UCLA Comeback Falls Short Against Arizona At Rose Bowl

UCLA has lost their last four games to Arizona.

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UCLA Falls To Arizona, 29-21

Pasadena, CA (Sports Network) - Alex Zendejas connected on three critical field goals and the Arizona running game totaled 264 yards and two touchdowns, as the 15th-ranked Wildcats edged UCLA, 29-21, at the Rose Bowl.

Matt Scott completed 24-of-36 passes for a career-high 319-yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Wildcats (7-1, 4-1 Pac-10), who have now won four straight against UCLA (3-5, 1-4).

Juron Criner caught eight passes for 127 yards and a touchdown, and Scott rushed for 71 yards in the win. Keola Antolin had 23 rushes for 111 yards and a touchdown.

Richard Brehaut threw for 228 yards on 13-of-27 passing, including two touchdowns and an interception in the loss. Johnathan Franklin, the Pac-10's second-leading rusher, was held to 44 yards without a touchdown, and the UCLA offense could only manage 299 total yards.

Trailing 19-7, the Bruins took the second-half kickoff and drove 79 yards, culminating the march with a 68-yard pass from Brehaut to Randall Carroll.

The Wildcats answered on their following possession with a one-yard touchdown run by Greg Nwoko.

UCLA got back within 26-21 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter when Brehaut connected on a 49-yard flea flicker to Josh Smith down the middle of the field.

On their next possession Scott attempted to go deep to Criner to widen the Arizona lead, but the pass was picked off by Aaron Hester in the end zone, giving the Bruins the ball back at their own 20-yard line.

The Bruins failed to make good on the opportunity, and after both teams spent the next four possession trading punts, UCLA failed on a fourth down pass deep in its own territory.

Zendejas connected on a 30-yarder, his third field goal of the game. That pushed the lead to 29-21 with 1:18 left.

UCLA had the ball back under a minute to play, but Brehaut was sacked on fourth down and fumbled deep in Bruins' territory.

The Wildcats got on the board first when Scott, who started in the place of injured Nick Foles, connected with Criner on a 41-yard touchdown pass. The quick score capped an 8-play, 80-yard drive.

UCLA responded with an 11-yard run by Derrick Coleman.

Robert Golden intercepted a Brehaut pass that was intended for Jerry Johnson. That gave Arizona the ball at its own 15 with 4 1/2 minutes remaining.

The Wildcats used the rest of the first quarter to push the ball deep into UCLA territory, and on the first play of the second Scott connected with Criner, this time a 15-yard pass. That gave the Wildcats a 1st-and-goal at the two.

On the following play, Antolin finished off the drive with a run up the middle. Zendejas' extra point missed to put the Wildcats up, 13-7, just 42 seconds into the quarter.

Zendejas connected on a 42-yard field with 8:21 remaining in the half to put the Wildcats up 16-7. Scott fumbled at the UCLA 14 later in the quarter, but Zendejas kicked a 24-yard field goal on the final play of the half.

UCLA leads the all-time series 19-14-2... In their last meeting it was the Wildcats getting a 27-13 victory at Arizona...Arizona's defense has allowed the least amount of yards to an opposing team in the Pac-10...This was the second week in a row that UCLA lost to a ranked opponent. They fell to Oregon, 60-13, on October 21.


Arizona Vs. UCLA: By The Numbers

The UCLA Bruins (3-4, 1-3 in the Pac-10) will have a tough task ahead of them Saturday, as their struggling offense has to battle the top defense in the Pac-10, and one of the best defenses in the country in the Arizona Wildcats. Arizona (6-1, 3-1) has allowed 14 or fewer points in five of their seven games.

The Bruins strength has been their running game, averaging over 200 yards per game, although with a struggling passing attack and mobile quarterback Kevin Prince out and/or ineffective they have totaled just 157 rushing yards in the last two games. Arizona's strength is also their rush defense, so unless quarterback Richard Brehaut can be effective and stretch out the field, Saturday could be a long day for UCLA.

Here is a look at the matchup, by the numbers:

  • UCLA ranks 22nd nationally in rushing offense, fourth in the Pac-10, with 209.9 yards per game
  • Arizona ranks seventh nationally in rushing defense, first in the Pac-10, allowing 90.9 yards per game
  • UCLA ranks 117th (out of 120 teams) nationally in passing offense, last in the Pac-10, with 104.6 yards per game
  • Arizona ranks 34th nationally in passing defense, second in the Pac-10, allowing 194.3 yards per game
  • UCLA ranks 102nd nationally in total offense, last in the Pac-10, with 314.4 yards per contest
  • Arizona ranks 10th nationally in total defense, first in the Pac-10, allowing 285.1 yards per game
  • UCLA ranks 95th nationally in scoring offense, ninth in the Pac-10, at 21.3 points per game
  • Arizona ranks seventh nationally in scoring defense, first in the Pac-10, allowing 13.4 points per game
  • Arizona ranks 81st nationally in rushing offense, eighth in the Pac-10, with 136.9 yards per game
  • UCLA ranks 102nd nationally in rushing defense, eighth in the Pac-10, allowing 194.9 yards per game
  • Arizona ranks 14th nationally in passing offense, first in the Pac-10, with 298.0 yards per game
  • UCLA ranks 54th nationally in passing defense, fourth in the Pac-10, allowing 205.3 yards per game
  • Arizona ranks 28th nationally in total offense, fourth in the Pac-10, with 434.9 yards per game
  • UCLA ranks 85th nationally in total defense, sixth in the Pac-10, allowing 400.1 yards per contest
  • Arizona ranks 32nd nationally in scoring offense, fifth in the Pac-10, with 33.1 points per game
  • UCLA ranks 89th nationally in scoring defense, seventh in the Pac-10, allowing 30.6 points per game


For more UCLA news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Bruins Nation.


Arizona Vs. UCLA: Bruins Set To Battle Another Ranked Foe

The UCLA Bruins look to snap their two-game losing streak Saturday at the Rose Bowl against the Arizona Wildcats. Arizona is ranked 15th in Associated Press poll, 16th in the USA Today coaches poll, and is 15th in the BCS standings. The Wildcats are the fifth team on UCLA's schedule that were ranked in the AP top 25 at the time they played the Bruins:

  • September 11: No. 25 Stanford
  • September 18: No. 23 Houston
  • September 25: No. 7 Texas
  • October 21: No. 1 Oregon
  • Saturday: No. 15 Arizona

The last time UCLA played five AP top 25 teams was 2003.

The Bruins have lost their last three games against the Wildcats, with their last win coming in 2006 at the Rose Bowl. Here are the last five meetings between UCLA and Arizona:

  • 2009: at Arizona 27, UCLA 13
  • 2008: Arizona 31, UCLA 10
  • 2007: at Arizona 34, UCLA 27
  • 2006: at UCLA 27, Arizona 7
  • 2005: at Arizona 52, UCLA 14

The 12:30 p.m. PDT game will be televised by Prime Ticket, with Barry Tompkins, Petros Papadakis, and Rebecca Haarlow calling the game.

For more UCLA news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Bruins Nation.


UCLA Looks For Bounce Back Against No. 15 Arizona At Rose Bowl On Saturday

(Sports Network) -- The 15th-ranked Arizona Wildcats square off against the UCLA Bruins in a Pac-10 clash this weekend at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

The Wildcats have bounced back nicely from their lone loss to Oregon State early this month, winning each of their last two outings by a combined 68-21 score. The most recent of the team's triumphs took place this past weekend, a 44-14 thumping of Washington.

"This certainly was a good overall team win for us. We had a great week of preparation," stated head coach Mike Stoops.

Arizona is now 6-1 overall, but faces a daunting schedule the following weeks with the likes of Stanford, USC and Oregon on tap.

UCLA meanwhile, got a crack at the top team in the nation on Thursday and suffered an embarrassing 60-13 loss at Oregon.

"Obviously the game got out of hand," said UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel. "We've got some serious work to do in rebuilding our program, getting back to where we can be a good football team, one that can compete successfully in this conference and we're going to start it as quickly as possible because obviously this isn't good enough."

The Bruins have now dropped two straight contests on the heels of a three-game win streak that includes a pair of wins over Top 25 teams.

UCLA leads the all-time series with Arizona, 19-13-2, but the Wildcats took a 27-13 decision in Tucson last season.

QB Matt Scott stepped in for injured starter Nick Foles last weekend and was terrific in a 44-14 rout of Washington. He completed an efficient 18-of-22 pass attempts for 233 yards and two TDs, in addition to adding 65 yards on the ground.

"Matt Scott did an outstanding job, going 18-for-22," stated Stoops. "We've had a ridiculous throwing percentage for this time of the season. I give a lot of credit to him, our offensive line, and the coaching staff."

Normal starter Foles, who has completed 75.3 percent of his pass attempts this season, suffered a knee injury the prior game versus Washington State, opening the door for Scott. With Foles listed as questionable, Scott could find himself starting once gain this weekend.

Juron Criner has served as the team's main target in the passing game and he hauled in eight balls for 108 yards and a TD last weekend. It was yet another strong performance by Criner, who has made 41 catches for 695 yards and four scores this season.

With a new starter under center last weekend, Arizona relied more on its ground attack, which churned out 234 yards. It wasn't a big shock considering the Wildcats' talented backfield, but the effort is well more then the team's average of just 136.9 ypg. Nic Grigsby and Keola Antolin each scored a pair of TDs on the ground, with Antolin finishing with 114 yards courtesy of a 78-yard burst.

Arizona's defense was once again stingy, as the unit limited Washington to just 290 total yards and 14 points. The group permitted only 98 yards on the ground, while limiting star QB Jake Locker to just 183 passing yards.

"The defensive had a very hard week of preparation," stated Stoops. "Locker and Washington run some very unorthodox plays, and we positioned ourselves well on the defense. It's very lethal to have a group that rushes the quarterback, and we were able to get through and make it uncomfortable for Washington to run the plays that they wanted to run."

The Wildcats, who are allowing a mere 285.1 total ypg for the season, put the pressure on Washington and came up with four sacks. That now gives the defense 25 for the year, to go with 13 takeaways. Ricky Elmore tops the roster with nine TFLs and seven sacks, and he had a sack and a forced fumble in last weekend's triumph.

The Bruins were shorthanded facing the top team in the nation and it showed in a 60-13 setback at Oregon. Starting QB Kevin Prince (knee) and leading WR Rosario Nelson were two of the noticeable players that sat out, as the UCLA offense managed only 290 total yards with three turnovers.

QB Richard Brehaut made his second career start in place of Prince and he threw for 159 yards on 16-of-23 pass attempts. He however, lost two fumbles and was picked off once in Oregon territory. The Bruins haven't gotten much out of their QBs this season, as the team has a mere three TD passes against seven INTs. With Prince expected to undergo knee surgery, Brehaut is now the top option for UCLA.

Johnathan Franklin and the ground attack tried to help take some of the pressure off Brehaut, but the team finished with just 131 rushing yards on 47 attempts. Franklin had 69 of those yards on 21 totes, and despite the mediocre performance, he is still averaging 106.9 rushing ypg for the season. As a team, UCLA is generating 209.9 ypg on the ground, so expect to see a heavy dose of runs this weekend.

UCLA's defense just had no chance of stopping Oregon's electric attack, as the Ducks rolled up 582 total yards, including 270 on the ground. The Bruins haven't been that bad on defense this year, but they haven't had a ton of success either, allowing 194.9 rushing ypg and 205.3 passing ypg.

Though they did well limiting Oregon to just a 2-of-8 effort, the Bruins have struggled greatly on third downs this season, allowing opponents to convert 47 percent of the time. Opponents have also scored 22 TDs in 33 red-zone trips, so the defense had issues in that area as well. Tony Dye and Sean Westgate are the top two tacklers for the Bruins with 55 stops apiece.

Arizona is simply the better team on both sides of the ball and shouldn't have much trouble getting past the Bruins this weekend.

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