It's been a long, strange journey for USC tight end Randall Telfer in his five years here. The redshirt senior from Rancho Cucamonga has had a ringside seat to the downward spiral of the Trojan program in this rivalry the last three years.He's gone from two wins by a 78-14 margin in 2010 and 2011 to watching the UCLA players doing the dancing late in the game as they celebrated Saturday's 38-20 win. That gives Jim Mora's Bruins a 111-62 scoring edge in those three games.
"It's tough -- but let them do the dancing," Telfer said. "It has to get you to play hard . . . but it's hard to believe when I think of where I started (against UCLA)."
"Tough" and "hard to believe" -- two ways for Trojan fans to take this. "I don't think they were more physical," Telfer said. "They had a good game plan and executed better . . . Every year we start the season with our heads held high and . . . ." you end up, as Telfer did on the ramp outside USC's Rose Bowl locker room, shaking your head.
As to Steve Sarkisians' comment that first "we have to coach better," Telfer said he didn't want to talk about that. Not his place to say. But he did give Sark credit for saying it.
"That's the kind of guy Sark is," Telfer said. "He didn't blame the players."
But Telfer blamed both: "Maybe the game plan was a bit off," he said, "but we didn't execute."
BY THE NUMBERS
328-276Brett Hundley's total yardage in the game was 52 yards more than that of the entire USC offense. Hundley's 328 yards gave him a career total of 11,353, the most ever in UCLA history and USC was there to make it happen.
0-28The number of postgame notes put out by USC after the UCLA game: Zero. Although maybe you could count the announcement that the USC-Notre Dame game has now dropped down to Fox next Saturday and at the early starting time of 12:30. UCLA meanwhile produced 28 postgame notes on the Bruins' play here.
14-9Two tackling machine linebackers led their teams here but UCLA's Eric Kendricks had the better of it with 14, his 23rd double-digit tackling game in his career and ninth this season. USC was led, as expected, by Hayes Pullard's nine.
35-35For the first time in the series, UCLA scored 35 or more points against USC for the third consecutive game and with the win, UCLA now holds a 35-10 edge in this year's Crosstown Cup standings.
82,431Not a great crowd for this rivalry game but good news for UCLA as it gave the Bruins their third crowd of 80,000 or better in a single season in the Rose Bowl for the first time ever. USC's best crowd at the Coliseum this year was the 76,037 for the opener against Fresno State.
62 on 33 for 1.9For the second straight game, USC's "power-running" Trojans, as described by Sark after the game, produced some ugly, ugly rushing stats -- averaging just 1.9 yards on 33 carries.
7-5USC won the penalty battle, at least, with just five for 43 yards to UCLA's seven for 63.
22, 22, 1, 1, 214, 326, 1, 3Each quarterback completed 22 passes although Cody Kessler produced just 214 yards and one TD with one INT to Hundley's 326 yards and three TDs with one INT.
3 for 24After two straight 200 yards receiving games, Nelson Agholor fell off to just three catches for 24 yards.
58-24That's how much USC has been outscored at the end of halves this season -- 10-0 in the first half here in the final six minutes although USC did manage a 7-0 end-of-game edge with Buck Allen's TD run with 3:48 left. Sark's answer when asked why the problem finishing halves: "I don't know."
JIM MORA JR. On the rivalry: "When I got here, I didn't think much of it. I just have a lot of respect for Sark, obviously. That guy gave me an opportunity along with Dan Guerrero and Chancellor Block. I just have a lot of respect for Sark and what he is trying to do over there. I don't know about the rivalry. That's not how my mind works. I just work day to day."
STEVE SARKISIAN On what went wrong for his Trojans and right for UCLA: "Their ability to extend drives, the third-down efficiency, nine of 16, and then their efficiency in the red zone, five of six, I felt they did a nice job at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Over time that took a toll on us. We couldn't get off the field. Some of the plays they were getting one, two, three yards and then started to get five, six, eight yards . . . The perimeter screen game really hurt us. The ball got on the perimeter for them and they really got yards in chunks in the screen game, which took its toll."/p>
SARK AGAIN on what went right for his Trojans: "I am proud of our guys -- their effort and their willingness to compete late in the game and battle. They were really good in the locker room. They were a team, which I commended them for. I was proud of them. They came together as a team., which is a hard thing to do through disappointment, through adversity, but again I've been praising these guys for that all along. It's going to be a unique challenge for us. We have to get back on the horse and when there's this level of disappointment, it's going to take great leadership."
HAYES PULLARD On the 38-20 UCLA win: "I don't think anyone could have predicted this result . . . they had a great plan and executed that plan."
ADOREE JACKSON On what went wrong for USC: In one word: "Tackling." On the big loss: "I was surprised. I thought it'd be a close game and that we'd win."
CODY KESSLER On what went wrong in the USC passing game: "They played us tough, it's all about execution . . . and it wasn't just the front seven . . . our guys had trouble getting open . . . they kept covering us."
ANTHONY SARAO On playing the outside screen game of UCLA despite his opening Pick-Six: "They would double me and force the corner to make the play," he said of UCLA's differnet way of doing it with a three-to-two edge on the perimeter. But when USC blitzed on that interception, "when we got to the quarterback on that play, he just threw it out there for me."
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