Sunday, November 27, 2011
Grades: USC 50, UCLA 0
By Peter Yoon
Kevin Prince actually had a decent game completing 21-of-33 passes for 261 yards -- his second most of the season. He missed badly on a couple of throws, however, and had one intercepted in the end zone. Nelson Rosario had seven catches for 118 yards and surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the season.
The run game was neutralized by the big deficit and UCLA only ran the ball 36 times for 124 yards -- it's second lowest ground output this season. Failing to score on fourth and goal from the one was a major setback and momentum changer for a team that prides itself on running the ball.
IN THE TRENCHES
The offensive line had one probably its worst game of the season, giving up a season-high four sacks and failing to open running lanes. The defensive front had trouble creating pressure as USC quarterback Matt Barkley seemingly had all day to throw every time he dropped back.
Giving up 50 points and 572 total yards was embarrassing, but allowing Barkley to repeatedly pick apart the defense to the tune of 423 yards on 35-of-42 attempts was inexcusable. The Bruins' secondary had no answer for receivers Robert Woods and Marqise Lee, who combined for 25 catches, 337 yards and four touchdowns.
Punter Jeff Locke had a solid night with a 45.2-yard average, including two of 50 yards or more. He also put three inside the 20. the punt coverage unit gave up a 23-yard return, but was otherwise pretty good. Josh Smith averaged 25 yards on kick returns. Kicker Tyler Gonzalez never got on the field.
To have a team so ill-prepared for such a major rivalry game was an epic failure as was the inability to adjust the defensive scheme to slow the USC passing attack. Offensively, the grind-it-out game plan worked early but the Bruins had no contingency plan to try and come back once they got in a hole.