Here’s the story on UCLA’s defensive performance in the Alamo Bowl, one marked by linebacker Deon Hollins’ late-season breakout.
» With its 40-35 win over Kansas State in Friday’s Alamo Bowl, UCLA has now reached 10 wins for the ninth time in school history. The Bruins are now riding just their third-ever streak of back-to-back 10-win seasons, with the first two coming in 1997-98 and 1987-88.
Including K-State, UCLA played 10 teams that earned bowl berths, tying them for second-most in the country. The only exceptions were Virginia, Cal and Colorado.
» In his career finale, quarterback Brett Hundley didn’t have his best passing game, finishing 12 of 24 for 136 yards and a touchdown. He started the game 10-of-12 before a run of seven straight incompletions. Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said afterward that Hundley’s right hand was still a bit sore from the finger injury that forced him out of UCLA’s loss to Stanford in November.
But Hundley did plenty of damage with his legs, running 11 times for 96 yards and two touchdowns. The Bruins followed the blueprint that TCU used to beat K-State, 41-20, on Nov. 8. Horned Frogs quarterback Trevone Boykin also only threw for one touchdown, but ran for three scores and 123 yards. Boykin’s proficiency on the ground also helped open up lanes for tailback Aaron Green, who had 171 yards.
“Brett went to town with his legs, for sure,” said receiver Jordan Payton.
Hundley improved his UCLA career records to 75 touchdown passes and 11,713 total offensive yards.
» Paul Perkins ran for a career-high 194 yards and two touchdowns on just 20 carries, including a 67-yard scoring run with 2:20 left in the game that gave UCLA a 40-28 lead. His rushing total was the third-most in Alamo Bowl history, and earned him the game’s offensive MVP award. Continue reading
UCLA linebacker Deon Hollins talks about the Bruins’ 40-35 win over Kansas State in the Alamo Bowl, a game that in which he recorded a career-high three sacks.
UCLA receiver Devin Lucien talks after the Bruins’ 40-35 win over Kansas State in the Alamo Bowl. Lucien had three catches for a 29 yards and a touchdown, as well as a 34-yard run, but sounded dismayed about the way his season had gone.
UCLA receiver Jordan Payton talked about the Bruins’ 40-35 win over Kansas State in the Alamo Bowl, one that featured one of the team’s fastest offensive starts of the season.
UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone talked about the Bruins’ performance in a 40-35 win over Kansas State in the Alamo Bowl. The team outgained the Wildcats’ 467 yards to 369, but scored just nine points in the second half after opening the game with a 17-0 run.
UCLA defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich talked to reporters after a 40-35 win over Kansas State in the Alamo Bowl, a game that featured a more aggressive scheme and a season-high seven sacks.
SAN ANTONIO — Brace yourself for a flurry of embeds, because this is a story that could not be a story without the existence of social media.
After UCLA’s 40-35 win over Kansas State in Friday’s Alamo Bowl, Jim Mora walked toward Wildcat coach Bill Snyder and reached out for a customary postgame handshake. But almost as soon as their hands touched, Mora turned away and shook his loose.
Here it is:
Yeah, that’s not a good look for Mora. At this point, you could probably talk yourself into arguing that Mora didn’t mean to snub Snyder — that perhaps he was called away to the trophy podium or something like that. But that was a fairly forceful shake, and it didn’t take long for the footage to spread and outrage K-State fans. Mora didn’t do himself any favors with the way he handled questions about the exchange afterward. Continue reading
This is it. The final game of UCLA’s season has arrived, with the Bruins set to close their third campaign under Jim Mora by hitting 10 wins for the second straight year. The Alamo Bowl matchup against Kansas State will pit Mora against Bill Snyder, who has led a very different career arc, and also be a goodbye tour for quarterback Brett Hundley, and seniors such as linebacker Eric Kendricks and defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa.
A few things to watch for in today’s 3:45 p.m. PT kickoff at the Alamodome:
Can UCLA limit Jake Waters as a running threat? It’s no secret that the Bruin defense has been stretched a bit this season when faced with dual-threat quarterbacks, but the team will probably be better prepared given the month-long layoff since it last played.
Waters is a bit of a different runner than most Pac-12 runners. He’s not as physically imposing at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, and he readily admitted that this week. But he runs tough and deliberate, though those scampers are usually more built into K-State’s offensive playcalling rather than pure, freelance scrambling.
The Wildcats are undefeated this season when Waters runs for at least one score, although he’s found the end zone with his legs just once in his last six games. UCLA’s defense will need to be careful not to overpursue to keep that number down.
Will any K-State skill players not named Tyler Lockett stand out? The 5-foot-11 wideout is the Wildcats’ all-time leading receiver and arguably its best pro prospect, but even big games by the All-American don’t necessarily guarantee wins for his team. Continue reading