PASADENA—Saturday night was an incredible football game for the ages, with UCLA winning a thriller on Nate Stark’s 5-yard dash to the end zone. This play made the Rose Bowl erupt with euphoria, and with 3 minutes and 21 seconds left in the game it would only be appropriate that the game would be decided by the stout Bruin Defense.
They would not disappoint, they stepped up and answered the call. Specifically forcing a fourth down on BYU’s last possession, a game ending interception by none other than Myles Jack. Overall, he is dominant in all phases of the game, and showed it when it counted on a gorgeous-picture perfect night at the Rose Bowl.
UCLA improved its record to 3-0 and did it in an ugly fashion with three interceptions by frosh sensation Josh Rosen. He forced two picks in the “red zone,” on the north and south sides of the end zone, killing drives and making it seem like UCLA would run in mud all night. BYU came in riding high after two late miracle victories, and it seemed like they would escape Pasadena with the upset victory. But the “gutty little Bruins” metaphor might not apply anymore, gutty BIG Bruins might be a more likely moniker for this upstart group.
The “bend but don’t break” defense were tested by the very physical and brute force of the older cougars. Many of the men have taken two year missions and returned as 20-22 year old freshman. BYU quarterback Tanner Magnum is one such player; his four year difference in age over Josh Rosen showed last night. But when it counted the battle between the two “freshman” was won by the Bruin quarterback who showed poise and spearheaded the comeback from a fourth quarter 10 point deficit.
Bruin running back Paul Perkins was the best player on the field, running for a career high 219 yards, and RB Nate Starks provided the Bruin fans with a scintillating four carries in a row on the last drive culminating in the game winning touchdown. LOUD and ROCKING is the only way to describe the Rose Bowl after the lead was securely in the home team’s favor for the first time of the evening.
This was the final non-conference game for the Bruins who are 3-0 and ranked tenth in the entire nation by Associated Press. On a night when cross town rival and sixth rated USC was upset by the Stanford Cardinal 41-31 right down the street, UCLA avoided being bit by the upset bug.
Arizona on the road is the next test for our young men, let’s wish them the best of luck after this spectacular come-from-behind victory that left over 67,000 fans happy. Minus the large contingency from Brigham Young University who were very gracious in defeat and cheered their team on with gusto. The boisterous BYU chant resonating on every good play from the visiting Cougars, of which there were many.