Your Favorite UCLA/USC memory

Lay them on me guys.

Obviously most of the younger readers are going to recall 13-9 in 2006, but I’d love to read – and I’m sure you would, too – about some of the memories from long ago.

Have fun with this, but be civil.

Share this post:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page
  • Mayor McCheese

    You Say Timeout, I Say Touchdown!

  • VB

    1996 game was by far the best. We made a second half comeback to win in overtime.

  • Travis L. Marshall

    Two Best Memeories…And NO JON, “13-9” is not one. I wish My Fellow BRUINS would get pass that, as great as that was! But 1990’s Fourth Quarter, and 1996’s Comeback OT Win are My Two Favorites.
    1990’s 45 point quarter was so exciting. Tommy “Gunn” Maddox, and Sean Miller almost pulled that game out for us!

    And in 1996 I will never forget how I felt when Skip Hicks turned that corner for that 25 yard TD. And What I felt with Cobb’s INT sealed the deal!

  • Boston Bruin

    KARL MORGAN – 1982 – Sack with no time on the clock.

    The best I saw in person was the monster play Karl Morgan, a great fireplug of a NG, provided to seal a victory.

    UCLA, 8-1-1 needed a win over USC 7-2 (ironically on probation and could not play in a bowl game even if the Trojans defeated UCLA).

    Packed house at the Rose Bowl, saw UCLA take a 20-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Trojans took the 4th quarter with two lengthy drives, the first ended with a field goal and the second was a touchdown, but USC coach, John Robinson opted for the two-point conversion.

    With no time remaining, the Trojan QB dropped back and before he could deliver a pass, Karl Morgan ripped through the line for a sack to preserve the Bruins’ 20-19 win.

    UCLA went on to beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl — all made possible by Morgan’s memorable defensive play. BTW, Karl had a great Rose Bowl effort also!!!

  • Ronald

    Yeah, I’m one of the younger fans, and yes it is the 13-9 victory in 06. However, in that situation, my sc cousin bought me tickets to the sc student section. I went there with my ucla shirt and hear everything you could hear. After the game was over, the entire section cleared out and I stood there feeling so much better.

  • Anonymous

    VB nailed it. 17 point 4th quarter comeback. Skip Hicks with the tying TD and the winner in 2OT.

  • Rick

    1989’s 13 to 10 win by huge underdog UCLA (3-7 coming in). Some people still claim it was a 10-10 tie, but from where I was sitting – way, way, way on the other side of the stadium – that ball NEVER hit the crossbar.


    1999 when SC beat ucla after 8 straight beatdowns (although there a couple of good games during that streak). They tried to keep the student body off the field but where unable to do so. Only time I have ever seen Trojan fans rush the field after a victory.

    The same emotion was evident in 2006 after SC had won 7 in a row (although Pasadena police kept the bruins off the field– too bad). The victory for both SC in 1999 and ucla in 2006 were not great games, but the emotions had more to do with ending “the streak” than winning the game.

  • timmah

    I remember trying to paint my one-year-old son’s room in our tiny apartment in Downey in 1990 while the Bruins and Trojans were playing in the game I remember as “the shootout”. We lost 45-42, and I recall my wife asking why it was taking so long to paint one bedroom. All I knew was that everytime I checked the TV in the living room someone had scored again and I kept missing it!!! It isn’t exactly a fond memory but it made me vow to never schedule anything during a UCLA-USC game again. A promise I was glad about in the 90’s and that I’ve regretted some the past few years.

  • ucla ex-dormie

    This is my most vivid memory of this series. It was 1981. My uncle had 2 U$C* season seats which he gave to me and I went with my girlfriend, also a UCLA student. I was wearing a UCLA hat, everyone around me was a U$C* fan. U$C* was awarded a phantom pass interference penalty on our cornerback Johnny Lynn that kept their final 4th quarter drive alive. When they scored the game-winning field goal I was viciously attacked, without warning or provocation, by the fans behind me who pounded on me very hard with their fists. I could have taken any of them down individually or even two at a time but they were all around me. They were yelling and cussing and kept pounding on me, a bunch of thugs and cowards.

  • gusto

    ex-dormie – sure that wasn’t the 1977 game? Don Pedersen catches a game-winning TD from Rick Bashore, then the Trojans get a mystery PI call to set them up for a last second game winning field goal. I was in the SC section for that one. Brutal.

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    “Hail Matty” in 1986 … Matt Stevens’ long bomb as time ran out at the half to Karl Dorrell put us up 31-0 … This wasn’t the chicken-shit end-of-game piling on a la Pete Carroll, but an in-your-face gesture that let U$C know they were done on this day.

    It was needed, too … I believe we only ended up winning like 45-24.

    The best memory: Spent my rent money that weekend on tix, beer, food and the craziest party I’d ever been to at some guy’s house in Glendale. It was the family of a U$C fan out of town! … I’m LMAO right now, because this famly asked a UCLA fan to house sit? … I don’t even know how we got over there. But we shaved the house cat that night and there was UCLA shit left all over the place for this guy to clean up.


  • Trojan 70

    How about 1967 boys – both teams undefeated and playing for the city championship, the Rose Bowl, and the National Championship. Zenon Andrushisin (sp?)a soccer type kicker lines up for a PAT and it is BLOCKED by Bill Hayward and 6″8″ Defensive end. Beban wins the Heisman and USC marches on to yet another national championship. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Good luck Saturday.

  • miked

    1970—My first SC-UCLA game as a Junior transfer. Geoff Strand, then the Head Cheerleader (now the Alumni guy), bought 5000 penny-whistles and distributed them to the student section. We “tweeted” like crazy, SC fumbled and we won something like 45-20. The only bowl avilable was the Rose at that time, so this was our Bowl game. It was total fun!

  • uscfd

    I can give you a similar story about when my pregnant wife and I went with a ucla couple to a SC/ucla game at Pauley. Bad apples in both fanbases.

    SC won in double OT.

  • Ley

    For me it was Definetley the FREEMAN McNEIL CATCH game…I still remember jumping up and down in the living room with my brothers as he made the catch and ran!!!!

  • MichaelRyerson

    Particularly enjoyed seeing Ted Tollner (and the varsity squad) booed off the field while talking to the student body following a loss. That one’s right up there.

  • bruincheerleader

    favorite memory?…no…but one that still haunts me to this day…1969…UCLA 12…U$C 14…we were leading 12-7 until about the last 2 minutes, and we cheerleaders were discussing what new cheer sweaters we would get to march in the Rose Bowl Parade, when UCLA was hit with a pass-interference call on 4th down that gave , you guessed it, the trogans, another chance to score, which they did, on a phantom touchdown catch in the back of the end-zone…we had 20,000 students in the student section and i could not see the play from where i stood on the Coliseum floor, as i was closer to the opposite end-zone, but i could tell from the reaction of the huge crowd what happened…saddest day of my life…

  • Wes Covington

    1992 – UCLA 38, USC 37. An undermanned UCLA team starting John Barnes at QB, mainly because everybody else got hurt, upsets USC. Barnes throws for 385 yards. J.J. Stokes has 263 receiving yards.

    I battled a bad case of bronchitis, but my mom made me go saying “You’ll never know what’s going to happen and if you miss it, you’ll feel bad.”

  • Warren

    Easily the ’96 game. We thought our streak was going to be over, down by 17 with less than 10 minutes left in the 4th. We somehow come back and tie it, only to let USC drive down the field and have a 40(?) yard field goal as time was about to expire. WE BLOCK THE KICK!

    The game goes to double OT, and Skip Hicks runs in for the TD.

    Best game I have ever been to. Lost my voice for 2 days.

  • Matt

    Most of the older fans will say the Karl Morgan sack but I was too young to remember that. By far my greatest memory was 96′. All USC had to do was run out the clock and maybe punt with a few second left, my friend turned to me and said they are going to fumble…..what happens? Fumble. Bruins win in OT, the first year OT was in college football and the only OT game between the schools.

    Cade willed us back.

  • Phoenix Bruin

    The Freeman McNeil catch was awesome especially since it was my first time attending a UCLA/usc game, but my most favorite memory was the Barnes 90 yarder to JJ stokes late in the 4th Q that gave the Bruins the lead for good.

  • bruincheerleader

    now for my BEST UCLA/u$suc memory…1975 i had season tickets for the BRUINS, and we beat the troguns 25-22 in one of the sloppiest wins we ever had as there were more funbles than i can remember…but to beat u$c to go the Rose Bowl almost made up for every year before that when we lost that game…we would go on to beat THE OHIO STATE BUCKEYES and woody hayes 23-10, and i remember WENDELL TYLER our running back scoring a touchdown by running into the endzone right infront of my seats at the Rose Bowl…i was in BRUIN HEAVEN!

  • Coach Thom

    Easily 1965. After being stomped on, suffocated, terrorized, and just plain outplayed by a great $C team for 56 minutes, Tommy Prothro pulled out the old ‘sleeper play’, with Altenburg apparently leaving the field of play but then, at the snap, streaking down toward the Trogans’ end zone. Beban hit him on a perfect pass for a TD. Next, an onside kick attempt that everybody in the stadium knew was coming. Unbelievably, the Bruins recovered. Beban unleashed another deep pass to Dick Witcher for the game-winning touchdown. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen, and the exultation I felt has never been equalled. After a subsequent loss to Tennessee, the Bruins went to the Rose Bowl and upset undefeated Michigan State in the Rose Bowl, 14-12. This was especially sweet because before the game, Jim Murray of the LA times had written the Bruins off as ‘hopeless’. To quote him: “Since the opening loss to Michigan State, 13 -3, the Spartans have gotten better. The Bruins have just gotten older.” Miracles do happen, folks, and what golden memories they bring.

  • Mike H class of 90

    Wes, you nailed it!

    John Barnes – Saddleback Community College to NAIA Western Oregon to Division III UC Santa Barbara who dropped football. Transferred to UCLA, walked on and led UCLA (5-5) to a win over #15 ranked USC.

    I still remember JJ Stokes zig zagging his way down field on the 90 yarder that put us ahead 38-31 with 3 minutes remaining.


    Few of the posters would remember this game, but it is arguably the best bruin comeback in a very meaningful game:

    1965 and the winner goes to the Rose Bowl to play No. 1 Michigan State.

    SC is leading 20-16 with 4 minutes to go when QB Troy Winslow fumbles. Next play, Heisman Trophy winner (to be) Gary Beban throws about 50 yards for a t.d.

    Next, bruins recover an onside kick

    Next, Beban fakes a run to the right, stops, pivots, and hits his man for another 50 yard t.d. and a 20-16 win.

    (P.S. Beban and Bob Stiles beat the Spartans in the Rose Bowl 14-12 when Stiles stops a 2-point conversion in the closing minute)

    That was my introduction to the series, and it never gets old.


    Few of the posters would remember this game, but it is arguably the best bruin comeback in a very meaningful game:

    1965 and the winner goes to the Rose Bowl to play No. 1 Michigan State.

    SC is leading 20-16 with 4 minutes to go when QB Troy Winslow fumbles. Next play, Heisman Trophy winner (to be) Gary Beban throws about 50 yards for a t.d.

    Next, bruins recover an onside kick

    Next, Beban fakes a run to the right, stops, pivots, and hits his man for another 50 yard t.d. and a 20-16 win.

    (P.S. Beban and Bob Stiles beat the Spartans in the Rose Bowl 14-12 when Stiles stops a 2-point conversion in the closing minute)

    That was my introduction to the series, and it never gets old.

  • Reading these stories of the UCLA glory days in football, Rose Bowl victories, and some great individual UCLA football players makes me depressed to think what has happened to our football program today. Very Sad. Thanks a lot, Jon.



    Oops, SC was leading that 1965 game 16-6 when Beban’s 2 touchdowns won it 20-16. I still recall seeing the bruins across the way celebrating for an hour after the game was over. (In those days the coliseum was split 50:50 and bruins were not placed in the nose bleed seats. Those were the days, my friend)

  • 1992 and John Barnes baby!
    A walk-on supposedly not good enough to play for Western Oregon State plays one game for UCLA and it happens to be against USC. Insane game and I was there.

    It is particularly memorable given how unlikely John’s stardom was. Might not have been the best game ever but certainly one of the most unlikely wins.

  • George Z

    has to be the 92 John Barnes walk on from no-where to find JJ Stoakes everyone on the field.

  • ucla ex-dormie

    @ gusto: I think you’re right, it seems it was 1977, my Freshman year.

  • rejn

    Two of my favorites – Karl Morgan sacking Scott Tinsley, and Marvin Goodwin intercepting Rob Johnson.

    Worst – George Achica blocking Norm Johnson Field Goal. Norm Johnson or Peter B. I forgot which one….


    I note many of your posters have pointed to the 1982 and 1992 games. Those games were made memorable (for ucla fans at least) because in both games SC came from behind in the last minute to come within one point of tying. Instead of playing for a tie, SC went for the victory and both times failed.

    If SC had played for a tie (which has never been its custom) then those games would not have been that memorable.

  • rob

    I’ll give your two.

    1975. If memory serves, it was a night game at the Coliseum. My sophomore year in college. My best friend from high school and his brother were sitting with me high in the stands near the peristyle end of the Coliseum. John Sciarra at quarterback. UCLA fumbled eleven times losing eight. I think Wendell Tyler was responsible for six of those fumbles, but he still ran well on USC. I remember him getting hit violently and spinning horizontally, the ball flying out of his hands. Somehow the Bruins pulled out the win 25-22 and went on to an amazing revenge win over #1 Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. The thing I remember about the game against SC was on the Bruins (opening?) kick-off, the front line of the Trojans charged the Bruins. I turned to my best friend, Gary, and said, “You know, I think I would kick the ball right at the guy charging me. No way he would catch it.” Someone on the UCLA staff must have been thinking the same thing. Next time around, a line drive kick ricocheted off the onrushing Trojan in the middle of their line and the Bruins recovered.

    But I think it was the 1980 game that Freeman McNeil caught a pass deflected off a defenders shoulder pad and ran it in for a touchdown. That game was memorable because I forced my new found but couldn’t-care-less friends from Illinois to watch the game in Iowa City, where we were all graduate students. I got so excited at McNeil’s catch I yelled and grabbed the knee of the young woman sitting next to me. She thought that was pretty forward. But she also ended going out with me, and I married her a few years later. Best thing that ever happened to me.

    Thank you, Mr. McNeil.

  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    1980 UCLA 20 USC 17. It’s the game with Freeman McNeil’s catch. Unfortunately I can’t find a youtube video of it to relive that special day.

  • Anonymous

    I was in high school between 1992 and 1996. My junior year history teacher, who was a USC alum, was known for decorating the classroom on the Monday following the UCLA/USC game, depending upon the outcome. Each and every year I was in high school, the room was draped in black, blackout curtains over the windows, with a funeral dirge playing on a continuous loop, because it was in that span of years where the Bruins won eight straight matchups. My favorite memory was showing up to his class in 1994 on that Monday, decked in UCLA gear from head to toe, and him telling me I deserved to die.
    I have no idea what the room decorations were for winning USC teams. I don’t really want to.

  • rockyseto

    ucla hiring me then firing me for tresy. by the way, thanks.


    “Thug” moments:

    1973 bruins following a humiliating loss in a game they thought they’d win, spot my car and douse it with beer. My car had painted on the side, “Muzzle Bruins.”

    1982 Karl Morgan game. I have to trade seats with an SC friend after 3-hours of a psycho bruin trying to aggressively elbow me every time ucla did something positive.

    1986 ucla comeback game. I am sitting in an aisle seat, a few seats from my own, waiting for game to begin when a bruin arrives, screaming at me that I am in his seat. The bruins around us start yelling for me to be thrown out until I reach my seat. I turn and lead cheers, “Bruin class, Bruin class.”

    1995– my wife, father and a friend are doused with popcorn and ice for 3-hours. I had blindly bought scalpers tickets that were in the middle of the ucla student section. Won’t do that again

    All in all, I love the passion, even if it is sometimes violent.

  • cliq


    Dr. Sutro??? Yayuh. Loved that guy. Minus the USC thing of course…

  • Anonymous


    Yep, Dr. Sutro, Arcadia High’s finest…

  • Ron

    3 words. J J STOKES

  • NomoreHowlandNeuheisel

    My favorite moment is when we actually win the game. Simple as that.

  • Al Bruin

    What did Norman Dow and John Barnes have in common? UCLA Bruins Football

    Both were backup QBs who beat USC in their only career start. In 1966, Dow subbed for the injured Gary Beban and led UCLA to a 14-7 win over USC. In 1992, Barnes rose from 4th string due to injuries, and led UCLA to a 38-37 win over the Trojans.

  • sureshot

    Screw close games. My favorite was probably 66-19. Watching Reggie run past, around, and through bruin defenders was a memory that will last a lifetime.

    Also enjoyed watching Rodney Peete get the best of Troy Aikman several years in a row. Good stuff.

  • Bill

    The first year at the Rose Bowl against SCum, Joe Bruin coming out on the Clydesdale after every score!

  • 1991 – 1998 too many to mention…but the 13-9 win was the sweetest, to keep the condoms out of the National championship…the batted down pass and then the interception in the same motion, is a memory that will be embedded in my brain for the rest of my life…a prayer was indeed answered in those closing seconds of the game.

  • tim warren

    1983 27-17 UCLA in the Coliseum.

    I remember UCLA either losing or in a close game early in the 2nd half. Washington had a half game lead on UCLA in the standings going into the final weekend and their game ended first with Wazzu beating U-Dub. I thought the u$c PA announcer had goofed by announcing that Wazzu had won the game because once the Bruins found out that a win would put them into the Rose Bowl game, they went on a tear to take over their game. I remember a Lupe Sanchez punt return that got them into good field position for a score and broke the game open.

    I thought it was the PA announcer who screwed up, but Wikipedia says the PA guy purposely did NOT give the score. So, the Bruin fans in the stands must have been listening to their old fashioned transistor radios and word then filtered down to the bench that U-Dub lost.

    The rest was history, UCLA blew out the Illini in the Rose Bowl game, 45-9 led by future CRN.

  • raybru

    My favorite UCLA/U$C memory, the last time Neuheisel and Guererro were not the headcoach and AD respectively.

  • Mr Stats

    Going back to the end of World War Two the Series Record = 27-35-3

    UCLA Beat higher ranked USC 12 times:
    1946: Bert LaBrucherie W 13 (#4) – USC (#10) 6
    1951: Red Sanders W 21 (#18) – USC (#11) 7
    1959: Bill Barnes W 10 – USC (#4) 3
    1965: Tommy Prothero W 20 (#7) – USC (#6) 16
    1966: Tommy Prothero W 14 (#8) – USC (#7) 7
    1980: Terry Donahue W 20 (#18) – USC (#12) 17
    1984: Terry Donahue W 29 – USC (#7) 10
    1986: Terry Donahue W 45 (#18) – USC (#10) 25
    1992: Terry Donahue W 38 – USC (#15) 37
    1994: Terry Donahue W 31 – USC (#13) 19
    1995: Terry Donahue W 24 at USC (#11) 20
    2006: Karl Dorrell W 13 – USC (#2) 9

    UCLA team with record below .583 beat USC 7 times
    1959: Bill Barnes -.550
    1970: Tommy Prothero -.545
    1992: Terry Donahue -.545
    1994: Terry Donahue -.455
    1995: Terry Donahue -.583
    1996: Bob Toledo -.455
    2006: Karl Dorrell -.538

    Three Points or less Wins:
    1961: Bill Barnes – 10 – USC 7
    1975: Dick Vermeil – 25 – USC 22
    1980: Terry Donahue – 20(#18) – USC (#12)17
    1982: Terry Donahue – 20(#11) – USC (#15)19
    1991: Terry Donahue – 24 – USC 21
    1992: Terry Donahue – 38 – USC(#15)37

    Five Best Wins:
    1950–39-0. Red Sanders–6-3,unrated,highest point differential
    1954 – 34-0. Red Sanders – 9-0, rated 1st, went on to National Championship
    1959 – 10-3. Bill Barnes – 5-4, not rated, beat #4 ranked USC
    1996 – 48-41. Bob Toledo – 5-6, unrated, only overtime in series
    2006 – 13-7. Karl Dorrell – 7-6 record, unrated, beat #2 ranked USC preventing play for National Championship

    1947 – 0-6. Bert LaBrucherie
    1950 – 39-0. Red Sanders
    1954 – 34-0. Red Sanders
    2001 – 0-27. Bob Toledo

    UCLA team with record below .583 tied USC 3 times
    1958: Bill Barnes – .350
    1971: Pepper Rodgers – .250
    1989: Terry Donahue – .318

    UCLA lost to lower ranked USC 9 times:
    1952: Red Sanders L 12 (#3) – USC (#4) 14
    1960: Bill Barnes L 6 (#11) – USC 17
    1967: Tommy Prothero L 20 (#1) – USC (#4) 21
    1973: Pepper Rodgers L 13 (#8) – USC (#9) 23
    1976: Terry Donahue L 14 (#2) – USC (#3) 24
    1977: Terry Donahue L 27 (#17) – USC 29
    1985: Terry Donahue L 13 (#8) – USC 17
    1987: Terry Donahue L 13 (#5) – USC 17
    2001: Bob Toledo L 0 (#20) – USC 27

    UCLA team with record below .583 lost to USC 16 times
    1947: Bert LaBrucherie-.555
    1948: Bert LaBrucherie-.300
    1962: Bill Barnes-.400
    1963: Bill Barnes-.200
    1964: Bill Barnes-.400
    1968: Tommy Prothero-.300
    1979: Terry Donahue-.455
    1990: Terry Donahue-.455
    1999: Bob Toledo-.364
    2000: Bob Toledo-.500
    2003: Karl Dorrell-.462
    2004: Karl Dorrell-.500
    2007: Karl Dorrell-.462
    2008: Rick Neuheisel-.333
    2009: Rick Neuheisel-.538
    2010: Rick Neuheisel-.333

    Three Points or less Losses:
    1952: Red Sanders-L 12 (#3) – USC(#4)14
    1956: Red Sanders-L 7 – USC 10
    1967: Tommy Prothero-L 20(#1)-USC(#4)21
    1969: Tommy Prothero-L 12(#6)-USC(#5)14
    1977: Terry Donahue-L 27(#17)-USC 29
    1981: Terry Donahue-L 21(#15)-USC(#10)22
    1990: Terry Donahue-L 42-USC(#19)48
    2000: Bob Toledo-L 35-USC 38

    Five Worst Losses:
    1952 – 12-14. Red Sanders- 9-1 record, rated 3rd, might have been National Champion at 9-0
    1973 – 13-23. Pepper Rogers – 9-2 record, rated 8th, might have been in top 5 at 10-1
    1987 – 13-17. Terry Donohue – 10-2 record, rated 5th, would have had the only 11 game win season
    2001 – 0-27. Bob Toledo – 7-4 record, unrated, only other shutout
    2005 – 19-66. Karl Dorrell – 10-2 record, rated 11th, greatest point differential 47 points

  • Russ

    The 1992 JOHN BARNS GAME.., Barnes hits J.J. Stokes for a 90 yard TD and Stokes carries 3 guys into the end zone for the TD. A few minutes later Ninkosi Littelton bats down Johnson’s pass to seal the game 38 – 37. The 5th string QUARTER BACK writes himself into UCLA lore/history ..FOREVER! Make the movie…!!

  • BruinBall

    John Barnes!



  • Sunset Bruin

    So many great memories…the 45-42 shootout, the Freeman McNeil tipped pass and J.J.Stokes’ dominant performances come to mind from yesteryear.

    But my favorite memory was the 13-9 game. Expecting a blowout, I had packed my gym game to go workout if the blowout began. By halftime I knew the game was something special. Who can forget the picture of John David Booty walking off the field after the interception?

  • Kurt Kemper

    Gotta be the 1965 game when Gary Beban threw two long touchdowns in the last 5 minutes of the game (one to Dick Witcher and I can’t remember who got the other one) and the Bruins had to recover an onside kick in between to come from behind to beat the Toejams. Tommy Prothro was the MAN! That win put UCLA in the Rose Bowl where they upset Michigan State. Jimmy Colletto literally knocked himself unconscious stopping Bob Apisa at the goal line to save the Rose Bowl for the Bruins.

  • Beban2Altenberg

    1993, Marvin Goodwin intercepts Rob Johnson, in the end zone, in the game’s final minute.