LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — When USC and UCLA take the field at the Rose Bowl on Saturday afternoon, it will be the third-straight Victory Bell game in which both the Bruins (No. 11) and Trojans (No. 24) are ranked in the Associated Press College Football Poll. The last time that happened in the storied rivalry between the schools, separated by about 13 miles of freeways and surface streets, was in 1980-82, when the poll was still a Top 20.
The rivalry goes back to 1929, when the Trojans took a 76-0 win over the Bruins in a game that opened the regular season, rather than closed it.
USC currently has a 44-30-7 record against UCLA. The Bruins have the longest winning streak in the series, taking each game between 1991 and 1998. The Trojans won the next seven games, although 2004 and 2005 victories were later vacated due to NCAA sanctions against USC.
To get ready for the 2014 edition of the Battle For The Victory Bell, here’s a look back at the last six times the Trojans and Bruins were both ranked by the AP when they took to the field.
1. Nov. 30, 2013 — No. 22 UCLA 35, No. 23 USC 14
Head coach Lane Kiffin lost his job before the end of September, but the Trojans came into last year’s game on a roll, the winner of five straight, including a 20-17 upset of then No. 5 Stanford at the Coliseum and a 47-29 victory over Colorado in Boulder the week before. UCLA, meanwhile, had righted the ship after back-to-back loses in late October, winning three in a row before suffering a 38-22 loss to Arizona State at the Rose Bowl the previous week.
But it was the Bruins who would prevail. Brett Hundley threw for 208 yards and ran for two touchdowns as UCLA won for the first time at the Coliseum since 1997, prompting the junior quarterback to state “UCLA runs LA now.” Myles Jack and Eddie Vanderdoes also ran for scores while the Bruins’ defense kept the Trojans off the board in the fourth quarter by forcing two fumbles. Javorius Allen rushed for 123 yards and a score for USC.
The aftermath: With neither team earning a spot in the Pac-12 title game, USC (10-4) defeated Fresno State 45-20 in the Las Vegas Bowl, and UCLA (10-3) took a 42-12 victory over Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl.
2. Nov. 17, 2012 — No. 17 UCLA 38, No. 21 USC 28
USC, which was coming off a bowl ban in 2010 and 2011, was the preseason No. 1 in the AP poll, but had lost two of its last three and was heading down in the polls while UCLA had won four straight and was on its way up.
Brett Hundley passed for 234 yards and a score while rushing for two touchdown as the Bruins clinched the Pac-12 South and snapped a five-game losing streak against the Trojans. Johnathan Franklin ran for 171 yards and the other two touchdowns for UCLA, including a 29-yard score with just over 4 minutes remaining in the game and the Trojans trailing by 3. Matt Barkley threw for 301 yards and three touchdowns before leaving the game with a shoulder injury.
The aftermath: USC was defeated by Notre Dame 22-13 the next week at the Coliseum. Meanwhile, UCLA lost back-to-back games to Stanford, first falling 35-17 in its regular-season finale at the Rose Bowl, then dropping the Pac-12 championship game at Stanford Stadium 27-24. The Trojans (7-6) dropped a 21-7 decision to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, while the Bruins (9-5) closed the season with a 49-26 loss to Baylor in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.
3. Dec. 3, 2005 — No. 1 USC 66, No. 11 UCLA 19
The Trojans were the preseason No. 1 and held that spot throughout the season, although they had gotten a scare from Fresno State before winning 50-42 at the Coliseum the week before taking on UCLA. The Bruins started the season with eight straight wins before suffering a 52-14 loss at Arizona, and entered the game 9-1.
Reggie Bush ran for 260 yards and two touchdowns, and may well have punched his Heisman Trophy card as the Trojans crushed the Bruins at the Coliseum. Matt Leinart played his last regular-season game at quarterback, and after starting out with five incomplete passes, he finished 21 of 40 for 233 yards and three touchdowns. UCLA trailed 24-0 early in the second quarter and 31-6 at the break. Bruins quarterback Drew Olson was 14 of 32 for just 146 yards.
The aftermath: Alas, it was all for naught, as USC would have to vacate this and every other victory of the 2005 season following an NCAA investigation completed in 2010. Their 12-1 record is officially 0-1, denoting a 41-38 loss to Texas in the 2006 Rose Bowl.. UCLA (10-2) defeated Northwestern 50-38 in the Sun Bowl.
4. Nov. 23, 2002 — No. 7 USC 52, No. 24 UCLA 21
USC had won five straight following an overtime loss at Washington State, and climbed from No. 20 to No. 7. Meanwhile, UCLA had won three in a row, including a 37-7 victory two weeks earlier at Arizona, and had just returned to the poll.
UCLA’s Tab Perry fumbled the opening kickoff and it took just 16 seconds for eventual Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer to hit Kareem Kelly with a 34-yard touchdown pass, and the game was never closer. The Trojans added scores on their next two possessions, with Palmer finishing the game 19 of 32 for 254 yards and four tochdowns. After UCLA cut the gap to 21-7, USC ran off the next 31 points. Much of the damage was self-inflicted as the Bruins had five turnovers.
The aftermath: One week after their loss to the Trojans, UCLA suffered another defeat in Pasadena, this time at the hands of Washington State. The Bruins (8-5) closed the season with a 27-13 win over New Mexico in the Las Vegas Bowl.
5. Nov. 20, 1993 — No. 16 UCLA 27, No. 22 USC 21
After starting the season 0-2, UCLA went on a seven-game winning streak that had just been snapped by Arizona State in a 9-3 game at the Rose Bowl. The Trojans, meanwhile had just returned to the Top 25 after winning three straight, including a 22-17 victory at Washington the previous week.
With under a minute to go in the 1993 game, USC had driven 79 yards to the Bruins’ 2 before safety Marvin Goodwin intercepted Trojan quarterback Rob Johnson’s bid for what would have been the tying score. The Bruins hit paydirt on long drives the first two times they touched the ball, with quarterback Wayne Cook scoring on a 5-yard run and Skip Hicks adding a 4-yard touchdown, and led 17-0 at halftime. UCLA’s rushing attack was led by Ricky Davis, who had 153 yards. Johnson was 23 of 36 for 307 yards, but was sacked seven times.
The aftermath: The Trojans (8-5) closed their season with a 28-21 win over Utah in the Freedom Bowl at Anaheim Stadium. The Bruins (8-4) fell to Wisconsin 21-16 in the Rose Bowl.
6. Nov. 19, 1988 — No. 2 USC 31, No. 6 UCLA 22
Since the 2005 game’s result was vacated, here’s another to round out the list. Plus, how can you resist one that has the nickname “The Measles Game,” after USC quarterback Rodney Peete had to spend a couple of days in the hospital before leading the Trojans to a win that propelled them into the Rose Bowl.
Despite his illness, Peete completed 16 of 28 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown, and ran for a second score. UCLA closed the gap to 21-16 on Troy Aikman’s touchdown pass to Reggie Moore late in the second quarter after settling for field goals on their first three trips inside the USC 30. The Trojans answered in the third quarter with a 3-yard run from Aaron Emanuel for a little breathing room. Aikman was 32 of 48 for 317 yards and two touchdowns, the second with under two minutes left. Emanuel ran for 113 yards on 27 carries for the Trojans.
The aftermath: Having earned a spot in the Rose Bowl by beating the Bruins, USC (10-2) suffered a 22-14 loss to Michigan on Jan. 1, 1989. UCLA (10-2) would go on to defeat Arkansas 17-3 in the Cotton Bowl.