Pac-10 Week 10 Notes and Observations: UCLA Bruins
UCLA Bruins 4-5 Overall (1-5 Conference)
This Week’s Score: UCLA 24 – Washington 23
Next Week’s Opponent: @Washington State
UCLA will NOT go winless in the conference!
That wasn’t too big of a concern with Washington State coming up this week, but it is still good to get the win out of the way.
For most of the season, UCLA’s offense hasn’t given the defense and the team a chance to win, and the Bruins have stock-piled the in-conference losses because of it. This Saturday, the offense seemed to be TRYING to give the game away, but the defense wouldn’t allow it in hanging on for the win.
FIVE turnovers? UCLA simply couldn’t hang on to the ball on Saturday with Terrence Austin, Richard Brehaut, and Jonathan Franklin all losing the ball on fumbles. The Bruins fumbled three other times in the game as well, but recovered those. Kevin Prince and Kevin Craft each threw an interception to add to the turnover woes.
Craft took over for Prince after Prince left the game with an injury late in the first half on a helmet-to-helmet hit. Both quarterbacks had good days, with Prince going 13/17 for 212 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT and Craft going 10/14 for 159 yards with a TD and an INT as well.
The Bruins defense didn’t have much of an answer for Chris Polk or Jermaine Kearse, but they played the bend-don’t-break to perfection, forcing Washington to settle for four FG tries, including one miss in the fourth quarter that ended up deciding the game.
How incredible is Rahim Moore? With Jake Locker marching the Huskies into Bruins territory with time winding down, Moore saved the game with an interception; the Bruins’ only forced turnover of the game. 2nd and 3 on the UCLA 46 with all three time outs, Washington was looking primed to steal this one late. Moore’s interception brought his season tally to eight, tied with Clemson’s DeAndre McDaniel for tops in the country.
It was ugly – very ugly – but a win is a win, and the Bruins were in dire need of one. They should get another this week against Washington State, and then they come home for a key game against Arizona State for bowl eligibility.
Keep in mind that bowl eligibility doesn’t guarantee a bowl; the conference already has six bowl-eligible teams. That said, a six win season and three wins in conference after an 0-5 start would certainly be nothing to sneeze at.