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Bruins and Wilton don’t wilt under pressure — UCLA comes back from two Second Half deficits behind backup QB Wilton Speight and RB Joshua Kelly to edge Arizona 31-30, giving the Bruins a 2-game winning streak

It wasn’t pretty.  It wasn’t easy.  But it’s a win, and it makes the Bruins 2-2 in the Conference, after an exciting see-saw 31-30 victory over Arizona.  The Wildcats came in without their star QB Khalil Tate, and therefore were 10-point Underdogs playing on the Bruins’ turf.  UCLA actually got out to an early 10-0 lead to equal that spread.  Soon thereafter, UCLA lost THEIR starting QB to an injury, and that could be seen as an equalizer.  UCLA had a 17-7 lead at the Half, but Arizona came on strong in the 3rd Quarter, taking the lead 20-17.

UCLA then had to rely on Back-up Quarterback Wilton Speight.  The 5th-year Senior graduate transfer from Michigan showed some rust, missing his targets on several easy throws, and losing a fumble in his own territory, but Speight came through when it mattered.  He ended up 17-27 for 204 yards with 2 TD tosses, and he made some solid plays in the topsy-turvy Second Half that moved the chains and kept the Bruins alive.  Of course, Speight was the beneficiary of the third straight 100-yard rushing game by Joshua Kelly, who gained 136 yards on the ground, including a game-winning 28-yard scamper in the 4th.

The Bruin Defense was tough in the First Half, giving up only 1 score, thanks to 2 Forced Turnovers deep in Bruin territory.  Quentin Lake Intercepted a ball in the end zone, and Darnay Holmes forced a fumble (and recovered it himself in the end zone) on a long Arizona run that would have been a Touchdown if not for Homes’ heroic play.  The Defense did not fare as well in the Second Half, giving up 23 points.  While the Bruin Offense amassed a season-best 460 yards, the Bruin D allowed 520 to the Cats.  The Bruins also had their first bad game in terms of penalties, committing 12 (twice as many as Arizona), for 103 yards.

So 12 penalties, 1 big turnover, missed tackles, allowing 289 yards rushing, and giving up 30 points, at Home, to a pretty bad team, is NOT a great sign, after a 37-7 Road win.  But it’s still a win, while missing your #1 QB for much of the game.  Before getting injured, Dorian Thompson- Robinson hit a wide open Kazmeir Allen for a TD pass, and then Speight found Devin Asiasi for a 24-yard TD strike.  Speight’s other TD pass went for 25 yards, to Demetric Felton,  the Wide Receiver finding redemption after failing to bring in two catch-able deep passes earlier in the game.

This game could have gone either way, which does not create optimism as Utah heads to Pasadena for a Friday Night battle.  The Utes just destroyed u$c 41-28, scoring 34 straight on the trojans.  Utah is favored to beat the Bruins by 10, so it will be a true test to see if UCLA can be competitive this year, or whether fans will have to wait until next year to be a factor in the division.

Here are 63 more photos from the game (and pregame Cheer festivities).

"TWO WINS FOR THE BRUINS" was published on October 21st, 2018 and is listed in Blue & Gold News, UCLA/usc/Cheerleader Photos, UCLA/usc/Sports Photos.

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