The UCLA Bruins beat the Washington State Cougars, 44-36, on a chilly Saturday night in Pullman, Wash. The Bruins were outgained by nearly 200 yards, but found a way to win with big plays on defense and special teams.
UCLA blog Bruins Nation believes the play on the field may have left something to be desired, but the way the Bruins carried themselves was impressive:
I think we're all pretty familiar with the character that has hampered the Bruins for about a decade. It's been soft, complacent, at times lazy. But last night's game was further evidence to me that there has been a change in the character and culture around U.C.L.A. football. As ugly as last night's game was at times, it was still a pretty comfortable win.
The Bruins used a blocked field goal return for a touchdown and fumble return for a touchdown to down the Cougars. In all, UCLA's special teams blocked four of WSU's kicks. Those helped UCLA build a 37-7 halftime advantage after WSU seemed to be in control at the start of the game.
The win moved UCLA to 8-2 on the year and 5-2 in conference play. The Bruins are on top of the Pac-12 South standings and will face the rival USC Trojans on Saturday with a trip to the conference championship game on the line.