Ladies and gentlemen, we give you Clayton Tunney. The walk-on quarterback made his surprising debut in the disastrous fourth quarter -- something coach Rick Neuheisel surely did not envision heading into Thursday. Richard Brehaut threw for just 42 yards; back-up Darius Bell threw an interception that was returned for a score.
Tailback Johnathan Franklin capped UCLA’s second drive with a 31-yard touchdown scamper to give the Bruins a 7-0 lead. That was it for the run game. It didn’t matter that Washington had the worst run defense in the Pac-10 Conference. The Huskies stacked the box, holding UCLA to 108 yards on 36 carries.
DIN THE TRENCHES
UCLA’s offensive line anchored the powerful 92-yard scoring drive, but was not heard from again. Instead it was Washington’s group of “small” uglies making much of the noise, paving the way for Chris Polk and the Huskies’ 254 yards rushing. Polk had 141 yards; Washington averaged more than six yards per carry.
Don't be alarmed by the 24-7 final score -- it doesn’t do UCLA’s D any justice. The Bruins trailed only 10-7 heading into the fourth quarter. Washington had short fields to work with and scored three touchdowns off three turnovers. UCLA forced seven punts and held U-Dub to just 1 for 12 on third down conversions.
This isn’t the same Kai Forbath we saw last year. After Aaron Hester’s interception set UCLA up deep in Washington territory, the defending Lou Groza Award winner missed a 44-yard field goal that could have given his team a 10-0 lead. The Huskies went on to score 24 unanswered after the miss -- his third in his last four tries.
Neuheisel and his staff might have to re-evaluate the pistol offense. When the run game hits a wall -- and it hit the wall hard again Thursday -- there is no pass game to fall back on. Will Norm Chow return next year? The Bruins piled up a mere 163 total yards against a banged up defense.