PULLMAN, Wash. “”mdash; While special teams only comprises one third of the equation in football, UCLA’s special teams units have helped mount a 37-7 lead for UCLA at Washington State.
Redshirt senior defensive end Datone Jones blocked a Washington State field goal attempt on the Cougars’ opening drive, which was returned 68 yards for a touchdown by senior cornerback Sheldon Price. Junior defensive end Cassius Marsh blocked the Cougars’ next field goal attempt on the ensuing drive.
After junior linebacker Jordan Zumwalt blocked a Cougar punt, redshirt senior running back Johnathan Franklin fumbled, leading to Washington State’s only touchdown of the half.
UCLA scored on a 16-yard screen pass from redshirt freshman quarterback Brett Hundley to Franklin, which was immediately followed by yet another Washington State special teams blunder, a fumble forced by redshirt junior safety Stan McKay. The Bruins capitalized on a nine-yard pass from Hundley to redshirt senior receiver Joseph Fauria to take a 21-7 lead with 7:27 to play in the half.
The Bruins furthered their lead with a safety as a result of a sack by junior linebacker Anthony Barr. UCLA retained possession but not for long as it took Hundley just two plays and 28 seconds to travel 41 yards, capping the drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to freshman receiver Devin Fuller.
UCLA’s defense got in on the scoring action shortly before halftime when Marsh sacked sophomore quarterback Connor Halliday and redshirt sophomore linebacker Eric Kendricks returned it 40 yards for the Bruins’ final touchdown of the half.
Compiled by Sam Strong, Bruin Sports senior staff