Richard Brehaut’s 68-yard touchdown pass to Randall Carroll -- the longest Bruin TD completion since 2007 -- and 49-yard bomb to Josh Smith on a flea flicker brought the Rose Bowl crowd to its feet. The aerial game was as exciting as it’s been all year.
UCLA had only 71 yards rushing and just five (yes, five) after halftime. Arizona contained both Johnathan Franklin (44 yards) and Derrick Coleman (42), as the Bruins had a long of 13 for the day. The run-oriented pistol seems to be one of those hit-or-miss things.
CIN THE TRENCHES
Despite struggling on run plays, UCLA’s offensive line was superb in pass protection. Arizona -- the conference leader in sacks heading into Saturday -- didn’t get to Brehaut until the final two drives. The big problem: UCLA’s defensive line wasn’t any better.
At this point, you have to start wondering if defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough is on the hot seat. The Wildcats were eight for 16 on third-down conversions and piled up 32 first downs. UCLA gave up 264 yards rushing and another 319 yards through the air.
Damien Thigpen returned his first kickoff 45 yards, but suffered a broken right clavicle bone when he landed awkwardly. Replacement Josh Smith needed three returns to get to 49 yards. Jeff Locke punted four times for 280 yards, while Kai Forbath did not attempt a field goal.
Another week, another batch of questionable play calls. Down five with nearly 10 minutes remaining, the Bruins had the ball at Arizona’s 35. But the boo birds came down hard when a nine-yard loss and a pair of conservative calls forced a UCLA punt.