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UCLA vs. USC: Bruins in-game report

November 28, 2009 |  7:29 pm

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USC 14, UCLA 7 (5:41 left in the game)

The Bruins have a pulse.

Tailback Chane Moline took a direct snap and scored from two yards to pull UCLA within a score of USC. Bruins quarterback Kevin Craft was the hero of the 65-yard drive, twice completing passes on fourth down to keep the drive moving.

USC got the ball back with 5:37 to go in the game and has driven into UCLA territory.

USC 14, UCLA 0 (early in the fourth quarter)

Meet the new UCLA quarterback. Same as the old UCLA quarterback?

Pretty much. Senior Kevin Craft achieved similar results as predecessor Kevin Prince, having a pass intercepted by USC's Josh Pinkard at the Trojans' 20-yard line. That's three interceptions between the pair.

Time for Richard Brehaut? We'll see if the Bruins' other freshman gets a chance with his team failing to do much of anything on offense. Of course, it's hard to score when your team has four turnovers.

UCLA won the last two weeks by forcing 10 turnovers and committing only one. That isn't happening today.

USC 14, UCLA 0 (end of the third quarter)

UCLA is going to have to get Crafty to pull this one out.

The Bruins have turned to Kevin Craft after an injury to starting quarterback Kevin Prince in the third quarter. Prince is questionable to return after spraining his right shoulder.

Craft ran for a 10-yard gain to give the Bruins a first down on a drive that has reached the UCLA 38-yard line, but it's going to require a lot more than that for a comeback.

UCLA has shown no semblance of a running game -- surprise, surprise -- and appears in danger of being shut out unless Craft can engineer a big rally.

USC 14, UCLA 0 (7:01 left in the third quarter)

No Joe McKnight for USC? Still a big problem for the UCLA defense.

The Bruins couldn't stop Allen Bradford after the Trojans intercepted a Kevin Prince pass at the Bruins' 29-yard line. Bradford rushed for the final 17 yards on the scoring drive, including a one-yard plunge that has put USC in control in this offense-challenged contest.

Prince was hit by USC's Devon Kennard as he released the ball on his second interception of the game. Strong safety Will Harris made the interception and Prince might have been hurt on the play as backup Kevin Craft is now in the game.

McKnight appeared hurt on the Trojans' first drive of the second half and hasn't returned.

USC 7, UCLA 0 (halftime)

Say what?

UCLA was on the brink of field-goal range late in the second quarter when a questionable review call gave the ball back to the Trojans.

The setup: Bruins quarterback Kevin Prince completed an 11-yard pass to receiver Nelson Rosario, who appeared to be down when USC's Josh Pinkard stripped the ball. The ruling on the field was that Rosario was down before the ball came out.

But the Trojans called timeout and upon further review, the ball was awarded to USC at the Trojans' 31-yard line for UCLA's second turnover of the game. USC reached the UCLA 32 before a 50-yard field-goal attempt on the final play of the half was short.

It was the lowest-scoring first half in the series since 1976, when the Trojans led by the same score.

The game is pretty much a statistical dead heat, with USC gaining 140 yards to UCLA's 138 and nine first downs to the Bruins' seven. Prince appeared to finally find a little bit of a rhythm on UCLA's drives in the second quarter, reaching Trojans territory twice.

Running back Chane Moline hasn't been nearly as effective as he was last week against Arizona State, gaining only two yards in five carries.

USC 7, UCLA 0 (6:31 left in the first quarter)

So much for all that talk about how UCLA's Kevin Prince was going to be the hot quarterback in this game.

Prince tried to hit tight end Ryan Moya with a pass but instead threw the ball directly to USC linebacker Malcolm Smith, who returned the interception 62 yards for a touchdown.

UCLA began the drive with excellent field position--the USC 45-yard line--after Smith was called for a personal foul on the Trojans' punt. It didn't matter.

Any questions about whether the Bruins were going to utilize Chane Moline as their main ballcarier have apparently been answered on their first two drives, with Moline getting the bulk of the carries. So far UCLA has only one first down.

Pregame

A rare 7 p.m. start in the crosstown rivalry game between USC and UCLA apparently didn't sit well with many fans, who decided to stay home on a chilly night.

There were plenty of empty seats at the Coliseum some 20 minutes before the Bruins and Trojans were scheduled to start the 79th meeting between the teams. The UCLA contingent appeared especially small, with about half of two end-zone sections awash in powder blue.

On the plus side, Rick Neuheisel showed that he can still put some zip on the ball 25 years after his college playing days ended. The UCLA coach made several nice passes while his players stretched and went through warmups.

-- Ben Bolch

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