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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Defense wilts under pressure at Rose Bowl

Arizona’s defense was given the task of compensating for an
injured offense and it could not live up to that tall task, however difficult
that task may be.

UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen has had an up and down sophomore
season but Arizona’s defense is just what the doctor ordered. Tasked with
learning his second offense in two years, he tallied only five toudhowns to
four interceptions coming into the game. He was spectacular on Saturday with 350
yards and three touchdowns while running for another against Arizona in a 45-24

Despite pressure from Arizona’s pass rush, he was still able
to have a solid game against the Wildcats in UCLA’s victory. Arizona would not
sack Rosen as he turned would-be sacks into big plays including a 29-yard
touchdown to Kenneth Walker.

“They played better, they deserved to win and we did not and
we have a lot of work to do,” said Tellas Jones.

While the pass defense was putrid, the run defense played
fairly well as it limited UCLA to a 3.9
yards per carry average. However, they were unable to force any turnovers to
help out the offense and it hurt Arizona all game long.

Going into the half, Rosen was only 9-24 for 168 yards and a
touchdown as Arizona’s defense held up well. Whether it was stuffing the run or
pressuring the quarterback, they were doing everything possible to win the game
for Arizona.

In the second half, Rosen went 11-13 for 182 yards and two
touchdowns to put the game away. After a putrid second quarter, he was able to
avoid the pass rush and find a rhythm with his receivers.

When the defensive backs played off, Rosen hit his receivers
on hitch routes and they were able to make plays all night. Arizona’s defensive
backs struggled in coverage and with tackling as they failed to make any impact
on the game at all. They had opportunities to make a play on the ball but
failed to record an interception on Saturday.

Once again, Arizona had a chance to make a statement against
a California school besides Cal and fell flat. The Wildcats are 0-5 against
UCLA in the Rich Rodriguez era and have also struggled against Stanford and USC
during this period.

“It is very frustrating because we have been close too many
times,” said Jones. “During my four years we have not beaten of them besides
Cal and that was a big thing for me this season,” he added.

Just like last season’s 56-30 loss to UCLA, Arizona scored
first and UCLA scored often. After Arizona’s opening touchdown, UCLA outscored
them 31-3 before Arizona would score again.

Next week might not be any better after Utah suffered defeat
at the hands of Cal on a last second goal-line stand by the Bears. They will
look to rebound and considering their recent lack of success versus Arizona, it
could get ugly.

Follow Ivan Leonard on Twitter.

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