UCLA Football: Bruins Leapfrog USC in BCS and AP with 66-10 Drubbing of Arizona
After a night when just about everything went right for the UCLA Bruins, there was a seismic shift in the Los Angeles football landscape.
UCLA (7-2, 4-2 Pac-12) silenced its critics on Saturday at the Rose Bowl, methodically dismantling the Arizona Wildcats (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12) to the tune of 66-10.
Redshirt senior RB Johnathan Franklin rumbled for 162 yards and two TDs, passing Gaston Green for the top spot on the all-time UCLA rushing list.
Coming into the game, "The Mayor" only needed 21 yards to break the Bruin record, and he got it with a 37-yard TD scamper on just his third attempt of the game.
Alongside Franklin, redshirt freshman signal-caller Brett Hundley also had a beastly evening, finishing 23-of-28 for 288 yards and three TDs. The emerging superstar rushed for another score, maintaining his status as a top-flight dual-threat QB.
And on defense, UCLA was dominant, limiting the previously potent Arizona offense to 257 total yards and 3-of-14 on third-down conversions. If it weren't for 13 penalties against the Bruins, the Wildcats might not have gotten the 10 points they did manage.
Meanwhile, across town at the Coliseum, the high-flying Oregon Ducks dropped 62 points and 730 yards of total offense on USC, handing the Trojans their third loss of the season.
The defeat is the second-straight for 'SC (6-3, 4-3 Pac-12), as Lane Kiffin's squad lost to Arizona last week in Tucson, 39-36.
Yes, that's right. UCLA stomped on the very same Wildcats that upset then-No. 9 Southern Cal just seven days prior.
Andrew Fielding-US PRESSWIRE
As a result, the Bruins are alone atop the Pac-12 South standings and control their own destiny for the conference championship game.
Further, UCLA jumped up eight spots to No. 17 in the AP poll released on Sunday, while the Trojans fell three places to No. 21. In the BCS standings, the Bruins got their first ranking, coming in at No. 18 while the Trojans fell to No. 19. And finally, in the Coaches' poll, UCLA moved into the No. 19 spot, while 'SC dropped to No. 22.
So what does it all mean?
Well, for starters, the Nov. 17 clash between USC and UCLA will be for much more than the Victory Bell.
The winner will likely be crowned South Division champion and earn a berth in the Pac-12 Championship, which figures to be in Eugene against the Ducks. Needless to say, both teams' best chance to get to the Rose Bowl will be down that path.
And just to drive home how huge this whole situation is for the UCLA football program, take a look at this nugget of insight: Today marks the first time since 2001 that the Bruins are ahead of the Trojans in the AP poll.
It may be fleeting, and it certainly could all change on Nov. 17 when the Trojans come to Pasadena, but for now, the UCLA Bruins are the best football team in Los Angeles.
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