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UCLA will take 42-14 win at Colorado, leave some of the rest

Brett Hundley, Johnathan Franklin and others have nice moments as Bruins rebound from loss to Oregon State, but uneven play and low quality of opponent give pause.

September 29, 2012|By Chris Foster

BOULDER, Colo. — Ricky Marvray, a junior wide receiver for UCLA, popped out of the locker room and, bare chested, let loose a primal scream.

"I love winning," Marvray shouted to no one in particular.

That was one way to look at it.

Another?

Well, after a 42-14 win Saturday over Colorado at Folsom Field, the Bruins were left with the giddiness of victory and the somber knowledge that maybe this wasn't an effort worthy of chest pounding.

This was just what teams usually do to Colorado.

"We had some great plays out there, but we struggled a little bit," guard Jeff Baca said. "When you look at the scoreboard, it looks great."

When the Bruins look at the tape, "we will have to fix some of those mistakes," Baca said.

The numbers look right for the Bruins, who improved their record to 4-1 overall, 1-1 in Pac-12 Conference play.

Quarterback Brett Hundley completed 25 of 38 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns. He also had touchdown runs of 12 and one yard.

The Bruins had 211 yards rushing, with Johnathan Franklin gaining 111 to pull within 365 yards of Gaston Green's UCLA career rushing record. He also caught three passes for 48 yards. His 28-yard run help set up one score. His 28-yard reception set up another.

The defense had four sacks, 12 tackles for losses, and forced two turnovers. Eric Kendricks' fumble recovery and Stan McKay's interception led to touchdowns.

Yet the job-well-done feel wasn't entirely there.

"We strive to play at the highest level, that's Bruin football," McKay said. "We weren't playing Bruin football for a while tonight."

But, they were playing Colorado.

The Buffaloes (1-4, 1-1) have lost to Sacramento State — a Football Championship Subdivision team — and were blasted by Fresno State, 69-14.

So UCLA's wandering into Boulder and rolling up points won't shock the college football world. The Buffaloes provided the Bruins time to get their footing.

"We made a lot mistakes tonight and we have to get better," Franklin said. "But I'm happy with a win."

The Bruins were on their way to a touchdown on their first drive. Then Franklin's 18-yard reception to the Colorado nine-yard line was wiped out by a holding call. Hundley was sacked and fumbled on the next play.

Another penalty wiped out Steven Manfro's 36-yard punt return late in the first quarter.

The other way to look at it was, "As long as we're putting points on the board, we're cool," Hundley said.

The Bruins were cool enough, but finished with 492 total yards, below their season average of 577.5. Fresno State had 516 yards against Colorado . . . in the first half.

Coach Jim Mora said, "You always have to give credit to the other team."

But, he added: "There were penalties, a couple dropped passes, maybe a couple quarterback reads that weren't great. It slowed us down a little bit. Fortunately we were able to gather ourselves."

UCLA wrenched control of the game in the third quarter.

Colorado's Vincent Hobbs was headed into UCLA territory after making a third-down reception. Kendricks stripped the ball from him and then recovered the fumble.

Hundley turned it into an eight-yard touchdown pass to Joseph Fauria.

Colorado quarterback Jordan Webb then threw a perfect pass . . . to McKay. He returned the interception to the Colorado 35.

Jordon James scored on a 25-yard run.

Quicker than Colorado mascot Ralphie could run around the field, a 21-7 lead became 35-7.

It was progress. A week ago, in a 27-20 loss to Oregon State, the defense forced two turnovers in the third quarter. The offense failed to score both times.

"Last week, we had a couple of take-aways and weren't able to capitalize," Mora said. "This week we got two and turned them into touchdowns. It's a big deal."

chris.foster@latimes.com

twitter.com/cfoster@latimes

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