The UCLA Bruins (4-2, 1-2) are trying to win a football game in Berkeley for the first time in an extremely long time.
The Bruins defense forced a 3-and-out to start the game. After a blown coverage that saw the Bruins get into UC Berkeley territory on a Thomas Duarte reception, the UCLA Bruins offense stalled and punted on a 4th and 3 from the other side of the 50-yard line. A gutless, NFL decision that was a surprise to no one.
On Berkeley's first play of the next drive, Myles Jack guessed and Cowboy'd once again as a Bears player ran right past him into the scene, and the Bears got 39 yards as a result. Owamagbe Odighizuwa got a sack and created a 3rd and 21, which failed and Berkeley had to punt once again.
UCLA's offense put together a nice drive, even converting a 4th and 1 on a QB sneak from under center. They scored on a slip screen to Paul Perkins from Brett Hundley, who started 8-10 for 85 yards with a TD and one incompletion being a throw away.
The Bears put together a drive that looked destined to end in points aided by a big kickoff return (very well blocked by their return team) and a pass interference penalty. Ellis McCarthy managed to get to Jared Goff for the sack and force a fumble, knocking them out of field goal range and forcing a punt back to the UCLA offense.
Brett Hundley fumbled on the next drive, giving the Bears the ball inside the 20. After two TFLs, the Bears got a 18-yard pass on what looked like a drag route that worked because the linebackers were about 10 yards down the field in coverage. Then Ellis McCarthy and Owamagbe Odighizuwa were not set on the following play, giving the Bears OL easy seal blocks for a short TD run to even the score a 7-7.
The Bears for some reason squib kicked, giving UCLA the ball near the 40-yard line. The Bruins offense stalled out, aided by a drop by Devin Fuller on a play that had a chance to be a TD. Kaim'i Fairbairn kicked a 37-yard FG to give UCLA a 10-7 lead.
The UCLA defense gave up a first down, then were helped out by a chop block penalty on Daniel Lasco and forced a Bears punt. Paul Perkins fumbled on the first play of the ensuing drive again giving UC Berkeley the ball inside the 20 yard line.
An amazing one-handed catch by Chris Harper over Ishmael Adams (called for pass interference on the play) gave the Bears a 14-10 lead in the 2nd quarter.
The Bears did another squib kick and it again gave UCLA great field position and the Bruins capitalized with a TD drive, culminating in a physical TD run by Jordon James.
The Bruins forced another punt, which pinned UCLA inside the 5-yard line with a minute and a half left. Brett Hundley, helped by Paul Perkins and Jordan Payton, led a 95-yard drive in 1:04 to score on a beautifully executed screen pass that saw great block downfield by Jake Brendel, Eldridge Massington and Scott Quessenberry. UCLA goes into the 2nd half with a 24-14 lead over the UC Berkeley Golden Bears.
The Bruins defense is dominating when they aren't having to defend drives starting inside the 20-yard line and the offense is moving the ball when they are avoiding fumbling and shooting themselves in the foot. Handling their business against a team they should beat. Pretty much what you would expect.