Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

UCLA FOOTBALL FYI

Bruins take it slow to their own advantage

Plodding approach leads to snapping of three-game losing streak, as defense gets more rest on the sidelines. Oregon State is held to 267 yards, the fewest the Bruins have allowed this season.

November 07, 2010|By Chris Foster

UCLA appears to thrive at being the anti-Oregon.

The Ducks score quickly and often, and are nearing a second consecutive Pacific 10 Conference championship. The Bruins are the polar opposite, beyond the fact that their last conference championship banner (1998) must be a bit faded.

UCLA found success, and ended a three-game losing streak, with a plodding approach during a 17-14 victory over Oregon State on Saturday. It can take mere seconds for Oregon to score touchdowns. The Bruins, on Saturday, could have used a sundial to time some drives.

What that did was keep a defense, overwhelmed so many times this season, on the sidelines.

"The big thing is, a week ago we gave up over 90 plays offense [against Arizona], and yesterday Oregon State had 52," Coach Rick Neuheisel said. "The defense did a much better job getting off the field and offense much better staying on it."

The defense, with rest, was not the same tread-on-me group that gave up 41 points and more than 500 yards per game during the three-game losing streak.

That same group held Oregon State 267 yards, the fewest the Bruins have allowed this season.

Asked whether being off the field was the main factor, Neuheisel said, "I think that's taking away from the effort of the defense."

Neuheisel pointed to Oregon State's three-and-out possession before the Bruins' game-winning field goal drive. But at that point in the game, UCLA's defense had been on the field only 8 minutes 39 seconds in the second half.

The Bruins had a 20-play drive, lasting 9:28, in the third quarter, that ended in a touchdown. The Bruins also had a 14-play journey that took eight minutes off the clock in the fourth quarter. Though it produced no points, "we were shortening the game and, given some of the depletion to our roster, that's OK," Neuheisel said.

The Bruins had the ball for 35:36. Oregon State had it for 24:24.

"The offense was on the field and we were on the bench, getting a breather, getting a chance to think," defensive tackle David Carter said.

Brehaut highlighted

The Bruins' offense was quarterback Richard Brehaut on Saturday. He was the key to the running game, with 61 yards rushing, some of it gathered on scrambles. Johnathan Franklin gained 100 yards. The Bruins had 74 plays; 55 were runs.

Most impressive, Neuheisel said, was Brehaut's performance on third down. He completed an 11-yard pass to Taylor Embree on third and five during the final field goal drive.

Earlier in the game, on third and 11, Brehaut scrambled and managed to flip the ball to tight end Cory Harkey for a 12-yard gain.

"That was one of the best plays of the year so far, in terms of a player creating," Neuheisel said. "Every time you watch SportsCenter, that's what you see quarterbacks doing. It was fun for it to happen to us."

chris.foster@latimes.com

twitter.com/cfosterlatimes

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|