The game started off with a long, physical drive by both the UCLA defense and Arizona offense, eventually ending in a 44-yard FG. The Bruins answered back with a gorgeous 66-yard TD pass from Brett Hundley to Shaquelle Evans on the first play from scrimmage to give UCLA a quick 7-3 lead.
Once Arizona got the ball back, their first few plays gave this game the look of a shootout, moving quickly into UCLA territory on runs by B.J. Denker and Ka'Deem Carey. The Bruins defense would tighten up and stop the Wildcats on 4th down. The UCLA offense responded with a crisp and efficient drive down the field resulting in a 15-yard TD run by Hundley to give UCLA a 14-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Both sides would trade stops before a well-designed but poorly executed fake punt on UCLA's 25-yard line backfired for the Bruins and Arizona capitalized on the short field to score on a run by Carey to make it 14-10. On the Bruins next drive, a flashy 29-yard run by Myles Jack on 3rd and 1 was the highlight, but a sack stalled the Bruins and forced a punt.
The defense took over the offense for UCLA's last drive of the half, as Myles Jack, Cassius Marsh, Jordan Zumwalt, Kenneth Clark, Eddie Vanderdoes, Keenan Graham and Brandon Willis drove UCLA down the field, closing the drive with another TD pass to Evans on an outstanding catch to give UCLA a 21-10 lead at the half.