UCLA Finally Shifts Its Offense Into High : * College football: Bruins roll up 644 yards in 37-12 victory over San Diego State. Long drive turns it around in third quarter.
For a while, UCLA was mired in the quicksand of its own mistakes and some questionable calls by officials Thursday night at Jack Murphy Stadium.
As a result, UCLA had only a 10-0 halftime lead over underdog San Diego State.
Then the Bruins went on a 96-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter, kept scoring and easily beat the Aztecs, 37-12, before a crowd of 37,333.
“We made some mental mistakes and stopped ourselves,” UCLA quarterback Tommy Maddox said of the first half. “Then, we went on that 96-yard drive and it gave us confidence and took momentum away from them.”
The Bruins, coming off two losing seasons, could hardly remember the last time they had had such a one-sided victory.
And in the process, they shut down Aztec tailback Marshall Faulk, who had set an NCAA rushing record of 386 yards against Pacific two weeks ago.
Faulk, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound freshman, gained 79 yards in 15 carries and scored one touchdown. He had only 22 yards in six carries in the first half.
“UCLA’s defense is fast and they get to the ball very quickly,” Faulk said. “That defense could take them far. I guess they keyed on the run when our passing game wasn’t clicking.”
UCLA defensive end Mike Chalenski said that the Bruins didn’t necessarily key on Faulk during the game.
“We were just aware of him,” Chalenski said. “He made some nice cutback runs.”
UCLA improved its record to 2-1. San Diego State is 2-2. The Bruins open Pacific 10 play a week from Saturday against unbeaten California at the Rose Bowl.
It was a statistical bonanza for the Bruins on a mild evening in San Diego.
UCLA had 644 yards in total offense against the Aztecs, who have 25 freshmen, or sophomores on their first two offensive and defensive units.
It was the most total yards for the Bruins since they compiled 662 against Cal State Long Beach in 1988. The school record is 671 set against Washington in 1973.
Maddox was particularly effective. He completed 17 of 26 passes--some were dropped--for 303 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.
It was the fourth time Maddox, a sophomore, has had 300-plus passing yards. That tied him in 300-yard games with former UCLA quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Tom Ramsey.
While Maddox was flourishing, the Aztec quarterbacks were floundering.
Cree Morris completed eight of 23 passes for 98 yards with two interceptions before giving away to David Lowery in the third quarter.
Lowery was equally ineffective, completing four of 13 passes for 71 yards and one touchdown.
The Aztecs didn’t score until the fourth quarter and, by that time, the Bruins were breezing.
Even though, UCLA substituted freely and didn’t appear in danger of losing, Coach Terry Donahue wasn’t satisfied.
“I could sit back and find several things wrong with our performance tonight,” he said. “We didn’t concentrate well at times and that was disappointing. But the overriding fact is that we won the game.”
UCLA has never lost to San Diego State in a series that began in 1922.
Donahue was particularly upset by a couple of calls that went against his team in the first half.
Late in the second quarter, Maddox apparently completed a 17-yard touchdown pass to split end Sean LaChapelle. One official, closer to the play, signaled a touchdown, but another official overruled him.
LaChapelle said he had the ball in the air and didn’t lose it until he was on the ground.
Earlier in the second quarter, tailback Kevin Williams gained eight yards to the Aztec 11-yard line and lost the ball when he hit the ground. The Bruins contended he should have been ruled down.
In a previous series, Williams burst through the middle for a 25-yard touchdown that was nullified by a holding penalty.
And, in the first quarter, tailback Shawn Wills scored from the one-yard line only to have the touchdown negated on an illegal procedure penalty. So the Bruins settled for a field goal.
The frustration of the first half was quickly forgotten, though, on UCLA’s 96-yard scoring drive in the third quarter.
Maddox went the final eight yards on a bootleg that fooled the Aztec defense.
UCLA’s 17-0 lead was expanded to 24-0 on its next series. Maddox teamed with flanker Bryan Adams on a 58-yard scoring pass play.
“One of their defensive backs fell down and Bryan was all alone,” Maddox said.
After Faulk scored on a two-yard run early in the fourth quarter, Maddox drove the Bruins 45 yards to a touchdown in seven plays.
Maddox got the touchdown in an unusual fashion. He threw a five-yard basketball-style chest pass to reserve tight end Brian Allen.
“It was a busted play,” Maddox said. “I went around the corner and just got the ball to Allen anyway I could.”
At this juncture, Maddox retired for the night in favor of backup quarterback Jim Bonds. Bonds led the Bruins on a scoring drive of 54 yards climaxed by his five-yard touchdown pass to fullback Maury Toy.
However, it was a 32-yard pass to Ken Shelton, a converted defensive back, that set up the touchdown. Shelton made a leaping catch in traffic to catch Bonds’ pass.
Maddox had said earlier in the week that he had been timid in his approach to the game since the first half of the Brigham Young game, UCLA’s season opener.
He vowed to be more relaxed Thursday night.
Homer Smith, UCLA’s offensive coordinator, said that Maddox plays better when he simply reacts to situations.
“It’s like a basketball player on a fast break. He sees things and just reacts,” Smith said.
UCLA’s fast break stuttered in the first half, but it was moving in high gear in the second half against the outmanned Aztecs.
* TOP GUN: UCLA’s Tommy Maddox gets the better of a duel between sophomore quarterbacks in the Bruins’ victory over the Aztecs. C8