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USC Loses Rose Bowl Bid--and Game to UCLA

November 20, 1994|BILL DWYRE | TIMES SPORTS EDITOR

A day that could have brought a spot in the Rose Bowl brought only frustration for USC's football team, which lost to archrival UCLA on Saturday at the Rose Bowl, 31-19.

To gain the Rose Bowl berth, plus an undisputed Pacific 10 Conference championship, USC needed to have Oregon State upset rival Oregon and then beat UCLA. Neither happened.

Oregon won, 17-13, gaining a spot opposite Big 10 champion Penn State in the Jan. 2 game in Pasadena and its first Rose Bowl berth since 1958.

And UCLA further ruined USC's day with an inspired second half in which it outscored the Trojans, 28-7, and took its fourth consecutive victory over favored USC. As the closing seconds ticked away, shortly after the Bruins' Teddy Lawrence made an interception in the end zone that throttled USC's final drive, the UCLA partisans in the crowd of 91,815 began chanting, "Four more years, four more years."

The Trojans began the game with a five-game winning streak and a No. 13 national ranking by the Associated Press. The loss left them with a 7-3 record (6-2 in the Pac-10), going into their regular-season finale Saturday against Notre Dame at the Coliseum, and still with an outside chance at a major bowl bid.

UCLA is out of the post-season picture with a 5-6 record (3-5 in the Pac-10), but the victory gave the Bruins an upbeat finish after a season that included an injury to All-American wide receiver J.J. Stokes and six consecutive defeats.

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