BOULDER, CO—It was fitting that last night’s game between UCLA and Colorado was played at Folsom Field; with the sloppy play and abundance of penalties (25) it might as well have been in the Folsom state prison yards. Colorado defeated UCLA, 20-10 on Thursdaym November 3.
The Bruins were without starting Quarterback Josh Rosen, who will miss the remainder of 2016 with a sprained shoulder.The Bruins were still poised to upset the No. 15 Colorado Buffaloes, jumping out to an early 10-7 lead thanks to a touchdown pass from Mike Fafaul to Darren Andrews. Unfortunately, the Bruins only managed 210 yards of total offense.
The defense redeemed themselves after allowing 52 points against Utah. Forcing four turnovers in the first half alone. Punctuated by Defensive End Tak McKinley drilling Colorado’s QB Sefo Liufao, the ball popped loose and Jayon Brown recovered the ball in midair and raced to the Buffaloes 20-yard line.
Colorado earned their first victory over UCLA since joining the PAC-12, having lost the previous five meetings. At 7-2, the Buffaloes are a game ahead of USC and Utah in the PAC-12 South, and will have their first winning season since 2005. “We found a way to win, and your going to have a game like that every once in awhile,” said Colorado Head Coach Mike MacIntyre.
The Bruins found a way to lose: 13 penalties for 96 yards and mind blowing special teams blunders. For instance, three missed field goals and the back breaker, a 68-yard punt return by Isaiah Oliver, extending their lead to 20-10, putting the game out of reach.
UCLA falls to 3-6, and must win their final three games of the year to be eligible to play in a bowl game. It’s going to be a tall order-Oregon State, USC, and ending their campaign up north at Cal.
Jim Mora has been criticized, unfairly at times during his tenure as the UCLA Bruins head coach. Although he adamantly defends his players at press conferences and interviews and refuses to throw his men under the bus.
“They’re emotional young men, and this is an emotional game. They are fighting hard to win, and sometimes this happens,” said Mora postgame.
While this approach is admirable, at some point he needs to restore discipline and hold the team accountable for their lackluster performance.