About last night: A review of UCLA’s 47-30 loss to Arizona

Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate (14) runs for a first down in front of UCLA linebacker Krys Barnes (14) during the first half during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

UCLA knew what it was facing in Khalil Tate. Yet the Bruins didn’t have any answers for the Wildcat quarterback as he piled up 230 rushing yards while leading Arizona to a 47-30 win over UCLA at Arizona Stadium on Saturday.

Jim Mora suffered his first loss to the Wildcats in his UCLA tenure. The defense gave up 605 total yards, the most in a single game since 2014 against Arizona State, and UCLA dropped to 3-3, 1-2 Pac-12 at the halfway point of the season.

Links to recap the loss:

A more in-depth review of the game:


  • Running game: With the passing game plagued by drops and interceptions, it was the running game that gave the Bruins even the slightly bit of hope. Of UCLA’s four-running-back rotation, Bolu Olorunfunmi and Jalen Starks were the biggest stars. Starks, who entered the game after Soso Jamabo fumbled in the first quarter, rushed for 63 yards on 10 carries and one touchdown before injuring his ankle. The X-rays were negative, Jim Mora said, so it’s a sprain. Starks was already known as a force in short-yardage situations, but showed some elusiveness in the open field — he jumped over a defender in the second quarter –while getting the most playing time of his career. After Starks got hurt, Olorunfunmi kept things going with a career-high 102 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. The junior had every yard of a three-play, 75-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter that brought UCLA within 11 after a successful two-point conversion. Olorunfunmi is typically not an improviser when he’s running, but he showed some vision on cut-back moves to find running lanes. It’s a good step forward for his game.
    • One of the most impressive points about the running backs as a whole was the power with which they ran. Starks was bulldozing defenders on the regular before getting hurt. Olorunfunmi used a second and third effort to convert on fourth-and-inches after he was initially stopped behind the line of scrimmage. Even Jamabo, not typically known for his power, plowed through two Arizona defenders to finish off a 9-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
  • DeChaun Holiday’s return: There were very few good things for UCLA, so I thought I might just throw this in here. Holiday was sidelined for nearly six months since his shoulder surgery during spring practice. He didn’t play well Saturday, picking up a face mask penalty on his first defensive drive, but just the fact that he is back is good for the Bruins because it gives them another body at linebacker. He was forced into action after Krys Barnes left the game with what Mora reported was pneumonia.
  • Nothing else: That performance doesn’t deserve a third “good.” It barely deserved the second.


  • Cut up: UCLA wanted to squeeze the pocket on Tate. That wasn’t enough. Even when the Bruins were able to set the edge and force Tate back inside, that’s when it seemed that he was at his most dangerous. His ability to cut back and reverse the defense was stellar. The Bruins were helpless. They sent extra men into the box and still came up with nothing. J.J. Taylor and Nick Wilson were also able to find cut-back lanes regularly as Wilson eclipsed 100 rushing yards (135 yards on 22 carries). It’s the second time this year that the Bruins have allowed two 100-yard rushers in one game (Texas A&M’s Trayveon Williams and Keith Ford did so in the season opener.)
    • Through six games, UCLA has given up 1,878 rushing yards. The team is on pace for a 12-game total of 3,756 rushing yards allowed, which would not only be a school-record* for futility, but it would set the mark by nearly 1,000 yards. The current worst is 2,793 rushing yards allowed in 2005.
      • *School records only available since 1945
  • Turnovers: It’s been the offense’s Achilles Heel for more than a month now. Three interceptions by Josh Rosen and a fumble from Jamabo led to 10 Arizona points (a 42-yard pick-6 and a field goal), but also robbed the Bruins from a chance at as many as 14 points. Two of Rosen’s interceptions occurred in the red zone (at the Arizona 14- and 11-yard lines). Like it has been in the past, it’s not just the turnovers, but it’s also where they occur and the Bruins seem to be shooting themselves in the foot twice by committing turnovers in especially bad places.
    • Rosen was targeting Jordan Lasley on his first two interceptions, which seems to be a trend. He also threw two interceptions in Lasley’s direction on broken scramble drills this season. Rosen got hit on the first one Saturday, which occurred in the end zone, when Najee Toran got walked straight back into the quarterback. He underthrew the route, but was also late on the delivery, Jedd Fisch said. On the second one, the pick-6, Rosen stared Lasley down the entire way and Jace Whittaker, who was playing zone, read Rosen’s eyes to jump the route.
    • Rosen forced the throw to Darren Andrews on the third interception. With his arm strength, Rosen can sometimes get away with those throws. Saturday was not his day for heroic plays.
  • Drops, drops, drops: Rosen played his worst game of the year. Besides his three interceptions, he also overthrew receivers down field and missed reads. When he did make a good throw, he was also the victim of several drops. Lasley was the main culprit as he continued to show his hot-and-cold tendencies. The junior had at least two drops in the first quarter alone, but also mixed in a 32-yard catch and a 9-yarder that brought the Bruins inside the red zone. The coaching staff values consistency over anything and Lasley has been anything but.
    • Andrews, typically UCLA’s most sure-handed receiver not named Caleb Wilson, also dropped a pass. When that happens, you know it’s not going to be a good day for the Bruins.


  • 605 total yards by Arizona, most given up by UCLA since 2014 (Arizona State, 626)
  • 27 yards short of the modern record for rushing yards in a single game against UCLA.
    • Modern record is 484 by Nebraska in 1994. Arizona had 457.
  • 2nd time that Rosen hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in a game (first was Washington State, 2015)
    • 1st game this year that Rosen didn’t throw for 300 yards. He had the nation’s longest active streak for 300-yard passing games at seven.
  • 146 career catches for Andrews, which ties him for sixth in UCLA history with Devin Fuller and Nelson Rosario. J.J. Stokes is fifth with 154 catches.
  • 8.6 yards per carry for UCLA on first down.
  • 5 sacks allowed by UCLA after the Bruins gave up only three in the past three games combined.
  • Minus-10 turnover margin (15 turnovers lost, 5 gained), which is tied with Missouri for 126th in the country. Rice (minus-12) and San Jose State (minus-16) are the only teams with worse turnover margins.


“There’s no division on this team. We’ll ride for each till the end of time, so keeping it together is, that’s not even in the question. (We’ll keep) moving forward until the end of our days.”

~Center Scott Quessenberry on keeping the team together after another disappointing loss


  • Jaelan Phillips missed his third straight game with an ankle injury. Breland Brandt (concussion) and Brandon Burton did not make the trip either.
  • Rick Wade and Nate Meadors left the game with undisclosed injuries.