Breaking: UCLA has scored its first touchdown in the state of Utah since 1995 at Brigham Young. That one came on a 30-yard run by Derek Ayers.
This one was not as easy. Brett Hundley thought he had scored on first and goal but was ruled down at the one after a look at instant replay. Then Jordon James came up short followed by another no gain by Hundley.
James finally pushed it home on fourth down to give UCLA the early lead.
It was James' fifth rushing touchdown of the season.
The score was set up by a nifty 44-yard catch and run by Paul Perkins to the Utah one.
UCLA had been outscored 134-12 in its three most recent trips to Utah. Two of the losses were to Utah and one was to BYU.
UCLA is back in Rice-Eccles Stadium, a key road stop in the firing of the Bruins’ two previous coaches.
Karl Dorrell lost here in 2007. Rick Neuheisel lost here in 2011.
The Utes’ crowd is planning a “blackout” for a national television audience, though all but the nightowls on the East Coast will miss it. The crowd was a factor in UCLA’s two previous games here. The Bruins are adamant that won’t be a problem tonight.
“We overcome obstacles,” quarterback Brett Hundley said. “The crowd is going to be really loud. We just have to settle in and get down to the game. The Nebraska crowd was really loud. I think that set us up for any crowd we go against.”
UCLA defeated Nebraska, 41-21, earlier this season in front of 91,471 mostly stunned fans.