Game updates: UCLA 17, Arizona 7, fourth quarter

Written By kolimtiga on Minggu, 02 November 2014 | 12.56

Three UCLA runs net six yards, but it doesn't matter.

After a Bruins' punt, Arizona is backed up at its own 10-yard line.


Arizona was given new life, looked like it might make a game of it again, and just as quickly had its hopes snuffed.

After Hundley's fumble, the Wildcats drove to the UCLA 5-yard line.

But after Erick Kendricks sacked Anu Solomon for a four-yard loss, Arizona was faced with a fourth down and, needing two scores, chose to try a field goal.

Which was blocked.

It was Kendricks again who swatted Casey Skowron's 26-yard try, and Anthony Jefferson scooped up the ball and returned it 39 yds to the UCLA 49.


Brett Hundley, who has looked superhuman at times tonight, fumbled at the end of an 18-yard gain, giving Arizona new life.


Arizona's last 10 possessions have ended in nine punts and a missed field goal try.

Arizona takes over from its own 17-yard line and the first pass is a bomb that falls incomplete.

The second pass: dropped.

The third pass: another bomb not anywhere close to a completion.

Make that 10 punts and a missed field goal.

And UCLA will have good field possession again after a nifty return by Ishmael Adams.


UCLA picked up some good yardage, but Brett Hundley was sacked on third down. Arizona is going to get the ball back with about six minutes left in the game. If the Wildcats are going to make this interesting, it's going to have to happen right about now. 


Arizona's wide receivers have dropped at least five passes tonight. A bad drop on second down left the Wildcats in bad field position, and the UCLA defense again held firm. 

Ishmael Adams fumbled the punt return, but it went out of bounds. The way Arizona's offense has played, a touchdown here from the Bruins could seal the game. 


UCLA earned another holding penalty -- its fifth of the game -- but Brett Hundley was able to scramble on third down to make up for the mistake. The 19-yard gain put him over 100 for the game, and he finished the drive with 121. 

The downside is that he's been very inconsistent in the passing game, which keeps UCLA's offense a bit predictable. The Bruins were forced to punt when a pass in the flat fell short of a first down. Arizona is down 10 with about 10 minutes left in the game. If they're going to pull off a win here, they're going to have to get that offense going. 


Arizona's offense has been dreadful. Completely lost, completely inept. UCLA's defense is playing well and not letting the Wildcats off the hook, but still, it should be noted how awful this offense looks. 

This Arizona drive ended in a sack, and yet another punt -- its eighth of the game. 


Tonight's attendance at the Rose Bowl is 80,246. That makes five consecutive home crowds of over 70,000.


Is there anything more overused in football than holding up four fingers at the end of the third quarter. It was cool 15 years ago, when Friday Night Lights came out. Now, when every pro, college and high school team in the county does it, it's getting a bit tired. 


Well, Arizona's vaunted offense finally showed up, at least to some extent. After finishing the first half with just 103 total offensive yards, the Wildcats tallied 53 yards on this drive. 

But again, the Bruin defense held firm, and Arizona missed a 39-yard field goal. With the third quarter winding down, it's still a two-score game. 


UCLA 17, Arizona 7 (4:44 left in the third quarter)

Well, umm, that'll change a game. Jordan Payton was wide open down the far sideline, and Brett Hundley hit him right in stride for a 70-yard touchdown pass. Just like that, UCLA takes a 10 point lead. Goes without saying how important of a touchdown that was. 

And, with that touchdown pass, Hundley tied Cade McNown on UCLA's all-time career passing touchdowns list with 68. 


Anu Solomon has really looked like a freshman tonight. He's been pretty awful, to put it blunty, having issues completing any pass of any distance. Arizona, home to the explosive Rich Rodriguez offense, just punted for the seventh time this game. 

Again, credit where credit is due. UCLA's defense is playing well. 


UCLA 10, Arizona 7 (5:34 left in the third quarter)

It's remarkable that UCLA is now leading this game, but hey, give credit where credit is due. With all the penalties and all the offensive miscues, the Bruins still have the lead.

Brett Hundley was almost intercepted in the end zone, but then Paul Perkins blasted through the left side of the line for the five-yard touchdown to give UCLA the lead. 


Arizona averages 348 passing yards per game. So far tonight, Anu Solomon has thrown for 30 yards. Oof. 


This is becoming an unwatchable football game. Penalties aplenty on both sides, and a total lack of offensive execution from both UCLA and Arizona. 

On this drive, the Wildcats had a huge first down, but it was called back because of an offensive pass interference. The two teams have combined for nine punts and 104 total passing yards. Explosive offenses, indeed. 


UCLA attempted one pass on this drive, and it was called back due to a penalty. Arizona has one of the worst pass defenses in the Pac-12. Those two ideas are correlated. 

Anyway, the Bruins got stuffed near midfield and had to punt. Team M.V.P. so far is punter Matt Mengel, who has been solid all game. He's downed the Wildcats inside their own red zone four times, including this most recent punt. 


The clocks inside the stadium stopped working, but apparently it's halftime. 

This has been an incredibly weird game: UCLA has 98 penalty yards, while Arizona has 103 offensive yards. The Bruins also haven't been passing the ball against one of the worst pass defenses in the Pac-12, but have run for 159 yards against one of the best rush defenses in the Pac-12. None of that makes any sense. I have no idea how Arizona only has seven points. 

Brett Hundley has thrown for just 65 yards, but has 13 carries for 67 yards. As always, he's the X factor in the second half. 


Hey! Arizona got a penalty! 

The Bruins were helped out by an Arizona penalty when Jourdon Grandon was called for targeting and was ejected. That was UCLA's biggest gain of the drive, though, as Brett Hundley continues to miss targets downfield. The Bruins got another good punt from Matt Mengel, so that's a bright spot. 


Hey, Mr. penalty flag. Haven't seen you in a while.

Kenny Clark was the latest offender, picking up a 15-yard personal foul. But again, Arizona couldn't capitalize. It's a bit insane that UCLA has 90 penalties yards and the Wildcats, who have one of the best offenses in the country, have only scored a touchdown. Crazy stuff here in the Rose Bowl tonight. 


Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright sacked Brett Hundley for the third time this game, but a huge gain from Nate Starks on third down kept the drive alive. But on third down, a short pass in the flat fell short, and the Bruins elected to punt rather than go for the short conversion on Arizona's 44-yard line. 

UCLA really isn't throwing the ball that much, surprising given how bad Arizona's pass defense has been this season. Hundley has completed eight of his 11 pass attempts, totaling 50 yards, but has carried the ball 10 times already. 


UCLA had stopped Arizona on third down, again, only for a penalty to be called, again. This time it was defensive holding on Fabian Moreau. 

The Bruins were helped out by the Wildcats dropping a couple passes, though, and the Jaleel Wadood made a very nice play on third down to force the punt. 

UCLA has seven penalties for 75 yards, but can take the lead on this drive. That's pretty remarkable, all things considered. 


Arizona 7, UCLA 3 (12:17 left in the second quarter)

Amazing what this UCLA offense can do when its not dealing with constant penalties. Arizona has one of the best rush defenses in the Pac-12, statistically speaking, but the Bruins are running at will so far. 

That is, until they got down to the goal line. UCLA already has 114 yards on the ground, including 52 from Brett Hundley, but couldn't punch it in. Hundley was stopped short, then Paul Perkins was stuffed, then Myles Jack lost yards. Ka'imi Fairbairn converted the 24-yard field goal, but UCLA should have been able to get a touchdown on that drive. 


Stop me is this sounds familiar, but UCLA is having issues cutting down its penalties. Ishmael Adams had a nice punt return, but it was called back because of a block in the back. 

The Bruins got out of their own red zone with a nice third down conversion, only to go backwards after a holding penalty on Scott Quessenberry. That's the team's sixth penalty of the first quarter. 

UCLA got out of its own red zone, though, after an impressive 29-yard run from Brett Hundley on third down. The play didn't appear to be a designed run, but Hundley ran with some conviction there. The first quarter ends with UCLA near midfield, driving for a chance to tie this game up at seven. 


The Bruin defense is holding their own right now. Arizona got a first down, but it was called back due to penalty, and UCLA held strong. This is an absolutely explosive offense, and the Bruin defense has looked good so far. 


UCLA got some positive yards from Myles Jack at running back, but not enough to get into the end zone. Brett Hundley was sacked on third down, and then kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn missed a 37-yard field goal. 

Side note: UCLA used up its second timeout of the half less than eight minutes into the first quarter. So, that's not ideal. 


A great punt from Matt Mengel pinned Arizona at its own five-yard line, and the Wildcats couldn't get out of their own red zone. UCLA's defense, particularly Deon Hollins, have played well so far. Hate to keep harping on this, but if not for Myles Jack, this game would still be scoreless. 


Penalties continue to be an issue. The Bruins were driving down the field, but then Jake Brendel got called for a holding penalty on second down. Quarterback Brett Hundley missed badly to an open receiver, and the Bruins were forced to punt. 

Not exactly the offensive response UCLA was looking for. 

Notable on the drive is that Paul Perkins picked up enough yardage to give him over 1,000 yards on the season. He's just the 13th Bruin in school history to cross that threshold. 


Coach Jim Mora has to be mad about that previous drive. His defense actually played pretty well, but those Myles Jack penalties were just killer. You can't afford to give an offense like Arizona's any extra chances. 


Arizona 7, UCLA 0 (12:27 left in the first quarter)

UCLA coaches have been saying all week that Arizona's offense has options on top of options. With quarterback Anu Solomon, the Wildcats can go pretty much anywhere with the ball. 

We saw that on Arizona's first drive. The Wildcats ran dive plays with running backs, quarterback keepers, throws on the run, and throws in the pocket. They converted an early third down, and also played with enough temp to force the Bruins into both an offside penalty and a penalty-saving timeout. 

The Arizona drive was saved, though, by Myles Jack. The Bruins forced a punt on a nice play from Anthony Jefferson, but Jack was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the play.

UCLA stopped Arizona on its next third down, but again, Jack got called for a 15-yard penalty. This time, it was a facemask. The next play, Arizona threw a 14-yard touchdown pass in the back of the end zone. 

So, not to point fingers or anything, but this game would still be scoreless if it wasn't for Jack's penalties. 


It's a brisk 55 degrees at kickoff. UCLA won the kick and is choosing to defer, meaning Arizona will start this game off with the ball. 


The same offensive line that has started the last two games is warming up as the starting group. From left to right: Conor McDermott, Malcolm Bunche, Jake Brendel, Scott Quessenberry, and Caleb Benenoch. 

That means Alex Redmond will start the game on the sidelines, despite indications being that he's healthy. 


Wide receiver Thomas Duarte is dressed and warming up. The sophomore injured his hamstring against Cal, and hasn't appeared in a game since. We'll see how much actual playing time he gets, but it's an encouraging sign that he's at least out there warming up. 


It's a beautiful night in the Rose Bowl, albeit a bit colder than usual. Tonight's matchup against Arizona is perhaps UCLA's most important game of the season, if for no other reason than how devastating a loss would be. If the Bruins drop this game, whatever hopes they have of a Pac-12 title are out the window. For a team that had national championship aspirations before the season, that would be a serious fall from grace.

A win would get UCLA closer to first place and save its season. So yeah, tonight is a big game. 

To commemorate the occasion, UCLA is wearing its special "L.A. Steel" uniforms, which are not all that cool and also make the numbers essentially impossible to see from the press box. So if we miss an appearance or misplace a name, that's why.

For all those concerned that the Bruins are going to have trouble with Arizona's spread offense, the advantage might not be that distinct.

UCLA Coach Jim Mora is well versed in the lickety-split offense that Arizona Coach Rich Rodriguez throws at opponents. Mora has studied it for years.

He first started examine it when he was the Atlanta Falcons coach and Rodriguez was at West Virginia. Mora had had quarterback Michael Vick and wanted to tap his running skills.

"Rich was at West Virginia and were looking for ways to use Mike creatively," Mora said. "We studied West Virginia. They were doing things I had never seen before, or thought you could do. I still don't know if you can do them in the NFL, but he changed college football." 

The difficulty is the relentlessness of Rodriguez's spread offense, Mora said.

"You have to defend everything," Mora said. "It's not just a couple plays, it's every play. You have to have the athletes that can move well in space and tackle and still rush the passer and cover. And, you have to be big enough withstand the run."

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