UCLA Football: Joshua Kelley’s 289 rushing yards leads Bruins past USC

Former walk-on RB Joshua Kelley led the UCLA football team to a 34-27 win over USC as he has one of the more memorable performances in the Crosstown Showdown, rushing for 289 yards.

It was a Crosstown Showdown like any other, at least it started out that way. The UCLA football team (3-8, 3-5) was trailing the USC Trojans (5-6, 4-5) 3-0 early in the game.

USC Trojans
UCLA Bruins

There was a nice balance between pass and run for the Bruins on their first drive as they managed to score on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Wilton Speight to Theo Howard, putting UCLA up 7-3.

On UCLA’s next drive, the beginning of a historical game for junior RB Joshua Kelley was being made. On his third run of the drive, Kelley broke off a 61-yard run, setting him up for a total of 289 to finish the game.

Kelley, who I have recently dubbed “The Machine”, was running on all cylinders in this game as he had the third greatest rushing performance by a Bruin after Maurice Jones-Drew (322 vs Washington, 2004) and DeShaun Foster (301 vs. Washington, 2001).

UCLA went run-heavy in this game, running the ball 52 times, with Kelley carrying it 40 times, compared to only 22 passes. This is good. This is what UCLA’s strength has been this season and it worked like a charm against USC. Kelley averaged 7.0 yards per attempt and had two touchdowns. With Kelley racking up the yards, Bruins fans knew it would be special when the former walk-on went for 61 yards to start the 4th quarter.

That run and score epitomized the fight, fight, fight that the Bruins had in this game as they started from their own 3 and went 97  yards for the score which once again gave them the lead, 28-27.

On USC’s first play of the next drive, JT Daniels threw up a floater that was picked off by Darnay Holmes, it was the Trojan QB’s second INT of the game. UCLA, behind even more powerful runs by Kelley that grinded the Trojans’ front line down, was capped by consecutive JJ Molson field goals, extending the Bruins’ lead and securing the victory.

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With this performance, Kelley cemented his name in UCLA-USC lore. He not only had the third-best running performance by a Bruin but had the best rushing performance by a UCLA football player over USC, ever. With this, I dub him, “Trojan Slayer!”