Saturday, October 13, 2012
Grades: UCLA 21, Utah 14
By Peter Yoon
PASADENA, Calif. -- UCLA won a slugfest against Utah, defeating the Utes, 21-14, Saturday at the Rose Bowl. The Bruins (5-2, 2-2 Pac-12) pulled to .500 in conference play heading in to their bye week. Here's how we have them grading out:
It was a season-low 183 yards passing for quarterback Brett Hundley and much of that came on a 64-yard touchdown to Shaquelle Evans. Still, Hundley has a touchdown pass in every game this season and did not have an interception after having four last week. A depleted receiver corps didn't help as only Evans and Steven Manfro had more than two catches.
The Bruins had 171 yards rushing marking the third time in four games that they have failed to crack 200 yards. That follows a string of three straight 300-yard games to open the season. Johnathan Franklin had 79 and touchdown and Hundley made some nice plays with his legs and had 68 yards and a touchdown rushing.
Utah quarterback Travis Wilson, a freshman making his first career start, was 23 of 33 for 220 yards for the first 200-yard game for Utah since opening week against Northern Colorado. The Bruins struggled against the bubble screen but also got two sacks and Andrew Abbott had an interception for the second consecutive game.
UCLA's front seven used sound tackling and good containment to dominate the Utes ground attack. Utah had only 75 yards rushing, the lowest rushing total against UCLA this season. Only five of Utah's 16 first downs came on the ground and the Utes had no runs longer than nine yards. Utah had only five yards rushing in the second half.
Manfro's muffed punt -- his second in two weeks -- was an error in judgment as he tried to field a 65-yard punt that sailed over his head into the end zone. Utah recovered for a touchdown. Logan Sweet inexplicably downed a punt with one second left in the game, giving the Utes a desperation shot at tying the score.
This was probably UCLA's best game of the year on defense and the move of Jordan Zumwalt to middle linebacker probably had a lot to do with that. Limiting a surprise starter at quarterback without much preparation also deserves kudos. The team was focused for the most part and had a season-low 43 yards in penalties.