I'm left wanting more. The Bruins could be up much more, if the coaches had an ounce of aggression in them. Unfortunately, they don't so the score is close. I keep thinking the coaches are misusing the talent. Our players are capable of so much more. Anyways, let's briefly see how the first half unfolded.
The UCLA Bruins started the game on the road with a bang! The first drive was lightning quick fueled by big plays by Duarte and Rosen. The drive took all of 1:47 to move 87 yards with a 30 yard play to Duarte on the first play and ended with a 28 yard touchdown to Duarte. Kenny Walker III also had some important plays in this drive as well. Bruins make the most of their first drive, 7-0.
Utah's first drive was marching methodically down the field until Goforth picked off Travis Wilson's pass which was subsequently called back thanks to some good ole SPTRs (you still mad bros?), but after 12 plays by Utah and 5:28 of procession, the Utes fumble the ball in the redzone at the 14 yard thanks to a great hit and tackle by Kenny Young. The fumble was recovered by Goforth (karma!).
The Bruins continued to play aggressive and drove down 71 yards quickly but started to sputter again in the redzone settling for a 33 yard Ka'imi Fairbairn FG, 10-0 Bruins. What a waste.
UCLA defense holds Utah to a 3 and out, a rare sight indeed!
Last drive of the first half, the Bruins were driving but the first quarter comes to an anti-climactic end after a Benenoch holding penalty. Missed opportunity (and Rosen takes a huge hit after connecting with Payton for 17 yards) number 2 for UCLA.
After the Benenoch penalty, 3 plays later the Bruins punt (a nice 46 yarder by Mengle). But, you know what our head coach says: "penalties don't matter" and all that.
The next pocession by Utah was strange. It lasted 7 minutes and 44 seconds though it was only 13 plays for 66 yards ending with a Utah punt. This drive was all about the SPTRs and if you like refs to be the stars of the game, then this was the drive for you! Utah completes a nice pass to the 1 yard line, but it gets called back due to a...wait for it...OFFENSIVE HOLD!...what? a UCLA opponent is not allowed to be called against holding...or so I thought. On 3rd and 20 turns into a 4th and 3, which Utah decides to try to convert. Wilson appears to be sacked until Rios is flagged which extends the drive for the Utes. UCLA defense holds and Utah settles for a field goal. 10-3 UCLA.
UCLA goes 3 and out since Mora is too chicken to go for it on 4th and 1. This makes me SO ANGRY! With out stable of running backs, experienced OL, and playing on the road, you have to play aggressive. Well, our coaches don't do that and punt. This is playing not to lose at its finest. Barf.
Mengle has a nice punt though pinning Utah at the 7 yard line leaving them 93 yards to drive for a score. The Utes then drive down the field with good ole running. Wilson picked up 9, 8, and 7 yards on the ground picking up first downs at will against Bradley's bend and bend defense. Utah can't punch it in and needs to settle for another field goal. UCLA somehow is still up, 10-6.
With 30 seconds left, UCLA doesn't even try to score. What a pathetic end to the first half. Sucks to highlight dumb coaching decisions rather than the players. Anyways...
Let's kick some Utes butt (figuratively of course)!