UCLA 2016 schedule preview: Washington State

Washington State wide receiver Gabe Marks (9) reacts after scoring the go ahead touchdown against UCLA in the fourth quarter during a NCAA college football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. Washington State won 31-27. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

Washington State wide receiver Gabe Marks (9) reacts after scoring the go-ahead touchdown against UCLA in the fourth quarter at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. Washington State won 31-27. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

Continuing the look at UCLA’s 2016 schedule, here is a breakdown of the Bruins’ sixth opponent, Washington State.

UCLA at Washington State

Saturday, Oct. 15 | Martin Stadium

2015 in review

Washington State had its most successful season in more than a decade in 2015 as it finished 9-4 (6-3 Pac-12) with big wins over Oregon and UCLA. The Cougars had not had more than six wins in a year since 2003, when it went 10-3 and was ranked No. 9 in the nation at season’s end. WSU turned a three-point deficit into a four-point win over UCLA in 69 seconds as quarterback Luke Falk led a 75-yard game-winning touchdown drive to upset the Bruins on Nov. 14 at the Rose Bowl. It was the first time in 31 straight games under head coach Jim Mora that the Bruins lost when leading at halftime. UCLA’s 13 penalties were a season high for the Bruins. Continue reading

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UCLA falls to 0-2 in conference play for second straight season

Steve Alford guided UCLA to some impressive nonconference wins, but the Bruins have now lost their first two Pac-12 games. (Andy Holzman/Staff)

Steve Alford guided UCLA to some impressive nonconference wins, but the Bruins have now lost their first two Pac-12 games. (Andy Holzman/Staff)

Less than halfway through Steve Alford’s third season, UCLA has already seen dizzying highs and lows.

The Bruins’ upset win over Kentucky a month ago was their first over a No. 1-ranked team since 2003. Their win at Gonzaga less than two weeks later marked the Bulldogs’ 11th loss ever at McCarthey Athletic Complex, which opened in 2004.

UCLA has opened the new year in far less inspiring fashion. After dropping a double-overtime decision at Washington on Friday, the team followed suit two night later by losing to Washington State for just the 17th time in 120 meetings. In an 85-78 decision, it allowed the Cougars — picked to finish last in the Pac-12 — to shoot 60 percent in the second half.

That’s not the only unflattering milestone. By falling at UW and WSU, the Bruins have dropped both games of their Washington road trip for the first time since February 1993. Tony Parker, the team’s lone current senior, wouldn’t be born for another five months.

UCLA has now started 0-2 in conference play for the second straight season, something almost unheard of in program history. When the Bruins lost their first two league games in 2011-12, it marked a first for the team since 1987-88.

This isn’t to say that Alford’s latest campaign is doomed. Continue reading

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Pac-12: Refs missed targeting call on UCLA’s Tahaan Goodman

UCLA safety Tahaan Goodman should have been called for a targeting penalty against Washington State on Saturday, said Pac-12 vice president of officiating David Coleman.

Appearing on Pac-12 Networks today to talk specifically about targeting fouls, Coleman analyzed a few calls from the weekend with network analyst Mike Yam. One was Goodman launching himself head first at WSU quarterback Luke Falk, who had left the game earlier with an apparent head injury but returned to start the second half.

“It’s a definite– It’s a launch,” Coleman said. “We have to have our antenna up when something like that happens. As you see from this shot, there is definitely elbow to helmet contact, and that’s a targeting foul. …

“(Falk) had definitely given himself up (by sliding). And then you see the other player coming like he is, something bad is going to happen in a situation like that.” Continue reading

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UCLA LB Deon Hollins not happy with officiating in loss to WSU

UCLA linebacker Deon Hollins made this clear on Tuesday: He’s not happy with Pac-12 officiating.

Asked about what the Bruins could have done better in their 31-27 loss to Washington State, the junior said: “It’s really tough sometimes beating the referees and beating the other team. It’s really tough sometimes. We were just looking at it on film. There were so many missed things. I was appalled.”

Head coach Jim Mora had echoed those thoughts this weekend, saying that conference opponents have only been called for holding twice on UCLA’s passing plays this season. Hollins thinks the issue is disproportionately affecting the Bruins, rather than it being a case of holding not being called against anyone.

The junior said that WSU right tackle Cole Madison even admitted to holding him after the game: “He was just, ‘Oh, it was a rough night for me. I just couldn’t help but hold you the whole night.'”

“Maybe (we need to) send the refs a gift basket or something,” Hollins added. “I don’t know.”

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