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Bruins’ defense leads the way at Texas

A month ago, UCLA’s defense was powder-blue pylons that Kansas State ran around, and over, for 313 yards. On Saturday, the Bruins messed with Texas.

A 34-12 victory over the seventh-ranked Longhorns was rooted in the Bruins defense, which forced four turnovers and gang tackled Texas into submission.

Texas finished with only 85 yards rushing, averaging 3.7 yards per carry.

Linebacker Akeem Ayers forced a fumble and intercepted a pass. Linebacker Sean Westgate, 5 feet 11 and 220 pounds, made 11 tackles, seven solo.

It was not the defense that Kansas State and Stanford pummeled in the first two games this season.

“There was lot individualism going on, and we had a lot of negative stuff going on,” strong safety Tony Dye said. “We took it upon ourselves to emphasize the discipline of doing your job. You don’t run off the field after practice, you’re doing pushups. We locked everything down in practice, so we can lock things down in the game.”

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Passing out

UCLA had eight passes for 27 yards, relying almost solely on its running game.

“I kept looking up at the stats and seeing ‘six yards passing’ in the first half and was going, ‘Who am I?’ ” said Coach Rick Neuheisel, whose teams at Washington were pass-happy.

Said quarterback Kevin Prince: “If I get 27 yards passing and we win, I’ll take that trade-off.”

Hold that thought

Prince scrambled and slid out of bounds on a third-down play, coming up limping, early in the second quarter. While the trainer was looking at him, Westgate forced a fumble on a punt and Dalton Hilliard recovered at the four-yard line.

Prince ran onto the field, ignoring protests by the trainer, and threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Marvray to give UCLA a 7-3 lead.

“I don’t remember exactly what I said, it was in the heat of the moment,” Prince said. “But I made it pretty clear that I needed to be back on the field. He was a little mad at me, but that’s all right. I’ll take that for a touchdown.”

Pulling rank

This was UCLA’s first victory on the road against a ranked team since beating 19th-ranked Oregon State in 2001. It was the Bruins’ first victory over a top-10 team on the road since beating 10th-ranked Arizona in 1998.

Quick hits

Ayers left late in the fourth quarter because of a shoulder injury. “Just a sprain, it’s fine,” Ayers said. He will have X-rays taken as a precaution Sunday. …Center Ryan Taylor left in the third quarter because of cramps in his calf, hamstring and quad and was taken to the locker room. “I had two IVs, four bananas and two Gatorades,” Taylor said. He returned to the game.

chris.foster@latimes.com

twitter.com/cfosterlatimes


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