LINCOLN, Neb. — After an abysmal first quarter, UCLA was lucky to be down just 11 points heading into halftime.
The Bruins had made crucial mistakes and gifted Nebraska short fields, whether by interception or bobbled punt. Memorial Stadium, known for hosting one of the toughest home crowds in college football, looked to be wearing down on the visitors.
But when the clock ran down, UCLA walked out with a 41-21 blowout, its small pockets of fans cheering loudly as players and coaches ran past them into the tunnel.
How did it happen, the shift from sluggish to superlative? The Bruins took a big breath.
“We came in at halftime, just told kids, ‘Hey relax. I’m just going to call base plays. Just do what you guys do,’” offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said. “Our whole motto is play to the next play. We’re going to snap it once, play, forget about it, and just play the next one. Live in the moment of each play.” Continue reading