PASADENA, Calif. - The USC Trojans finished up their conference season with a 36-14 win over rival UCLA in the Rose Bowl Saturday night. After giving up a couple of early touchdowns the USC defense locked down, holding UCLA to just 10 first downs, 55 yards rushing and 51 offensive plays.
"I feel like we came out and executed," cornerback Iman Marshall said. "At the end of the day we were victorious. The fact that we only gave up 55 yards rushing, that was big. We just have to continue to connect so we can finish the season out strong."
Despite the fast start for the Bruins, Marshall and the defense never panicked.
"That's part of the game," he said. "It's going to have highs and lows and we understood we have been in those situations previously. We told each other, 'They have to play four quarters.' So as long as we keep bringing it to them somebody's gotta bow down and we knew we were not going to be the ones to bow down."
In the first quarter the true sophomore gave the defense a spark and gave himself some confidence, batting down a pass in the end zone to prevent a touchdown.
"This is a rivalry game and I'm always trying to come out here and compete," Marshall said. "I had a big game last year too. At the end of the day it was a big game, we were victorious and I am excited for everybody."
Marshall's counterpart Adoree Jackson gave up the two Bruin touchdowns to Jordan Lasley before bouncing back, breaking up two UCLA passes and shutting down Lasley for the rest of the game.
"Adoree's a great player," Marshall said. "Sometimes we don't have our best days but that man is elite. I feel like he is the best corner in the country and he is going to continue to prove to everybody why he is."
After the game Bruin and Trojan players met to shake hands, exchange hugs and chat a bit before heading to the locker room.
"Most of us came from the same city and the same situation," he said. "It is always love and respect at the end of the day. We understand that it's not too serious and we respect each other after the game."
Before the game Marshall and many of his teammates watched Oregon upset Utah, keeping USC's hopes of winning the Pac-12 South alive.
"Of course we were motivated after that Oregon and Utah game, that was a big one," he said. "Now we have to see what goes on with Colorado. I'm excited for everything."
With a win over one rival under his belt, Marshall is looking ahead what he feels is the bigger rival, Notre Dame.
"We have to get vengeance for what happened last year. Last year we beat UCLA, so this is a bigger game."
Stay tuned to USCFootball.com for more updates from the Trojan players and coaches following the huge win over UCLA.
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