Saturday, September 29, 2012
Grades: UCLA 42, Colorado 14
By Peter Yoon
Quarterback Brett Hundley and the UCLA Bruins' defense keyed a 42-14 victory over the Colorado Buffaloes in a Pac-12 Conference game Saturday in Boulder, Colo. Here's how we have them grading out:
The numbers weren't as eye-opening as they have been the first few weeks, but Hundley looked poised and accurate with his passes. He completed 25 of 39 passes for 281 yards a two touchdowns. He did a nice job of spreading it around to 12 receivers and the offensive line gave him plenty of time.
Again, it wasn't what the Bruins have produced early on this season, but UCLA was balanced and effective on the ground. Johnathan Franklin had 111 yards rushing for his fourth 100-yard game this season and the Bruins had 220 as a team. Hundley had two touchdowns rushing and Damien Thigpen added another.
The Bruins didn't give up the big play, which was a major improvement over last week, but Colorado quarterbacks completed 22 of 35 passes for 226 yards and both Colorado touchdowns came via the pass. Still, Stan McKay had an interception and Tevin McDonald forced a fumble after a catch and both turnovers led to UCLA touchdowns.
The Bruins held Colorado to 83 yards rushing, the first time they've held a team under 100 yards this season. Linebackers Anthony Barr and Damien Holmes had very good games as did nose tackle Seali’i Epenesa. Colorado had only 18 yards rushing in the first half and for the game averaged only 2.8 yards per carry.
Punter Jeff Locke continues to amaze with three punts inside the 10-yard line. Kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn missed his only field-goal attempt, but was 6-for-6 on extra-point attempts. Steven Manfro had his best game as a punt returner with a 15.4 average on five returns. The coverage units were also solid.
Very nice job of keeping the team focused for a game that many picked as a blowout. Game plans on both sides of the ball were exactly what they needed to be. The nitpick here is the penalties, which continue to plague UCLA. The Bruins were flagged seven times for 95 yards and must be better disciplined when they get into the much more difficult second half of their season.