Snow, White doom the Bruins

By Jon Gold
Staff Writer

SALT LAKE CITY –
UCLA football players looked up, stuck out their tongues and let the snowflakes drift down on them, almost looking like they wanted to drop to the ground and make snow angels instead of play a tough Utah team.

It’s not often a bunch of SoCal kids get covered by a blanket of white.
It’s not often they get run over by a blanket of White, either.

But that’s just what Utah running back John White IV did, almost single-handedly providing the offense for the Utes in a 31-6 win over the visiting Bruins on Saturday night in front of 45,039 at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
White’s three consecutive touchdowns in the second and third quarters broke open the game, and the shifty bowling ball totaled 167 yards rushing – his fifth 150-plus game of the year – against a reeling UCLA front seven.

“That dude, he’s a hell of a back,” Bruins redshirt freshman safety Tevin McDonald said. “We saw it on film – he would attack the line, and he would just find the hole. I got a chance to see it from there – from where I’m looking at safety, he’s stopped behind the line, and then he squirts out, and it’s a four yard gain.”

Unlike the snow, White did not cease, gaining a flurry of extra yards after contact and continuing long into the night. White had 100 yards in the second half on 19 carries and finished with 33 carries for the game, punishing the Bruins’ interior with an unwillingness to go down on first contact.

Surprisingly, though, his play of the game came through the air.

After a 1-yard touchdown run by White with 5 minutes, 34 seconds left in the first half gave Utah its first lead at 7-3, UCLA was unable to capitalize on a long drive to end the half and senior kicker Tyler Gonzalez missed a 47-yard attempt after the Bruins were set back six yards on a Kevin Prince sack.

Utah received the kickoff to open the second half and quarterback Jon Hays led the offense down the field with his arm, completing back-to-back passes of 16 and 33 yards to move Utah into scoring position. After a sack by UCLA defensive end Iuta Tepa gave Utah a 3rd-and-goal at the UCLA 13-yard line, Hays delivered a beautiful throw to White directly over Bruin linebacker Sean Westgate, staking the Utes a 14-3 lead.

“That dude, man,” Utah wide receiver DeVonte Christopher said, echoing McDonald’s sentiments. “John White, that guy is a hard worker. All his yardage, his touchdowns, it’s all a testament to his work ethic. When you have a guy like John White, who can not only make guys miss but get through those small holes, it opens everything up.”

When White wasn’t punishing the Bruins, they did it to themselves.

UCLA was penalized 12 times for 91 yards, including 10 flags for 76 yards in the first half.

With the Utah defense constantly shifting at the line of scrimmage and screaming to distract the Bruin offensive line, UCLA was on its heels the entire game. The biggest culprits, the Bruins offensive line, including senior offensive tackle Mike Harris, who was called for four false start penalties including one on the very first drive.

“Being in 2nd-and-long, 3rd-and-long – heck, 1st-and-long – it’s not easy,” said junior tight end Joseph Fauria, who had a team-high four catches for 64 yards. “We can’t put ourselves in those kinds of situations. It doesn’t work well with us. I don’t think any team has high percentages in that situation.”

The deficit growing and the penalties mounting, UCLA had to rely on its throwing game, and the Utah defense responded.
Namely, Conroy Black.

The Ute defensive back had two interceptions of Kevin Prince, including a 67-yard touchdown return that put UCLA down 28-6. Prince was rattled by an aggressive pass rush, finishing just 12-of-24 passing for 146 yards and the two interceptions, while being sacked three times.

Worse, after gaining 224 yards rushing in UCLA’s two-game winning streak over Cal and Arizona State, Prince found little room on the perimeter, rushing just 12 times for 10 yards.

“They didn’t give me opportunities to keep the ball very much,” Prince said. “Their ends weren’t crashing, and as much I wanted to pull the ball, I just couldn’t. They played it very well.”

Now back at .500 for the fifth time this season, UCLA must regroup next Saturday at the Rose Bowl against a Colorado squad coming off its biggest win of the year, a 48-29 win over the same Arizona team that beat the Bruins 48-12 in Week 7.

Good thing UCLA is going back home.

The forecast does not call for snow.

“We knew that would be a big thing coming in,” Utah’s Christopher said. “We knew coming from SoCal, these guys are not used to that snow, and that showed. You could tell as the game went on, it started to wear on them. We love this kind of weather. We’re glad it came for this kind of game.”

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  • Weasel of Westwood

    Finish out these two games and go to a bowl! Don’t be nattering nabobs of negativity! Keep your chins up. Let’s do an 8 clap now.

  • Marc

    Third and 2 at a critical point in the game and he calls a run up the middle. The run gets stuffed before it even gets going. He punts.

    4th quarter begins and UCLA is down three scores. Still taking the whole play clock to get the calls in and get set.

    Even J.J. Stokes calls out Rick on tv for his conservative play calling and his bad cloak management.

    I got a headache watching this game, and it wasn’t from yelling. I’m done with that. I’m done with Rick. He won’t change. He plays scared; plays with hope, not determination. He always looks confused when the tv cameras catch him. He looks peplexed, like he can’t figure out what is wrong. That’s because he won’t admit that it’s him. It’s those things I laid out above.

    At least I have a belief that coach Howland will get that ship corrected and they will play much better through the year, I don’t gave that same belief about Rick. Two games left in the season and issues that appeared in week one are still present.

  • Coach Thom

    If you look at the faces of everybody on the UCLA sideline, they all seem perplexed. Nobody in the program knows what to do. This season has become a complete fiasco. A beating by Colorado will set up one of the worst hidings in the UCLA-USC rivalry in two weeks’ time. I’m thinking USC 57-UCLA 12. Or might even be worse than that.

  • bruinfan818

    the only good thing that came this weekend is that ASU lost!! UCLA played very uninspired! and rosario didn’t even look like he wanted to be there! not even trying! hopefully next week at home we beat colorado and go to a bowl because i really don’t think ucla beats usc. finish the season at 6-6 when it should been an easily 8-4 record.

  • The Blur

    My biggest issue with Neu is that he doesn’t seem to develop talent. His qb play has been terrible, yet Neu was a qb coach in the NFL. I can’t blame him for the conservative play calling though. Look what happens when Prince drops back to pass.

  • 40ounzezipper

    If UCLA does not win there last 2 games it BNB “Burn Neuheisel’s Boat”

  • DS

    That is such BS that weather wears on a team from So Cal and not on a team from Utah. I played my high school ball in so cal and we played 2 snow games, one agains mammoth and one against bishop and we won both games by 40+ points. Snows cold for sure, but the human body does not get “used” to freezing weather. Weather is just an excuse for a team that was unprepared and a coaching staff that has no idea to use its players. Westgate should sit the bench forever and Dalton Hilliard couldn’t make a form tackle if his life depended on it. I’d kick Cassius off the team completely, the guy does not hustle one bit. Once he sees that he’s not going to make the big play his motor stops. Last but not least FIRE WAYNE MOSES like NOW.. Not using Malcolm Jones this year is a joke. It’s inexcusable. Next year he’s going to be getting Colmans carries and he’ll have little to no experience. Did Franklin or Colman need those carries at the end of the game? No.. Malcolm could have used the work..

  • MPP Bruin

    DS is right. If Neuheisel trusts Frankling and Coleman to carry the load when we need to win the game, then he needs to let some of the other backs get reps in when we’re just killing time and going to lose.

    Thank you, Coach Neuheisel, for your work and commitment to the school. But it’s time for you to move on now.

  • .mownyc

    Did I tell you that you were going to be the nail and Utah was going to be the hammer yesterday ? Geez, a little snow and cold weather and you guys shrivel up like a, well you know.

  • Marc

    @DS

    Agree 100%. I’ve been wondering where the reps are for Malcom Jones all season. Give him 5 carries a game, get him ready for the future.

    I only hope the future doesn’t include Rick, Joe, Wayne and the “pistol”.

    This is UCLA. Run the freaking pro-set with some five wide thrown in for good measure. Rick played at UCLA when they ran a good pro-set offense. I thought when he came in that he would embrace that. Instead, Rick tells us and the media that the “pistol” offense does not lend itself to comebacks. Well, Rick, when your defense can’t stop teams you need to be able to score points!

    I don’t care about Colorado, that should be a win playing at home and with superior talent. I want to beat sc; every UCLA fan knows that that is the one you have to win. If Rick 0-4 against sc, that should be his last game as head coach at UCLA.

  • http://http:://www.yahoo.com BruinRob

    What a pathetic performance that truly was…even if we end up being the South Champs by default, I hope UCLA says ‘no thank you’, and spare us the embarrassment at Eugene.

  • Anonymous

    The PAC12 should save itself some embarrassment and cancel the Championship game and give the PAC12 title to the North division winner.

  • Son of CharIie Bucket

    I don’t have an issue with Neu-Hassle’s play calling. the game plan has to be conservative. you just pray Prince can make the occasinal easy throw to a wide open receiver.

    Sometimes Prince makes the easy throws and the game plan suddenly makes sense. other times he is in a funk and we go down hard.

    Neu just needs a QB and we would be fine.