Pasadena, CA – Josh Rosen didn’t have to throw for multiple touchdowns for the Bruins Saturday night en route to a 27-23 victory over Colorado at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
“I’m just proud of those young men, for a lot of reasons,” said UCLA head coach, Jim Mora, “Through two weeks of tough losses they have just gotten closer.”
A defense plagued all season with targeting penalties was haunted once again tonight as freshman defensive back Darnay Holmes was disqualified in the first quarter after referees reviewed his hit on Colorado RB Phillip Lindsay.
“The targeting penalty on Darnay I think was a good call,” said Mora. “We have to keep players safety at a premium, we have to be careful.”
On the very next play Colorado QB Steven Montez connected with Lindsay once again for the game first touchdown and score of the game.
Rosen shook off a rusty first possession and came back throwing a couple strikes to Jordan Lasley, which would eventually lead to a 12-yard touchdown pass to TE Austin Roberts.
UCLA obtained its first lead of the game in the 2nd quarter. Despite a couple early drops by WR Lasley, Rosen’s trust in him never faltered. After ripping a 44-yard catch and run on UCLA’s previous scoring drive, Lasley’s big play ability came out on display once again getting behind the defense this time on a 46-yard reception. Two plays later, RB Jalen Starks took it in for the touchdown from 1-yard out to give UCLA a 14-10.
Colorado gambled on a fake field goal attempt that would have made it a one-point game with 54 seconds left in the 1st half but the Buffaloes were unable to convert.
The Tight Ends for the Bruins stepped up for Rosen to begin the team first drive of the second half. Rosen hit Roberts for a 30-yard gain to start the drive. Rosen also connected with Caleb Wilson twice with catches of 19 and 21-yards. Two plays later RB Soso Jamabo found the end zone from 2-yards out to give the Bruins a 21-10 lead.
The Buffaloes would answer back with a touchdown of its own. Colorado cut UCLA’s lead to 4 on a 10-play drive capped by a 2-yard TD run from Lindsay. Colorado’s defense stepped up on UCLA’s next possession intercepting Rosen. The Buffaloes fell short of getting 7 and settled for a field goal cutting the Bruins lead 21-20.
UCLA was able to maintain its lead majority of the game with the help of its red zone defense. In 5 trips to the red zone for Colorado, the Buffaloes only scored one touchdown and were held to 3 field goals.
Rosen finished the night 28 of 45 for 372 yards and 1 touchdown. It is the 15th time he has thrown for more than 300 yards leading every quarterback in school history.
“I think a couple throws got away from him early. I think that he has set the bar so incredibly high that we all have to be a little bit measured of our evaluation of him,’” said Mora of Rosen.
The Bruins head into their bye week snapping its two game losing skid and although Mora says it feels good to get the taste of losing out of his mouth.
“You can take a sigh of relief but you can’t act like it is all fixed. There is a lot of work to do.”