About last night: Links to recap UCLA’s 30-27 win over Cal

UCLA players mob kicker JJ Molson #17 after he hit a field goal with seconds left in their game against Cal at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA., Friday, Nov 24, 2017. UCLA defeated Cal 30-27. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

UCLA grabbed two victories this weekend with a 30-27 win against Cal on Friday to earn bowl eligibility followed by inking Chip Kelly to a five-year, $23.3 million deal Saturday.

A 37-yard field goal from J.J. Molson sealed the on-field win for the Bruins (6-6, 4-5 Pac-12) as they secured their first undefeated home season since 2005.

“Our whole football operations from the trainers to the doctors from the equipment managers to the coaching staff to the training staff to the strength staff, to the nutritionists are all so appreciative for this opportunity,” interim head coach Jedd Fisch said. “We are obviously excited as a program.”

Fisch and the current staff are expected to stay on to guide the Bruins through their bowl game next month.

Quarterback Josh Rosen was injured in the first half after getting slammed to the field on a sack. He passed for 202 yards and two touchdowns before making way for Devon Modster, who finished with 191 yards on 14-for-18 passing. The redshirt freshman who just started throwing footballs again this week after breaking his thumb three weeks ago led the Bruins on a game-winning drive with 2:22 left to set up Molson’s game-winning field goal with eight seconds left.

Jordan Lasley had another career-high with 227 receiving yards on 12 catches with one touchdown.

Links to recap the game:

Not a full review, but some quick leftover thoughts/notes from the game: Continue reading “About last night: Links to recap UCLA’s 30-27 win over Cal” »

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UCLA Game GIFs: Bruins clinch bowl eligibility

UCLA edged out Cal 30-27 with a game-winning field goal from J.J. Molson to secure bowl eligibility during Friday’s regular-season finale at the Rose Bowl. The Bruins also completed an undefeated season at the Rose Bowl, their first since 2005, and saluted their seniors with a final home victory only six days after losing their head coach.

Here is how fans reacted to the win:

Continue reading “UCLA Game GIFs: Bruins clinch bowl eligibility” »

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UCLA game day links: One last chance

UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) along with teammates safety Adarius Pickett (6), Mossi Johnson (21) and Scott Quessenberry (52) prior to a NCAA college football game against the USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

Scott Quessenberry sighs when he thinks about what his last game at the Rose Bowl will be like.

“It’s going to be emotional,” the redshirt senior said.

It’s especially difficult for UCLA’s seniors knowing that Jim Mora won’t be there to send them out of the Rose Bowl tunnel one last time against Cal on Friday.

“He’s one of the reasons why I came 1,800 miles away, from Louisiana, to be a part of this organization,” senior Kenny Young said. “He is a real mentor. He’s a great guy, a great guy at the end of the day. And I wish I could’ve shook his hand and hugged him for my last game.”

UCLA will try to send its seniors off right at the Rose Bowl by earning another game. If the Bruins beat Cal, they’ll be heading to a bowl game.

The game is at 7:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1 with radio on AM 570.

Pregame links:

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Weekly Q&A: Cal

via GIPHY

It’s win or go home Friday as the winner between UCLA and Cal at the Rose Bowl clinches bowl eligibility. Both teams are looking for their sixth wins and the Bruins are trying to prepare on a short week amid coaching turmoil. If you have UCLA football questions, leave them in the comments below — or shoot me an email at thnguyen(at)scng(dot)com — and I’ll post answers THURSDAY.

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First look: UCLA vs. Cal

Justin Wilcox, shown speaking at Pac-12 Media Days in July 2017, has Cal challenging for a bowl game during his first season at the helm. (Photo by Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press)

UCLA (5-6, 3-5 Pac-12) vs. Cal (5-6, 2-6 Pac-12)
Friday, Nov. 24 |7:30 p.m. PT | Rose Bowl
TV: Fox Sports 1
Radio: AM 570

Scouting report

Cal was voted to finish last in the Pac-12 North, but the Golden Bears, in their first season under head coach Justin Wilcox, have exceeded many expectations by challenging for bowl eligibility. The winner of Friday’s game reaches the six-game threshold and earns itself a postseason opportunity.

Wilcox, a former defensive coordinator at Washington and USC, helped turn Cal’s defense around quickly this season. The Bears were the Pac-12’s worst scoring defense last season, allowing 42.6 points per game, but have jumped to seventh with 28.3 points per game allowed this year. They forced seven turnovers in their 37-3 upset over Washington State on Oct. 13.

The offense has been inconsistent with redshirt sophomore Ross Bowers at quarterback, but got a boost from running back Patrick Laird last week as he rushed for 153 yards and one touchdown against Stanford in Cal’s rivalry game.

Laird scored a 1-yard touchdown run with 4:02 left in the third against the Cardinal that helped cut the deficit to three points, but both teams were held scoreless in the fourth and Stanford came away with its eighth straight win in the Big Game.

Cal is 11th in the Pac-12 in total offense with 377.8 yards per game. Continue reading “First look: UCLA vs. Cal” »

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