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UCLA latest loss -- it's Bears repeating history

Bruins have six turnovers in a 43-17 loss, and even this struggling Cal team is able to continue an upsetting tradition.

October 06, 2012|By Chris Foster

BERKELEY — Another bummer in Berkeley.

Of all the bad trips UCLA has had up north, this one may sting the most. The Bruins were about change, winning four of five games to start this season.

This, though, was a retread.

California's 43-17 victory was its seventh consecutive over UCLA in Memorial Stadium. The two schools may share the same fight song, but the only ones humming a merry tune late Saturday night were the Bears.

This was a momentary respite for California (2-4 overall, 1-2 in Pac-12 play).

Quarterback Zach Maynard, harassed by opponents and maligned by fans, threw for 295 yards and tied his career high with four touchdown passes.

Receiver Keenan Allen caught two touchdown passes, one a 34-yard reception where he left cornerback Sheldon Price in a neighboring area code.

C.J. Anderson had 151 yards rushing, including a 68-yard yard touchdown run for California's last touchdown.

"We had a huge week of practice this week," Maynard said. "Everybody was focused in since Tuesday."

California's defense, a model of inefficiency, was smothering, forcing six turnovers.

Any thoughts of comebacks were doused when UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley had three passes intercepted in the fourth quarter.

So the Bears were able to hold off the gathering mob seeking Coach Jeff Tedford's ouster for a week. The Bruins (4-2, 1-2), on the other hand, will spend the next few days dissecting, and explaining, a loss to a team whose only other victory was against Southern Utah.

"You know, not every game in your college career, or in a season, is going to be handed to you," Hundley said.

The Bruins did a good job of handing it to the Bears. They added life to California drives with penalties. And they were thoroughly outplayed by a struggling team.

"You can't come into a hostile environment and expect to win when you turn the ball over like that," UCLA Coach Jim Mora said. "That being said, we did a lot to hurt ourselves."

The Bruins played much like they have on every visit to Memorial Stadium since 1998. They're been losing in Strawberry Canyon forever.

UCLA players tried to explain the problems in Berkeley. Few seemed applicable Saturday.

There was the less-than-comfortable visiting team locker room. But Memorial Stadium has been remodeled.

There were all the talented California teams the Bruins faced. But the Bears had lost four of their first five games this season.

About the only explanation was the rivalry between the teams. But safety Dalton Hilliard said, "We approach every game like it's a rivalry this season."

The Bruins need to pay a little more attention against the Bears.

UCLA had 99 yards in penalties, including an offsides penalty in the third-quarter drive that ended with Allen making his 34-yard touchdown reception.

The Bruins dropped passes and their pass routes were like scenic drives. Shaquelle Evans ran an out and Hundley threw a fade late in the first half. California's Kameron Jackson intercepted the pass in the end zone, one of his three picks.

UCLA never recovered from a 16-7 halftime deficit and seemed beaten when Brendan Bigelow scooted 32 yards for a touchdown on the Bears' first play of the second half.

The Bruins turned the ball over nine times in the first five games. They gave it up three times in second quarter Saturday. Two turnovers killed UCLA drives. Another set the Bears up for a short drive.

The Bruins were on the move in the second quarter, getting to California's 28. But Devin Fuller dropped a lateral and the Bears' Nate Forbes recovered the fumble.

Maynard connected with Richard Rodgers for 42 yards on the first play and later tossed a five-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Anderson on a third-and-goal play for a 10-7 lead with eight minutes left in the half.

UCLA's Steven Manfro fumbled a punt, giving the Bears the ball at the UCLA 34. Maynard cashed it in again, throwing a seven-yard touchdown pass to Allen with three minutes left in the half.

UCLA started fast. Andrew Abbott intercepted a Maynard pass, giving the Bruins the ball at the California 28-yard line.

The short drive included two third-down completions by Hundley. Hundley tossed a four-yard touchdown pass to Cassius Marsh for a 7-0 lead four minutes into the game.

chris.foster@latimes.com

twitter.com/cfosterlatimes

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