UCLA Drops Close Season Opener to Houston, 38-34
Sept. 3, 2011
HOUSTON - UCLA rallied from a 17-point halftime deficit but could never entirely close the gap, dropping a tough 38-34 decision at Houston in the season-opening game for both schools.
In the first half, Houston jumped to a 10-0 lead but the Bruins twice closed to within three points (10-7 and 17-14) before two late Houston scores gave the Cougars a 31-14 lead.
Two third-quarter touchdowns by UCLA made the score 31-28 entering the fourth quarter but Houston extended the lead to 10 points (38-28) when it recovered its own fumble in the end zone.
UCLA mounted a 15-play drive but came up empty when redshirt freshman Kip Smith was wide right on a 32-yard field goal attempt. Following a three-and-out by the Bruin defense, Richard Brehaut, playing for Kevin Prince, who suffered a concussion in the second quarter, drove UCLA 64 yards in four plays, throwing an 11-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Barr. Smith's PAT was blocked, making the score 38-34 with 1:19 remaining. UCLA was unable to recover an onside kick attempt and Houston ran out the clock.
On the afternoon, UCLA's offense scored five touchdowns and accounted for 554 yards, its highest total since a 2009 game at Washington State when it gained 556 yards. It was also the first time the Bruins gained at least 200 yards on the ground (232) and at least 300 in the ar (322) since that same WSU contest in 2009.
Defensively, UCLA played better in the second half, allowing just seven points and 173 total yards in the final 30 minutes.
Brehaut accounted for 351 yards of total offense (264 passing and a career-high 87 rushing), tied for 20th on UCLA's single-game list. He completed 17 of 26 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns with no turnovers.
Six of those completions were to Joseph Fauria, who finished the day with six receptions for 110 yards and one touchdown. He was especially effective down the middle and became the first Bruin tight end since Marcedes Lewis to gain 100 yards in a game (2005 ASU contest). His career totals entering the game were three receptions for 21 yards and two scores.
Talor Embree made five catches to move into 10th place on UCLA's career list (122) while Nelson Rosario made three catches, two of the spectacular kind, for 87 yards.
Johnathan Franklin led all rushers with 128 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries. It was the eighth 100-yard game of hio career, tying him for 11th on that UCLA list. It also gave him 1,821 career yards, moving him into 18th place on that list.
Free safety Tony Dye led the team with 10 tackles and a trio of Bruins - linebackers Patrick Larimore and Sean Westgate and safety Alex Mascarenas - have nine stops each. Defensive tackle Cassius Marsh made the only sack for either team.
UCLA returns to action next Saturday, Sept. 10, when it opens its Rose Bowl schedule against San Jose State. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 pm and the Area H Fan Zone opens at 3 pm.
The last time UCLA rushed for over 200 and passed for over 300 in same game was at WSU in 2009 (232 r, 324 p). That was also the last time UCLA had more than today's 554 offensive yards (556).
In the second half, UCLA's defense limited Houston to 173 yards and seven points.
Johnathan Franklin now has eight career 100-yard games to rank T-11th on that list.
Johnathan Franklin's 1,821 career yards moves him into 18th on the career rushing list.
With five receptions today, Taylor Embree is now No. 10 with 122 career receptions.
Richard Brehaut's 351 yards total offense ranks T-20th on UCLA's single-game list.
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