Monday, February 13, 2012
Top performances 2011: Tevin McDonald
By Kevin Gemmell
We're looking at the top individual performances in the Pac-12 in 2011.
Up next: Tevin McDonald's pick-three.
Who & against whom? UCLA's redshirt freshman safety helped the Bruins rebound from the 48-12 debacle in the desert at Arizona just one week before by leading a defensive charge against Cal.
The numbers: McDonald did in one day what a lot of college football players accomplish in a career. He picked off Cal quarterback Zach Maynard three times to help the Bruins to a 31-14 win. Three interceptions in one game matches a UCLA school record.
A closer look: Not that UCLA's cup was ever overflowing with confidence this season. But it hit an all-time low following the embarrassing loss to Arizona the week before. Cue McDonald and his secondary hat trick. More importantly, the Bruins didn't let his efforts go to waste. All three interceptions resulted in points -- two touchdowns and a field goal. Cal had five turnovers on the day and 24 of UCLA's 31 points came off of Cal mistakes. Two of McDonald's interceptions came in the fourth quarter. Holding on to a 17-14 lead early in the fourth, McDonald grabbed his second pick of the game, which set up a 20-yard Derrick Coleman run. Later in the fourth, he got his third interception just outside the UCLA red zone, which the Bruins turned around and marched 83 yards to close out the win.