On redshirt senior running back Johnathan Franklin’s third-quarter touchdown run, a flurry of yellow flags fell on the field just after he crossed into the end zone.
Two separate penalties were called on the play, but both were incriminating for redshirt senior guard Jeff Baca ““ one for a personal foul because of a late hit, the other for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The waving of the yellow flag was a common occurrence for UCLA on Saturday, but it might as well have been a white flag, surrendering much-needed yards on crucial drives.
By the game’s end, the Bruins were flagged for 12 penalties at the cost of 135 yards.
Coach Jim Mora acknowledged that UCLA committed too many penalties against Stanford.
“Some were aggressive, some were a lack of focus, some were not being technically sound,” Mora said.
“It was not anything specific. Yes, it’s disappointing but we have got to get over it quickly because we have a game on Friday night.”
Saturday’s 135 yards in penalties was the most UCLA has racked up all season.
Baca has been the focal point of penalties the past two games, receiving multiple flags against both USC and Stanford for a variety of reasons.
He is the most senior member of the young offensive line, which was responsible for half the Bruins’ penalties on Saturday.
“It put us in second-and-20, first-and-20. That really hurts you as a rhythm offense where we have to stay on schedule and make first downs,” Baca said.
In regards to the two penalties assessed at the end of Franklin’s run, Baca attributed the fouls to frustration.
“I didn’t agree with the first one … and then that was me overreacting,” Baca said.
Saturday saw UCLA concede not only the most penalties of any one game this year, but the most sacks as well.
Stanford sacked redshirt freshman quarterback Brett Hundley seven times, resulting in a loss of 38 yards for the Bruins.
Mora attributed the sacks and the pressure on Hundley to both defensive penetration and downfield coverage.
“Brett was under a lot of pressure tonight, so we have to do a better job of finding a way to protect Brett,” he said.
Hundley has often been touted as a double threat, able to make plays with his throws as well as carries.
But he showed off a new dimension to his game against Stanford.
Facing 4th and 3 on the Stanford 38-yard line with the UCLA offense still on the field, Hundley caught the snap and punted the ball to the 1-yard line, pinning the Stanford offense in terrible field position.
When asked about the last time he had punted, Hundley replied. “Never to be honest. We’ve been practicing it but I’ve never punted in my life in a game. I told the coach, let me use one of my other assets, which is punting. I figure it’s a God-given ability too,” he said with a laugh. “We used it and worked out perfectly.”
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