Saturday, November 3, 2012
Instant Analysis: UCLA 66, Arizona 10
By Peter Yoon
PASADENA, Calif. -- The UCLA Bruins turned in their most dominant performance in years, trouncing the No. 22 Arizona Wildcats 66-10 in a Pac-12 Conference game Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.
It was UCLA's largest margin of victory and most points in a game since defeating Houston by the same score in 1997. The Bruins (7-2, 4-2 Pac-12) moved into first place in the Pac-12 South Division and have their best record through nine games since starting 8-1 in 2005. A quick review of what happened:
It was over when: Arizona took the second-half kickoff and essentially went three-and-out (UCLA was called for pass interference on the first play, and then it was three-and-out). It was a sign that not much had changed with the stagnant Arizona offense and that there wasn't going to be some miracle comeback. But really it was over as soon as UCLA took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards in nine plays for a touchdown. Arizona followed with a three-and-out, UCLA scored another touchdown, Arizona went three-and-out again, and UCLA then scored another touchdown for a 21-0 lead with 5:26 left in the first quarter.
Game ball goes to: Johnathan Franklin had 162 yards and two touchdowns in 24 carries, pretty good numbers on their own, but the big number here is 21. That's how many yards Franklin needed to pass Gaston Green on the UCLA all-time rushing leaders list. He did the deed on his third carry, a 37-yard first-quarter touchdown that gave the Bruins a 7-0 lead. He now has 3,873 yards for his career with three games to go plus a bowl game and possibly the Pac-12 title game.
Key stat: Arizona had only 136 yards passing and only 59 in the first half. The Wildcats entered the game with the No. 4 passing offense in the nation, averaging 354.38 yards per game through the air. Quarterback Matt Scott was third in the nation with 2,724 yards passing but finished with only 124. Arizona, which also had the No. 4 total offense in the nation, finished with 257 yards -- nearly 300 below its season average and a season low. It was the fewest yards UCLA has given up this season.
What it means: The Bruins are for real. There have been questions about the team all season, but this is the second consecutive quality win for UCLA and shows that the Bruins can play at a high level for more than one game. It was the type of statement game the Bruins needed against a conference foe that had lost only to top-20 teams Oregon, Oregon State and Stanford this season and was coming off an impressive victory over USC. It also keeps the Bruins in control of the Pac-12 South race, with games to come against Washington State, USC and Stanford. The Bruins have reached seven wins for only the second time in six seasons, and with one more victory the Bruins would reach the eight-win plateau for only the third time since 1998.