Josh Rosen injured during UCLA’s 44-23 loss to Washington
The dropped passes, needless penalties and missed tackles were pushed to the back of UCLA’s list of worries midway through the third quarter Saturday.
The Bruins suddenly found themselves without Josh Rosen.
The star quarterback who represented the Bruins’ only hope for an unlikely comeback against No. 12 Washington suffered an undisclosed injury that forced him out of the game.
Backup quarterback Devon Modster, a redshirt freshman making his first extended appearance, showed some grit during the balance of UCLA’s 44-23 loss that was dispiriting for a variety of reasons.
The Bruins (4-4 overall, 2-3 Pac-12 Conference) were bad across the board, committing more unnecessary penalties on defense, giving up two lengthy kickoff returns, getting gashed by the run and failing to generate nearly enough offense thanks in part to four dropped passes.
The extent of Rosen’s injury was not immediately known, but an absence of any duration would be crushing. Rosen missed the Bruins’ final six games last season with a shoulder injury, and the Bruins went 1-5.
Rosen finished the game having completed 12 of 21 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown. He didn’t get nearly enough help on a day the team’s best run belonged to defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa, who picked up a fumble and ran 50 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
Modster rebounded from a horrid start in which his first drive ended with a tipped pass and his second drive ended with him losing a fumble. He showed some nice touch on several passes early in the fourth quarter, including a four-yard touchdown pass to Darren Andrews in the corner of the end zone.
Modster’s final stat line was respectable. He completed seven of 12 passes for 77 yards and a touchdown.
The Bruins were essentially already finished by the time Rosen departed the game with his team trailing 27-9.
Washington (7-1, 4-1) stomped its way to 333 rushing yards, including 169 yards and a touchdown by tailback Myles Gaskin. That was more than enough production to offset a ho-hum day for Huskies quarterback Jake Browning, who completed eight of 11 passes for 98 yards and had a pass intercepted by Bruins cornerback Darnay Holmes.
UCLA trailed 20-9 at halftime thanks to some familiar defensive problems. The Bruins missed two tackles on Lavon Coleman’s 35-yard run late in the first quarter and extended an earlier drive on a late hit out of bounds by linebacker Kenny Young after having appeared to hold the Huskies on a third-down play.
There were also some new issues for the Bruins. Kicker J.J. Molson missed an extra-point attempt for the first time this season, and UCLA allowed Washington’s Salvon Ahmed to return the ensuing kickoff 82 yards, setting up a short touchdown drive that ended on Coleman’s one-yard run that gave the Huskies a 17-9 lead midway through the second quarter.
Rosen was sacked four times in the first half, but he did become the first player in the Pac-12 to throw a touchdown pass against the Huskies this season. It came early in the second quarter on an unusual formation in which the Bruins split out three receivers to one side and two receivers to the other before quarterback Josh Rosen connected with tight end Jordan Wilson over the middle for an eight-yard touchdown.
Rosen’s sacks contributed mightily to the Bruins averaging only 1.7 yards per carry before halftime even with some modest success in the run game behind tailbacks Soso Jamabo and Bolu Olorunfunmi.
Washington started to pick up some big chunks of yardage in its run game late in the first half. Gaskin cut outside for a 37-yard run that turned into a 52-yard gain after UCLA linebacker Krys Barnes was penalized for a horse collar tackle.
There would be more needless penalties to come. UCLA defensive end Jaelan Phillips was called for unnecessary roughness in the third quarter.
Washington is cruising, up 44-16 over UCLA
UCLA cannot stop the run game of [team name goes here]. Sound familiar?
It’s happening again. Lavon Coleman just ran for a 13-yard touchdown to extend Washington’s lead to 44-16 midway through the fourth quarter.
The Huskies have run for 319 yards and an average of 6.8 yards per rush.
That’s not good if you’re associated with the UCLA defense.
Devon Modster’s touchdown pass pulls UCLA to within 37-16
All hail Devon Modster.
UCLA’s backup quarterback showed some moxie on his second drive filling in for Josh Rosen, completing six of eight passes for 72 yards.
Modster completed the drive with a four-yard touchdown pass to Darren Andrews. It was only the second touchdown pass Washington has allowed in Pac-12 Conference play this season, and both of them have come today.
It probably won’t amount to anything. The scoreboard shows Washington with a 37-16 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Washington picks up a UCLA fumble and extends its lead to 37-9
UCLA is unraveling. Backup quarterback Devon Modster fumbled on a third-down scramble, and Washington’s Myles Bryant recovered at the Bruins’ 18-yard line.
It took only a few plays for Washington tailback Myles Gaskin to run for a six-yard touchdown out of the wildcat formation, boosting the Huskies’ advantage to 37-9 late in the third quarter.
Washington extends its lead to 30-9 over UCLA
Washington is completely pulling away now.
The Huskies have taken a 30-9 lead late in the third quarter after a 24-yard field goal, and UCLA is left to hope that quarterback Josh Rosen can somehow return to engineer some offense.
The Bruins have done essentially nothing on offense in the second half.
Devon Modster replaces Josh Rosen at quarterback for UCLA
Things just got worse for UCLA.
Quarterback Josh Rosen has departed the game midway through the third quarter because of an unknown injury, giving way to backup Devon Modster.
Modster completed one of two passes for five yards on his first series, having his pass tipped for an incompletion on third down.
Washington leads 27-9.
Washington extends its lead over UCLA to 27-9
UCLA’s defense might be starting to wear down a bit.
Washington turned to its running game after quarterback Jake Browning had a pass intercepted by Darnay Holmes.
When it got the ball back, the Huskies gained 34 yards on a reverse by Salvon Ahmed and eventually scored on Lavar Coleman’s 33-yard touchdown run. Washington now leads the Bruins 27-9 midway through the third quarter.
UCLA’s offense is also scuffling, having gone three and out after the Holmes interception.
Halftime: Washington 20, UCLA 9
Washington runs its way to a 20-9 lead over UCLA
Washington is starting to pierce UCLA’s run defense with big chunks of yardage.
Tailback Myles Gaskin cut outside for a 37-yard run that turned into a 52-yard gain after UCLA linebacker Krys Barnes was penalized for a horse collar tackle.
The Bruins did eventually stiffen, with Marcus Moore stuffing quarterback Jake Browning for a two-yard loss on third and one. That brought out kicker Tristan Vizcaino, whose 26-yard field goal extended Washington’s lead to 20-9 with 3:50 left in the second quarter.
Gaskin has rushed for 93 of Washington’s 148 yards on the ground.
Big kickoff return helps Washington take a 17-9 lead
UCLA endured special teams breakdowns on back-to-back plays, just about the last thing it needed in its upset bid.
After kicker J.J. Molson missed an extra point, the Bruins allowed Salvon Ahmed to return the ensuing kickoff 82 yards to the UCLA 18-yard line.
Washington quarterback Jake Browning then connected with Hunter Bryant for a 17-yard gain on a pass play, and tailback Lavon Coleman ran for a one-yard touchdown to give the Huskies a 17-9 lead with 9:46 left in the second quarter.
Running game helps UCLA pull to within 10-9
UCLA found its running game on a day it will need it, getting good runs from Soso Jamabo and Bolu Olorunfunmi during its first touchdown drive of the game.
Jamabo ran 10 yards for a first down, and Olorunfunmi took a pitch for an 11-yard gain on third and two.
The Bruins scored on a weird formation in which they split three receivers to one side and two receivers to the other before quarterback Josh Rosen connected with tight end Jordan Wilson over the middle for an eight-yard touchdown.
But kicker J.J. Molson missed the extra point, allowing Washington to hold a 10-9 lead with 10:23 left in the second quarter.
Missed tackles haunt UCLA again as Washington takes 10-3 lead
UCLA got reacquainted with a familiar problem on Washington’s third drive: missed tackles.
Washington quarterback Jake Browning completed a short pass to tailback Lavon Coleman that didn’t look like it was going to generate much before Coleman slipped two tackles on the way to a 35-yard gain. UCLA linebacker Kenny Young prevented a touchdown by finally bringing Coleman down.
The Huskies eventually scored on Browning’s one-yard quarterback keeper on the second play of the second quarter to take a 10-3 lead over the Bruins.
Washington gets field goal to tie UCLA 3-3 late in first quarter
Washington picked up a tying field goal late in the first quarter, but UCLA’s defense is showing that it came to play.
The Bruins stopped the Huskies before a late hit on quarterback Jake Browning by linebacker Kenny Young gave Washington a first down. The Huskies then benefited from Lavon Coleman’s fumble after an 18-yard run when teammate Dante Pettis picked up the ball and ran for 17 more yards.
UCLA held tough after that once Washington reached the 20-yard line, forcing Tristan Vizcaino’s 31-yard field goal that tied the score at 3-3 with 4:00 left in the first quarter.
UCLA takes a 3-0 lead over Washington
UCLA generated some momentum on its first drive, thanks in large part to a roughing the passer call on Washington that gave the Bruins a first down when they otherwise would have had to punt. Quarterback Josh Rosen also connected with Darren Andrews on a 16-yard pass play.
The drive stalled after Rosen was sacked for a second time and Rosen scrambled short of the first down on third and 15. That brought out kicker J.J. Molson, whose 42-yard field goal gave UCLA a 3-0 lead over the No. 12 Huskies with 8 minutes left in the first quarter.
UCLA wins the toss, will defer to second half
UCLA has won the toss and will defer to the second half. Washington will receive.
We’re just about underway here at Husky Stadium.
Tailback Jalen Starks among once-injured players back for UCLA
It appears from warmups that UCLA will play Washington without a handful of its top players, including receiver Jordan Lasley (suspension); linebackers Josh Woods (shoulder) and Breland Brandt (concussion); defensive ends Rick Wade (knee) and Matt Dickerson (collarbone); and tight end Austin Roberts (ankle).
On the plus side for the Bruins, it appears that tailback Jalen Starks, linebackers Krys Barnes and Lokeni Toailoa and defensive end Jacob Tuioti-Mariner are available after being sidelined recently by a variety of injuries and illnesses.
The absence of Lasley for a second consecutive week is particularly troubling for the Bruins because he’s one of the team’s top playmakers and was averaging a team-high 108.6 yards per game. UCLA coach Jim Mora has not detailed what led to Lasley’s suspension or said when he might return.
UCLA looking for first road win as it prepares to face No. 12 Washington
What we try to do is create consistency within the last 24 hours leading up to kickoff. It’s a little bit difficult on the road, a little bit more difficult. But we just have to play better.
— UCLA coach Jim Mora
For most of his time at UCLA, coach Jim Mora has had something in common with country music legend Willie Nelson. He just couldn’t wait to get on the road again.
The Bruins went 18-11 in true road games under Mora before this season, notching a handful of signature victories. There were triumphs over No. 23 USC in 2013, No. 15 Arizona State in 2014 and No. 16 Arizona in 2015.
UCLA compiled a winning record on the road in each of Mora’s first four seasons, going 5-0 in 2014, and picked up what might have been its most impressive victory of a lost 2016 on the road against Brigham Young.
The Bruins’ fortunes on the road this season have been the football equivalent of arriving at their destination at 3 a.m. after a lengthy delay only to find their luggage lost and the rental car counter long abandoned.
UCLA (4-3 overall, 2-2 Pac-12 Conference) is winless on the road heading into a game Saturday afternoon at Husky Stadium against No. 12 Washington (6-1, 3-1). The Bruins’ 0-3 record away from the Rose Bowl includes a heartbreaker against Memphis and head-scratching embarrassments against Stanford and Arizona.
Mora’s efforts to uncover a common theme before Saturday could be dubbed “CSI: Memphis, Palo Alto and Tucson.”
“Nothing I can put my finger on, and we’re looking for everything,” Mora said Monday of his team’s road struggles. “What we try to do is create consistency within the last 24 hours leading up to kickoff. It’s a little bit difficult on the road, a little bit more difficult. But we just have to play better.”
UCLA preparing for kickoff against No. 12 Washington
UCLA will try to drastically alter the trajectory of its season at Husky Stadium on Saturday against No. 12 Washington, seeking a victory that would be its most impressive in years.
The Bruins will have to do it in chilly conditions in a hostile environment, where the fog rolling off Union Bay has been slowly burning off over the last few hours leading up to the 12:30 p.m. kickoff.
UCLA (4-3 overall, 2-2 Pac-12 Conference) enters the game with some rare defensive momentum after having shut out Oregon in three of four quarters last week during a victory over the one-dimensional Ducks.
The challenge will be much greater against the Huskies (6-1, 3-1), who feature a reliable quarterback in Jake Browning, who has had only three passes intercepted in seven games, and a steady if unspectacular tailback in Myles Gaskin, who has averaged 89.4 yards rushing per game this season.
Washington also feels like it has something to prove coming off its first loss of the season, a 13-7 setback against Arizona State on Oct. 14. The Huskies have had two weeks to prepare for the Bruins.
Perhaps the most fascinating matchup will be UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen versus a shorthanded Washington secondary missing its two regular starting cornerbacks because of injuries. The Huskies have not allowed a touchdown pass in Pac-12 play this season, the only Power Five Conference team to hold that distinction.
UCLA’s Greg Rogers loses redshirt, gains confidence
Greg Rogers felt the burn and found it exhilarating. It meant he was playing in a college football game.
UCLA coaches had hoped to redshirt the freshman defensive lineman this season but put him on notice that he might lose that extra year out of necessity if there was a rash of injuries. That moment came on Oct. 21, when defensive linemen Matt Dickerson and Jacob Tuioti-Mariner were hurt against Oregon.
Goodbye, redshirt. Hello, opportunity.
Rogers made the most of it when he helped the Bruins get the penetration they needed on a fourth-down play in the fourth quarter, helping fellow defensive lineman Osa Odighizuwa force a fumble. The Ducks recovered the ball, but UCLA took over on downs on the way to a 31-14 victory that showcased the promise among its young defenders.
“It was pretty exciting and stuff to see I’m finally getting an opportunity to play,” Rogers said Tuesday.
Rogers said he had been on call a few times earlier this season and prepared for a possible debut by treating his scout team repetitions like game-day opportunities. That meant when he got in the game, he already felt like he knew what to do.
It was pretty exciting and stuff to see I’m finally getting an opportunity to play.
— UCLA defensive lineman Greg Rogers
“I just treated it like another practice,” he said.
The 6-foot-3, 310-pound Rogers is part of a group of emerging players who possess the bulk the Bruins want on the interior of their defensive line because it can help them stop the run. Redshirt sophomore Chigozie Nnoruka is 6-2 and 295 pounds and true freshman Martin Andrus, who logged his first career tackle against the Ducks, is 6-1 and 300 pounds.
How Jaleel Wadood came up with UCLA’s Fours Up signal
It was a Pied Piper type of thing. Help me kind of bring all of the rest of the guys in.
— UCLA defensive backs coach Demetrice Martin
USC has its victory salute, the middle and index fingers stretching into a V-shape. Oregon has the “O,” the forefinger and thumb of each hand pressed together to form a circle. Texas has “Hook ’Em Horns,” the pinkie and index finger extended to create a Longhorn.
Jaleel Wadood contemplated the best use of his fingers after committing to UCLA four years ago … and could only scratch his head. The highly coveted safety commenced a brainstorming session with Demetrice Martin, the Bruins’ defensive backs coach who was recruiting him out of St. John Bosco High in Bellflower.
“We were just talking one night,” said Wadood, now a senior, “and I was like, ‘You know, UCLA doesn’t have a sign like everybody else when the commits are throwing up the signs of the school that they go to.’ ”
Martin conceived a way to represent the four letters of his school as well as the eight-clap, the Bruins’ iconic cheer. It involved holding out four fingers on each hand with the thumbs tucked in.
Four plus four equals eight, not to mention a new hand signal known as Fours Up.
Martin knew the idea wasn’t enough; he needed a worthy pitchman. So he enlisted Wadood, the star of his recruiting class who possessed an equally luminous demeanor.
“It was a Pied Piper type of thing,” Martin said of Wadood’s efforts. “Help me kind of bring all of the rest of the guys in.”
Fingers shot up everywhere, the hand signal quickly becoming a favorite of current players and recruits alike. Some Bruins flashed it for photos after victories. High school prospects revealed their choice of UCLA by holding up their hands in the same fashion or posting pictures of themselves while doing it on Twitter along with the hashtag “#4sUp.”
Injuries make UCLA’s tight end situation a position of many players
It’s time to step up. We’re playing grown-man football.
— Freshman tight end Moses Robinson-Carr
There’s been little easing into things for UCLA’s young tight ends.
Redshirt freshman Jordan Wilson went from the fringe of the rotation to a mainstay to the top option in only a few weeks after injuries to Caleb Wilson and Austin Roberts.
True freshman Moses Robinson-Carr lost his redshirt because of the player shortage.
Senior Alex Van Dyke became a rookie of sorts when he switched to tight end from receiver to help fill the void of available bodies.
“It’s time to step up,” said Robinson-Carr, who made his debut on offense last week against Oregon after having played previously on special teams. “We’re playing grown-man football.”
That can involve growing into a new position. Van Dyke recently offered to move to tight end during a post-practice conversation with offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch, viewing it as an opportunity for more playing time after being buried on the depth chart at receiver.
“Coach Fisch, he liked that I took initiative,” said the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Van Dyke, whose size helped ease the transition. “He was excited for it, just like I was.”
Van Dyke said there’s plenty of overlap between his new and old positions.
“You still gotta block, still gotta catch, run, still the same parameters of being a receiver, so it’s not that big of a transition,” he said. “Just the guys are bigger across from you.”
How they match up: UCLA vs. No. 12 Washington
UCLA (4-3, 2-2 in the Pac-12) at No. 12 Washington (6-1, 3-1)
Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Husky Stadium, Seattle, TV: Channel 7. Radio: 570, 1150.
UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen vs. the Washington secondary: Rosen ranks first in the Pac-12 Conference in passing yards per game (374.3) and total offense (371.0), but this will be the toughest defense he’s faced this season. The Huskies are expected to be without injured cornerbacks Byron Murphy and Jordan Miller, thinning their depth to the point that they are using freshman Elijah Molden and converted running back Jomon Dotson as backups.
UCLA (510.1 ypg/38.3 ppg): Rosen received more than a little help from his friends in the run game in recent weeks. Tailbacks Bolu Olorunfunmi and Soso Jamabo combined for 142 rushing yards last week against Oregon. Jamabo has a rushing touchdown in each of his past five games.
Washington (403.4 ypg/37.9 ppg): Keeping quarterback Jake Browning upright will be among the Huskies’ top priorities. He was sacked five times against Arizona State in their last game. They will be featuring a new starting left tackle after Trey Adams sustained a season-ending knee injury against the Sun Devils.
UCLA (494 ypg/36.7 ppg): The Bruins, allowing the most yards per game in the Pac-12, are coming off their most complete defensive effort of the season, holding Oregon scoreless in three of four quarters. UCLA defensive linemen tallied 6 1/2 tackles for loss versus Oregon after having made only half a tackle for loss against Arizona.
Washington (236.9 ypg/10.6 ppg): A defense that’s allowing the fewest yards and points per game in the Pac-12 has been particularly exceptional against the run, giving up only 73 rushing yards per game. That’s best in the Pac-12 and No. 2 nationally.
UCLA knows the biggest problem it faces in showdown at No. 12 Washington
It’s the same field, the same dimensions. It’s the same ball, the same team. We’re just kind of somewhere else.
— UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen
UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen sounded like a football version of Norman Dale from “Hoosiers,” preparing to pull out a measuring tape and walk from one goal line at Husky Stadium to the other.
“It’s the same field, the same dimensions. It’s the same ball, the same team,” Rosen said of playing on the road. “We’re just kind of somewhere else.”
Lately, life on the road for the Bruins has resided in the loss column. UCLA (4-3 overall, 2-2 Pac-12) has dropped all three of its games away from the Rose Bowl and will take a seven-game road losing streak into its showdown Saturday at No. 12 Washington (6-1 ,3-1).
Beating the Huskies would check off more boxes than just an elusive road victory. It would further distance the Bruins from .500 while keeping them in contention for the Pac-12 South Division title with games remaining against two of the three teams ahead of them in the standings.
More significantly, perhaps, it would represent the kind of signature victory that had become routine under coach Jim Mora during his first four seasons at UCLA but has been notably absent lately. The Bruins have not defeated a ranked team since beating No. 18 Utah on Nov. 21, 2015.
Mora shrugged off the potential impact of a single victory, preferring sustained success.
“I only think signature victories are important if they’re followed up by more victories,” Mora said this week.