A good defensive stop by UCLA on Utah opening drive was all but erased after a muffed punt by Adarius Pickett.
The Bruins (2-6) were in for a long night as several missed opportunities cost them momentum all throughout the night; despite a goal-line stop after the muffed punt to force a field goal.
“I misjudged the ball, Pickett said. I shouldn’t have even gone for that. That was on me”
No. 23 Utah football (6-2) would go on to throttle the Bruins 41-10 on Friday night.
“It’s a fundamental game, we have to catch a ball on offense and make a tackle on defense, UCLA head coach Chip Kelly said. “you’re not going to win a game tackling like that.”
The Utes running back Zack Moss had a field day gashing the Bruins defense to the tune of 211 yards and 3 TDs on 26 carries.
“They were well-schemed, it was my job all night to slide in and stop him,” Pickett said. “Lots of drop offs and missed tackles.”
Despite the Bruins finding hints of success with Wilton Speight under center, they found themselves playing from behind all game, which forced him to run (eight rush, 30 yards) and throw more than normal (20-for-40 for 162 yards and 2 INTs).
After a touchdown run on their second drive, the Bruins were outscored 38-3 in the final three quarters of the game.
Caleb Wilson (5 rec, 62 yds) and Theo Howard (6 rec, 51 yds) had respectable nights on the receiving end; while Joshua Kelley (16 rushes, 90 yds and a TD) had another good night until it was hampered by the Bruins inability to get a stop.
Even the small bright spots were wiped away after penalties and mistakes in key moments gave up field position, including a false start which led to JJ Molson missing a field goal to end the first half.
“We didn’t play well tonight,” Pickett said.
The Bruins will head to Eugene, OR to take on No. 19 Oregon on Saturday, Nov. 3.
“It was a short week, we only had one day in pads,” Kelly said. “Next week we’ll get the full two days in pads and get back to the fundamentals.”