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The Daily Wildcat

 

UCLA defeats Arizona 17-7 behind Hundley’s 320 all-purpose yards

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Rebecca Marie Sasnett

Arizona head coach Rich Rod reacts to a targeting hit call during the second quarter of No. 14 Arizona football’s 17-7 defeat against No, 25 UCLA at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. The Wildcats labored to put up consistent offensive production against the Bruins. 

PASADENA, Calif. — What started out as something promising turned sour awfully quick. The No. 14 Arizona football team suffered a 17-7 road defeat at the hands of the No. 25 UCLA Bruins (7-2, 4-2 Pac-12 Conference) at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Arizona (6-2, 3-2 Pac-12) lost just its second game of the season, a loss that could have significant implications as to who wins the Pac-12 South division.

After UA redshirt sophomore wide receiver Cayleb Jones scored an acrobatic touchdown on its opening drive, the Arizona offense struggled mightily for the remainder of the game.

The Wildcats gained just 255 total offensive yards, while the Bruins gained 460 total yards.

UA redshirt freshman quarterback Anu Solomon failed to maintain the momentum from that opening touchdown and finished with a paltry 175 passing yards, one touchdown and an interception on 18-48 attempts. Countless drops from the UA receivers aided to his low 37.5 completion percentage.

After the defeat, UA football head coach Rich Rodriguez said there was an overall lack of execution from both the players and coaching staff.

“The offense was poor,” Rodriguez said. “Poorly called, poorly executed and poorly played.”

Rodriguez added that both teams played tough, but UCLA came up tougher.

“Give them credit; they did a nice job,” Rodriguez said. “They played hard, and we played hard, too. They played better than us.”



Meanwhile, Solomon’s UCLA counterpart, Brett Hundley, displayed much of the dual-threat ability that Solomon has shown all season. Hundley ended up 19-26 with 189 passing yards, 131 rushing yards and one passing touchdown, pacing the Bruins throughout.

With his lone passing touchdown, Hundley tied the school record of 68 career touchdowns held by Cade McNown.

UCLA gained the majority of its yards behind the legs of Hundley and redshirt sophomore running back Paul Perkins. The duo combined for 209 of UCLA’s 271 rushing yards and contributed to the lopsided time of possession numbers.

Due to the woes on both its offense and defense, Arizona’s defense was on the field for 38:09, compared to just 21:51 for the UCLA defensive unit.

One of the lone bright spots for the Wildcats was the play of sophomore linebacker Scooby Wright III. He added to his stellar sophomore season with 19 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. On the year, Wright III leads Arizona in total tackles (97), tackles for loss (18.5) and sacks (12).

Aiding Wright III was UA redshirt senior safety Jared Tevis. The Tucsonan registered 10 tackles, stepping up for a banged-up defensive unit.


More football coverage:

The Daily Wildcat column: Column: Who are these Arizona Wildcats?

The Daily Wildcat recap: FINAL: UCLA defeats Arizona 17-7

Arizona Daily Star: Nothing pretty about Cats’ loss to UCLAHundley’s legs forced Wildcats’ hands

ESPN: Instant Analysis: No. 22 UCLA 17, No. 12 Arizona 7


“I thought our defense played well enough for to win, for the most part, against a really talented player,” Rodriguez said. “Obviously, Hundley hurt us. … We had plenty of opportunities from our defense but didn’t take advantage of them.”

Late in the first half, UA redshirt senior safety Jourdon Grandon was called for targeting and was ejected as a result. The play gave UCLA a first down and led to Rodriguez’s squad losing a starting defensive back in the 3-3-5 scheme.

The controversial call ended up being one of 15 total called penalties — 11 of which were against UCLA, and four of which were against Arizona. In total, the 15 penalties accounted for 158 yards.

“That was ridiculous,” Tevis said. “He shouldn’t have gotten thrown out of the game.”

Special teams play continued to plague Arizona, as redshirt junior kicker Casey Skowron missed two field goals against the Bruins: A 39-yard attempt was wide of the post, and a 26-yard attempt was blocked.

Over the past three games, Skowron has missed five total field goal attempts.

As Arizona looks to move on from its second loss of the season, Rodriguez said the next week of practice will be tougher than the past week. He mentioned he thought his players got in solid practices but were maybe too “giggly.”

“It won’t be giggly this week in practice,” Rodriguez said.

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