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UCLA Bruins Lose to Stanford in Double OT, 48-47
31 consecutive second half points weren't enough to get the Bruins a win or a winning season.
If you turned off the UCLA-Stanford game at the half, you missed an amazing comeback by the Bruins.
After falling behind 20-3 in the first half, UCLA came back to score 31 consecutive points to take a 34-20 lead, putting the Bruins ahead by two scores with 5:39 left in the game.
But no lead is safe as long as Chip Kelly and Jerry Azzinaro are coaches for UCLA.
Before we go there, however, let’s recap the second half scoring up to that point.
The Bruin defense held the Cardinal to just six yards on the opening drive of the second half, forcing a punt. UCLA took over on their own 33 and promptly drove 67 yards on six plays including a 9-yard run by Keegan Jones for the first touchdown of the second half.
On the fourth play of Stanford’s next series, Elijah Gates intercepted a pass from Davis Mills which gave the Bruins the ball back on their own 40. The Bruins moved 60 yards on nine plays including a 17-yard touchdown pass to Greg Dulcich which cut the Cardinal lead to just three points.
The UCLA defense came up big again with another interception. This time, it was Mo Osling III with the pick at the Bruin 16-yard line. Chase Griffin found Chase Cota for a 23-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter to give UCLA a 24-20 lead.
Stanford’s next drive resulted in another punt by the Cardinal and the Bruins took over on their own 41 with just under eleven minutes to go in the game. This UCLA drive ended with another 31-yard field goal by Nicholas Barr-Mira, putting the Bruins ahead, 27-20.
The UCLA defense came through again on the next drive. Jay Shaw picked up the Bruins’ third interception of the game, which is remarkable considering that Davis Mills hadn’t thrown one all season long until tonight. But Shaw didn’t just pick off another pass, he turned it into a Pick-6 to give UCLA a 14-point lead which should have been enough to put the game into the Left Column for the Bruins.
But, Mills managed to complete a second half drive without throwing an interception, eventually finding Simi Fehoko for an 11-yard score, cutting UCLA’s lead to seven.
Of course, Stanford attempted an onside kick, but they were unsuccessful and Quentin Lake returned it down to the Cardinal 27 with 2:30 left in regulation.
So, what did Chip Kelly do at this point? He took his foot off the gas pedal, of course, and went to the ground. On the third play of the drive, there was a fumble by Griffin on the Stanford 28-yard line, which, of course, resulted in the Cardinal marching 82 yards to tie the game and send it to overtime.
In OT, UCLA got the ball first and Griffin went to Dulcich for a 21-yard touchdown. The Cardinal countered with a run by Isaiah Sanders from the one-yard line to force a second overtime.
Stanford began the second OT and Mills found Fehoko for a 14-yard touchdown. The Bruins got their turn and, a few plays later, they were down to the Cardinal 9-yard line. Griffin was then sacked for a 12-yard loss and, following an incomplete pass, UCLA was looking at a 4th and 18 from the 21. Somehow, some way, Griffin found Kyle Philips in the end zone to pull the Bruins within one, 48-47.
Logic would dictate that you play for the tie at home, but UCLA is led by Chip Kelly. So, rather than kicking the extra point to force a third overtime, Kelly decided to bet on a two-point conversion. At first, it looked like Griffin’s incomplete pass was going to end the game.
But this is the Pac-12 and we were definitely “After Dark.” Flags were thrown in the backfield and in the end zone. There were offsetting fouls and the point after would be replayed.
Given the problems on the first play, you’d think that Chip would certainly kick the extra point and head to a third overtime, right? Wrong. Instead, Kelly channelled his inner Terry Donahue and ran the ball up the middle. The Cardinal, of course, stopped Brittain Brown short of the goal line and, instead of there being a third overtime, the game, and the season, was over.
Stanford had given up 31 consecutive second half points, yet somehow, the Cardinal left the Rose Bowl with a win while the Bruins left the Rose Bowl with their third consecutive losing season under Chip Kelly. Go figure.