Sunday, 22 October 2017 01:36

Bruins Get Solid Bounce Back Win

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pabico OUUCLA (4-3, 2-2) claimed its 600th win in program history with a solid 31-14 victory over Oregon (4-4, 1-4) for UCLA’s Homecoming Game.

“I’m proud of that team and our young men — they’ve fought through a lot,” UCLA head coach Jim Mora said. “As you know, it’s tough to lose.”

“We were 3-3 after that tough loss [at Arizona], but that’s one thing these guys have shown is resilience. They’ve shown that in overcoming the injuries that we have sustained lately.”

“We played most of the game without two of our more veteran linemen in Jacob Tuioti-Mariner and Matt Dickerson. Our guys stepped in and did a tremendous job. Keisean [Lucier-South] was at will linebacker. Greg Rogers made a big play on a fourth down.”

“After losing Caleb Wilson, we had Austin Roberts go down and then Jordan Wilson stepped up. I’m proud of Christian Pabico, who we were all so excited about. Today, Christian made some key third-down catches. But there’s an energy that he brought and there’s faith that Josh [Rosen] has in throwing to him.”

“A lot of our guys contributed. It takes a team banding together, facing some adversity, and you just continue to believe. It’s a real credit to those men and their character. I credit them and I’m blessed to work with them.”

Oregon senior running back, Royce Freeman (6-0, 238) rushed for 160 yards, a performance that saw him reach 5,103 career rushing yards, becoming the all-time Duck rushing leader after eclipsing LaMichael Jame’s former record of 5,082. Freeman became a member of an exclusive club of only 22 members that have rushed for over 5,000 yards during their D-I college career.

Even though Freeman was doing Freeman, the Bruin defense had one of their best performances of the season shutting out the Ducks in the second half. What makes this accomplishment even more impressive was how the Bruins played banged up and still found a way to win. The Bruin defense was tenacious and spent a lot of time in Duck’s backfield.

UCLA had 11 tackles for loss accounting minus 32 yards and four sacks for minus 15 yards.

“It had been a long time since we’d had a takeaway or consistent pressure on the quarterback,” Mora said. “We got that done today. That was huge. They had 62 rushing attempts, which is almost out of this world. But, I thought that they broke a couple on us, and we contained the huge run that has been hurting us. You convert some fourth downs and you get after the quarterback, that’s a good recipe for having success.”

UCLA’s offense had a good showing, both running and passing the ball. Josh Rosen took good care of the football and the offense had zero turnovers.

Rosen was 21-36 passing for 266 and two touchdowns. Bolu Olorunfunmi led the Bruins in rushing with 76 yards and one touchdown that has gone viral when hurdled and used the back of Duck defender to score. Soso Jamabo added 66 yards and had a rushing touchdown.

“Our running game went really well, eliminated a little bit of their pass rush, O-line played their butts off,” Mora said. “For the most part, we played really well. I didn’t have to do much today, we just had a really good team win. We ran the ball really well and guys were open.”

Christian Pabico had his finest game of his career catching four passes for a team-leading 99 yards and one touchdown. He also came up big on clutch third-down catches that kept drives going.

Jordan Wilson came big in replacing Austin Roberts who was injured early in the game and tied for a team-high five receptions. Theo Howard contributed key catches and also had five catches. Darren Andrews was is reliable self. It was a team win, something that the Bruins can build on.

“We have a team we believe in,” Mora said. “We’ve done some incredible things this year and not-so-incredible things this year — you try to pull more from the positive side. I think we have a lot of guys that really enjoy this sport and enjoy each other, that’s all you can really ask for.”

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