Photos from Thursday night’s 40-24 victory over Cal by Keith Birmingham
Here are the records that Josh Rosen set on Thursday night, when he put in a career performance in a 40-24 win over Cal:
— 34 completions, the most in a single game by any UCLA quarterback. Brett Hundley and Richard Brehaut both had 33 in 2014 and 2010, respectively.
— 399 passing yards, the sixth-highest single-game total in UCLA history. It broke his own freshman single-game mark of 351, which he set in his career debut against Virginia.
— 1,967 passing yards on the season, the most for a UCLA true freshman. Cade McNown had 1,698 in 1995. Rosen has at least five games left to pull away.
Asked about his completions record, Rosen said: “I don’t really care. We won the football game. One of my idols is Kellen Moore, the winningest quarterback in college football. His name rings a lot more bells than, I think it was the University of Houston quarterback (Case Keenum) that has the most passing yards of all time.
“I really don’t care. I just want to win football games.”
UCLA head coach Jim Mora talked about after the Bruins’ 40-24 win over No. 20 Cal on Thursday, touching on what the team was able to do differently after back-to-back losses.
What he didn’t want to focus on was the big picture, which still has his team facing an uphill battle in the Pac-12 South race.
“Our goals are to get better every day,” Mora said. “We’re about the process, quite frankly. I said that to someone earlier in the week, and someone said I lashed out when I talked about ‘the process.’ We’re trying to get better every single day and focus on each singular step.
“Tonight was another step. But we have to back it up with another good step tomorrow. That’s where our intentions our.”
Back in July, UCLA looked at its preseason ranking and sneered. Despite returning a talented defense and almost every offensive starter, the Bruins were picked to finish third in the Pac-12 media poll.
Six games and several injuries later, the team stands at fourth in the division, licking its wounds after back-to-back losses to Arizona State and Stanford. Another loss could erase whatever chance they have left at claiming a spot in the Pac-12 title game.
Here’s what to watch when UCLA hosts No. 20 Cal today at 6 p.m.
When UCLA has the ball
Since his stunning introduction to the college football world, Josh Rosen’s numbers have come back to earth. In his last five games, he has completed less than 55 percent of his passes and averaged below 7.0 yards per attempt. While he’s looked better than those numbers suggest, his penchant for unforced errors could prove especially costly against Cal.
Rosen has thrown seven interceptions in his last five games, with five coming against BYU and Stanford. Those two teams have combined for 13 interceptions this season.
The Bears are tied for fifth in the FBS with 12 picks. That number has helped mask some of the deficiencies in the Cal secondary, which ranks in the bottom half of the conference in opposing completion percentage (57.7) and yards allowed per attempt (7.2).
In other words, Rosen and the rest of the Bruins need to avoid beating themselves. Continue reading “What to watch: UCLA vs No. 20 Cal” »