UCLA quarterback Wilton Speight came off the bench and threw for 204 yards with two touchdowns to help the Bruins to a 31-30 win over Arizona Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.
“The team, that locker room, is filled with winners, led by a coaching staff full of winners,” Speight said. “And we’re going to keep winning each day and winning each meeting and winning each practice, and stack little wins until the outcome is what we want every Saturday.”
After starting the season 0-5, UCLA has won two straight games and join the hunt in the Pac-12 South after Colorado and USC suffered losses on Saturday. UCLA is one of four teams with two losses.
“Part of being a good football team is you have to finish and tonight, we were fortunate enough to finish,” UCLA head coach Chip Kelly said. “I think we overcame some of the things that we did to ourselves from a penalty standpoint but in the end, we had just enough to beat them so we’ll take it.”
Speight, who transferred from Michigan, entered the game in the second quarter after starter Dorian Thompson-Robinson was injured on a sack.
UCLA scored on its opening drive for the first time this season as Thompson-Robinson connected with Kazmeir Allen for a 16-yard touchdown. Thomas-Robinson led the Bruins to a 10-0 lead, throwing 103 yards and a touchdown.
Darnay Holmes forced a fumble at the UCLA 3 and recovered it in the end zone to preserve a 17-7 lead heading into halftime.
“When you are in these one-score games we have to close them out,” Arizona head coach Kevin Sumlin said. “Tonight was a situation where UCLA did it.”
Arizona opened the third quarter with three straight scoring drives. Two field goals by Josh Pollack and an 11-yard touchdown catch by Shawn Poindexter gave the Wildcats a 20-17.
Speight hit Demetric Felton on a 25-yard touchdown to regain the lead, 24-20, with 3:08 left in the third quarter. Arizona came right back with a 1-yard touchdown run by J.J. Taylor at the beginning of the fourth quarter.