LAst Night's Action: UCLA Does What Was Expected of Them
UCLA Bruins defeat Washington State Cougars 48-24. The final score made it look like it was an easy enough win for the Bruins, but it was anything but. The Bruins fell asleep allowing Wazzu to take a 28-20 lead in the third quarter. The offense finally woke up midway through the third quarter going on a 67-yard touchdown drive that took up four minutes and got the two-point conversion to tie the game.
After Wazzu drove down to the one-yard line with four chances to punch the ball in for a touchdown and were denied by the Bruin defense, the game was essentially over.
“Down eight points after having turned it over and giving up two touchdown drives in the opening moments of the second half and being behind to an opponent that everyone said all week long that it would be no contest, to respond and to come back as spirited as we did to finish the game, I'm pleased,” Bruins’ head coach Rick Neuheisel said.
Cougars’ head coach Paul Wulff didn’t have any regrets going for it on fourth down.
“We had the ball on the one-foot line,” Wulff said. “I figured the worst case scenario if we didn't get it, that they would have to go 99 yards.”
They did thanks to a 73-yard carry by Derrick Coleman that took the Bruins out of the shadow of their own end zone and onto the Cougars’ 18-yard line. The defense shut out the Cougars for the rest of the game with a big assist to a missed 45-yard field goal by Cougars’ place kicker Andrew Furney.
With Kevin Prince out of the game thanks to a knee injury suffered during their game against the Texas Longhorns, the Bruins started Richard Brehaut to trigger their pistol. All Brehaut did was go 12-for-23 for 128 yards and no interceptions while guiding the Bruins towards 565 yards of offense, 437 yards on the ground. Johnathan Franklin rushed for a career-high of 216 yards, and Coleman rushed for a career-high of 185 yards becoming the first duo in Bruins history to rush for at least 180 yards in a game.
“There are some things that will tell me that we got better as a team that can run the football,” Neuheisel said. “The numbers were such that we were able to control the game on the ground. We made some silly mistakes in the first half that made touchdown drives field goal drives.”
But the UCLA defense that held the Longhorns down looked absolutely porous in the secondary giving up 311 passing yards to the Cougars.
“Certainly we are not better on defense and we are going to look at ourselves in the mirror,” Neuheisel said. “I'm excited about the way we responded when we were pressed, but that many yards and that many drives is not indicative of how we play defense.”