UCLA Falls Behind In Second Half, Loses 31-6 In Utah

UCLA committed 12 penalties for 91 yards in defeat.

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Bowl Projections, Week 12: UCLA Bruins On Course For Alamo Bowl, Rematch With Texas Longhorns

The UCLA Bruins are in the fork in the road this college football season, straddling the line between controlling their own destiny in the Pac-12 South Division and total irrelevance should they happen to lose their final two games. In the latest 2011-2012 bowl projections at SB Nation, the Bruins are projected to play in the Alamo Bowl on December 29, in a rematch with the Texas Longhorns.

The Bruins lost to Texas 49-20 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on September 17. The Alamo Bowl is played in San Antonio, and has the second selection of Pac-12 teams after the Rose Bowl. Though both the Oregon Ducks (Rose Bowl vs. Wisconsin) and the Stanford Cardinal (Sugar Bowl vs. Alabama) are projected to go to BCS bowls, which trump the selection of other bowls.

UCLA needs one more win, either at home against the Colorado Buffaloes next week or at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in two weeks against the USC Trojans, to become bowl eligible for the second time in four seasons under head coach Rick Neuheisel. The Bruins' last bowl game was the EagleBank Bowl on December 29, 2009, a 30-21 victory over the Temple Owls.

Should UCLA win twice, they will be in the inaugural Pac-12 Football Championship Game, to be played on Friday, December 2 at the site of the Pac-12 North winner, which almost certainly will be Oregon. Of course anything can happen in one game, but the Ducks would be a heavy favorite over the Bruins if that matchup should occur.

For for UCLA football news and analysis, be sure to read Bruins Nation.

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Pac-12 South Division Scenarios: UCLA Bruins Still In Control Of Their Own Destiny

The UCLA Bruins may have lost 31-6 to the Utah Utes in a dismal afternoon and evening in Salt Lake City, but somehow in the topsy-turvy world of the Pac-12 South Division the Bruins still remain in control of their own destiny in the race toward the inaugural Pac-12 Football Championship Game.

The Arizona St. Sun Devils went to Pullman and lost 37-27 to the Washington St. Cougars, leaving the door open for UCLA. Keeping in mind that the USC Trojans are ineligible for postseason play, there are three teams still in contention to win the Pac-12 South. Here are the standings:

Pac-12 South Division Standings
Team Conference Overall vs Div Remaining Games
USC* 5-2 8-2 3-1 at Oregon, UCLA
UCLA 4-3 5-5 1-2 Colorado, at USC
Arizona St. 4-3 6-4 3-1 Arizona, Cal
Utah 3-4 6-4 1-2 at WSU, Colorado
Colorado 1-6 2-9 1-2 at UCLA, at Utah
Arizona 1-7 2-8 1-2 at ASU, Louisiana-Lafayette
*USC is ineligible for postseason play

There can be three possible winners of the Pac-12 South. Here are the scenarios:

UCLA

Will win the division with two wins regardless of what the other teams do. If UCLA loses a game, they will need both ASU and Utah to lose. The Bruins hold the two-way tiebreaker over ASU, but not against Utah.

Arizona State

Need to win twice and have UCLA lose once. If the Sun Devils lose once, they can still win the division if UCLA loses once and the Utes win twice. In that scenario, there will be a three-way tie at 5-4, and the Pac-12 tiebreaking procedure is as follows:

  1. Head-to-head: All three teams would be 1-1 against the other two, which brings us to the second tiebreaker...
  2. Record in games played within the division: if ASU's one loss is to Colorado, their division record of 4-1 would be superior to both Utah (3-2) and UCLA (2-3). If ASU's loss is to Colorado, their 3-2 divisional record would be the same as Utah but UCLA would be eliminated and the tiebreaker would become a two-team tiebreaker. ASU beat Utah 35-14 on October 8, so again the division title would belong to ASU.

Utah

Needs to win twice, have ASU lose twice, and UCLA lose once. Utah would win any tiebreaker with UCLA by virtue of Saturday's win.

The winner of the Pac-12 South will play at the winner of the Pac-12 North, almost certainly Oregon, on Friday, December 2.

For for UCLA football news and analysis, be sure to read Bruins Nation.

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UCLA Vs. Utah: Bruins Can't Keep Up In 31-6 Loss To Utes

John White IV ran for 167 yards on 33 carries with two touchdowns, leading the Utah Utes to a 31-6 victory over the UCLA Bruins at a cold and occasionally snowy Rice Eccles Stadium Saturday evening in Salt Lake City. Turnovers and penalties killed the Bruins, as did missed opportunities.

The Bruins trailed 7-3 at halftime, but had a chance to either pull within one or take the lead just before halftime. However, a crucial sack of quarterback Kevin Prince on third down made the field goal attempt even longer, and Tyler Gonzalez missed a 47-yard attempt as time expired in the second quarter.

UCLA had 10 of their 12 penalties in the first half, and were penalized a total of 91 yards in the game.

The snowfall on the field led to a footing that UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel called treacherous in the first half, and both teams relied heavily on the run. UCLA had 27 rushing attempts in the first half against just six passes, but once Utah scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to widen their lead to 21-3, the Bruins were forced to pass more often.

A Gonzalez field goal brought the Bruins to within two scores at 21-6 early in the fourth quarter, but Prince's second interception of the game was returned 67 yards by Conroy Black to essentially put the game away. For the game, Prince completed just 12of 24 passes for 146 yards with two interceptions.

White also had a receiving touchdown for Utah.

UCLA returns home to face the Colorado Buffaloes next week.

For for UCLA football news and analysis, be sure to read Bruins Nation.

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UCLA Vs. Utah Football: Penalties Cost Bruins, Who Trail 7-3 At Halftime

In a snowy first half at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, the UCLA Bruins trail the Utah Utes 7-3 at halftime. With the field covered in snow flakes, both teams relied more on the run in an ultra-conservative first half, thanks to a field looking like this:

Ucla-utah-snow-111211_medium

"The footing is treacherous, but other than that we've just got to go play," UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel said before running into the locker room at halftime on the Prime Ticket broadcast.

UCLA ran the ball 27 times against just six pass attempts for Kevin Prince in the first half. The Bruins outgained the Utes 114 yards to 75 but also had 10 penalties for 76 yards compared to just one for 15 yards for Utah.

Utah ran the ball 16 times for 70 yards and passed the ball seven times for just five yards. Their touchdown came after winning a battle of field position, forcing UCLA to punt from their own five-yard line. The Utes started the subsequent drive from the UCLA 39-yard line, and handed the ball to John White IV seven straight times for a touchdown and a 7-3 lead.

Once UCLA got the ball back, Johnathan Franklin fumbled at his own 25-yard line, which was recovered by Tevita Finau for an apparent touchdown and 14-3 lead for the Utes with 3:25 remaining in the second quarter, but after review the call was overturned as Franklin's elbow was ruled down before he lost the ball.

The Bruins were able to drive down the field, helped partially by an unsportsmanlike 15-yard penalty on Utah for a late hit out of bounds on Prince. However, a third-down sack led to a longer field goal attempt by Tyler Gonzalez, who missed a 47-yarder as time expired.

For for UCLA football news and analysis, be sure to read Bruins Nation.

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UCLA Vs. Utah Weather Update: Snow In The Air As Bruins And Utes Get Ready For Kickoff

The UCLA Bruins (5-4, 4-2 in Pac-12) and Utah Utes (5-4, 4-2 in Pac-12) are less than 30 minutes away from kickoff in a pivotal Pac-12 showdonw. Following last week's 29-28 win over the Arizona St. Sun Devils, the Bruins have a chance to win the Pac-12 South if they can close out the season with three more wins over Pac-12 opponents. That task begins on Saturday with the Utes.

The Bruins will have to do so in an unfamiliar situation. UCLA Gameday reports that it is snowing in Salt Lake City. Click through for a visual.

According to the Weather Channel, Salt Lake City figures to be no warmer than 39°F for the next few hours. The forecast also shows a 95% chance of precipitation through 5:00. Precipitation drops down to 35% from 5:00 to 6:00 and down further to 20% for the remainder of the game.

The Bruins and Utes square off at 3:30 p.m. PT. 

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UCLA Vs. Utah Game Time, TV Schedule And More

The UCLA Bruins are coming off a thrilling victory over Arizona State this past weekend and are looking to continue their solid play against the Utah Utes. For the Utes, a slow start to the season has picked up in recent weeks and just knocked off the Arizona Wildcats on the road.

If the Bruins hope to win, they must contain the run. Utah can pound the ball down the field with multiple backs and like to control the game clock whenever they can. If UCLA's front-seven play well, they could be in for another victory over a quality Pac-12 south foe.

Start Time: 6:30 EDT / 3:30 PDT

TV Coverage: Fox College Sports; Prime Ticket

Radio: UCLA Bruins Radio Network 570-AM

Opening Line: The Bruins are 7-point underdogs on Saturday.

Weather Report: Expect a cold and nasty night for football in Salt Lake City. Temperatures will be in the low-40's throughout the game and a rain-snow mix is expected all day.

Team Sites: Bruins NationBlock U

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UCLA Vs. Utah Odds: Bruins Touchdown Underdogs On Road Against Utes

The UCLA Bruins may be tied for first in the Pac-12 South Division, but that doesn't gain the Bruins any favor in Las Vegas. The Bruins are seven-point underdogs in their matchup against the Pac-12 Conference newcomers, the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, per Odds Shark.

Utah (5-4, 2-4) has struggled in its first season in the Pac-12, picking up just its second conference win last week against Arizona. Utah, like the UCLA (5-4, 4-2), has won two straight games. Both schools are seeking their first three-game winning streak of the season.

UCLA has won eight of their nine meetings all-time with Utah, dating back to 1933. The schools have met only twice in the past 36 seasons, with the Bruins winning 31-10 at the Rose Bowl in 2006 and losing 44-6 in Salt Lake City in 2007. The Bruins are 3-6 against the spread this season.

Saturday's 3:30 p.m. PDT game will be televised by Prime Ticket. For for UCLA football news and analysis, be sure to read Bruins Nation.

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UCLA Vs. Utah: Rick Neuheisel On Reuniting With Norm Chow

The UCLA Bruins will look for their third straight victory on Saturday as they head to Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City to face the Utah Utes. While the game will be decided on the field, much of the focus will be the reuniting of Bruins head coach Rick Neuheisel and Utes offensive coordinator Norm Chow.

Chow was offensive coordinator for the Bruins under Neuheisel for three seasons before essentially getting forced out after last season. Mike Johnson was hired as offensive coordinator while Chow still had two years remaining on his contract. Chow eventually worked out a buyout with UCLA and accepted a job at his alma mater in January. At issue between Neuheisel and Chow was control over the quarterback coaching.

"We both feel like we know the quarterback position. We had lots of great conversations about quarterbacking, passing offense, and so forth. I enjoyed that banter. I learned from him. Whether or not he learned from me you'll have to ask him," Neuheisel said on Monday.

"I tried to give Norm his space. You don't want to confuse a guy because of the language he's hearing. Sometimes I may say the same thing Norm is saying but I'm saying it differently so it gets a different result," Neuheisel said. "I worked hard at trying to give room, but as things started to go in different directions I yearned for that responsibility again, so I'm excited to have it now."

UCLA Offense Under Norm Chow, Pac-10 Ranks
Year Pts/Game Pass Yds/Gm
2008 8th 5th
2009 9th 5th
2010 9th 10th

Neuheisel deflected any talk of blame for the offensive struggles on either Chow or himself. "I don't think the reason that we didn't have as much success was at all because of a rift between Norm and I," Neuheisel said. "It was a case of too many injuries to be able to sustain any level of consistency, whether it be at the quarterback position or the offensive line and protection issues."

Neuheisel said he and Chow spoke once this season, after Utah's win over BYU on September 17. He doesn't expect much interaction with Chow this week, other than before the game on Saturday. "I enjoyed my time with Norm, and enjoyed getting to know his family. I'm happy they're having some success. I just would like it to stall for one particular day and wish them well the rest of the time."

Saturday's 3:30 p.m. PDT game will be televised by Prime Ticket. For for UCLA football news and analysis, be sure to read Bruins Nation.

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Aaron Hester Reprimanded By Pac-12 For Officiating Comments After UCLA-ASU Game

UCLA cornerback Aaron Hester was reprimanded by the Pac-12 for his comments about the officiating following a late pass interference call. Hester was not penalized with either a fine or a suspension.

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