TUCSON, AZ—The Bruins traveled out west to face the tough Arizona Wildcats on Saturday in their first PAC-12 game of the season. By scoring touchdowns on five of their first six possesions, the Bruins made this ABC college football game of the week a laugher by defeating the Wildcats, 56-30.
This game was the breakout performance Bruin nation had been waiting for. Hitting on all cyliders, Quarterback Josh Rosen was crisp and confident in the pocket, throwing for 19 of 28, 284 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also displayed his mobility by rushing for a touchdown in a bounce back outing.
The Bruin backfield is a one-two punch of the swift and bruising RB Paul Perkins, and the less used but effective and elusive Nate Starks. Paul Perkins called him “a better version of myself” indicitive of the selfless, no ego style that this team has embraced under the steady leadership of Head Coach Jim Mora. This team has bought into Coach Mora’s capable decision making, and on this night in the balmy desert it certainly showed.
Coming in ranked ninth in the nation, the Bruins were riding high off of a thrilling come from behind victory last week over the BYU Cougars 24-23 in Pasadena. The Bruins would trail in this game only one time at 7-0 after an opening drive TD by the Wildcats.
But the Bruin “D” would turn stingy even after suffering another devastating loss to the powerful defensive unit when Myles Jack suffered a season ending ACL tear to his knee during practice in the middle of the week. His ferocious style, intensity and sheer football skill level will surely be missed.
However, the unit remained strong with the return of Ishmael Adams, a defensive back who will likely be asked to return punts as he did last season. His impact was felt immediatly with a first half interception. Arizona didn’t exactly help themselves with a series of mental errors, such as botched snaps, sailing over the quarterbacks head several times resulting in turnovers and bad field position. UCLA was dominant in all phases of the game and now stand 4-0 overall and 1-0 in PAC-12 play.
Next week, UCLA returns to the Rose Bowl to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils.