Biggest Games UCLA/USC Series

With only one loss between them and a #11 and #1 ranking, this season's UCLA and USC teams are two of the best to ever face each other in the storied cross-town rivalry...

Since the UCLA/USC series started in 1936 (they played one time before that, in 1930), it's surprising to discover that there have only been a few times the two schools have met when their combined records and rankings were better than they are this season.

It's been 17 years since the two schools faced each other with only one loss between them.

There has actually only been one time in the storied rivalry when both teams entered the game undefeated and untied. It was 1952. UCLA was coached by Red Sanders, in his third year in Westwood. He had his Bruins 8-0 and ranked #3 in the country.

He faced USC, coached by Jess Hill, who was also 8-0 and ranked #4 in the country.

USC won the game, 14-12.

In 1969, UCLA, coached by Tommy Prothro, and USC, coached by John McKay, were both 8-0-1, with UCLA ranked #6 and USC #5. USC won that game, with the same score, 14-12.

The other biggest games, in terms of rankings and won/loss records:

1988 – UCLA was 9-1 and ranked #6; USC was 9-0 and ranked #2. USC and Rodney Peete beat UCLA and Troy Aikman, 31-22. UCLA went on to beat Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl, 17-3 and end the season ranked #6.

1982 – UCLA was 7-1-1 and ranked #11; USC was 7-2 and ranked #15. UCLA won 20-19, with UCLA defensive lineman Karl Morgan sacking USC's quarterback Scott Tinsley on a two-point conversion with no time left in the game to preserve the win. UCLA went on to defeat Michigan in the Rose Bowl behind quarterback Tom Ramsey to end the season ranked 5th in the country.

1976 – UCLA was 9-0-1 and ranked #2; USC was 8-1 and ranked #3. USC won, 24-14, lost in the Liberty Bowl to Alabama and ended the season ranked #15.

1967 – It was perhaps the most remembered game in the UCLA/USC history. UCLA was 7-0-1 and ranked #1; USC was 8-1 and ranked #4. UCLA had quarterback Gary Beban, who was magnificent in the game, throwing for 301 yards even though he was playing with bad ribs, but the Trojans upset the top-ranked Bruins when O.J. Simpson ran for the game-winning touchdown, 21-20. Beban won the Heisman Trophy, with Simpson finishing second in the voting. UCLA, finishing second in the Pac-8, didn't go to a bowl game. The Bruins did lose to Syracuse after the USC game and finished the season ranked #10.

1954 – UCLA was 8-0 and ranked #2; USC was 8-1 and ranked #7. UCLA won, 34-0, on its way to a national championship under Red Sanders.

This season, of course, UCLA is 9-1 and ranked #11, while USC is 11-0 and ranked #1.


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