Every time it looked as if Sam Darnold and the USC Trojans were going to pull away, Josh Rosen and Jordan Lasley pulled UCLA back in it.
But it wasn’t enough, and the Bruins fell in the crosstown rivalry for the third straight time, by the score of 28-23. As much as one would like to take the “moral victory” stance on the close loss, it was yet another tally on the wrong side of the ledger for Jim Mora and the Bruins.
Here’s what Mora had to say about the loss:
Jim Mora’s opening statement to the media after the 28-23 loss to USC: pic.twitter.com/bImUXwDG5c
— Matt Cummings (@MattCummingsDB) November 19, 2017
“First of all, congratulations to USC, awfully good football team. We knew we’d have to play our best to come in here and win. I thought our young men played hard, thought they fought to the bitter end. I’m very, very proud of our football team. I thought we made some mistakes and they made some plays that prohibited us from winning. The obvious things were the special teams, issues we had, not being able to convert early with the field goal.
“Certainly with the punt return where they fooled us, the onsides kick was supposed to be a bloop. Certainly not anything I’m pinning on any one of those guys, just facts of the matter. I don’t think we protected the ball well enough and we weren’t very good in the red zone. That’s something we’ve done well is put points up on the red zone and tonight that wasn’t the case. Usually tight games like this come down to those types of variables and tonight it came down to that.
“It’s incredibly disappointing. It’s a disappointed team in there. I commend them for their energy, their enthusiasm, how they worked all week, the way they fought all game, their energy on the sideline, and I expect that next week at the Rose Bowl, Friday night, when we attempt to go 6-0 at home and even this thing out.”