USC clinches Pac-12 South title with win over UCLA

Things looked bleak for USC in mid-October. The team was 3-3 and still reeling after the dismissal of head coach Steve Sarkisian.

Despite all that, the Trojans will play for the Pac-12 championship next week vs. Stanford. USC capped off its 5-2 finish to the regular season under interim head coach Clay Helton with a 40-21 home win over rival UCLA on Saturday, clinching the Pac-12 South Division title. The Trojans (8-4) were trailing, 21-20, with 8:38 remaining in the third quarter, before scoring 20 unanswered points to close out the game.

USC senior quarterback Cody Kessler didn't post spectacular numbers vs. the Bruins, but he was efficient, completing 15 of 26 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a score. His QB counterpart, UCLA freshman Josh Rosen, has been impressive with his efficiency all season long. However, he was picked off two times in the second half by USC freshman CB Iman Marshall, the first of which snapped a streak of 245 throws without a pick for Rosen.

UCLA, which entered the game ranked No. 22 in the nation by the College Football Playoff selection committee, fell to 8-4.

USC snapped a three-game losing streak in the rivalry series with the win.

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