Pasadena, CA – UCLA running back Keegan Jones’ two touchdowns helps the Bruins complete their second half comeback as they drop the 13th ranked Washington State at home 25-17.
A strong second half performance by the offense helps the Bruins move to 4-1. After dropping the game against Utah last week, this was a good bounce back win in front of a home crowd.
Jones only touched the ball three times in the game, but he made the most of his two touches down in the red zone. Finding the endzone twice after only touching the ball about once in the previous four games.
“He’s versatile, He can do a couple of different things,” UCLA head coach Chip Kelly said of Jones.
Defensively, the Bruins were flying all over the field. Washington State quarterback Cam Ward came into the game with zero interceptions thrown, but finished with two on the night as the Cougar offense looked out of sync the whole game.
Washington State’s offense has been hot to start the season They were averaging around 45 points a game before the game. However, they met a brick wall in the form of the Bruin defense. The front seven of UCLA’s defense in particular really shined as Carl Jones Jr, Laiatu Latu, and the Murphy twins were in the backfield consistently.
Ward never really got comfortable in this one as the pass protection for the Cougars broke down a lot in the second half, which forced Ward to scramble out the pocket more often that not.
Jones Jr was honest when talking about the team’s performance defensively “For the most part, we did our job. He got frustrated a lot, and we came out with the victory.”
UCLA quarterback Dante Moore struggled in the first half of the game. He threw two interceptions, including a pick-six to end the second half. He settled down a bit more in the second half, but the Bruins relied heavily on the run game.
Prior to the game, the Bruins’ were trotting out a running back committee of TJ Harden, Carson Steele and a mix of Anthony Adkins and Colson Yankoff but tonight it was all Steele. He took the ball 30 times, which is a season high, and rushed for 142 yards. Although not scoring at all tonight, Steele was at his best when UCLA needed him.
Coach Kelly had nothing but positive things to say about Steele today.
“That kid is as beast…if I’m a defense coach, I don’t know what to do because we schemed it up and we have an unblocked guy that should make the tackle for a gain of three, and then he runs through the guy,” Kelly said of Steele
UCLA moves onto Oregon State next week in Corvallis and looks to put their season back on track with another win. It will be interesting to see if the Bruins hop back into the Top 25 poll after falling out after last week’s loss at Utah.
Meanwhile, for Washington State, they will look to bounce back with a date with Arizona at home next week.