COLLEGE STATION,TEXAS—The UCLA Bruins opened their 2016 season with a gut wrenching loss to the Texas A&M Aggies in Overtime, 31-24, in College Station on Saturday, September 3. The Bruins were trailing 24-9 in the fourth quarter, they scored 15 points in the final 4:19 to send the game into overtime. The wild comeback fell short in the end, although this thrilling nail biter turned out to be the crown jewel of the opening weekend.
Going into the contest; all eyes were focused on the battle at QB. Texas A&M’s Trevor Knight went 22 for 42, 239 yards and a touchdown. While UCLA’s Josh Rosen threw for 343 yards and a touchdown, but threw 3 costly interceptions. He doesn’t deserve all the blame due to his receivers dropping several passes.
The Aggies led 10-9 at halftime, UCLA got inside the red zone but failed to score a touchdown, settling for three field goals instead. Texas A&M”s defense sacked UCLA QB Josh Rosen five times. Myles Garrett and the rest of the defensive line wreaked havoc against UCLA’s offensive line.
The Aggies rushed for 203 yards, compared to the Bruins 125 yards on the ground.
When Aggies Quarterback Trevor Knight hooked up with Josh Reynolds for a 40-yard touchdown to make it 24-9, it seemed hopeless. On the next possession, UCLA scored a TD as Running Back Bolu Olorunfunmi barreled in the end zone, cutting the lead to 24-16.
Once the Bruins defense forced a 3 and out, Rosen was given one final opportunity to march down the field to tie the game. Rosen nimbly avoided the pass rush, than flung the ball to a wide open Kenneth Walker for a 62-yard TD. The Bruins still needed the 2-point conversion, a pass to tight end Austin Roberts evened the score 24 all, with only a minute left in regulation. The game was headed to overtime, it felt as if the Bruins had finally seized the momentum.
The Aggies got the ball first in OT. On fourth and goal from the 1-yard line, Knight faked a handoff, than walked into the end zone untouched. The gutsy call paid off. On the Bruins possession, their play calling was conservative and a perfect pass to the end zone slipped through Roberts hands. On fourth and goal, the game ended with a Rosen pass broken up by Aggies defender Justin Evans.
Next week the Bruins will look to rebound from this devastating loss when the UNLV Running Rebels visit the Rose Bowl for UCLA’s home opener.