UCLA: Rob Johnson

AP Photo/Eric Draper
J.J. Stokes never lost to USC during his time as one of UCLA's top wide receivers in the early 1990s.

J.J. Stokes made many highlights during his four seasons as a UCLA wide receiver and had his share of moments in the UCLA-USC rivalry games, but the one that stands out most is one in which he wasn’t even on the field.

Stokes was on the sideline near the end of the 1993 crosstown showdown, watching the Bruins' defense make a classic stand and witnessing Marvin Goodwin's interception that preserved a 27-21 victory.

It stands out above the others, Stokes said, because it was for more than bragging rights that season. The winner would go to the Rose Bowl.

And when you are a UCLA football player the only feeling better than winning against USC is winning against USC when the Rose Bowl is on the line.

"That definitely stands out as one of my most vivid memories," Stokes said. "Every year you want to beat them, but the fact that the Rose Bowl is on the line makes it more special. To be able to walk on the field with the roses in your mouth like you saw as a little kid — that was even sweeter."

The year before against USC, Stokes had 263 yards receiving and three touchdowns as UCLA made a 21-point fourth-quarter comeback to defeat USC, 38-31. He still holds school records for receiving touchdowns in a season and a career and receptions in a game and season.

He’s also part of the first UCLA class that went their entire careers without losing to USC and his freshman year in 1991, UCLA began an eight-game win streak against USC—to this day the longest win streak in the history of the rivalry.

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