The game took place at the Los Angeles Coliseum, and security was stepped up heavily. The two schools said they coordinated with local, state and federal agencies to minimize any safety concerns.
The Coliseum's tailgating policy of one parking space per car and no amplified sound was strictly enforced, school officials said.
Thousands of college football fans decided to have a little fun before the game by tailgating with family and friends. They could be heard talking a lot of trash about their respective cross-town rivals.
"I'm hoping for a great game -- a Trojan victory of course," a USC football fan said.
"Defense is an attitude," said Gisselle Naranjo, a UCLA football fan. "And we're just going to kill them; we're going to kill all the SC players and the fans. We're going to shut them up tonight."
USC also said it would try to keep people from rushing the field, as fans did at the Nov. 16 upset against Stanford. Announcements were made before and during the game. Fans also saw an increased security presence on the field, sports information director Tim Tessalone said.
There were 20 arrests at last year's game, mostly for suspicion of being drunk in public. Four others were arrested on suspicion of going onto the field after the game, and the remainder of arrests was for suspicion of scalping tickets, Pasadena police said. Two people were also stabbed during a fight before the rival game three years ago.
UCLA beat USC, 35-14.
City News Service contributed to this report.