PASADENA—It was a sloppy victory for the UCLA Bruins- especially as Bruins quarterback Dante Moore threw a Pick 6 in the final moment of the first half, giving Washington State a 10-9 edge at halftime.
Thankfully, the Bruins defense remains one of the Premier defenses in college football, and UCLA Running Back Keegan Jones made his comeback in scoring the final two touchdowns in the Bruins, 25-17 win over the Washington State Cougars at the Rose Bowl, on Saturday October 7.
UCLA’s run game overshadowed Washington State; the Bruins finished with 180 rushing yards to the Cougars’ 12. Junior Carson Steele finished as UCLA’s leading rusher, compiling 140 yards on 30 attempts. Senior Keegan Jones made his presence felt late in the game.
The Bruins forced five turnovers in the game and converted three of those into scoring opportunities; UCLA scored 16 points off Washington State turnovers. The final forced turnover on downs helped UCLA prevent a last-minute scoring drive by the Cougars late in the fourth.
UCLA moves to (4-1) on the season earning their first Pac-12 victory of the year in Saturdays win. It was a boost for the Bruins morale who lost a heartbreaker to Utah last week.
UCLA Quarterback Dante Moore made a fatal error in the first half for the second consecutive game in a row: A pick 6 interception.
Star QB, Dante Moore, threw his second pick-six of the season. This time, it was returned for a whopping 88 yards, giving the Cougars the lead just before the half.
The Bruins defense roared in the second half, easily the bright spot of the program in 2023. The Bruins were constantly in Washington State Quarterback Cameron Ward’s face, delivered blanket coverage in the secondary and pushed to poke the ball out frequently while still delivering fundamentally sound tackling.
UCLA forced multiple turnovers and turned squandered opportunities in the red zone resulting in three field goal attempts, one which was blocked by the Cougar special teams.
After Oluwafemi Oladjedo picked off Ward on the first play of the ensuing drive, Jones scored four plays later from 22 yards out to make it an eight-point lead. The touchdown was the final nail in the coffin for Washington State.
In the 4th quarter and with the game on the line, the Bruins found the end zone and managed to escape a formidable Washington State program.
The Bruins finally have a defense that can take over games for the first time in Chip Kelly’s six seasons in Westwood.
As for UCLA, we Face our third consecutive top 25 program in a row next week. The Bruins travel to No. 15 Oregon State next Saturday.