UCLA controls Arizona in Westwood

Against Utah it was turnovers. Against Wisconsin conservative play-calling in rainy conditions late. Against Washington State the bizarre fumble. At UCLA, Arizona shot itself with untimely penalties, and ran into trouble with the Drew Olson to Marcedes Lewis combination in its 37-17 loss in Los Angeles.

Arizona's first road trip started off rough. After two penalties and a three and out on the opening possession, UCLA blocked a Danny Baugher punt. The ball trickled past the back of the end zone for the early safety.

On the following possession UCLA used a pair of screen passes with great success. Maurice Drew picked up 25 yards on third and 10 to keep the Bruin drive alive around midfield. UCLA scored on a 28-yard screen three plays later, and led 9-0 with 11:05 to go in the opening quarter.

Arizona answered with a field goal largely set up by the running of tailback Mike Bell. The drive stalled at the UCLA 23, and Nick Folk converted a 40-yard field goal to cut the Bruin lead to 9-3.

Early in the second quarter UCLA benefited from some uncharacteristic Wildcat penalties, including a key holding call on a third-down screen. The following play, Bruin quarterback Drew Olson hit tight end Marcedes Lewis for an 18-yard TD strike with 12:36 to go in the half.

The anemic Wildcat offense continued to struggle with passing miscues or untimely flags. Quarterback Kris Heavner missed a wide-open Syndric Steptoe in the end zone on an otherwise perfectly executed Statue of Liberty play. Later in the drive, Heavner avoided pressure and found an open Biren Ealy inside the UCLA 20, but Ealy couldn't come up with the sliding reception. Then Syndric Steptoe made a nice catch and run into UCLA territory, but Brandon Philipp was whistled for a block below the knees, negating the effort.

UCLA closed out the quarter, and the game, with a 95-yard touchdown drive. Key plays included a conversion on third and seven from the Bruin eight. From there, UCLA controlled the flow of the game, and with 50 seconds left Olson hit Lewis at the five, he careened off a Wildcat defender, kept his feet, and benefited from a pile-on at the goal line for his second touchdown of the game, and a 23-3 UCLA lead.

Bell surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark on the first drive of the second half, and it was an omen of good things for Arizona. Chris Henry capped an impressive drive with a two-yard TD run as the UA cut the Bruin lead to 23-10 with 10 minutes left in the third. The drive covered eight plays, seven of which were rushes.

Any thoughts of Arizona capturing momentum were quashed on the next possession. UCLA marched with ease en route to the third Olson to Lewis touchdown of the afternoon, this one for 19 yards.

Even so, the UA did not wilt. Arizona looked very strong on the ground, and cut through porous rushing defense. Henry scored his second two-yard touchdown, a sweep right that looked like a highlight of his paydirt run before, and trimmed the margin to 30-17 with 1:10 left in the third.

The Wildcats had an opportunity to move deep into Bruin territory early in the fourth quarter. Heavner hit Mike Jefferson in stride at the 20, but Jefferson couldn't haul in the perfectly delivered pass. The Wildcat drive stalled from there, as did the UA's chances to rally.

UCLA added a late touchdown to account for the final margin.

Bell and Henry had strong games for Arizona, which ran for over 200 yards. Olson and Lewis were the stories offensively for UCLA.


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