Pasadena, California – UCLA Football earned its first win of the season on Saturday, defeating No. 13 Washington State 25-17 in the Rose Bowl.
The Bruins forced five turnovers in the game and converted three of them into scoring opportunities; UCLA was held to 16 points by Washington State’s turnovers. A late forced turnover helped UCLA prevent the Cougars from scoring late in the fourth quarter.
UCLA’s running game overshadowed Washington State; the Bruins finished with 181 yards rushing to the Cougars’ 12. Carson Steele Finished as UCLA’s rushing leader with 141 yards on 30 carries.Advanced Keegan Jones He made his presence felt late in the game, rushing for consecutive touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Jones rushed for 45 yards on just three carries.
freshman quarterback Dante Moore Played every game for the Bruins; Moore scored a touchdown on his first drive in the second quarter but also had two interceptions in the first half. The rookie finished with 290 yards, completing 22 of 44 attempts.
UCLA defeated Washington State 97-59 overall, thanks to the Bruins’ defense. Nine of the Cougars’ drives ended in punts, eight of which came on Washington State’s first drive. The Bruins also led in time of possession, possessing the ball for 16 minutes and 04 seconds more than the Cougars.
The Bruins offense got off to a slow start, but the defense kept them on their heels against the Cougars. Both teams posted nearly identical first-quarter yardage gains (UCLA: 72, WSU: 73) and pass completion statistics (UCLA: 8-for-12, WSU: 7-for-12). In the first quarter, Moore threw an interception in UCLA’s half, but the Bruins defense allowed Washington State to score a field goal deep in the UCLA backfield.Bruins tie turnover battle Rayatu Ratu He forced a fumble with 4:14 left in the game. Latu stopped Washington State in the red zone at UCLA’s eight-yard line. The Cougars led by three at the end of the quarter.
UCLA came out better in the second quarter.Redshirt-Senior Defensive Back Jordan Anderson On the second play of the quarter, Kogar was forced to fumble and UCLA’s Joe Bryant-Strother caught the loose ball.After fumble recovery, UCLA offense starts moving downfield; Moore throws 27-yard completion to sophomore Carson Ryan, a successful third down conversion brought the Bruins to the Washington State 29-yard line.Moore threw the ball into the corner of the end zone and found Logan Loya touchdown. With 11 minutes and 31 seconds left in this quarter, UCLA took its first lead at 6-3.
The Bruins and Cougars went on four consecutive drives and punts before UCLA forced another turnover.Redshirt-Senior Alex Johnson With 5:05 left in the game, he reached for the ball and made his third interception of the year. Steele was pushed all the way down in the fourth round. The running back only had to gain 2 yards, but he surged for 12 yards.At the end of the drive RJ Lopez The field goal put UCLA ahead 9-3.
UCLA 6, Washington State 3
5:05 – Section 2
— UCLA Football (@UCLAFootball) October 7, 2023
The Bruins defense stalled again, forcing Washington State to begin what looked like a promising aerial attack with 1:05 left.Moore linked to senior tight end Hudson Habermeier 43 yards from reception. The freshman Gunner then found Loya for a 17-yard reception; the wide receiver was brought down at the Washington State five-yard line for a first-and-goal opportunity. Moore threw two incomplete passes before the Washington State defender jumped into the quarterback’s passing lane. The Cougars returned the interception 95 yards into the end zone, and the Bruins entered halftime trailing 10-9.
The conference opponent punted four times on its first four possessions. Loya returned the final kick 16 yards on a half-court pass to put UCLA into Cougar territory.Bruins move chains on redshirt sophomore’s 27-yard reception Moliki Matavao. Moore appeared to make contact with J. Michael Sturdivant in the back of the end zone, but the throw was deemed incomplete after official replay review. The Bruins hit a field goal to take a 12-10 lead. Washington State responded with a touchdown on its next possession.
The Bruins made a strong run on their final drive of the third quarter, scoring three consecutive first downs before the quarter ended. The Bruins trailed 17-12 early in the fourth quarter and the final play began at the Washington State 31-yard line. Over the next few games, UCLA found themselves on fourth-and-6, but their shooting corps came off the court.Moore quickly passed the ball to the senior from the left sideline. Cam Brown Add 12 yards.Advanced Keegan Jones Caught the handoff and rushed 13 yards for a touchdown, but the Bruins’ two-point conversion attempt on the drive failed. UCLA led 18-17 with 13:28 left in the game.
Keegan Jones …??????????????????! ??
UCLA 18, Washington State 17
13:28 – Quarter 4
— UCLA Football (@UCLAFootball) October 7, 2023
On the next first possession, the Bruins forced another Washington State turnover.primary Oluwafemi Oladejo At the Washington State 36-yard line, he got in front of the scrambling Cougar QB and caught the pass attempt. UCLA stuck to its offensive strategy and once again gave the ball to Jones, who sprinted 22 yards to the left and found the end zone. Lopez completed the extra point attempt and the Bruins led by eight points with 11:45 left in the game.
UCLA’s defense held its ground, forcing three straight outs after back-to-back touchdowns. Then it stymied Washington State on its fourth-and-1 attempt with 1:33 left, forcing a turnover downfield and thwarting a late comeback attempt by the Cougars. UCLA knelt until time ran out. The Bruins were able to hold off the Cougars’ first win on three of Washington State’s four fourth-quarter possessions.
Next article: No. 15 Oregon State (October 14)
The UCLA football team will face No. 15 Oregon State University next Saturday (October 14) in Corvallis, Oregon. The game will air on Fox, with kickoff set for 5 p.m. Pacific time.