The Dawgs finished this game with 77 yards rushing, and had 53 of those yards by halftime. The running game wasn't consistent, it is comprised only 21.5% of their total offense.
Rich Alexis ran hard and finished with 84 yards on 18 carries. When Kenny James came in for his series in the second quarter, he was given the rock three times in a row, and picked up a first down! But on a crucial fourth-and-one at midfield, there was no running room, and UCLA took over. On the next drive, the Huskies tried the option on third and two and got stuffed for a loss. Most fans look at whether the Huskies can pick up third and one before deciding whether the running game is a success.
Third-Down Conversions Given Up:
2002: Opponents converted 40% of their third-down attempts.
2003: Opponents have converted 37.9% of their third-down attempts.
On third and long (6 or more yards), the number of big plays given up are:
|10-19 yds||20-29 yds||30-39 yds||40-49 yds||50+ yds|
In the first half, the defense prevented the Bruins from converting any third-down attempts (0-5). But the second half was a whole new ballgame, when UCLA converted 62.5% on third-down attempts (5-8). Two crucial plays came on the drive when UCLA took the lead 22-16. On third and 11, Drew Olson found Bragg down the sidelines for a 25-yard gain, and on third and 8 from the UW 11, Olson found Ryan Smith for 10 yards. The Bruins scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion, and never looked back. For the game, UCLA averaged 11.6 yards on third down.
2002 total: +1
2003 to date: -3
Derrick Johnson had a pick for the second week in a row. Olson overthrew Marcedes Lewis down the middle and Johnson was right there. The play came at a great time because the Bruins had just stuffed the Dawgs at midfield on fourth down, but they were unable to capitalize off of the interception.
Zapping the Huskies' halftime momentum was Pickett's fumble after he was smacked in the endzone by Dave Ball. BANG, UCLA had seven points. The terrible field position was caused by Roc Alexander taking the kick off after the half. He hesitated in the endzone, decided to take it out, and was chased around and taken down at the seven.
With the Dawgs driving and trying to regain the lead in the third quarter, Rodney Leisle picked off a pass that bounced off of Zach Tuiasosopo, and the Bruins took over at their own 12-yard line. Again, another momentum buster for the visitors.
Safety Jarrad Page stepped in front of Justin Robbins, picked off the pass and returned it 24 yards for the touchdown. UCLA went up 32-16 in the fourth quarter. In garbage time, Casey Paus threw a pick with about three minutes left, and the Bruins scored their final touchdown.
Washington's four turnovers led to 25 points for the Bruins.
First Quarter Domination: No slow starts today folks. The Dawgs raced out to a 10–0 lead, and it was in dominating fashion. Pickett started off the game like gangbusters, going 9-11 for 93 yards. On his touchdown pass to Reggie Williams, he rolled out to the right side, drew the defenders to him, and fired off the pass at the last second. Williams caught everything thrown his way, as he had 6 catches for 57 yards. The defense held UCLA to only 47 yards, 37 of them through the air.
Happy Halftime: The Dawgs drove 63 yards in just 1:10 and managed to score a field goal as the half came to an end. The stats were still by far in the Dawgs' favor. They had 12 more first downs, 124 more yards, and held the ball four minutes longer than the Bruins. Penalties also hurt the Bruins in the first half, they were flagged 7 times for 73 yards.
Field position: Having good field position helped give the Huskies their early lead. On their first drive, after forcing a Bruin punt, they started at the 35-yard line and drove down for a field goal. After another UCLA punt, they got the ball back at their 44, and took it into the endzone five plays later. The Huskies' average starting field position for the first half was the 29. But after the half , they started their first three drives at their 7, 16, and 11. They gave up a touchdown, and only converted one first down thanks to a penalty on these first three drives. And so the snowball started….
What a pendulum: After the Huskies gave up the touchdown to start the third quarter, the Bruins were on their way. Obviously, their halftime adjustments consisted of "throw it deep." The Bruins reeled off 15 unanswered points, passed for 106 yards, and held the ball for 9:24 in the third quarter. The Husky defense also gave up pass plays of 12, 15, 25, 10, and 24 yards in the pivotal third quarter.
UCLA TD Drives: UCLA's touchdown drives were aided by either a huge play, or set up by a Husky touchdown:
TD #1: 5 plays for 72 yards, TOP 2:24, big play was a 41-yard grab by Craig Brabb
TD #2: 0 plays for 0 yards, big play was stripping the ball from Pickett in the endzone
TD #3: 14 plays for 91 yards, TOP 5:30, big play was another clutch catch by Bragg for 25 yards
TD #4: 0 plays for 0 yards, Jarrod Page had a 24-yard interception return for a TD
TD #5: 7 plays for 70 yards, TOP 2:54, big plays was a 56 yard run by Manuel White
TD #6: 2 plays for 11 yards, TOP 0:40, set up by the Paus interception
UW Defensive stats:
Tackles: Benjamin 8, Galloway 7, Newell 7, Alexander 6, Cooper 5, D. Johnson 5, Carothers 4, T. Johnson 3, Hopoi 2, Biddle 2
Sacks: T. Johnson 1-12, D. Johnson 1-6, Carothers 1-4, Stevens 1-2
Tackles for loss: T. Johnson 2-15, Cooper 1-6, Carothers 1-4, Hopoi 1-4, Stevens 1-2, Newell 1-1
Interesting stat: Washington traveled with 60 players for this game. By halftime, 52 players saw action.