Notes and quotes: UCLA 37, Cal 10

UCLA hardly looked unstoppable in its 37-10 win over Cal Saturday, but it did enough to earn its place as a top-10 team.

Some notes from the night:

— The defense held Cal to a season-low 320 offensive yards. The Bears’ 10 points were the lowest of Sonny Dykes’ (relatively short) head coaching career. If not for some untimely penalties, the Bruins might have kept Cal out of the end zone entirely.

The front seven continued its run as one of the conference’s best, sacking true freshman quarterback Jared Goff three times and coming up with clutch stops. Safety Randall Goforth had an interception, while cornerbacks Ishmael Adams and Fabian Moreau combined for three pass breakups.

“It’s a nice blend,” defensive coordinator Lou Spanos said. “I don’t want to say it’s the best, because we haven’t seen the future yet.”

— Defensive end Cassius Marsh was ejected from the game in the second quarter after throwing a punch. That personal foul followed back-to-back offside penalties that helped set up Cal’s lone touchdown.

“I saw that the guy took a swing at him and he swung back,” defensive line coach Angus McClure said. “It’s always the second guy that gets caught. We’ll handle that internally with our team discipline. … We’ve got to keep encouraging him to play to the best of his abilities and have great sportsmanship.”

Head coach Jim Mora said Saturday that he was waiting for further explanation from the Pac-12, which could suspend Marsh for the first half at Stanford.

— True freshman linebacker Myles Jack had a career-high 12 tackles, one of which dropped Cal for a 1-yard loss. He is fifth among Pac-12 freshmen with 32 tackles on the season.

“It was exactly what we saw on film,” Jack said of the Bears. “We put in our defense and everything. They’re a great offense, and they only put up 10 points.”

— Offensive line coach Adrian Klemm said he was pleased with how his unit did with pass protection against a defensive front that stunted more than film study showed. Freshman tackle Caleb Benenoch settled down after an early false start penalty. Run-blocking wasn’t as impressive, as Cal stacked the box all night.

Klemm also talked about what the Bruins lose in injured left tackle Torian White, out for the season after injuring his ankle.

“Torian may be a little more athletic, and he’s played more games, but Caleb may be a little more physical at this point,” Klemm said. “He comes from a background where he’s played some big games in front of 20,000 in high school. That may not be a lot compared to this (college), but his mentality’s a lot different than some high school kids.”

— Brett Hundley’s 41 career touchdown passes ties Troy Aikman for fifth in UCLA history.

— Running back Damien Thigpen touched the ball for the first time since tearing his ACL last November, rushing for 10 yards in the second quarter. He nearly followed that with an 80-yard touchdown catch, but Hundley underthrew him on a wheel route.

“(I wanted that) so bad,” Hundley said. “I was swinging to my right a little bit. I just had to set my feet and throw it a little farther. We had been working on that the whole week.”

— The announced Rose Bowl attendance of 84,272 was the largest for a UCLA home game since 2008, when 87,790 showed up for the Bruins’ 28-7 loss to No. 5 USC.

— UCLA moved to 51-32-1 all-time against Cal.

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  • Bruin 34

    I think our defense may be better than we expected. Huge game this week against a Stanford team that is gonna be pissed! That being said. Like they said on TV last night. I think we may have one of if not the best front 7 in college football.

  • EncinitasBruin

    Awesome atmosphere in the RB last night – near sell out with 84K fans. Stanford open as 5.5 favorites, which means Vegas is seeing this as a coin flip. Go Bruins.

    • facescar

      Not quite a coin flip, but close. The usual “eh, favor the home team” is 3 points.

      The Championship game last year varied from Stanford -10 to Stanford -8, so the game this year is expected to be even tighter. We’ll see what happens come Saturday.

    • 92104bruinfan

      I feel good that the Bruin D will be ready to go at The Farm but still a tad concerned about the O-line which struggled to consistently run block against Cal. Hope my concerns turn out to be much ado about nothing. Go Bruins!

      • EncinitasBruin

        Yeah, considering the entire right side of our OL was in high school last year, still wondering where they were going to sign their LOI, it’s a tad scary for sure. Thankfully BH is right-handed, so that’s not his blindside… Opening line was 5.5, but is dropping a bit…

  • Danny

    Stanford is going to be pissed at losing to Utah. Couple that with UCLA’s less than stellar performance and this could go horribly wrong for the Bruins

    • maze949

      Great attitude…glad you’re not the HC.

  • Bruin 34

    Our players on offense is better than Utah’s. I’m not as worried about Stanford. I think we kept the play calling bland and vanilla on purpose against Cal. We didn’t have to do too much to beat them. If you watchedthe game. Mora was way more conservative than he normally is. He wanted to get the win without injuries in my opinion. There was no need to do more than we needed. They’ve had this game circled since last year! I think we beat them pretty easily! Go Bruins!

  • 92104bruinfan

    That gritty win over Utah in SLC looks that much better after the Utes held off Stanford. That said, you know the Bruin program has come a long ways in a short period of time if a 37-10 win over Cal doesn’t feel that good. While Hundley was a tad off despite an impressive stat line, what was worrisome was the lack of any real running attack against a porous Cal D. Hopefully James is ready to go. Bruins need to be able to run the ball at The Farm to have a chance. On the plus side, I think the secondary has definitely improved as the season has gone on to complement a stellar line and LB corps. It should be a great game come Saturday afternoon. Go Bruins!

  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    Yes, going into this Saturday’s game Stanford will be upset about its loss at Utah, but perhaps more importantly the loss will have planted a seed of doubt in their minds. We still haven’t put together a truly impressive 60 minutes of football (and won’t until we cut down on the terrible penalties) that I believe will be needed for a win, but I think (hope) our best play still lies ahead of us. Looking forward to great games these next two weeks.