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UCLA-Washington State grades

11/11/2012

The UCLA Bruins took a big lead, then hung on for a 44-36 victory over the Washington State Cougars in a Pac-12 game on Saturday night in Pullman, Wash.

The Bruins (8-2, 5-2) remained in control of the Pac-12 South Division race with a division-deciding game against the USC Trojans (7-3, 4-3) coming up next week.

Here’s how the Bruins graded out after taking a 44-14 lead late in the third quarter, only to let Washington State climb right back to within one score:

GradePASSING OFFENSE

Brett Hundley completed 18 of 21 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns. He began the game with 11 consecutive completions. Joseph Fauria and Jordan Payton had nice games at receiver. The offensive line had a bit of an off night in pass protection, giving up four sacks.

GradeRUSHING OFFENSE

Johnathan Franklin had 66 yards rushing, his second lowest total this season. The Bruins had a season-low 73 yards rushing as a team and averaged a paltry 1.9 yards per carry. It was only the second time this season the Bruins failed to crack 100 yards rushing (95 against the Oregon State Beavers).

GradePASS DEFENSE

Washington State passed for 457 yards and five touchdowns, both of which were season highs against UCLA. Receivers routinely got deep against the UCLA secondary and the Cougars had two 100-yard receivers. Still, six sacks and a late interception by Andrew Abbott saved the grade.

GradeRUN DEFENSE

Yes, the Bruins gave up only 67 yards on the ground, but that is more than double what Washington State has averaged this season. Running back Teondray Caldwell averaged 6.2 yards per carry. Linebackers Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks had nice games and combined for 23 tackles.

GradeSPECIAL TEAMS

The Bruins had two blocked field goals, two blocked punts and recovered a fumble on a kickoff. Sheldon Price returned Datone Jones’ blocked field goal for a touchdown and the kickoff fumble recovery led to a UCLA touchdown. Jeff Locke punted four times, three inside the 20, including one inside the five.

GradeCOACHING

After a slow start, the staff got the team turned in the right direction. But the Bruins weren’t able to muster the killer instinct and let the Cougars back in the game after taking a 30-point lead with four minutes left in the third quarter. Penalties (12 for 126 yards) continued to be an issue.