After a Saturday afternoon full of upsets and losses by NCAA Playoff contenders, the UCLA Bruins headed into a game that many saw as a typical trap game against the Utah Utes in the Rose Bowl.
It turned out that UCLA was not immune from the curse on ranked teams in the first week of October either.
The Bruins defense that made Travis WIlson look terrible in 2013 came out with their hair on fire, forcing a 3-and-out on the Utes first three possessions. The Bruins offense did not start out quite so hot, losing a yard on a run, a yard on a blown up screen and a sack on a total whiff by Caleb Benenoch, then stalling out after one first down and then on the 3rd series, running the same RB screen play that is tackled for a 5-yard loss every single week.
This week it wasn't a TFL, it was a pick-6 as Hundley floated it too far and a Utah corner took it back 20 or so yards for a touchdown to give the Utes a 7-0 lead.
The Utes caught UCLA totally off guard with an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff and recovered it. The defense still held fast, this time against Utah's backup QB Kendal Thompson. Another 3-and-out.
But, another useless offensive series marred by poor protection by the offensive line and vanilla play calling on the plays without sacks.
The defense finally gave up some yardage, as a magnificent 42-yard TD catch by Dres Anderson over Ishmael Adams at safety (why?) and Fabian Moreau put the Utes up 14-0 early in the 2nd quarter.
The UCLA offense woke up on their 5th drive as well, as Brett Hundley and Paul Perkins used exceptional blocking inside from Scott Quessenberry, Jake Brendel and Kenny Lacy to drive down and score to make the game 14-7.
The defense stopped Utah again, and the UCLA offense looked to be moving down the field again until a dropped snap by Hundley and two sacks foiled another chance for UCLA to put up points.
The Utes took advantage of their last chance at putting up points in the first half, aided by a defensive penalty and misses on sacks, TFLs and third down stops by UCLA's defense. The defense would stop them, but the Utes would kick a 49-yard FG to extend their lead to 17-7 at the half.