Reporting from Corvallis, Ore. -- It’s a worn-out phrase in football.
“They came out in the second half and punched us in the mouth,” UCLA running back Derrick Coleman said after a 27-19 victory over Oregon State on Saturday.
Only Coleman meant that literally.
“Really, my helmet came off one time, and I got hit in the mouth,” he said. “The best way to take revenge is by winning.”
The Bruins got downright Neanderthal in taking their pound of flesh.
UCLA rushed for 211 yards. Coleman, who replaced injured Johnathan Franklin (bruised thigh), finished with 100 yards in what became a meat-and-potatoes game plan.
“Our game plan every week is power,” Coach Rick Neuheisel said. “That’s the identity we’ve chosen.”
UCLA tossed the ball around early. Quarterback Richard Brehaut found Josh Smith down the sideline for a 62-yard gain. Brehaut ended the drive with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Taylor Embree for a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
But Brehaut threw only 11 passes.
The Bruins went 46 yards on their second touchdown drive, all on the ground. UCLA’s final touchdown drive covered 66 yards — plus five more after an illegal procedure penalty — with 56 coming on the ground.
Most of the work was between the tackles, though Jordon James had 25 yards on two fly sweeps.
“The whole thing was to not back down,” Coleman said. “When you got hit, fall forward.”
Said Neuheisel: “When we control field position and control time of possession, we’re a tough team to beat.”
Old, um, friends
UCLA punter Jeff Locke was trying to cut off Oregon State’s Jordan Poyer on a return when Jovan Stevenson crushed him with a block. Poyer scored on an 85-yard punt return, and Locke wobbled off the field.
After the next punt, Stevenson approached Locke and shook his hand.
“We actually played against each other in high school,” Locke said.
Locke attended Glendale (Ariz.) Mountain Ridge. Stevenson went to Tucson Sunnyside.
“I had my state record 63-yard field goal against them,” Locke said. “I asked him, ‘Was that getting even?’”
It was a tough day for Locke, who also had a field goal and an extra point blocked. His shoulder was heavily wrapped after the game.
Besides Franklin, cornerback Sheldon Price sprained his right knee, and safety Dalton Hilliard suffered a sprained left shoulder. Hilliard said he would have X-rays Sunday.
Safety Tony Dye had a string of 28 consecutive starts snapped. He sat out the game because of a shoulder injury. Tevin McDonald started in his place.
Running back Malcolm Jones, who had one carry before Saturday, finished with 38 yards in nine carries after Franklin was hurt. … Defensive tackle Seali’i Epenesa appeared in his first game this season and cannot redshirt unless injured. … Oregon State is 0-3 for the first time under Mike Riley, who is in his 12th season as the Beavers’ coach. … UCLA’s victory was only the third on the road in Pacific 12 (or 10) Conference play in three-plus seasons under Neuheisel.