FINAL: UCLA 41, Nebraska 21. The Bruins mounted a stunning comeback with a 28-point third quarter, and didn’t need to do much more to a very defeated Cornhuskers squad. After the game, both Jim Mora and players stressed that they didn’t make many schematic changes; most of the turnaround came from relaxing and playing loose.
“That’s how our offense is,” offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said. “We are a very rhythmic offense. We just couldn’t really find a rhythm (early).”
THIRD QUARTER: In an incredible turnaround, UCLA has turned this one into a blowout. Since trailing 21-3 in with 7:12 left in the second quarter, the Bruins have scored 35 unanswered points. Not a bad way to take advantage of a national TV audience — not to mention the record 91,471 at Memorial Coliseum.
Brett Hundley has 294 passing yards and three touchdowns, and is having his way with a Nebraska team that is either worn out or just given up. The defensive front seven started bringing enough heat to ease pressure on the spotty secondary, with Keenan Graham logging his third sack of the season.
Execution is the main improvement from halftime, but the playcalling has been good too. A short throw to fullback Phillip Ruhl turned into a touchdown.
SECOND QUARTER: After an abysmal first half, UCLA is lucky to be facing a relatively manageable 21-10 deficit. The Bruins closed well in the final five minutes or so, as quarterback Brett Hundley shook off some early struggles. He extended a scoring drive with an impressive 13-yard run, and set up the touchdown with a 32-yard pass to Devin Fuller and 6-yard run.
Before that, though, UCLA was facing a daunting 21-3 deficit. Kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn had missed another field goal that was mistakenly called fair. Punter Sean Covington had bobbled a snap and set Nebraska up on the 26-yard line.
Receiver Kenny Bell embarrassed defenders, shaking linebacker Myles Jack on one play and reeling in an easy touchdown grab over Fabian Moreau. That Taylor Martinez, hardly known for his arm, was able to complete a 22-yard touchdown pass completely through the air speaks to just how much the secondary has struggled today.
UCLA has 206 yards to Nebraska’s 196, but the Huskers are dominating time of possession with 9:05. The Bruins’ running game has been almost completely absent; Paul Perkins punched in a 10-yard touchdown, but starter Jordon James only has 18 yards on 10 carries.
FIRST QUARTER: After both UCLA and Nebraska punted to start the game, the Huskers offense started rolling to seize a 14-3 lead. The team took advantage of a short field after a bad interception by Brett Hundley, and Taylor Martinez finished a 28-yard drive with an easy play to Quincy Enunwa. The Bruins’ secondary hasn’t looked good so far, and Brandon Sermons was completely out of position on that first score.
After UCLA’s Kai’imi Fairbairn hooked in a 44-yarder, the Huskers ate up 6:34 on another touchdown drive — finishing again with a touchdown to Enunwa, who earned style points by leaping over Randall Goforth. The drive was helped by a questionable PI call against Myles Jack, but UCLA still needs to do much more to get stops.
Hundley went 2 of 7 with 72 yards, and also took a sack when he held on to the ball for too long.
In the last five games that saw UCLA trail after one quarter, the Bruins have won just once — against Nebraska a year ago.