Turnovers, Not Ducks, Beat Bruins, 38-35
UCLA beat themselves this afternoon by turning the ball over four times.
Add another loss to Chip Kelly’s belt after the Oregon Ducks beat Kelly’s UCLA Bruins, 38-35, at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon this afternoon.
Like the Colorado game, the Bruins turned the ball over four times — and it cost them the game again. The Ducks scored a touchdown off every Bruin turnover and a team just cannot expect to win when the turnover margin is minus three like it was today.
Two of the Oregon touchdowns came off a pair of fumbles early in the first half. Chase Griffin, who was starting in place of the unavailable Dorian Thompson-Robinson, was the first Bruin to put the ball on the ground. He fumbled on a three-yard run which was returned to the UCLA 19-yard line.
On the next play, Oregon’s Tyler Shough threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Devon Williams to put the Ducks on the scoreboard first.
The ensuing kickoff didn’t go well for UCLA either. Qwuantrezz Knight returned the kick 21 yards but also coughed up the ball on the Bruins’ 27. Following an offsides penalty by the Ducks, Slough threw a 32-yard TD pass to Travis Dye and the Ducks led by two scores.
The Demetric Felton Show was up for the Bruins’ next drive. First, Felton ran the kickoff back 32 yards to the UCLA 48. After Kyle Philips and Ethan Fernea caught a few passes on this drive to put the Bruins inside the ten, Felton got the ball on the next two plays including a one-yard plunge to trim the Ducks’ lead to 14-7.
Qwuantrezz Knight made up for his special teams fumble with a scoop and score to tie the game early in the second quarter.
The Ducks put together the longest sustained drive of either team to move 70 yard on 13 plays, but a goal line stand by the Bruin defense forced Oregon to settle for just points.
UCLA responded with a 10-play, 69-yard drive of their own to take their only lead of the game when Griffin hit Greg Dulcich for a 32-yard touchdown and it was 21-17.
And, that’s how it looked like the first half was going to end.
Or, it was until Griffin threw a pick-six on the final play of the half, giving Oregon the lead back at the half, 24-21.
Oregon drove 75 yards on seven plays to start the third quarter and stretch their lead to ten points on a four-yard run by C.J. Verdell, but the Bruins responded with a 75-yard drive of their own to cut the lead back to three points.
The Ducks’ final score of the game came as a result of another interception. This time, it was Verone McKinley III with the pick. Oregon drove 78 yards including Shough’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Kampmoyer to make it, 38-28.
With seven minutes left in the game, the Bruins still trailed by ten points. But UCLA wasn’t done. Griffin marched the team down the field and Felton scored on an 11-yard run to bring the Bruins to within three again.
Rather than trying an onside kick and giving the Ducks potentially great field position, Kelly opted to kick it deep. It was the right call. To that point, the UCLA defense had held the Ducks to just 83 yards rushing all game long. So, there was a reason to have faith in the defense.
That faith paid off as the Bruins got a three-and-out to force a punt with 77 seconds left in the game.
Quickly, UCLA drove down the field. They were helped by a roughing the passer call which gave them a first and ten on the Oregon 39.
After an incomplete pass to Dolcich, Alec Anderson jumped the snap on the next play and UCLA was back to the Duck 44. The Bruins couldn’t get the first down this time as a pass to the normally sure-handed Philips fell incomplete turning the ball over on downs and sealing the game for the Ducks.
The Bruin defense continued to look better in this game. They held the Oregon offense to just 88 rushing yards, the second consecutive game where they held their opponent to less than 100 yards rushing. Osa Odighizuwa and Carl Jones led the team with 1.5 sacks each.
Offensively, Griffin finished 19 of 31 for 195 yards with one TD and 2 interceptions. But, it was really the Demetric Felton Show today for the Bruins. Felton carried 34 times for 167 yards with a pair of touchdowns. He added 105 return yards along with six receiving yards to lead UCLA with 278 all purpose yards.