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Special Teams Not Special as UCLA Bruins Trail Oregon Ducks at Half, 21-7

Dorian Thompson-Robinson is back under center for the Bruins, and hasn’t been very special either.

NCAA Football: UCLA at Oregon
This is what the first half was all about...un-special teams by the Bruins.
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Well, Chip Kelly has returned to his old stomping grounds in Eugene, and even the often mum Kelly couldn’t gloss over how special it is to come back to Autzen Stadium. “It’ll be an unbelievable experience. It’s a special stadium, a special fan base, but we better have our focus and concentration on the 2018 Ducks, not worried about what went on from 2009 to 2012,” Kelly said.

First Quarter

The first big play of the quarter came as UCLA went three and out on their first possession with a dropped pass and a false start penalty sprinkled in. That pushed the ball back deep in UCLA’s territory. Stefan Flintoft then punted, and Ugochukwu Amadi returned it 56 yards for a TD to put the Ducks up very early 7-0.

UCLA put a nice drive together on their next possession as they decided to ride Kelley on this possession, but the drive ended on a 3rd and 10 play at the Oregon 14 yard line. DTR dropped back, had time, and threw a really bad pass into the end-zone that was intercepted by Oregon’s Jevon Holland.

Oregon then decided to throw a little trickery at the young Bruins. The Bruins stopped the Ducks and forced a FG attempt, but two bad areas of the Bruins were about to be on full display, special teams and bad tackling. Blake Maimone took the FG snap, and although he was pressured, he threw a pass to Jacob Breeland, and Breeland broke a Krys Barnes tackle and rumbled for 28 yards to the UCLA 1. CJ Verdell then ran it for 1 yd for a TD to put Oregon up 14-0 at the 4:23 mark.

The first quarter was a microcosm of Bruins football that we are all too familiar with, penalties, bad tackling, and horrible special teams play.

Second Quarter

The second quarter started off just how you would expect, horrible special teams. The Bruins held the Ducks, and the Ducks punted to Pickett, and Pickett muffed the punt, and the Ducks recovered. They immediately turned the Bruins turnover into points as Justin Herbert threw to Dillon Mitchell for 4 yards for a TD to put the Ducks up 21-0 at the 13:10 mark of the second quarter.

UCLA finally got on the scoreboard late in the second quarter. DTR dropped back and found Caleb Wilson down the middle for a 63 yard TD pass to make the score 21-7 at the 6:45 mark.

Oregon put together a drive right at the end of the half, highlighted by a Justin Herbert pass completed to Jacob Breeland for 33 yards to the UCLA 5. The Bruins defense was able to hold the Ducks to a FG attempt that was missed, and the Ducks special teams wanted to give a little back since we gave them so much.

DTR led the Bruins on a nice little two minute drill at the end of the half. DTR was identifying receivers quick, and led the Bruins all the way to the Ducks 34 yard line to give Molson a chance for a FG, but a false start penalty made a manageable field goal attempt into a 56 yard field goal that went 55 yards and was no good.

UCLA Rushing: 126 yards

UCLA Passing: 134 yards

37 total plays for 260 yards

TOP: 13:44

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This is your UCLA Bruins at Oregon Ducks 2nd half game thread.

Go Bruins!!!