Sunday, 17 September 2017 15:35

Bruins Suffer First Lost

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Starks J MemphisUCLA (2-1) touched down in Memphis (2-0) where the hungry Tigers were lying in wait. Right from the get-go, the Bruin defense was gashed when Darrell Henderson ran for 80-yards before being wrestled down at the Bruin 11-yard line. Memphis would go on to score a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead and the track meet was on.

It was a seesaw affair that saw the lead change hands seven times. The game was never over until it was over. When the dust settled, Memphis remained undefeated handing the Bruins their first loss of the season 48-45.

Between the two teams, there were 1,193 total yards. UCLA had 633 and Memphis 560. The Bruins and the Tigers had three turnovers apiece, but the only turnover that was converted into points was a pick-six by Memphis redshirt freshman linebacker, Tim Hart, who raced 60-yards for the score.

Memphis quarterback, Riley Ferguson, bounced back from a shaky opener when he only threw for 97 yards. Against the Bruin defense, he threw for 398 yards, hitting 23 of his 38 attempts, and six touchdowns.

The Bruin defense was able for the first time this season, be stout against the run, but Memphis countered that with some outstanding screens that gashed the Bruins for big plays. One of the screens was a 47-yard score to running back Patrick Taylor, Jr.

Most of the damage to the Bruins was inflicted by Memphis senior receiver, Anthony Miller, who caught nine passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns.

Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen just couldn’t engineer another thrilling comeback, but he sure made the effort. He threw for 463 yards and four touchdowns. Rosen recorded his third consecutive 300-yard passing game, matching Brett Hundley’s school record of three set in 2012. He even rushed for a score.

As good as Rosen’s stat sheet looks, he admitted that his mistakes were the difference between winning and losing. While it is admirable that Rosen wants to shoulder the blame, there is plenty to go around and this game could be a turning point for better days ahead.

Senior receiver, Darren Andrews, had another great day hauling in 10 receptions for 175 yards and one touchdown. The Bruin running game had its best day, rushing for 170 yards with Bolu Olorunfunmi leading the way with 77 yards while averaging 5.9 yards per carry. The team in total averaged 4.9 yards per rush.

What looked like during camp to be a strength, UCLA’s defense needs to pick it up. Their Achilles' heel has been giving up big plays and getting gashed. Giving up big chunks of yardage as to stop or it is going to be teeter-totter type of season for the Bruins.

UCLA has a really big challenge ahead of them when they travel to the Farm to play always tough during the Jim Mora era, Stanford. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 PM (PST) and will be nationally televised on ESPN.

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