Chosen Rosen! 35/59 for 491 yards and 4 TD’s. Those numbers and this game will go down in the annals of time as one of the greatest games in UCLA history. And those numbers by Rosen only cement why everybody sees Rosen as the best pure quarterback in the NCAA this year. A UCLA legend was born tonight!
There was a collective belief from Bruins Nation, myself included, that the first half of football was some of the worst football UCLA has played in an opening game in recent history. UCLA went in to the locker room down 38-10 with these numbers:
UCLA Rushing: 15 carries 37 yards
UCLA Passing: 9/23 114 yards
38 total plays for 151 yards, on 11 drives.
Then the second half came...
The third quarter started with TAMU receiving the kickoff and going three and out to punt.
UCLA received the punt and on the 5th play of the drive Rosen fumbled and TAMU was able to recover at UCLA’s 37 yard line. On the 5th play of the drive Nick Starkel was sacked at the UCLA 14 for a loss of 2 yards by Jacob Tuioti-Mariner. This forced TAMU to kick a 32 yard field goal to give the Aggies a 41-10 lead.
UCLA received the kickoff and once again went 3 and out and had to punt it back to the Aggies.
At the 8:32 mark the Aggies then went on an 12 play 41 yard drive, and the UCLA defense bent, but it didn’t break. The Aggies then kicked a 48 yard field goal to give them the 44-10 lead, and their last points of the night.
UCLA received the kickoff and at the 4:08 mark of the 3rd quarter, the Rosen and Wilson show started in full force. UCLA went on a 8 play 75 yard TD drive highlighted by Caleb Wilson hauling in 41 of those 75 yards. The drive was capped off by a 6 yard TD run by SoSo Jamabo. The score was now 44-17.
UCLA kicked off, and after receiving the kickoff, TAMU was only able to muster a 3 and out and punted right back to UCLA.
UCLA took the ball at their 15 yard line and after a pass to Wilson for 8 yards and a no gain run by Jamabo, the 3rd quarter ended. Rosen started the 4th quarter targeting Wilson with three consecutive throws that took UCLA to the Aggies 28 yard line. After a 19 yard pass to Jordan Lasley, Rosen hit Andrews for a 9 yard TD pass, and after the extra point, UCLA was now down 44-24.
The Aggies received the kickoff and once again could not do much. The big play for the Bruins on this drive occurred at the 11:02 mark when UCLA’s Jaelen Phillips sacked Mond for a 10 yard loss. Two plays later TAMU had to punt it back to UCLA.
UCLA started this drive on their 4 yard line. Big passes to Andrews and Wilson brought UCLA out poor field position, and then a nice run by Jamabo set up the play of the game. On 1st and 10 Rosen dropped backed and under pressure launched a pass to Andrews that went right through the hands of the Aggies’ Deshawn Capers-Smith into the hands of Andrews for a huge UCLA TD. The TD and the extra point brought UCLA closer to the Aggies, 44-31.
The Aggies then received the kickoff and went on a 9 play 50 yard drive that ended with a huge 9 yard sack by Keisean Lucier-South. This prompted the Aggies to attempt a 43 yard field goal that was tipped at the line by Adarius Pickett and the attempt was no good.
UCLA took over at their own 26, and the “Wilson Show” continued during this drive. Wilson once again hauled in two big passes, none bigger than the 4th and 3 pass for 26 yards and a late hit tacked on. The next big play was the 11 yard side-arm throw to Andrews. The drive finished off with another miraculous throw from Rosen to Howard for a 16 yard TD. The extra point was good, and UCLA was within 6 points.
TAMU took the kickoff and could do nothing. With the big play happening on 3-8, at the Aggies’ 25 yard line. Kellen Mond dropped back and was sacked at the TAMU 20 for a loss of 5 yards by Jacob Tuioti-Mariner. The Aggies then punted, and the Chosen Rosen was set up for legend status.
UCLA started at their 34 with 2:39 left and no timeouts. Rosen then led the Bruins down the field with big pass after big pass. With the huge play coming on 4th and 6 at the Aggies 20. Rosen dropped back and looked left on a swing pass to Jamabo. This was a perfect play call as the Aggies blitzed and Jamabo was left uncovered. It was also a great read by Rosen. Then the legend was born as Rosen approached the line in a apparent spike situation, but instead of spiking the ball, Rosen fake spiked and hit Lasley for a beautiful TD pass.
The defense then held the Aggies and Rosesn’s 4 TD passes and Caleb Wilson’s 15 receptions for 203 yards brought the Bruins back from the brink of disaster.
The entire Bruins team received criticism after that horrid first half, and rightly so. However, the entire team, including the coaches, deserve the credit for not quitting adjusting, and providing UCLA fans with one of the most special football games we have ever witnessed.
We can talk about next week’s game in another thread. Let’s just relish this victory.