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5 Greatest UCLA vs. USC College Football Games of All Time

USC leads the series with crosstown rival USCLA 49–33–7.
USC Trojans vs. UCLA Bruins Football

The crosstown rivalry between USC and UCLA has been taking place annually on the gridiron for more than 80 years.

UCLA and USC will face off in a top-15 matchup on Saturday. If the Bruins win, they can spoil the Trojans' national title hopes. It would not be the first time one of these teams has done that to the other.

These two schools first met in 1929 and have played every year since 1936. Here are their five greatest games. (Note: All of the games were played in Los Angeles with both teams sharing Memorial Coliseum as their home stadium until UCLA moved to the Rose Bowl in 1982.)

5. UCLA 13, USC 9

Dec. 2, 2006  Rose Bowl

If the second-ranked Trojans beat 6-5 UCLA, they would likely play for a national championship for the fourth straight year. However, the Bruins' defense held USC to under 20 points for the first time in 63 games, while the offense was managed by Patrick Cowan, who had just found out he was starting at quarterback a few days prior to the game. UCLA essentially clinched the upset when Eric McNeal intercepted John David Booty's pass on the Bruins' 20-yard line with 1:10 remaining.

4. USC 14, UCLA 12

Nov. 22, 1969  Memorial Coliseum

Both USC and UCLA entered the game undefeated with the conference championship and the Rose Bowl on the line. Bruins head coach Tommy Prothro's decision to go for two on both of UCLA's touchdowns and failing proved to be the difference in the game, along with Jimmy Johnson's 32-yard touchdown pass to Sam Dickerson to put the Trojans ahead with about 90 seconds remaining.

3. UCLA 48, USC 41 (2OT)

Nov. 23, 1996  Rose Bowl

USC linebacker Sammy Knight picked off Cade McNown and returned the interception 74 yards for a score to put the Trojans up 17-0 in the second quarter, and it appeared UCLA's five-game win streak in the rivalry would come to an end. USC also held leads of 24-7, 31-14, and 38-21. Then the Bruins scored 17 points in seven minutes and blocked a field goal to send the game into overtime. The teams traded field goals in the first overtime period. In the second, UCLA running back Skip Hicks ran into the end zone on the first play. The Bruins then stopped the Trojans on downs for the win.

2. UCLA 20, USC 16

Nov. 20, 1965  Memorial Coliseum

Facing off with the Rose Bowl on the line and with less than five minutes to play, it looked like USC would be playing in Pasadena. Then UCLA linebacker Dallas Grider forced quarterback Troy Winslow to fumble and Erwin Dutcher recovered. Gary Beban then hit Dick Witcher with a 34-yard touchdown pass and connected with Byron Nelson for the two-point play. Grider recovered the onside kick, and Beban threw a 52-yard scoring strike to Kurt Altenberg for the unlikely win.

1. USC 21, UCLA 20

Nov. 18, 1967 — Memorial Coliseum

This "Game of the Century" pitted top-ranked UCLA against No. 4 USC. In the second quarter, O.J. Simpson wove through the defense and dragged two Bruin defenders into the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown run to put the Trojans up 14-7. UCLA quarterback Gary Beban — playing through bruised ribs with detached cartilage — threw two touchdown passes in the second half to take the lead. Then with 10:38 and facing third-and-seven, USC quarterback Steve Sogge audibled from a pass play to a handoff to Simpson when he saw the Bruin linebackers were in pass coverage. Simpson took the ball and ran 64 yards for a touchdown in one of the greatest plays in college football history. The score proved to be the difference, and the Trojans went on to win the national title.

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports' Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.