UCLA routs USC in the crosstown showdown 

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 11: UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans during a college football game between the UCLA Bruins against the USC Trojans on November 11, 2023, at United Airlines Field at The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360 News)

Los Angeles, CA – UCLA quarterback Ethan Garbers threw three touchdown passes and running back TJ Harden rushed for a career-high 142 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-20 win over crosstown rival USC on Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. 

“Today was one of the better days of my life,” Garbers said. “I’ve had some dreams like this as a little kid. Great to see, great to get the win and great to get home.”

UCLA Bruins quarterback Ethan Garbers (4) looks to throw the ball.(Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360 News)

Caleb Williams passed for 384 yards and one touchdown. Brenden Rice finished with eight receptions for a season-high 147 yards and a touchdown. USC finished the season 7-5 and lost five of six. 

“Very, very disappointing, no other way to put it,” USC coach Lincoln Riley said. “I told the guys in the locker room. I’ve clearly not done a good enough job here in the second half of the season getting this team ready to go.”

USC turned the ball over on downs on its first possession after not converted a fourth-and-one. On the ensuing drive, UCLA drove down the field and scored on a 1-yard run from TJ Harden to take an early 7-0 lead. 

USC Trojans wide receiver Brenden Rice (2) catches the ball for a gain. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360 News)

UCLA stripped Zachariah Branch and recovered the fumble. The Bruin’s capitalized on the turnover with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Garbers to tight end Hudson Habermehl and UCLA took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. 

The Trojans opened the second quarter with a 74-yard touchdown pass from Williams to Brenden Rice. USC cut the Bruins lead 14-7. 

USC got a field goal from Denis Lynch and trailed 14-10 heading into into halftime. USC had 270 yards of total yards in the first half but only gained one yard on the ground.

USC Trojans wide receiver Ja’Kobi Lane (89) catches the ball for a gain and gets tackled by UCLA Bruins defensive lineman Carl Jones Jr. (4).(Photo by Jordon Kelly/fi360 News)

On the opening drive of the third quarter, UCLA took a 21-10 lead after Garbers hit Harden for a 7-yard touchdown. USC was looking to get the running game going but MarShawn Lloyd fumbled on the ensuing drive and UCLA’s Alex Johnson scored on the scoop and score yo give the Bruins a 28-10 lead. 

UCLA added to their lead with a Habermehl 15-yard touchdown reception. Habermehl’s second touchdown of the game gave UCLA a 38-14 lead with 9:06 left in the fourth quarter.  USC added a touchdown from Austin Jones in the fourth quarter. 

USC will await its fate and see which bowl game they will play in. UCLA will host California on Saturday, Nov. 25 at the Rose Bowl.