Allen Bradford played superbly in his final collegiate game, leading the USC Trojans to a 28-14 victory over the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl. The win gave USC the Victory Bell for the fourth straight season, and 11th time in 12 years. Before the game, I thought a pair of sophomores would be the key to the game, but it ended up being the senior Bradford who was the star of the night.
Bradford, who had fallen out of favor with the coaching staff after a string of fumbles and poor play, had just 49 rushing yards on 18 carries in his last six games combined. Bradford blew by those totals tonight, rushing for 212 yards on a season-high 28 carries, including a 73-yard touchdown that put the game away with 3:42 remaining in the game. He even caught a pass for another touchdown, a 47-yard score after catching just two passes for 27 yards all season prior to tonight.
Sophomore running back Johnathan Franklin had a good night of his own, rushing for 106 yards on 13 carries. Franklin had one touchdown, a 59-yard score in the first quarter. However, he also had a key fumble, which resulted in a 66-yard touchdown return by Malcolm Smith of USC. Tonight was the first UCLA loss this season when Franklin rushed for over 100 yards. Franklin only had one carry in the second half. Smith had two fumble recoveries for the Trojans on the night.
Matt Barkley shook off an ankle injury to complete 15 of 26 passes for the Trojans, with one touchdown, although he did throw two interceptions on the night. Barkley ended his sophomore season with 2,791 passing yards in 12 games, with 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. UCLA quarterback Richard Brehaut completed 20 of 35 passes for 228 yards, with one touchdown and one interception, in defeat. It looked like USC was headed for a third-straight 28-7 victory over UCLA, but Joseph Fauria caught a touchdown from Brehaut with 26 seconds left for the final score of the night.
USC ended its season with an 8-5 record, including 5-4 in conference. UCLA ends at 4-8, with a 2-7 record in the Pac-10.