“You could hear a pin drop” (per an SI AllTrojans source) in the UCLA locker room following their loss over the USC Trojans on Saturday night. After holding a lead over the Trojans for almost all four quarters of the game, the Trojans rose up in the fourth (yet again) and secured their fifth win of the season.
To no surprise, Clay Helton, Kedon Sloivs and Talanoa Hufanga were all beaming with excitement on the post game presser. Helton thanked “god” and their teams perseverance for the W.
On UCLA’s side of things, the energy was different. Head coach Chip Kelly said the loss was” difficult and it hurts”.
Although both teams fought until the very end and left everything out on the grass, the Trojans maintain possession of the Victory Bell until the two meet again in 2021. Here are some post game sound bites from Saturday night.
Clay Helton talks USC’s run game against UCLA
“Yeah, (Vavae) Malepeai, I thought stepped up huge with 19 carries and 110 yards, averaging 5.8 against a really good defense – a defense that we thought was extremely much improved from last year. I thought he made the tough yards, especially in the red zone. I thought he did, and the offensive line did a terrific job. Offensive line wise also I have to say did a nice job of holding up. We threw the ball a lot tonight, 47 times, and I thought they gave the time Kedon (Slovis) needed to be successful.”
Clay Helton talks fighting until the end
“I knew that if we just had one more opportunity, that they would make something happen. It’s who this team is. As soon as we called timeout after that third down of UCLA and there was 52 seconds left, I thought to myself it doesn’t matter if they make this or not, there’s an opportunity there for our guys. And it started with Gary Bryant, to be honest with you. We finally got it going in the kickoff return game, and what a big play that was to get it across the 50 yard line. What an unbelievable check by Kedon on the next play to (Tyler Vaughns). It made me nervous, but he’s got the courage. It was fun to watch. That’s how we played. What a terrific job by the guys to get our third game this year that was won on the last drive.”
Chip Kelly talks USC in the second half
“I think that Kedon Slovis is one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. I don’t think anybody thought that we’d come in here and shut them out. But, it was kind of a heavyweight fight and you are just trading blows. They hit one and we hit one, and then we hit one and then they hit one. We had a shot at the end. We had the ball at the end.”
Chip Kelly talks suffering a loss after holding a lead majority of the game
“Anytime you lose, it’s hard, especially when you lose a close game. So I don’t think that you quantify it, that you lost this way or that way. I think that it’s difficult and it hurts. It hurts because they put so much into it. That’s what we’d talked about in the locker room, that it really hurts. If you don’t work very hard and it’s not that important to you, if you go out and lose, then it wasn’t that big a deal. But this group, they’ve got an unbelievable work ethic and camaraderie and commitment to each other. When you lose as a group like we lost tonight, it hurts.”
UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson talks locker room setting post game
“Today was the quietest it’s ever been but at the end of the day, Coach does a great job rallying the guys. We know it’s going to hurt obviously, but we’re excited to get back there on Monday and get ready to work the next week.”