Delayed Gratification: UCLA Beat USC

The annual clash between UCLA and USC took place Saturday night, with the winner setting themselves up for a potential playoff berth. Junior quarterback Brett Hundley led his team to victory and his second touchdown pass of the evening is this week’s Pylon University Optimum Offense play of the week as UCLA beat USC.

On Saturday night, UCLA continued their recent string of victories over in-town rival USC, keeping them on track for a Pac-12 Championship game with Oregon and a possible NCAA playoff berth. For Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley the night began rather inauspiciously, with his first throw intercepted and returned for a pick-six. However, he rebounded with a tremendous performance, throwing for 326 yards and three touchdowns and running for another. His second touchdown, to freshman wide receiver Eldridge Massington, occurred right before halftime and staked UCLA to a 24-14 lead at the break. The 13-yard scoring strike was the result of inventive play design and near-flawless execution.

The Trojans were driving late in the 2nd quarter before Eric Kendricks’ one-handed interception ended a USC drive in Bruins territory. UCLA took over and Hundley led the offense down to the 13-yard line, where they faced 1st and 10. Head coach Jim Mora Jr. put his quarterback in the shotgun using 10 personnel, with an inverted slot to each side of the formation. The Trojans countered with their nickel defense in a goal-line Cover 2:


Massington is the outside receiver to the right. Mossi Johnson runs a corner route from his inside alignment while Massington goes out on a delayed post route:


USC safety Leon McQuay III is the target:


The young receiver executes this play using a stutter-step between the linebackers, while the corner route from Johnson draws the attention of McQuay:


After his delay, the WR breaks for the post and Hundley hits him in stride. Those two steps from McQuay open up the throwing window for the post route. Drawn out of position by the hesitations, the safety arrives too late to prevent the score:

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UCLA pulled away in the second half en route to a 38-20 victory. With a victory over Stanford on Friday, the Bruins can advance to the Pac-12 Championship Game to take on Oregon. Two more wins from Hundley and company could find UCLA hearing their name called by the playoff selection committee.

All video and images courtesy ABC/ESPN.

Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkSchofield.

Mark Schofield has always loved football. He breaks down film, scouts prospects, and explains the passing game for Inside the Pylon.

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