Monday, 04 September 2017 14:53

Bruins Defy Odds In Record Breaking Comeback

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rosen AMApologies to Charles Dickens, but it was the worst of times and the best of times out in the Rose Bowl for the Bruins. There were 64,635 fans in attendance who saw a most improbable game.

In the first-half, the Bruins saw their defense get gashed time and time again. This was most disheartening because during camp the defense looked like they were going to hold the ship together until the offense earned their sea legs.

Before the night was over, UCLA’s offense would earn their sea legs.

The Bruins had to overcome three turnovers that led to 13 points, a 38-10 deficit at the half and were down 44-10 with just over 4:00 minutes to play in the third quarter.

What happened next was a group of young men refused to quit. Hold onto the belief that if they just stayed the course they could make a game of this and if they whittled down the score some, they could actually win.

With 4:08 left in the third quarter, the Bruins drove 75-yards on eight plays that culminated in a Soso Jamabo six-yard touchdown run to make the score 44-17.

Still, a long way to go, but there was 2:06 left to play in the third quarter and the whole fourth to go. Could this team do it? Would this team make UCLA Bruin history? The answer was an emphatic, yes.

With the offensive line protecting junior quarterback, Josh Rosen, the Bruin signal caller rose to the occasion. Rosen came back from a first-half performance where he had little time to throw and was harassed on just about every down.

When the final whistle blew Rosen engineered a miraculous comeback. Overcoming a 34-point deficit is the largest comeback in UCLA history. The Bruins scored 28 points in the fourth quarter, to overcome a 27-point deficit, also a program record. The final was Bruins 45, Aggies 44.

Rosen would get a career high with 491 passing yards and of his three receivers would pass the century mark for pass receiving yards.

Led by sophomore tight end, Caleb Wilson, who came up with clutch catch, after clutch catch. Wilson would end up in UCLA’s record book setting a new single game record for receptions, hauling in 15, to go with 203 yards.

Wilson wasn’t the only receiver to have a career game. Senior, Darren Andrews, caught career highs in receptions and yards. He had 12 receptions for 147 yards and two touchdowns.

Junior receiver, Jordan Lasley caught four passes for 100 yards and the topping on the cake, the winning touchdown.

It was an incredible win for the Bruins, but there are issues that need to be addressed and the coaches will do so, but for the moment it is time bask in the victory, one that took every ounce of belief to achieve.

After the game, UCLA head coach, Jim Mora, addressed the media to talk about his team’s tremendous comeback.

“Here’s what I thought and told our guys,” Mora said. “We’re trying to build something special here. It all starts with the culture. And tonight, I saw us take a step in a positive direction.

“It started January 6 when they came back after a disappointing season last year. We went to work. Every day since, I’ve just seen an attitude and a camaraderie, a sense of purpose, a brotherhood that started to form.

“We knew that this would not be an easy game. We didn’t know we’d be down by 28 points at halftime. I was so impressed with how they managed their emotions at halftime and how they came back in the second half. They had confidence in each other. They had a ton of poise.

“I saw a coaching staff that made great adjustments. I saw players who embraced those adjustments. They owned that. When you do that, you’re capable of doing stuff that you did tonight.

“We have to be able to run the ball better than we did. I thought we could run it better. We didn’t run it well enough. I thought we could stop the run better.

“While we are excited about the win, there are a lot of things to improve on. We will celebrate here for a little bit, but then we’ll watch the film and critique it hard.

“We have a short week. We’ve got to get over this one. I’m really proud of these guys. I told them at halftime, ‘Let’s not look at the scoreboard. Let’s play football, one play at a time.’ They did that. It worked out, and we’ll take it.”

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