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Mazzone praises Hundley

October 28, 2012|Chris Foster
  • UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley threw four touchdown passes, and also directed a field-goal drive in the final minute, in the Bruins' 45-43 victory over Arizona State.
UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley threw four touchdown passes, and also directed… (Matt York / Associated Press )

TEMPE, ARIZ. — UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said he grabbed quarterback Brett Hundley as he ran onto the practice field Tuesday and told him, "I've decided, you're a quarterback."

Hundley certainly was one Saturday. He threw four touchdown passes and also directed a field-goal drive in the final minute, in UCLA's 45-43 victory over Arizona State.

"I had been on him pretty hard the first seven games, so this goofy coach wanted to let him know how he was doing," Mazzone said.

Hundley said, "It was like a blessing. I said, 'OK, what do I got to do.' "

He did it Saturday.

Hundley was never better than on the final drive. Arizona State had harassed him all day, sacking him five times. But in the last 1 minute 33 seconds, Hundley looked anything but a redshirt freshman.

"When there was pressure, he kept his eyes down the field," Coach Jim Mora said. "It's a sign of experience. An inexperienced quarterback, when pressed, starts looking at the rush. Brett is getting his eyes up and finding escape paths."

Hundley said that last drive, "was just like what I used to do with my father as a kid. We used to do these situations."

Hundley's four touchdown passes gave him 18 this season, a UCLA freshman record.

Franklin gaining

Running back Johnathan Franklin finished with 164 yards in 26 carries. He needs only 21 more yards to pass Gaston Green and become UCLA's all-time leading rusher. Green had 3,731 yards from 1984-87.

But the yards are not the focus.

"It's all about points," Franklin said.

Franklin scored two touchdowns Saturday on runs of three and five yards.

"We just got to get him the ball; we know he's going to get his yards," Mazzone said.

Bad start

UCLA ended up kicking off to start both halves.

Jeff Locke, a Bruins captain, said a miscommunication with game officials was the problem. UCLA won the toss.

Said Locke: "I told the guy I wanted to kick first. He said 'do you mean defer.' I said, 'yes, we wanted to defer.' Somehow that got lost in translation."

Manfro mistake

Steven Manfro muffed a punt for the third time in as many games. He had the ball go off his hands early in the first quarter, which gave Arizona State the ball at the 13-yard line.

It led to a Taylor Kelly touchdown pass.

A Manfro muff was recovered for a touchdown against Utah two weeks ago.

"We got to find a way, a method, to take care of the problems we have on punt returns so we don't put our defense on the field in bad situations," Mora said.

Devin Fuller replaced Manfro and later bobbled a punt, but recovered the ball.

End zone dances

Fuller, a quarterback moved to receiver, had a better moment earlier in the game. His first career catch covered 15 yards for a touchdown.

Joseph Fauria had a four-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter. It was the 14th of his UCLA career.

He is tied for seventh on UCLA's career list, five behind Craig Bragg and Danny Farmer, who are tied for fifth.

Goines reinjured

Tackle Simon Goines left the game after injuring his left knee, which he hurt against Utah. Jeff Baca moved from guard to tackle and Alberto Cid was put in at guard.


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