Final: UCLA finishes with a 59-13 win over New Mexico State, covering the 42.5-point spread. Malcolm Jones punched in a pair of three-yard touchdowns, dragging two or three defenders on his first one. Walk-on quarterback Mike Fafaul also made his first career appearance, replacing Jerry Neuheisel with roughly two minutes left in the game. The crowd let out a loud “Awwww” as Fafaul took a knee near the goal line to end the game.
Aggies quarterback Andrew McDonald broke the shutout with an easy pass to Adam Shapiro, a play on which cornerback Priest Willis tripped and fell behind in coverage. The Aggies scored their second touchdown on a four-yard run by Brandon Betancourt, but couldn’t get the extra point with with 7:51 left to go.
Third quarter: Brett Hundley throws his second red-zone interception of the game, bumping his season total to three. New Mexico State’s secondary has forced turnovers this season, entering Saturday with four interceptions against five allowed touchdowns, but a player of Hundley’s caliber shouldn’t have as rough a day against this defense.
Regardless, the Aggies have offered little resistance and UCLA cruises with a 45-0 lead. Shaq Evans caught the lone TD of the quarter, and has now matched his 2013 total with three on the season. Jordon James scampered 19 yards for his second touchdown of the day, and now has a career-high 164 yards.
Halftime: Of the many statistical advantages UCLA holds over New Mexico State, this may be the most significant: the Bruins converted five of their six third downs; the Aggies converted none of their six. UCLA is now outscoring opponents 62-0 over its last four quarters.
Some others: UCLA has 18 first downs to NMSU’s 10, and 334 yards of offense to 157. Jordon James has 63 rushing yards and a touchdown, while Brandon Betancourt leads the Aggies with 55. King Davis III is only slightly behind with 48 on the ground, most of which came on a 30-yard scamper.
Second quarter: UCLA up 31-0 at the half. Steve Manfro is the surprise star of the game so far, piling up 53 yards and two scores on two catches and a run. He also had a 70-yard return to open the night. Pretty much any back is getting a lot of room to work with on short catches in the flat, whether it be Manfro, Paul Perkins or Jordon James.
Receiver Devin Fuller grabbed his first touchdown grab of the season with less than a minute to go in the first half. Brett Hundley had missed him twice earlier tonight, but found him for a 21-yarder after Shaq Evans’ punt return put the Bruins on the New Mexico State 42-yard line.
UCLA’s defensive front has also started showing up. Linebacker Anthony Barr stripped King Davis III from behind just seconds before Keenan Graham crushed the NMSU quarterback into the turf. No one got a sack on that play, but Barr had his way with the offense on what was credited as a 9-yard rushing loss and fumble. (Barr was later credited with a sack, his first of the season, and his fourth forced fumble.)
First quarter: UCLA off to another rough start, turning the ball over on its first two possessions. Jordon James fumbled on the opening drive, and Brett Hundley threw his second pick of the season shortly after. New Mexico State got three first downs without throwing a pass, but otherwise gave the Bruins plenty of breathing room.
By the end of the quarter, UCLA had 10 first downs against the Aggies’ three, with 163 yards of offense to 54. A 7-0 lead wasn’t as large as most expected, but New Mexico State shows little ability to take advantage.