It certainly wasn't a pretty first half. The Bruins flat out didn't show up to play in the first 30 minutes and even in the second 30 minutes, it wasn't a perfectly played half for UCLA, but they did what they needed to do to win the game, 30-21. That's a bowl game win, a great way to send the seniors off and an 7-6 record for the year, which is the first over-.500 season under CRN. Here is your box score.
If you want my first half take, just take a look at what I wrote in the second half thread. It explains that all pretty well. The second half was a different story though. Kevin Prince came out firing the ball around as he looked much better and the offensive line stepping up to give him time definitely helped. Taylor Embree had a couple huge catches to pick up first downs and Terrence Austin's TD catch firmly gave the Bruins the all important momentum.
On fourth and one, the Bruins went for it instead of attempting the long field goal and instead of going with the QB sneak like some idiot was calling for, Norm Chow called for a quick bootleg and throw, which got Austin the ball and with the help of a great chip block by Embree, he was able to outrun the defense down the sideline for a score. That play, along with some tough running by Chane Moline and three catches by the bruising running back got the Bruins moving the ball on offense.
The play of the game belongs to Akeem Ayers though. The sophomore lined up as a defense end on 3rd and 20, deep in Temple territory and leaped to pick off a pass, which he walked into the end zone to turn a 21-20 Owl advantage to a 26-21 Bruin lead. A two point conversion and safety later, the Bruins were victorious.
In the end, it was the Bruins' athleticism that won out. Austin's TD was in large part due to the speed Austin had, being able to gallop down the sideline. Ayers' magnificent pick was just a pure athletic play and the UCLA defense turned when they were able to get into space and run.
Congratulations are due for Rahim Moore, whose interception was his 10th of the season, tops in the country. Also, congrats to the Temple team, especially the offensive line, which played a feisty game for 60 minutes. Most of all, congrats to the UCLA seniors who get to go out on a bowl win that they fully deserved.
This is your EagleBank Bowl postgame thread. Share your thoughts, comments and anything else on the game here and as this is the season's last game, it is also your season ending open thread.