UCLA Football: 3 takeaways from heartbreaking loss to USC in Week 15

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USC Trojans
43
UCLA Bruins
38

UCLA football put up quite the fight against the undefeated USC Trojans on Saturday night. The Bruins fell just short but have momentum.

When UCLA kicked a field goal to take a 38-36 lead with under a minute left, it looked like the Bruins were going to shock the Trojans for the second time in three years, but the defense couldn’t get stops on the ensuing drive to surrender a touchdown with 18 seconds left.

Undefeated USC was hoping to keep its slim playoff hopes alive while the Bruins were hoping to win their fourth game in five outings, ending the regular season with a 4-2 mark.

A late touchdown secured the win for USC as the Trojans narrowly avoided an upset and Clay Helton will live to see another day as his team is 5-0 heading into the Pac-12 title game.

3. Defense looked helpless late

It was clear in the fourth quarter that UCLA’s defense just didn’t have it. They struggled to get necessary stops with a 35-23 lead over the Trojans and that led to 20 fourth-quarter points and a 43-38 win for USC.

The most obvious moment of this helplessness late in the game was the final minute as USC got the ball back down 38-36. Kedon Slovis and Co. drove the length of the field and scored the go-ahead touchdown with 18 seconds left. It only took the Trojans 40 seconds to march down the field and score the winning touchdown. That was backbreaking.

For as good as the offense looked for UCLA all game long, the defense was a major liability as it couldn’t seem to get stops on Slovis and that receiving corps when it mattered most.

UCLA’s offense kept it in the game but the defense let it down.

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