About last night: A review of UCLA’s 31-14 win over Oregon

UCLA wide receiver Christian Pabico, left, runs in for a touchdown as Oregon cornerback Thomas Graham watches during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Christian Pabico was just trying to block down field. Then Bolu Olorunfunmi came flying in out of nowhere.

“Thank God he landed in the end zone,” Pabico said of Olorunfunmi’s show-stealing 22-yard touchdown run in the third quarter of UCLA’s 31-14 win over Oregon on Saturday.

The UCLA running back jumped, surfed on the shoulder pads of an Oregon defender, then fell into the end zone. He had little recollection of the play afterwards, saying “Honestly I still don’t know what happened, I just jumped.” Good thing there’s video:

While Olorunfunmi’s eye-catching touchdown was the highlight of the day, the Bruins (4-3, 2-2 Pac-12) earned a critical victory with a strong overall performance. The offense didn’t turn the ball over for the first time since Sept. 9. The defense pitched a second-half shutout for their fourth-straight win at the Rose Bowl and UCLA kept its bowl hopes alive in the must-win game.

Links to wrap up the game:

A more in-depth review of Saturday’s game: Continue reading “About last night: A review of UCLA’s 31-14 win over Oregon” »

UCLA Game GIFs: Fan reaction to UCLA’s 31-14 win over Oregon

UCLA claimed a must-win victory over Oregon on Saturday, shutting the Ducks out in the second half of a 31-14 win at the Rose Bowl. Here are fan reactions to the win:

Continue reading “UCLA Game GIFs: Fan reaction to UCLA’s 31-14 win over Oregon” »

UCLA game day links: Must-win game?

Oregon running back Royce Freeman (left) will be the primary concern of UCLA’s Jacob Tuioti-Mariner (right) and the rest of the Bruin defense. (Photos by Steve Dykes/Getty Images and Keith Birmingham/SCNG)

Kenny Young won three Louisiana state titles in high school. He was never accustomed to the crushing feeling of a loss. It’s something he’s been forced to get acquainted with in the past two seasons in Westwood, but the senior linebacker is starting to grow tired of it.

“This losing stuff’s gotta go, man,” Young said last week after UCLA’s loss to Arizona. “It’s frustrating.”

If UCLA doesn’t kick the losing habit Saturday against Oregon, it could also lose its bowl hopes. With their season resting precariously at 3-3 overall, UCLA needs a win against the Ducks before back-to-back road games against Washington and Utah.

Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. kickoff on Pac-12 Networks with a radio broadcast on AM 1150 or AM 570.

All your pregame reading:

First look: UCLA vs. Oregon

Oregon running back Royce Freeman (21) carries for a first down against Arizona State during the first half during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

UCLA (3-3, 1-2 Pac-12) vs. Oregon (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12)
Saturday, Oct. 21 | 1 p.m. PT | Rose Bowl
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Radio: AM 1150 or AM 570

Scouting report

Justin Herbert was starting to emerge as next star quarterback in the Pac-12 before breaking his collarbone against California on Sept. 30. In his absence, the Ducks have lost two straight games by a combined score of 82-17.

Herbert was averaging 252.8 passing yards per game while completing 68.3 percent of his passes. True freshman Braxton Burmeister musters only 57.3 yards per game. Burmeister was benched in the third quarter of Oregon’s loss to Stanford for former walk-on Taylor Alie and the two quarterbacks combined for 33 yards on 5-for-13 passing against the Cardinal Burmeister threw two interceptions and only three completions.

Despite a struggling passing game, the Ducks still have running back Royce Freeman, whose 113.9 rushing yards per game rank third in the conference.

Before Bryce Love added them to his growing list of victims, the Ducks were ranked inside the top-10 nationally in rushing defense last week. They’ve since fallen to 22nd in the country, allowing 115.7 rushing yards per game, which still ranks second in the Pac-12. Continue reading “First look: UCLA vs. Oregon” »

UCLA football 2017 schedule preview: Oregon

First-year Oregon head coach Willie Taggart greets fans at a men’s basketball game. (Photo: Chris Pietsch, AP Photo)

Oregon at UCLA
Saturday, Oct. 21 | Rose Bowl

Willie Taggart is the first Oregon head coach hired from outside the program since 1976. The transition was a tough one.

In the first three months of the former South Florida head coach’s Oregon tenure, one of his new assistants resigned, another jumped ship for a different Pac-12 school and a strength coach was suspended after several players were hospitalized after intense offseason workouts.

When spring practice finally opened April, Taggart started the process of resurrecting the Ducks (4-8, 2-7 Pac-12 last year) after the team’s sudden fall from grace. In remaking a program only three years removed from a College Football Playoff berth, the 40-year-old head coach and his staff quickly gained the trust of his players.

“They all click on the same page,” sophomore linebacker Bryson Young told The Oregonian of said of the new staff. “I can compare it to last year where it just seemed like everybody was in their separate worlds. (Now) when we go into our individual meetings and then go into our group (meeting), everybody is saying the same thing. They’re all on the same page, which is really good for us as a defense because then we’re all on the same page.”

Game storylines Continue reading “UCLA football 2017 schedule preview: Oregon” »