The outcome of tonight’s UCLA Bruins football game was never really in any doubt. That’s because UCLA held the Colorado Buffaloes to a three-and-out on the first series of the game and, following a Colorado punt with a 15-yard kick catching interference penalty against the Buffaloes, the Bruins moved 57 yards in just six plays including a 16-yard pass from Dorian Thompson-Robinson to Devin Asiasi for UCLA’s first touchdown of the game.
Following another three-and-out by the Buffs, the Bruins moved 74 yards on 12 plays, but UCLA’s drive stalled on the 9-yard line and JJ Molson nailed a 28-yard field goal to give UCLA a 10-0 lead.
Three plays later, Krys Barnes intercepted a Steven Montez pass and ran it back down to about the 8-yard line, but a personal foul after the interception meant that UCLA’s drive started from the 45-yard line of Colorado. It looked like a rather significant penalty at the time but, on UCLA’s first play of the drive DTR threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Fernea, making that penalty only significant in DTR’s stats for the night.
The Bruins finished the first quarter with a 17-0 lead which would prove to be more than enough to win this one.
Colorado put up the only points of the second quarter following a 12-play, 83-yard drive that was capped by a 2-yard run by Montez and the teams went into the locker room with the score UCLA 17, Colorado 7.
On the Bruins’ second drive of the second half, UCLA drove 80 yards in 11 plays over the course of more than five minutes. This time, it was Joshua Kelley who got the ball across the goal line with a 5-yard run which gave the Bruins a 24-7 lead after three quarters.
But neither of these teams was done quite yet.
Colorado clung to hope when they drove 68 yards in less than two minutes to cut UCLA’s lead to 10 points, 24-14, on a 27-yard touchdown pass from Montez to Tony Brown. Following an onside kick attempt that was recovered for the Bruins by Asiasi, UCLA moved 48 yards on just four plays for another touchdown by Josh Kelley. This time, it was a big 35-yard scamper for the score.
This team is really starting to look like...well...a team. DTR finished the night 21 of 28 passing for 226 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bruin defense played well again tonight. They held the Buffs to just 88 yards rushing while Montez was only 21 of 38 for 195 yards for Colorado. Given where this team was earlier this season, that’s amazing.
UCLA also seems to have developed a pass rush over the course of the last month. Tonight, the Bruin defense notched four sacks and added seven tackles for loss.
The Bruins now have an extra week to prepare for a November 16th showdown with Utah which will be a battle for first place in the Pac-12 South.
UCLA is also now just two wins away from becoming bowl-eligible for the first time under Chip Kelly.