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USC ACTUALLY TRAILS ... BEFORE HANDLING UCLA

For a few precious minutes, UCLA had visions of a second straight shocking upset of Southern Cal at the Rose Bowl.

Then reality set in.

Mark Sanchez passed for 269 yards and two touchdowns, USC's hard-hitting defense stuffed UCLA at every turn, and the No. 5-ranked Trojans won 28-7 Saturday.

The win assured USC of an unprecedented seventh consecutive BCS bid, seventh consecutive 11-win seasons and seventh consecutive Pac-10 championships. It also will make a fourth consecutive appearance in the Rose Bowl, where it will meet No. 6 Penn State on Jan. 1.

UCLA stunned USC 13-9 two years ago, bouncing the Trojans out of the BCS title game. The Bruins inspired hopes for a repeat by taking a 7-0 lead in the opening four minutes. But they crossed midfield just once from there.

The Trojans rolled up 33 first downs and 478 yards of total offense while the Bruins had just seven first downs and gained only 157 yards against the national leader in total defense and scoring defense.

USC beat UCLA seven straight times before the surprising setback two years ago, one of just 10 losses in 95 games for the Trojans since the beginning of the 2002 season. They rebounded with a 24-7 triumph over the Bruins last year at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

For the first time in 26 years, both teams wore home jerseys in their annual matchup.

They both played their home games at the Coliseum until UCLA moved to the Rose Bowl in 1982, and the NCAA passed a rule the following year that would penalize teams one timeout if they didn't wear their proper home and road jerseys. So the Bruins wore white at the Coliseum in 1983, and the visitors had done the same ever since.

USC was penalized a timeout after the opening kickoff, and UCLA voluntarily took its first timeout immediately thereafter, as coach Rick Neuheisel promised. The timeouts prompted a large cheer from the Rose Bowl crowd of 87,790.

Trojans lose coordinator: USC offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian confirmed after the game he will become the new coach at Washington. Sarkisian, 34, I-A's third-youngest coach behind Tennessee's Lane Kiffin and Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald, both 33, replaces the fired Tyrone Willingham.

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