RB Manfro gets into the mix as UCLA dominates NMSU

BY foxsports • September 22, 2013

PASADENA, Calif. -- The matchup between No. 13 UCLA and New Mexico State was never slated to be a marquee one. The Bruins effectively controlled the game from start-to-finish and nearly shut the Aggies out, winning by a convincing score of 59-13.
 
But it wasn't pretty and it wasn't as easy as the lopsided score would indicate, as the Bruins cost themselves in penalties and turnovers. Execution miscues aside, it was enough to please head coach Jim Mora.
 
"We have not had a turnover problem this year -- we had three in the red zone," Mora said. "We've got to fix that and the penalties, we have to fix those as well."
 
UCLA (3-0) was assessed 15 penalties for a total of 158 yards. While it was manageable against New Mexico State (0-4), a team that has now lost 15-straight games dating back to the second week of last season, it does expose a weakness.
 
"We definitely didn't play to the best of our abilities," said tailback Steven Manfro. "We need to stay focused the entire game, know our assignments and just execute."
 
Manfro was one of the biggest bright spots for the Bruins, scoring two touchdowns to nearly total his 2012 number of three. The redshirt sophomore caught three passes for a game-high 53 yards and rushed for 14.
 
"He was a little disappointed out in Nebraska that he didn't get as many touches as he would have liked," Mora said. "But rather than express disappointment and sulking, he had a great week of practice and he played extremely well"
 
Manfro helped the Bruins erase a somewhat slow start in the second quarter.
 
Up 7-0, Manfro wove his way around the Aggie defense for a 20-yard touchdown catch. A 52-yard interception return by Ishmael Adams set up another touchdown for Manfro to give the Bruins a commanding 21-0 lead.
 
UCLA ended the half up 31-0 at the half after Cassius Marsh blocked a 49-yard field goal attempt.
 
The defense once again proved stellar. Marsh had two sacks to go along with the blocked kick and Anthony Barr recorded his first sack of the season on a sequence that showed just how overpowering the Bruin defense can be.
 
Barr laid out quarterback King Davis III and ripped the ball from his hands to record his third forced fumble and first fumble recovery of the season.
 
Linebacker Myles Jack then flattened Davis on the very next play.
 
"The defense played pretty well and I know that my concern is the guys on the defensive side," Barr said. "The offense, they did fine. They put up 50-something so that's plenty."
 
The game might have been sloppy but the gaudy numbers are still what was expected of a top-25 team. The Bruins set a new school record with 692 total offensive yards, beating the previous high from 1994 by 13 yards. The 39 first downs were also a new record.
 
Also, the only time punter Sean Covington saw on the field was during kickoffs as the Bruins did not punt for only the third time ever in program history.
 
Late teammate Nick Pasquale was honored in multiple ways throughout the game. In an effort to keep the sportsmanship and emotions in check, the game ended when backup quarterback Mike Faufal took a knee at the one-yard line, as Mora didn't feel that running up the score on the Aggies was right.
 
"I've been on the other side of games like that," Mora said. "There's no disrespect meant to New Mexico State to go fast in the final minutes, but we wanted to get those kids a chance to play."
 
Still far from perfect, the Bruins continue to dominate.


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