Sunday, October 22

UCLA football leads Arizona 14-7 after back-and-forth first half


Kenny Walker had the longest reception of the game. The redshirt senior went 62 yards off a Josh Rosen throw for the go-ahead touchdown late in the first quarter. (Aubrey Yeo/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Kenny Walker had the longest reception of the game. The redshirt senior went 62 yards off a Josh Rosen throw for the go-ahead touchdown late in the first quarter. (Aubrey Yeo/Daily Bruin senior staff)


Against the worst rushing defense in the league, the Bruins’ biggest play came in the air.

Facing a swarming Arizona defense, sophomore quarterback Josh Rosen fell back in the pocket and launched the ball down field.

Redshirt senior wide receiver Kenny Walker caught the ball before sprinting down the field for a 62-yard go-ahead touchdown.

UCLA (2-2, 0-1) ended the half on top 14-7, but an injured Arizona team (2-2, 0-1) went play-for-play with the Bruins on both sides of the ball.

The Wildcats got on the scoreboard first with a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brandon Dawkins to wide receiver Samajie Grant. Arizona caught multiple breaks to keep its drives alive, including two recovered fumbles and a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty on coach Jim Mora after he argued with the officials.

But the UCLA Bruins’defense kept the Wildcats out of the endzone and forced them to put away their remaining first-half possessions.

Redshirt senior Randall Goforth forced both fumbles and pressured receiversand a healthy Takk McKinley rushed at Dawkins, forcing the quarterback to scamper away or into off-balanced throws.

In the second quarter, neither offense could get into a rhythm.

Rosen went 2 of 14after completing 70 percent of his first-quarter passes. His receivers, including junior Mossi Johnson and redshirt junior Darren Andrews, missed catchable, open passes.

Running back Nate Starks got the bulk of the carries after splitting time with sophomores Soso Jamabo and Bolu Olurunfunmi last week against the Cardinal, rushing for 16 yards and one touchdown midway through the first quarter.

All three running backs are still looking for a breakthrough play after struggling against the Cardinal last week, but the banged-up Wildcat team held their own.

Linebacker Cody Ippolito led Arizona with five solo tackles and free safety Demetrius Flannnigan-Fowles added two more tackles for the Wildcats.

JJ Molson’s had a chance to put up the only second quarter points, but his field goal attempt for the Bruins went off the top of the gridiron, keeping the score 14-7.

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