UCLA Football Falls to No. 24 Texas, 49-20
Sept. 17, 2011
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - Case McCoy passed for 168 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start, D.J. Grant made his first three career touchdown catches, and the 23rd-ranked Longhorns avenged last season's stunning home loss to UCLA with a 49-20 victory on Saturday.
Richard Brehaut passed for 150 yards after Prince threw three interceptions in the first 15 minutes for the Bruins (1-2), whose defense also gave up 488 yards in an embarrassing new low for a struggling program.
UCLA is 3-8 since beating Texas 34-12 in Austin last September, and coach Rick Neuheisel's self-described hot seat is getting pretty toasty.
"In this kind of game, and in that kind of atmosphere, you can't make the kind of mistakes we did," Neuheisel said. "We just weren't able to stop them. ... We believe we still have the makings of a good team. We have enough character in the program to be a good team. There's enough gumption among the coaches to ... get that done."
Derrick Coleman rushed for two touchdowns and UCLA punter Jeff Locke made two long field goals, but the Bruins struggled on defense, giving up 104 points in their first three games. Texas (3-0) rushed for 284 yards, answering the Bruins' overwhelming ground attack in last year's matchup.
"A year ago, we beat Texas by throwing nine passes," Neuheisel said. "I thought we'd be able to run the ball and control the clock, but we turned it over."
Brehaut had played most of UCLA's first two games after Prince incurred a concussion and a shoulder injury in the season opener, but Prince got the surprise start from Neuheisel after leading UCLA's win at Texas last season.
"It's not the way I should play and am capable of playing," said Prince. "It was just unforced errors on my part. ... It was a huge game. It would have been a huge win for the program if we could have gotten it."
McCoy hadn't been to the Rose Bowl since he watched his older brother, Colt, get injured during Texas' loss to Alabama in the BCS title game 20 months ago. The Longhorns have been rebuilding ever since, but they might have found their next quarterback: McCoy was a model of efficiency, going 12 for 15 without a turnover or a sack as Texas systematically shredded the Bruins.
"We never think about revenge, but we do think about playing good," said McCoy, a sophomore who replaced Garrett Gilbert and led Texas past BYU last week. "I know we all had a bad taste in our mouth from last year's loss to these guys. That's not a fond memory ... and neither is the last time we were here."
Malcolm Brown rushed for 110 yards and a score, and Fozzy Whittaker ran for two more touchdowns for the Longhorns, who got solid production from two young quarterbacks. Freshman David Ash went 3 for 3 in frequent relief action.
Jaxon Shipley caught five passes and threw a TD pass for the Longhorns, whose spiral to a losing record last season began with that loss to UCLA. Coach Mack Brown appears to have his young roster back on the road to title contention, although he cautioned against exuberance after drilling the struggling Bruins.
"I liked what I saw from both sides of the ball," said Brown, who wasn't sure which quarterback would get more playing time when the game began. "Very few people thought we would be 3-0. I thought this has been perfect for us, to win a tight one at home last week and then come out here and do really well in this game that we lost last year. That's two statements of improvement."
A large contingent of burnt-orange-clad Longhorns fans assembled at the Rose Bowl, the site of a big chunk of the top moments in recent Texas football history. The Longhorns beat Michigan in the 2005 Rose Bowl and claimed the national title on the same field a year later, beating Southern California in one of the best games in college football history.
Carrington Byndom intercepted Prince's first pass, and Texas' second interception came on a tipped pass. Prince finished his quarter with his third interception on a poorly thrown pass on the final play.
Brown lost his shoe during a 16-yard TD run through the heart of UCLA's defense on the ensuing drive, putting the Longhorns up 21-0. Brehaut took over and engineered a 74-yard TD drive, but UCLA made small mistakes - such as returning from a timeout with 12 men on the field - and bigger blunders like Glenn Love's holding penalty that wiped out Josh Smith's kickoff return inside the Texas 20.
The Bruins also lost offensive lineman Sean Sheller to a broken right forearm. He'll have surgery in the next week, and he's likely out for the season.
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