It has been two weeks in a row now that the Bruins have been betting favorites in Vegas. They were favored on the road last week against the Bears, and this week at the Rose Bowl, the UCLA Bruins were favored by 9.5 against the 3-4 (2-2) Arizona Wildcats, and so far Vegas is right on point.
The first quarter once again was dominated by UCLA’s defense. UCLA’s defense allowed 61 Arizona yards on 16 plays, and was highlighted by a Quentin Lake interception in the end zone on Arizona’s only drive of the quarter inside of the red zone.
UCLA’s first drive of the game was the most impressive of the quarter and showed the continued expansion of the playbook, as we saw Chip Kelly bring in a little triple option. Although the play didn’t work since DTR pitched it forward, it shows that Chip is adding to the playbook, slowly but surely. Regardless, UCLA’s first drive was methodical and really nice as Joshua Kelley continued to be the major weapon of the drive accounting for many of UCLA’s yards on the drive via the ground and the air. However, it was Dorian Thompson-Robinson passing to a wide-open Kazmeir Allen out of the backfield for 16 yards for UCLA’s first TD.
UCLA threatened right at the end of the first quarter, when on a 3rd and 9 at the 1:55 mark, Dorian Thompson-Robinson dropped back and sat in the pocket for an eternity, and finally completed a pass down the right sideline to Theo Howard for 58 yards to the Ariz 17 for a 1ST down. The drive stalled and UCLA was held to a field goal to start the second quarter with UCLA up 10-0.
The big news in the quarter happened at the 10:50 mark when Dorian Thompson-Robinson was sacked by Colin Schooler. DTR came out of the game and went straight to the tent, and Wilton Speight came in on 3rd and 13 and threw the kind of pass you would expect of somebody that hasn’t played in a game for a while, and the drive ended.
Immediately after UCLA punted, and on Arizona’s first play from scrimmage, J.J. Taylor broke a 55 yard run that was heading for a TD, but Darnay Holmes was tracking Taylor from behind and punched the ball out and into the end-zone and also recovered it in the end-zone.
Darnay Holmes just made the best hustle play we've seen in recent memory. We're still trying to comprehend how the sophomore CB caught up to the speedy JJ Taylor -- who had full head of speed -- because Holmes was flat footed and had to turn around on a dime to catch him. pic.twitter.com/lTx4eI8ZC9— Bruin Report Online (@BruinReport) October 21, 2018
After this turnover, UCLA indeed came out on offense without DTR on the field, and the offense could get nothing going and punted. Arizona moved the ball on Bruins with the big play being Rhett Rodriguez completing a pass to Tony Ellison for 38 yards to the UCLA 15. Then, in what has become a tradition for UCLA DB’s, Rodriguez threw to Shawn Poindexter for 13 yards for a TD with UCLA’s Colin Samuel never turning his head to find the ball. Arizona trialed the Bruins 10-7 at the 6:38 mark of the second quarter.
On the next UCLA drive, Speight seemed to get his legs under him, and he led UCLA on a beautiful TD drive. Speight converted three 3rd downs on the drive and also a 4th and 7. Speight capped of the drive with a 24 yard TD pass to Devin Asiasi to put the Bruins up 17-7 with 1:34 left in the quarter.
UCLA and Wilton Speight tried to end the half with a two-minute drill drive, and Speight did a pretty good job getting UCLA into position, but Martell Irby caught a pass by Speight on 4th and 6 and did a really poor job picking up the first down, as he should have had it.
UCLA Rushing: 63 yards
UCLA Passing: 190 yards
47 total plays for 253 yards
Even with DTR out of the game, it is nice to know that UCLA has a back-up quarterback that has experience to finish the game. The Bruins will have to find a way to limit those pesky penalties, 10 for 78 yards in the first half, and continue to limit the run game of Arizona.
Listen to the Game Here on BN!
This season, we are proud to, again, have today’s audio feed for everyone who opts to use the TuneIn player embedded below. For optimum results at home, start the audio feed then pause your DVR and sync them up together so you don’t have to listen to the ESPN2 broadcast team.
Join your fellow fans discussing the second half of today’s UCLA game in the comments below.
This is your Arizona Wildcats at UCLA Bruins second half game thread.