After a 77-45 win over Cal State Northridge, UCLA head coach Steve Alford said he saw growth in his Bruins — stressing that the game was a step forward for a team that had fallen to .500 before Thanksgiving.
“Hopefully,” he said, “we can gain a little bit of confidence going into what’s going to be a really big week with Kentucky and Long Beach State.”
UCLA left tackle Conor McDermott, right, consoles quarterback Josh Rosen (3) as USC linebacker Porter Gustin (45) celebrates. The Trojans beat the Bruins, 40-21, their first win in the rivalry since 2011. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)
UCLA has finished the regular season unranked in the Associated Press poll.
This is a first for the Bruins under Jim Mora, who yesterday suffered their first loss to USC under the fourth-year head coach. The 40-21 decision at the Coliseum bumped the Trojans up to No. 24.
UCLA was also absent from the final AP poll in 2012, but was No. 17 before its 49-26 loss to Baylor in the Holiday Bowl.
UCLA nose tackle Kenny Clark talks about the Bruins’ 40-21 loss to USC, and an injury scare that had him sidelined momentarily.
“I felt good,” Clark said. “My knee got a little bit banged up. I just posted it wrong. It was a big pile. Bodies were just on my knee. I got scared a little bit, tweaked it a little bit, but I was good.”