The UCLA Football team dug deep in a game that proved they have the defensive resources to stop running teams in their tracks as they beat BYU 17-14. The offense on the other hand, needs some finishing touches.
The BYU Football team has been trying to establish the run. Those efforts were thwarted on Saturday night as the UCLA Football team limited the Cougars to 23 total rushing yards in a impressive defensive effort.
In their previous two games, UCLA allowed 5.0 yards per carry, which shredded their run defense.
Against BYU, the Bruins did some shredding of their own as they allowed 0.9 yards per carry. With UCLA welcoming back DT Eddie Vanderdoes and DEs Takkarist McKinley and Deon Hollins from injury, UCLA was able to put some otherworldly pressure on the Cougar offense in a consistent manner Bruin fans are not accustomed to.
In this game, UCLA quadrupled their sack production as they got four on BYU quarterback Taysom Hill in the first half. To put things into perspective, the Bruins were only able to get one sack in their first two games,
The Bruins stymied the Cougars in the first half, but being down at the break 10-0, BYU showed some effort after the break. Unfortunately it was not enough as a BYU offense looked dazed and confused, and not in a good way.
The Cougars were able to score twice in the second half, but the Bruins had enough defensive pressure to hold them off. Despite a fourth-quarter touchdown in which Hill connected with Nick Kurtz on a fantastic grab to bring the score within three points, that was all the Cougars could muster.
So what about the Bruin offense? They still struggled.
Quarterback Josh Rosen is not looking like a quarterback that many pegged him to be in the preseason. He looked better than he did in the previous two contests. Aside form being stymied by a voracious BYU defensive front in the first half, Rosen finished 26-for-40 with 307 yards and 2 touchdowns,
Another positive take away from this game is that UCLA came out strong in the third quarter. In their previous two games, UCLA’s opponents had been shut out in the third frame. That was not the case against BYU as the Bruins got into the end zone by the efforts of Darren Andrews who scored on a 35-yard reception out of the backfield, That extended the lead over the Bruin’s foes as they led 17-7.
Though the Cougars were able to score in the 4th quarter while shutting out the Bruins, that was all they could do to retaliate. BYU did not have enough to overcome the mountain UCLA had built and thusly succumbed to the Bruin’s defensive efforts.
This is a good momentum which UCLA will need heading into next week’s contest against Stanford, a team they have not beat in eight tries. Though the offense struggled, the defense showed a little bit of fight which will be needed in their first Pac-12 game of the season. A win is a win and hopefully UCLA gets the win next week.