UCLA football holds double-digit lead against Arizona at end of first half
Following a 167-yard, two-touchdown performance last week at Oregon, redshirt senior running back Demetric Felton found the end zone once and led the Bruins in rushing in the first half as UCLA hosts Arizona. (Liz Ketcham/Daily Bruin senior staff)
By Jack Perez
Nov. 28, 2020 6:45 p.m.
After falling behind early, the Bruins roared back behind their running backs.
UCLA football (1-2) takes a 20-7 lead into the half over Arizona (0-2) at the Rose Bowl on Saturday. The Bruins have yet to turn the ball over after gifting opposing teams possession at least once in each first half so far this year.
UCLA capitalized twice through its backfield in the second frame. Redshirt freshman quarterback Chase Griffin found graduate transfer running back Brittain Brown for a 16-yard touchdown pass to take the lead, followed up by a rushing touchdown from redshirt senior Demetric Felton later in the quarter.
Griffin – in just his second collegiate start – completed 9-of-13 passes for 96 yards in the first half. Unlike last week where he had three turnovers, Griffin has yet to cough the ball up and led the Bruins to 20 unanswered points.
On the other side, Arizona starting quarterback Grant Gunnell was hurt on the first play of the game from scrimmage and did not return. Freshman Will Plummer replaced him under center for the remainder of the half.
On UCLA’s first drive of the night, coach Chip Kelly decided to go for it on fourth down from his own half, but the Bruins were stuffed as the Wildcats took over at the UCLA 22-yard line. Arizona drove down in four plays to take an early 7-0 lead.
The Bruin offense had a 10-play, 62-yard drive but failed to get the ball into the endzone. Kelly then allowed redshirt freshman kicker Nicholas Barr-Mira to attempt his first field goal of the year, which he nailed from 31 yards with 5:34 remaining in the first quarter to get the Bruins on the board.
Barr-Mira would tack on one more with 10 seconds in the half to put UCLA up 13.
In addition to his touchdown, Felton added 134 yards on 20 carries to lead the Bruins in rushing yards. He also tacked on one catch for 11 yards.
The Bruin defense did not record a sack in the half after the unit averaged 3.3 in its first three contests.
UCLA will receive the ball to begin the second half.