USC-UCLA Instant Analysis: Fitting End

PASADENA -- And in the end, USC and UCLA's seasons just ended.

Which is actually kind of fitting for a season where both schools really didn't amount to much.

USC scored just enough to win, 28-14, but didn't impress anybody. UCLA tried hard and got close a couple times, but could never break though.

The end, just the like most of the rest of the season for both teams. Most likely soon forgotten.

No sound, no fury, signifying nothing.

USC won eight games but is going nowhere. UCLA won four and seems to be going backwards.

Allen Bradford had a nice final game for the Trojans, finishing with 212 yards and one touchdown. Freshman cornerback Nickell Robey and senior linebacker Malcolm Smith made a couple nice defensive plays.

But Matt Barkley spent the night trying to pretend both his ankles were working properly. Hint: One of them clearly wasn't and he finished just 15-of-26 for 198 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

His receivers -- outside of Robert Woods -- were average at best.

It'd be nice to give credit to Monte Kiffin's defense for holding UCLA's offense to such a tepid night. But the Bruins had more to do with their struggles than anything USC did.

UCLA's receivers dropped passes and ran poor routes. It's offensive line seemed to be yelling, "Ole" on pass protections more often than it stopped USC's rush.

A week after it seemed it had found some semblance of a passing game, UCLA again looked lost. Once again, the Bruins managed to move the ball by land, but anything through the air was iffy.

Quarterback Richard Brehaut was 20 for 35 for 230 yards, one touchdown and one interception. But that's a little misleading because Brehaut racked up the majority of his yards in the fourth quarter after the game was out of reach. Brehaut was just 6-of-16 passing for 63 yards through three quarters. UCLA's offense had recorded just eight first downs.

After the game, head coach Rick Neuheisel stepped to the microphone and addressed the crowd, as has become his custom in three seasons as the Bruins head coach.

A smattering, not a chorus of boos reigned down on him as he spoke. Most of UCLA's fans had either left or didn't care enough to boo anymore.

"Thank you for all the energy you brought us," Neuheisel said. "We're going to do better for you next year. That's a promise."

I sure hope at least one of these teams can fulfill that promise.