SALT LAKE CITY, UT—UCLA defeated the Utah Utes 17-9, in a critical PAC-12 South showdown. Setting the table for next Saturdays grudge match against their crosstown rival, the USC Trojans at the LA Coliseum.
However, on the line is a PAC-12 South title, and more important, a spot in the PAC-12 Championship. USC was crushed by the Oregon Ducks 48-28, but if the Trojans manage a victory against UCLA they will win the PAC-12 south.
So it sets up a SO-Cal showdown, winner takes all game that will separate the two teams fan bases for this holiday week. It should be fun, and congratulations to both schools for putting themselves in a position to win their share of the PAC-12, and to face the North winner for the right to play in the Rose Bowl.
It was an impressive display given last years last second loss to the Utes. The Bruins defense was merciless-not allowing a TD all afternoon and halting critical goal line stands.
UCLA launched an aerial assault to start the game; on the opening drive, Bruins Quarterback Josh Rosen went deep to WR Thomas Duarte for a 33 yard strike and connected once again on a 28-yard touchdown. Rosen managed the game well by completing big throws at crucial times in the game. He was 15 of 30, 220 yards and a TD.
It also served as a microcosm of the Bruins season-Rosen to Duarte for the lone passing TD of the game-Paul Perkins twisting for a critical TD-the defense bending but not breaking. And Jordan Peyton setting another record with the most receptions by any Bruin in their illustrious history.
It was appropriate that it would happen on a critical play that gave the Bruins a first down late in the game. Other critical plays include the aforementioned TD by Perkins who was initially stopped short of the goal line, but then found his way into the end zone. Josh Rosen has not thrown an interception in 218 attempts, the best in the nation.
Jayon Brown recovered a fumble with one minute left to seal the victory. DB Nate Meaders playing big, from start to finish. A true team victory for the Road Warriors, who are now 14-1 away from the Rose Bowl. This is an incredible victory and a huge step in the right direction after last weeks heart breaking loss. UCLA improves to 8-3, 5-3 in the PAC-12.