Linebacker Myles Jack slows Arizona’s Offense, while RUNNING BACK Myles Jack gains 120 yards including the decisive 66-yard TD run in the 4th Quarter, adding to Shaq Evans’ two TD catches and Brett Hundley’s TD run to give UCLA a 31-26 victory, with Ishmael Adams’ Interception clinching it
T’H’s Note: Due to a Vegas Bachelor Party, I do not have time for my usual in-depth recap. Just be aware that Myles Jack is now the Bruins’ best player on Defense, AND on Offense — and probably on Special Teams too. Jack made big plays on both sides of the ball and almost caught a 4th Down Fake Punt Pass that was overthrown, as UCLA held off the Wildcats in Arizona, 31-26.
On the Bruins’ first play, Brett Hundley hit Shaq Evans on a 66-yard bomb for a TD. Hundley ran for another score to give the Bruins an early 14-3 lead. Then right before the half ended, Hundley hit Shaq again, as Evans made great catch of a contested pass, dragging his foot in the back of the end zone.
It was 21-10 at the break, and a Ka’imi Fairburn Field Goal made it 24-10. Arizona cut it to 24-13, then 24-19, grabbing all the momentum, until Jack made the run of the year, breaking tackles and stiff-arming defenders, going 66 yards for the TD. The Bruins were celebrating with a 31-19 4th Quarter lead, but the Cats came right back and cut it to 31-26, with plenty of time left. Then, the Bruins Defense stopped U of A on the last two drives, as Jack deflected a pass, and Ishmael Adams picked off another pass with 2 minutes left to seal the deal.
With Anthony Barr making no tackles — because Arizona ran away from him — it was up to Eric Kendricks, Jordan Zumwalt and Jack to pick up the slack, which they did. Secondary members Anthony Jefferson and Brandon Sermons also made their presence felt, as UCLA bent backwards a lot, but got the stops that they REALLY had to get.
Now the question is: Will Myles Jack continue to get carries as a running Back? With a small sample size, the evidence says YES. Jack was a beast. It will be risky to play without giving Jack the ball some more, since Jordon James is still hurt, Damien Thigpen hurt his ankle, and Paul Perkins was not as productive as Jack. But he is too valuable as a Linebacker, so if he plays RB, he will need to play both ways. If his body can handle it, I say DO IT.
You can trust Jim Mora to make the right call on this… despite UCLA running a fake punt deep in their own territory last night, in a move that killed the Bruins’ momentum and allowed Arizona to get back into the game. Then later, Mora accepted a penalty that gave Arizona a 3rd and 13 instead of a 4th and 3, and Arizona converted the 3rd down play (on a Bruin penalty). These two Coaching calls are the most criticized of Mora’s UCLA tenure — But he can redeem himself fully by using Jack at RB, and having him carry the Bruins, as they run the table on the season and get back to the Pac-12 Title game.