USC vs. UCLA 2017: Studs and duds in Trojans’ win

Harry How/Getty Images
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Harry How/Getty Images
Harry How/Getty Images /

USC held on for dear life, again, but managed to get another win over rival UCLA. Here are the studs and duds from the Battle for the Victory Bell.

Saturday night at the Coliseum, many USC fans anxiously awaited for the team that clocked Stanford, 42-24. Instead, the USC that’s been blowing leads and looking lackluster on offense came out to greet them.

Fortunately for the Trojans, they were still able to get a 28-23 victory over the Bruins and retain the Victory Bell.

Here are the studs and duds from the senior night in the Coliseum…


Josh Rosen

If there was any question who the No. 1 pro prospect this year, the debate is over. Josh Rosen is an absolute stud and put on a show against the USC secondary. He was throwing the ball with anticipation, and his footwork in the pocket was fantastic. There might not be a better deep-ball passer in the nation.

To combat Rosen, USC’s defense was expected to use more two-high safety looks. But even while doing so — including on Marvell Tell’s interception in the end zone— the UCLA quarterback continually connected on deep shots, burning USC for 421 yards and three touchdowns. Unfortunately for Rosen, his stellar play is going to be rewarded with a trip to either Cleveland or New York, and not for the Heisman Trophy ceremony.

Ronald Jones II

When Ronald Jones II stepped on campus in 2015, he was already an incredible speed back. But his evolution into a complete running back has been incredible to watch.

Against UCLA, he finished with 28 carries for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Jones also had one grab for 22 yards. Though what was most impressive tonight, was him grinding things out on the ground.

UCLA’s defense was focused on Jones, determined not to let him run wild. While a younger version of the Texas back may have spent more time dancing looking to hit the home run,  Jones did a great job of knowing when to jump cut in the hole, or just putting his head down and plowing forward for as many yards as possible.

Despite not getting the necessary yards to pass O.J. Simpson for fifth on USC’s rushing list, it was another great performance in what was in all likelihood Jones’ final game in the Coliseum.

Jordan Lasley

Jordan Lasley played absolutely amazing Saturday night for UCLA, finishing with 10 catches for 204 yards and three touchdowns.

At certain points, it felt like he was lined up behind the USC secondary. Whether or not some of those plays were blown coverages or not, you would think after Lasley hit the 100-yard mark that USC would double team him. Instead, the junior receiver continued to be a thorn in the Trojans’ side.

Lasley was just eating up the cushion Jack Jones was giving him and beating him to the post. While two of his three touchdowns were absolutely blown coverages, the other was a nice catch on a phenomenal back-shoulder throw from Rosen.

Honorable Mention: Chris Hawkins

The senior safety played an incredible game and was a steady hand in a struggling USC secondary. Hawkins finished with a team-high 10 tackles, while also adding a sack. He did good job making tackle in space all night against UCLA screens.