30 Biggest USC Football Wins of the 21st Century
27. USC 27, UCLA 0 (2001)
Pete Carroll’s first taste of the Battle for the Victory Bell was a dominant one for the Trojans. They shut down UCLA 27-0 in the game’s first shutout 1954, and the first by USC since 1947.
A defensive masterpiece, USC held the 20th-ranked Bruins to just 114 yards of total offense, while getting to quarterback Cory Paus five times.
The Trojans didn’t exactly light the world on fire on offense, but they didn’t need to with such a suffocating defensive performance. The highlight? A 36-yard interception return for a touchdown by Antuan Simmons in which he snagged the ball between his legs and scampered to the house a la Deion Sanders.
Not only was the shutout an early high-water mark for USC in the Carroll era, it –along with a late win at Arizona the month prior– helped set a tone for how the Trojans would finish games and seasons on dominant runs over the next nine seasons.
UCLA, who had been in a tailspin following the midseason suspension of star running back DeShaun Foster, were ranked as high as No. 4 in the AP Poll in 2001. For USC to dismantle them at the Coliseum the way they did, was not only impressive but was the start of how the Trojans would rule the era.