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UCLA vs. Rice: Bruins lead, 49-24, in fourth quarter

August 30, 2012|By Baxter Holmes
  • UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley scores on a 72-yard run on the first play from scrimmage against Rice on Thursday.
UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley scores on a 72-yard run on the first play… (Scott Halleran / Getty Images )

UCLA, 49, Rice 24 (midway through fourth quarter)

Johnathan Franklin has scored his third touchdown of the game, this on a run from 22 yards out as the Bruins have put this game on ice.

Franklin has run for 214 yards in 15 carries.

UCLA 41, Rice 24 (early in fourth quarter)

Hundley and the Bruins returned to their scoring ways with a four-yard scoring pass to Joseph Fauria, extending UCLA's lead with 12:29 left in the game. It was Hundley's second touchdown toss of the game.

UCLA 35, Rice 24 (end of the third quarter)

What a quiet third quarter, compared to the first two.

Each team made coaching adjustments at halftime to try to slow the other team's offense, and it has been working. Both teams combined for 59 points before halftime; none in the third. 

In the quarter, UCLA had 34 passing yards and 25 rushing yards; Rice had 14 passing yards and 36 rushing yards. Each team had three possessions; each punted three times.

To the fourth we go!

UCLA 35, Rice 24 (halftime)

Remember how UCLA scored three touchdowns on its first five plays from scrimmage and how those five plays resulted in a whopping 193 total yards, including 146 on the ground? 

That frivolous pace didn't last. 

In the Bruins' next six plays, which were over the span of two three-and-out possessions that resulted in punts, the Bruins totaled just 11 yards. 

Meanwhile, Rice -- the team that entered this game as a two-touchdown underdog -- stormed back to make it a three-point game.

But UCLA got another big play from its offense late in the second half when Johnathan Franklin rushed 78 yards up the middle for another touchdown with 3:36 before halftime.

It was a career-long run for Franklin and his second touchdown of the game, giving him 169 yards on eight carries. 

It was UCLA's third play of 70 or more yards in the first half. 

It had just one play of 70 or more yards all of last season.

Of course, if you want to take some shine off that fact, all you have to do is note how bad Rice's defense is, especially at giving up big plays. 

And Rice is quite bad at it. In fact, last season the Owls allowed 23 plays of 40 or more yards last season, second most in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

But UCLA's defense hasn't shown itself to be all that impressive, either. 

After building a 19-0 lead, the Bruins' defense couldn't stop Rice from chipping its way down the field with short runs and passes that culminated in first downs.

The Owls marched 75 yards in seven plays and 2 minutes, 16 seconds to pull to within five points of the Bruins on the scoreboard with 1 minute, 20 seconds before intermission.

That drive ended with a two-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Taylor McHargue to Sam McGuffie, giving McHargue his second touchdown pass of the game. 

Rice got the ball back shortly thereafter when UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley threw the first interception of his career.

And UCLA got the ball right back when Datone Jones hit Rice quarterback Turner Peterson, who was in to replace McHargue after the quarterback left the field because of an apparent injury.

The ball was loose on the ground after Jones' hit, and UCLA linebacker Damian Holmes scooped it up and rumbled 43 yards for a touchdown to give UCLA an 11-point lead.

What happened next? UCLA had its extra point attempt blocked. For the third time this game. 

All told, there have been 684 yards of offense and 59 points. And that's just the first half. 

By the way, UCLA's 35-point first half was its most since since scoring 35 in the first half against Washington State on Oct. 3, 1998. 

UCLA 19, Rice 10 (end of first quarter)

Brett Hundley couldn't have scripted his first college play any better.

The redshirt freshman UCLA quarterback, making his first start for the Bruins, ran for a 72-yard touchdown on UCLA's -- and Hundley's -- very first play from scrimmage.

Read that again: Hundley, a quarterback, ran for a 72-yard touchdown on his first college snap.

Officially, UCLA's one-play scoring drive took 13 seconds; it seemed to take a lot longer.

Hundley, the much-hyped quarterback recruit from Chandler, Az., didn't blaze by the Owls' defense so much as he found a seam down the right sideline and was able to out-run the nearest defender with a nice, long stride. This was after Hundley faked handing the ball off to running back Johnathan Franklin on a spread-option play, kept the ball, then burst outside.  

Hundley also received a nice down-field block from receiver Shaq Evans that helped free the quarterback up in the final 20 yards. 

So if you are a UCLA fan and you were hoping that the Bruins' offense would be a little more fast-paced, well, you can't get much more fast paced than a touchdown on one play.

But the Bruins' offense were just getting warmed up.

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