Bruins Out-Duel Trojans in Cross Town Showdown
By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
It’s been a tough year for the UCLA football under new head coach Chip Kelly.
They began the season 0-5 and had so many injuries they began to look like a M.A.S.H unit. However, this past weekend a lot of bitterness went away as they defeated their cross town rival for the first time in four years 34-27.
Freshman JT Daniels connected on 20 of 34 passes for 337 yards and 2 scores. Michael Pittman caught 7 of them for 106 yards and Amon St. Brown had six catches for 98 yards.
Trailing 27-21 headed to the fourth quarter UCLA (3-8, 3-5 PAC 12) rose to the occasion on both sides of the ball.
Senior QB Wilton Speight completed 13 of 22 passes for 166 yards and Theo Howard was on the receiving end of 5 of them for 76 yards. Tight End Caleb Wilson had 5 receptions for 63 yards.
UC Davis Transfer Joshua Kelley continued his running ways exploding on a 55 yard run that helped the Bruins win the quarter 13-0. It was part of a season long 97 yard drive.
When USC got the ball sophomore Darnay Holmes picked off Trojan quarterback JT Daniels and that led to a field goal for the Bruins. Bakersfield’s Krys Barnes help stymie USC (5-6, 4-5 PAC12). In the fourth he made big plays stopping USC on a 4th and 3 near the end of the game. Barnes had a big day leading the defense with 11 tackles.
However, the story of the game was Kelley who had 389 yards on the ground moving him into third place on the all-time single game list behind Maurice Jones-Drew (322 yards) vs. Washington in 2004 and Deshaun Foster (301 yards) also against Washington in 2001.
His forty carries were a record. “Forty” said Kelley, “I will have to use the ice bucket tonight for sure.”
The forty carries also got the attention of Head Coach Chip Kelly. “I wish he could have carried it a 100 times.” It was the seventh straight game he had a rushing touchdown. That’s the longest since Skip Hicks 14 games since 1996-1997.
Kelley also became UCLA’s first 1,000 yard runner since Paul Perkins 1,343 in 2015. He now has 1,188 yards. “If you’re going to buy stock in a human being, buy stock in Josh Kelley,” added Coach Kelly.