Whenever a quarterback makes a mistake, he can let it continue to haunt him or he can respond.
Brett Hundley did the latter in a big way against his crosstown rival.
The UCLA signal-caller threw a pick-six on his second play of the game but bounced back in a big way, picking apart USC in a 38-20 win that should help his case in the eyes of scouts and fans alike.
A redshirt junior, Hundley finished the night 22-of-31 for 326 yards and three touchdowns to go along with that one interception. He was the key difference-maker against what had been a stingy Trojans defense that is loaded with playmakers. Hundley stood in the pocket to deliver a number of accurate passes and did not take off running when pressured. He was limited to 2 rushing yards on the night after sacks, but he did scamper in for a 15-yard score in the middle of the third quarter that all but signaled the game was over and the rout was officially on.
Running back Paul Perkins continued his strong second half of the season, running for 93 yards and a touchdown and delivering a number of key blocks on blitz pickups.
Hundley and Perkins can thank Owamagbe Odighizuwa and the UCLA defense for matching their intensity after a slow first quarter. The defensive end was a constant thorn in USC quarterback Cody Kessler's side, finishing with two sacks and a number of hurries. His pressure was a big part of the Bruins' defensive game plan and helped limit the Pac-12's leading rusher Buck Allen to just 60 yards on the ground and contain star receiver Nelson Agholor to just three catches for 24 yards.
Despite the loss, it was a good showing for USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams in front of a number of NFL scouts at the Rose Bowl. He was able to fight off nearly constant double teams and recorded a sack and forced fumble on the night. More important, he helped create blitz lanes for his teammates. It wasn't enough to get the win or contain Hundley's precision passing, but Williams' play wasn't the reason the Trojans were routed at a venue in which they used to be dominant.
The win also provides some additional clarity in the jumbled Pac-12 South race that is for the toughest division in football if you go by the selection committee's rankings. The Bruins need only to win against Stanford after Thanksgiving in order to setup a rematch with Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game.