PASADENA—The UCLA Bruins and the Arizona Wildcats found themselves in the same boat entering the weekend’s game at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, October 1. Both programs suffered heartbreaking losses last week, and were desperate for a victory in the bunched up PAC-12 South conference. UCLA would walk away with the must win by the score of 45-24.
UCLA jumped out to a early 14-7 lead behind a 62-yard TD reception by Kenneth Walker. The elusive receiver caught a perfect pass in stride from Josh Rosen, and raced down the sideline to give the Bruins their first lead of the night. The offense, however, slowed to a halt in the second quarter. The running game has been grounded, gaining a paltry 26 yards in the first half. Other miscues included a missed field goal off the post, going just 2 of 14 on third down and those dreaded dropped passes.
The Bruins defense delivered another impeccable performance, holding the Wildcats offense to 169 total yards. Randall Goforth and Kenny Young led the way by applying pressure to Arizona’s QB Brandon Dawkins relentlessly throughout the evening.
The UCLA Bruins came out of the locker room with a sense of urgency to open up the second half. Marching 65 yards in six plays, UCLA capped off the drive with a 12 yard TD pass from Rosen. They would put away the pesky Wildcats with a sense of urgency not seen in the first half. As QB Josh Rosen said during the press conference, “The time to win and understand the offense is now, this is not a new offense anymore.” This is typical of the sophomore, who takes all the blame for losses and very little credit for the wins.
The Bruins go on the road to play the other Arizona school in Tempe next Saturday. Hopefully, the same outcome is waiting for the Bruins Nation. One thing is certain is that defense wins championships – and this is a great defensive unit.