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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wildcats fend off Bruins

Wildcats fend off Bruins

PASADENA, Calif. — It sure wasn’t pretty, but Arizona did just enough to fend off a surging UCLA at the Rose Bowl Saturday en route to a 29-21 victory.

“”Unfortunately we let them hang around longer than we would have liked but a win’s a win and that’s all that matters,”” said linebacker Paul Vassallo.

Arizona’s offense and quarterback Matt Scott set the tone for the Wildcats, racking up 373 yards, 20 first downs and 19-7 lead all in the first half.  

Scott threw for 228 yards, Arizona ran for 145 yards and Juron Criner made eight grabs for 128 yards, including a 41-yard touchdown. But the second half was a different story for Arizona’s offense as it committed two turnovers and failed to capitalize on several opportunities.

“”We weren’t very effective in the fourth quarter, that’s the disappointing part for us,”” said head coach Mike Stoops.

But despite an offensive lull in the second half, the Wildcats came out on top thanks to clutch play from the defense. The Bruins cut Arizona’s 26-14 lead to five behind a flea-flicker turned touchdown as quarterback Richard Brehaut connected with Josh Smith on a 49-yard bomb.

The Wildcat defense wouldn’t let the Bruins taste victory, however, as it kept UCLA off of the scoreboard the next four drives.

“”For us to regroup on the sideline and come out there and play with a lot of heart, that shows a lot about our team,”” said cornerback Robert Golden who collected an interception in the first quarter.

The defense held UCLA’s run-happy offense to only 71 yards on 28 carries and allowed 299 total yards. Arizona certainly didn’t blow the Bruins away, but the game wasn’t nearly as close as the score indicated. UCLA racked up 117 of its yards on two plays, and other than that Arizona’s defense was stout.

“”I thought we had pretty good control of the game outside of those two big plays they hit defensively,”” Stoops said.

Regardless of some offensive and defensive lapses, the Wildcats still got it done Saturday. They finished with 583 total yards – their highest total of the season.

Scott threw for 319 yards and a score while rushing for 71 yards, and running back Keola Antolin went for over 111 yards on 23 carries, his second game in a row over 100. David Roberts also hauled in six balls for 90 yards.

Arizona has now won five games in a row on the road, but it will have its hands full next Saturday as the Wildcats head to Paolo Alto, Calif., to take on No. 13 Stanford. Despite what lies ahead, Arizona took care of business against the lesser Bruins. 

“”Good team win,”” Stoops said. “”Going on the road and winning is a great complement to our players and our coaches.””

Check back tomorrow for more Daily Wildcat coverage from the Arizona at UCLA game. 

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