Arizona suffers a 66-10 loss to UCLA
PASADENA, Calif. (AP)
A subdued Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez had no excuses for his team's dismal performance Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.
But he admitted to feeling embarrassed.
''I felt we were ready to play tonight, but we weren't,'' Rodriguez said after No. 25 UCLA overwhelmed his 24th-ranked Wildcats 66-10. ''It starts with me and the staff. This does not define who we are, but give UCLA credit.
''We could not get any stops. We did not run, throw or block. We didn't do anything right tonight. I think I have an idea of what went wrong with our strategy, but I need to go back and check the film to figure it out.''
Johnathan Franklin gained 162 yards in becoming UCLA's career rushing leader and redshirt freshman Brett Hundley passed for 288 yards and three touchdowns for the Bruins, who raced to a 42-3 halftime lead.
''This loss stings, it seems like everything went wrong,'' said linebacker Jake Fischer, who entered as the Pac-12's leading tackler.
''We've beat some good teams this season, but we did not bring it tonight. We made tons of mistakes. They had a couple of different folds in the mix. We did not play well in all three phases of the game.''
Franklin entered needing 21 yards to overtake Gaston Green, who gained 3,731 yards from 1984-87.
Franklin moved into the top spot with a 37-yard touchdown run on his third carry, capping a 75-yard, nine-play drive following the opening kickoff that put the Bruins (7-2, 4-2 Pac-12) ahead for good.
''It's a great feeling,'' said Franklin, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior from Los Angeles said. ''All praises to my teammates. They open up the big holes. I just run through them. My goal wasn't to break the record, just to help the team. Winning is our only motive. We understand what kind of position we're in.''
And that position is something UCLA hasn't experienced in 14 years - a possible berth in the Rose Bowl game. The Bruins know if they win their final three games plus the Pac-12 championship game that they'll be playing in Pasadena on New Year's Day.
Their confidence should be soaring after such an impressive win against an opponent that seemed poised to give them a hard-fought game. UCLA entered as a three-point favorite.
Franklin, who carried 24 times and scored twice, raised his career rushing total to 3,873 yards as the Bruins, off to their best start since 2005, raced to a 42-3 halftime lead in snapping a five-game losing streak to the Wildcats (5-4, 2-4), who beat them 48-12 in Tucson last year.
''He's just an inspiration to all of his teammates, he's an inspiration to me,'' first-year UCLA coach Jim Mora said. ''It's his night; what a classy kid.''
The Bruins called a timeout after Franklin's record-breaking run to allow teammates to congratulate him. The crowd of 81,673 at the Rose Bowl joined in the celebration. Franklin came into the game as the country's seventh-leading rusher.
''I was so emotional,'' Franklin said. ''I'm happy I was able to celebrate with them (teammates).''
The 66 points were the most scored by the Bruins since Oct. 4, 1997, when they beat Houston 66-10.
UCLA gained 371 yards of its 611 yards in the first half against a shaky Arizona defense, which came into the game ranked 110th out of 120 teams in total defense.
The Wildcats, ranked fourth nationally in total offense with a 553.6-yard average, gained just 83 of their 257 yards in the opening 30 minutes.
Arizona's Matt Scott, ranked second nationally in total offense at 386.1 yards per game, completed 15 of 25 passes for 124 yards before being shaken up and leaving the game midway through the third quarter. Scott was unable to finish his team's 39-36 upset of USC last weekend after being injured late in the game.
''Matt hit his head on somebody's thigh and got dizzy,'' Rodriguez said. ''I spoke with him in the locker room after the game and he's OK.''
Scott wasn't made available to reporters after the game.
Arizona linebacker Hank Hobson was carted off the field in the fourth quarter. Rodriguez said Hobson was taken to a hospital and he wasn't sure whether Hobson would remain overnight.
''He has movement in his arms and legs,'' Rodriguez said.
Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey, the country's 12th-leading rusher, was held to 54 yards on 16 carries.
Hundley, who completed 16 straight passes at one stage, finished with 23 completions in 28 attempts without being intercepted.
''He was good, but nothing special,'' Fischer said of Hundley. ''We just shot ourselves in the foot.''
The win gave the Bruins a better record than crosstown rival Southern California through nine games for the first time since 2001. The 18th-ranked Trojans (6-3, 4-3) lost to No. 2 Oregon 62-51 earlier Saturday.
Arizona got its points on a 28-yard field goal by John Bonano midway through the second quarter and a 2-yard touchdown run by Carey in the third period.