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.