Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw four touchdown passes and ran for two scores after throwing interceptions on his first two passes to lead UCLA to a record-setting 62-33 victory over crosstown rival USC Saturday.
The 62 points were the most scored by the Bruins in the 91-game series that began in 1929, breaking the previous record of 48 in a 48-41 double overtime victory in 1996. The record in regulation was 45 in a 45-20 victory in 1970 and equaled in a 45-25 victory in 1986.
The 29-point margin was the largest by UCLA over the Trojans since its 34-0 victory in 1954 and the third-largest all-time. The record is 39 points in a 39-0 victory in 1950.
The 95 points were the most in a USC-UCLA game, breaking the previous record of 89 in the 1996 game. The regulation record was 87 in the 1990 and 2019 games.
The 62 points allowed equaled the USC school record set in its 2012 loss to Oregon and matched in the 2013 loss to Arizona State.
UCLA (7-4, 5-3 in Pac-12 play) scored touchdowns on seven of its final nine possessions. The only time it failed to score was when time expired in the first half after the Bruins ran three plays in the final 17 seconds and Nicholas Barr-Mira missed a 46-yard field goal attempt with two minutes, 32 seconds left in the third quarter.
Kazmeir Allen caught two touchdown passes and returned a third-quarter kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown after Jaxson Dart threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Gary Bryant Jr. that cut UCLA’s lead to 35-26 with two minutes, nine seconds left in the third quarter.
Kyle Phillips also caught two touchdown passes for the Bruins. Zach Charbonnet ran for 167 yards on 28 carries including a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter and Ethan Fernea ran 42 yards for a touchdown with 1:09 to play as UCLA won at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the first time since 2013 and second time in its last 12 games there.
Thompson-Robinson completed 16 of 22 passes for 349 yards, his most since throwing for 364 yards in last year’s 43-38 loss to USC. He also ran for 46 yards on 11 carries for 385 yards of total offense, increasing his career total to 8,456, moving into fourth on UCLA’s career list, passing Drew Olson, who had 8,324 yards from 2002-05.
Thompson-Robinson threw two interceptions in the first quarter, but the Trojans did not convert either into points.
Dart threw an interception three plays and a penalty after the first interception. USC was forced to punt after three plays following the second.
Dart completed 27 of 42 passes for 325 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions as he became the first Trojan quarterback to make his first career start against the Bruins since Scott Tinsley in 1980. Kedon Slovis was sidelined by a lower leg injury after starting each of the season’s first 10 games.
“I look at the result and I feel like I missed a lot,” Dart said. “I wasn’t able to do enough to come out with the win, but I’m going to make the adjustments I need to so we can come back and come out victorious in the next one.
“Honestly I felt like I didn’t make too many like bad reads. I feel like I could see the field pretty well, I just missed some things here and there.”
Vavae Malepeai ran for 7-, 3- and 1-yard touchdowns for USC and Alex Stadthaus kicked a 29-yard field goal on the Trojans’ first possession and a 23-yard field goal on their first drive of the second half.
The Bruins led 609-484 in total offense and 30-27 in first downs. USC led 33:06-26:54 in time of possession before a crowd at the Coliseum announced at 68,152.
“From all three facets of the game, from special teams, offense and defense, I couldn’t be more proud of this group,” Thompson-Robinson said. “We played really hard today and outlasted them.”
Their fourth loss in five games leaves the Trojans (4-6, 3-5 in Pac-12 play) final two regular-season games to reach the six needed to be bowl eligible. USC has played in a bowl game every season since 2001 except for 2010 and 2011 when they were banned from bowls because of an NCAA penalty and last year when they opted out of playing in a bowl game because of a rise in COVID-19 cases among its players and staff, injuries stemming from playing three games in 13 days and other factors.
The loss cut the Trojans’ lead in the series to 49-33-7, not including victories in 2004 and 2005 that were vacated due to an NCAA penalty. USC is 17-6 against UCLA since 1999, including a 10-2 record at the Coliseum.
The victory gives the Bruins possession of the Victory Bell, a 295-pound bell that originally hung atop a Southern Pacific freight locomotive and was given to the UCLA Alumni Association in 1939. In 1941, it was taken by a group of USC students who hid it in a variety of locations for more than a year.
Following an intervention by school administrators, the student body presidents of both schools signed an agreement in 1942 providing that the winner of the football game would keep possession for the next year, a tradition that has continued, along with painting the bell’s carriage in the school color of the winner.
The victory gives UCLA 10 points toward the Crosstown Cup, a trophy awarded annually to the school with the most successful athletic year against the other. Points are awarded to the winner of each USC-UCLA head-to-head contest with the Crosstown Cup awarded to the school with the most points at year’s end.
The Trojans have won the Crosstown Cup 12 times in the competition’s 19 years, including in the 2020-21 academic year. (The 2019-20 competition was suspended in the spring when collegiate athletic events were cancelled due to COVID-19.)
The Bruins lead the current competition, 35-10.
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