head coach Chip Kelly said. “You watch how hard these players work and what they put in
during the week, and what it means for them. The way they prepared all week long and then to see it come to fruition on Saturday is just an awesome deal. We were really excited as a group, you look at the enthusiasm and the energy and the
juice this team has, they’re a lot of fun to be around.”
USC will host BYU next Saturday while UCLA hosts Cal in their season finale.