Wrapping up UCLA’s 52-45 loss to Utah

Mike Fafaul set a school record for pass attempts and completions in UCLA's loss to Utah. (Photo by Thomas R. Cordova/SCNG)

Mike Fafaul set a school record for pass attempts and completions in UCLA’s loss to Utah. (Photo by Thomas R. Cordova/SCNG)

The losing streak has gone on for so long that Takkarist McKinley can barely remember how many consecutive times he’s walked out of a stadium after a loss now.

Three times, he’s reminded. And four of the last five.

“We’ve just got to find a way just to win,” he responded Saturday after UCLA’s 52-45 loss to Utah at the Rose Bowl. “No excuses.”

Time is running out on UCLA’s season after another conference loss, this time an extra costly loss to a divisional opponent. By design, UCLA’s running game disappeared fully from the offense Saturday. The defense gave up a school record amount of rushing yards.

The Bruins are now 3-5 overall and 1-4 in Pac-12 play. Forget a shot at the Pac-12 championship. They need to win three of their last four to just earn bowl eligibility now.

Links to wrap up another loss:

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By the numbers: Records fall in UCLA’s loss to Utah

Utah running back Joe Williams slips through a tackle from UCLA safety Randall Goforth (3). (Photo by Thomas R. Cordova/SCNG)

Utah running back Joe Williams slips through a tackle from UCLA safety Randall Goforth (3). (Photo by Thomas R. Cordova/SCNG)

A few notable stats from UCLA’s 52-45 loss to Utah:

  • 332 rushing yards for Utah RB Joe Williams — the most rushing yards for an individual UCLA opponent in school history
    • No UCLA opponent had ever run for 300 yards: Miami’s Edgerrin James previously held the individual record (299 in 1998)
  • 360 rushing yards allowed — most by a UCLA opponent since 2010 (437 by Washington State)
  • 70 pass attempts from UCLA QB Mike Fafaul — a single-game school record (old record: 57, Josh Rosen)
    • 40 completions — a single-game school record (old record: 34, Rosen)
    • 5 touchdown passes — most since Ben Olsen threw five against Stanford in 2007
    • 4 interceptions — most since Brett Hundley threw four against Cal in 2012
  • 99 yards on Utah’s opening kickoff return for a touchdown
    • First kick return for a touchdown allowed by UCLA since 2014 (Washington’s John Ross, 100 yards)
  • 16 UCLA rushing attempts — Least since Nebraska in last year’s bowl game (also 16 attempts)
    • 9 rushing attempts in the second half, only 1 in the third quarter
    • 6 of those rushes came from Fafaul
  • 85.5 rushing yards per game for UCLA this season
    • The Bruins are on pace for 1,026 rushing yards this year, which would be the lowest season total since 2008 (993 rushing yards)
  • 16.4 seconds per play for UCLA on Saturday
    • 24.9 seconds per play for UCLA entering the game
    • 23:49 time of possession for UCLA, least in any game this season for the Bruins
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Five questions: The Salt Lake Tribune’s Kyle Goon on Utah

Utah enters this Saturday’s matchup with UCLA as the co-leader in the Pac-12 South, but the Utes have a tough schedule ahead and several key injuries weighing them down. At the beginning of the season, this game looked like one that would be a key factor in deciding the Pac-12 South champion. Now the Bruins need it to just stay in the hunt. The Salt Lake Tribune’s Kyle Goon answered some questions about the Utes, their growing injury report and their impressive new punter.

1. Injuries have marred Utah’s season, yet the Utes are still tied for first in the Pac-12 South. How have they been able to get by and how long will it last? 

It’s been a bit of a circus. The Cal game was the ultimate low, as four key starters were either missing or got injured during the game, and it probably changed the complexion of the match-up — Utah’s only loss of the year. If healthy, it’s reasonable to believe that Utah would be 7-0 so far (they were 1 yard shy of beating Cal). At running back, they’ve gone from a young core to the running back that retired when his starting status appeared to be threatened (see below), and they’re on their fourth center since spring. The defense has been healthier in general, until last week when they lost the free safety and middle linebacker against the Beavers. It’s awfully precarious. I think most observers believe that Utah could be out of the South running if the current injured players miss a lot of time, and ESPN’s FPI ranks them as the fourth-best team in the South. The schedule is backloaded: After UCLA, Utah still has to face Washington, Arizona State, Oregon and Colorado. Continue reading

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First look: Utah at UCLA

Utah quarterback Troy Williams (3) passes the ball against Southern Utah in the first half during an NCAA college football game Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Utah quarterback Troy Williams (3) passes the ball against Southern Utah in the first half during an NCAA college football game Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

UCLA Bruins (3-4, 1-3 Pac-12) vs. Utah Utes (6-1, 3-0 Pac-12)
Kickoff: 1 p.m. PT, Rose Bowl
TV: FOX
Radio: AM 570

Scouting report: Utah is currently tied with upstart Colorado for the lead in the Pac-12 South, however, the Utes are carrying a ton of injuries. Safety Marcus Williams and linebacker Sunia Tauteoli are the latest additions to the injury report after getting hurt last week against Oregon State. Utah has given up 18.3 points per game (second in the Pac-12) and 344.4 yards per game (fourth in the Pac-12). The team’s six rushing touchdowns allowed is tied for least in the conference. Continue reading

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