Despite Loss, UCLA Still Has High Hopes
November 19, 2015
By Myke Williams
Despite losing to underdog Washington State last Saturday at the Rose Bowl, 31-27, the UCLA Bruin football team can still win the South division and conference championships in the Pac-12 if they win their next two games.
They face Utah on the road Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and USC on November 28, at the Coliseum. The game against Utah will be televised on channel 11.
If the 7-3 Bruins expect to reach those championship games they will have to cut down on their penalties, stop making mental mistakes and hold the opposing team under 25 points. Last
Saturday they scored the go ahead touchdown with 1:06 left but that was enough time for Washington State’s quarterback, Luke Falk, to engineer a seven-play drive and hit wide receiver Gabe Marks with four seconds remaining for the winning touchdown.
“At the end we could not come up with a play to stop them,” said UCLA defensive coordinator Tom Bradley. “If we take care of the little things the big things will take care of themselves. Most football games are lost, not won.”
Falk completed 38 of 53 passes for 331 yards. “He was a heck of a competitor and he played a fine game tonight,” said Bradley. “He made the throws he had to make.”
The UCLA offense continues to move the ball under the direction of freshman quarterback Josh Rosen, who threw for 340 yards but no touchdowns. Rosen also ran the ball five times for 70 yards, including a 37 yard touchdown at the end of the game.
The Bruins had several opportunities to get the ball into the end zone but had to settle for field goals early in the game.
If the Bruins expect to reach that next level they need to be more disciplined on both sides of the ball but especially on offense. They are one of the most penalized teams in the nation.
“Penalties and dropped balls really hurt us,” said offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. “You can’t win games when you turn the ball over.”
UCLA head coach Jim Mora knows you can’t look back. “It’s something that we need to get over quickly. We are still in the hunt and that’s what our goal was from the beginning of the season. To win the Pac-12 South and win the Pac-12 championship.”
Defensive tackle Kenny Clark knows what the defense has to do against Utah. “The first thing we need to do is stop the run. With a team like Utah we need to knock them back and get after the quarterback and sack him.”
Utah is 8-2 overall and 5-2 in the Pac-12 South and UCLA is 7-3 overall and 5-2 in the South.