While the UCLA Bruins lost out on their opportunity to play in a third-straight Pac-12 title game in 2013, there was still plenty on the line for the Bruins against the USC Trojans in the Coliseum on Saturday. UCLA asserted their will on the Trojans winning in convincing fashion to earn bragging rights over their cross-town rivals and officially assume control of the rivalry as the team to beat in Southern California.
UCLA has struggled in recent years against the Trojans as USC has asserted its dominance over the Bruins over the last decade, highlighted by a 50-0 beatdown as UCLA went off to the the first Pac-12 title game in 2011. Last season, the Bruins finally found a way to win against the Trojans in Pasadena, signaling a possible shift in power with Jim Mora at the helm for UCLA.
This season, the Bruins followed up their win last season with a dominant 35-14 win on the road for their first win in the Coliseum since 1997 and the first time the Bruins won consecutive games since they won eight straight in the series from 1991 to 1998. It shows that the Bruin win last season was far from a fluke and that Mora is building a program that could challenge the football monopoly that USC has enjoyed in Los Angeles.
There is still a long ways to go for UCLA to truly become the dominant team in Los Angeles but the Bruins are making a strong surge under Mora. This win is a major step towards that ultimate goal and gives UCLA control of the series for the moment. Will they press their advantage and turn the tide of this rivalry?