UCLA defeats BYU, 17-14


UCLA (2-1) defeated Brigham Young (1-2), 17-14, in Provo, Utah on Saturday.

UCLA beats BYU, 17-14, to close nonconference play with a win

On a night when Josh Rosen wasn’t at his best, keeping UCLA’s offense well below its potential, it was the defense that quarterbacked the Bruins to a 17-14 win over Brigham Young at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Rosen’s final stat line — 26 for 40 for 307 yards, two touchdowns and an interception was more than respectable. Darren Andrews provided the reliable receiver Rosen hadn’t had through two weeks, catching four passes for 91 yards and a touchdown. The offense methodically drained the clock in the fourth, ultimately squashing the Cougars’ (1-2) final hopes at a comeback.

But the UCLA (2-1) defense, which was inconsistent heading into the game, was at the center of the win. The front seven stifled BYU quarterback Taysom Hill with four first-half sacks. The secondary came up with big plays when the Cougars threatened at the start of the fourth quarter. The Cougars gained just 23 yards on the ground, and it was the 20th time since 2000 that UCLA held an opponent below 50 rushing yards.

With a home game against No. 7 Stanford next week, the heightened play of the defense is a very good sign for the Bruins.

The UCLA offense was listless on its first three drives, which resulted in two punts and Rosen’s fourth interception of the season. Then the Bruins found their rhythm toward the end of the first quarter, and scored the game’s first points with 12:50 left in the second.

The score came on a six-yard pass from Rosen to fullback Cameron Griffin, and was set up by two sizable gains by junior running back Nate Starks. Starks didn’t play in UCLA’s first two games due to undisclosed reasons, and led the Bruins’ rushing attack with an underwhelming 15 rushes for 39 yards on Saturday. Soso Jamabo, the team’s leading rusher in the first two weeks of the season, was not in uniform.

Two possessions later, on the heels of a diving interception by Adarius Pickett, UCLA stalled in the red zone but bumped its lead to 10-0 with a 24-yard field goal from J.J. Molson.

That was all the Bruins’ offense could muster in a lethargic first half — UCLA was 0-for-7 on third down through two quarters — but the BYU offense fared even worse. Hill had no space to work in the pocket, and BYU went for negative-nine yards on the ground.

Out of the break, the Bruins and Cougars traded punts before UCLA finally broke through on third down. Josh Rosen completed three straight third-down passes to dig into BYU territory, the last of which was a 33-yard touchdown strike to Andrews.

Leading 17-0 and close to putting the Cougars away, the Bruins defense finally cracked. BYU capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run by Jamaal Williams.

But then both offenses flatlined until the Cougars scored with 37 seconds left in the game, which allowed UCLA to close nonconference play with a deceivingly tight victory.

On Saturday, the Bruins’ star quarterback didn’t have all the answers.

In turn, its previously spotty defense led the way.


BYU’s onside kick sails out of bounds to seal 17-14 win for UCLA

Taysom Hill found Nick Kurtz for a 23-yard touchdown to pull BYU within three points of UCLA, at 17-14, with 37 seconds left in the game.

With just one timeout left, the Cougars attempted an onside kick after the touchdown. But the kick sailed out of pounds, giving possession, and the game, to UCLA.


UCLA gets a critical fourth-quarter stop to keep lead at 17-7

UCLA and BYU traded three and outs to start the fourth quarter, and then the Cougars put some pressure on the Bruins defense.

After stumbling through the first two and a half quarters of the game, Taysom Hill led BYU into UCLA territory as the game clocked dripped below nine minutes.

But then the Cougars moved backward after an offensive holding call, setting up third and 15. On third down, Jaleel Wadood jumped a pass intended for Mitchell Juergens and knocked it to the grass.

The Cougars punted a play later — keeping the score at 17-7 in UCLA’s favor — to give the Bruins offense a chance to control the game.


UCLA leads BYU, 17-10, in the fourth after J.J. Molson misses field goal

The game heated up, and so did Josh Rosen.

But after Rosen led UCLA into BYU territory, the drive stalled and freshman kicker J.J. Molson pushed a 38-yard field goal wide right.

After the miss, the Bruins lead the Cougars 17-7 as BYU takes over with 13:33 left in the game.

Nate Iese, who bobbled the pass on Rosen’s first-quarter interception, redeemed himself with a 29-yard catch to extend the empty drive. Rosen then hung in the pocket and hit Darren Andrews with an 11-yard pass, and found Ishmael Adams for 27 yards after a holding call set the Bruins back.

On the next series of downs, Rosen found Nate Starks while being tackled by his ankles. But Starks fell a few yards short of the first-down marker, and Molson’s try sailed outside of the right goal post.


BYU gets on the board, but UCLA still leads 17-7 in the third

BYU’s offense was futile for close to 38 minutes before piecing together its first scoring drive of the night.

With 3:07 left in the third, a one-yard run by Jamaal Williams pulled the Cougars to within two scores of UCLA at 17-7.

BYU gained traction on Taysom Hill’s 16-yard pass to Hunter Marshall, and then went to UCLA’s 25-yard line on a six-yard pass from Hill to Williams.

Two Bruins penalties — the first holding by Fabian Moreau, and the second a pass interference call on Nate Meadors — put the Cougars on the doorstep of UCLA’s end zone.

Three plays later, a replay review confirmed that Williams crossed the plane to put BYU on the board.


UCLA leads BYU, 17-0, in the third quarter

In a flash, UCLA went from falling flat on third down to thriving on it.

Facing third and nine on BYU’s 33-yard line, Josh Rosen found Darren Andrews on a crossing route for a touchdown that bumps the Bruins lead to 17-0 with 7:24 left in the third quarter.

UCLA waited until the 10:17 mark of the third to convert on third down for the first time, and it was a 15-yard pass to Kenneth Walker III that pushed the Bruins into BYU territory. Before that point, the Bruins were 0 for 8 on third down.

The Bruins then converted again on third, this time on a seven-yard pass from Josh Rosen to Jordan Lasley.

Three players later, a third straight third-down conversion resulted in Andrews’ touchdown and a 17-point cushion for UCLA.


UCLA punts to start the second half and still hasn’t converted on third down

UCLA couldn’t get much going on the ground in the first half, but opened the second with a 15-yard rush by Nate Starks.

But the drive quickly stalled despite a seven-yard pass to Alex Van Dyke. When Ishmael Adams was tripped up short of the first-down marker around midfield, the Bruins moved to 0 for 8 on third down in the game.

UCLA also hasn’t scored in the third quarter yet this season, and it would do it well to break that trend in a tight contest with BYU.


UCLA leads BYU, 10-0, at halftime

UCLA jumped out to a 10-0 halftime lead in Provo, scoring all of its points in the second quarter.

BYU, meanwhile, has been completely shut down by the Bruins’ defense. The Bruins also blocked a 55-yard field-goal attempt as the second-quarter clock expired.

Here are some first-half stats for each team:


- UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen finished the first half 11 for 20 for 126 yards. He threw a six-yard touchdown pass to fullback Cameron Griffin for the Bruins’ first score. He also thew his fourth interception of the season.

- With leading rusher Soso Jamabo in street clothes on the sideline, junior running back Nate Starks carried the ball a team-high nine times for 15 yards in the first half. Starks is making his first appearance of the season after sitting in UCLA’s first two games for undisclosed reasons.

- Three Bruins caught two passes in the first. That group included Eldridge Massington (two catches for 27 yards), Mossi Johnson (two catches for 25 yards) and Nate Starks (two catches for 13 yards). Darren Andrews caught a 35-yard pass on UCLA’s only touchdown drive.

- In total, the Bruins offense gained 144 first-half yards on 36 plays. That included 126 yards and just 18 on the ground. UCLA was also 0-for-7 on third down in the first.


- Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill completed 9 of 20 passes for an unimpressive 79 yards. He also threw an interception, and was sacked four times. Rick Wade, Kenny Young, Takkarist McKinley and Jayon Brown collected the sacks for UCLA.

- Running back Jamaal Williams ran a team-high eight times for 12 yards, good for 1.5 yards per carry.

- Three Cougars receivers caught two passes in the first half, and each of them gained 11 total yards. Williams also caught a 39-yard pass in the first quarter and was targeted three times out of the backfield.

- In total, the BYU offense gained 79 yards on 38 plays in the first. That included 88 yards in the air and negative-nine on the ground.


UCLA leads BYU, 10-0, after drive stalls in the red zone

A diving interception by Adarius Pickett gave UCLA’s offense a short field to work with, but the Bruins could only muster a 24-yard field goal from J.J. Molson.

The chip shot pushed the Bruins’ lead over BYU to 10-0 with 6:57 left in the second quarter.

Rosen set up the field goal with back-to-back completions to Eldridge Massington — the first for 15 yards, and the second for 12. But UCLA couldn’t get the ball in the end zone after two short runs and an incomplete pass intended for Massington on third and long.


UCLA’s pass rush is making an early difference against BYU

UCLA’s pass rush was virtually non-existent in its first two games of the season. But the Bruins’ front seven came to play against BYU.

In the first two games of the season: One sack.

So far tonight: Two, before halftime.

The Bruins’ first sack of was by Rick Wade in the first quarter. The second came from Kenny Young and ended the Cougars’ most recent drive. BYU quarterback Taysom Hill is capable of extending plays with his legs, but UCLA’s pass rush has been all over him in the early going.


UCLA leads BYU, 7-0, early in the second quarter

UCLA Josh Rosen found fullback Cameron Griffin for a six-yard touchdown pass with 12:50 left in the second quarter. The score put the Bruins ahead 7-0.

UCLA started the game with two short drives and an interception, and quarterback Josh Rosen found Darren Andrews for a 35-yard gain on the second play of the Bruins’ fourth drive.

Andrew was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after the play — moving UCLA back 15 yards and out of BYU territory — but the big gain ignited an otherwise lethargic offense.

UCLA then went for it on fourth and inches, and moved back into Cougars territory with the help of two BYU penalties on the same play.

After a break at the end of the first quarter, UCLA used back-to-back runs by Nate Starks to set up first and goal from the four-yard line.

Two plays later, Griffin found a hole in BYU’s defense and caught the first score of the game while falling to the grass.


UCLA and BYU are tied, 0-0, at the end of the first quarter

Here are some stats from a slow first quarter in Provo:


- Quarterback Josh Rosen finished the first quarter 6 for 12 for 73 yards. He also threw his fourth interception of the season.

- Three different running backs carried the ball for UCLA, which is without leading rusher Soso Jamabo. Nate Starks made his first appearance of the season but has just two yards on two carries. In total, the Bruins have run five times for eight yards.

- Mossi Johnson caught a team-high two passes for 26 yards in the first quarter. Darren Andrews had a 35-yard catch on the Bruins’ current drive, which has them deep inside BYU territory.


- BYU quarterback Taysom Hill is 3 for 11 for 51 yards.

- The Cougars have been even worse than UCLA on the ground, rushing eight times for negative-three yards.

- Hill completed his three passes to three difference receivers in the first quarter, and the biggest gain through the air was a 39-yard pass to Jamaal Williams.


Josh Rosen throws fourth interception of season; BYU takes over in UCLA territory

Josh Rosen stepped up into the pocket and threw a dart to tight end Nate Iese over the middle.

But Iese bobbled the ball while falling to the ground, and BYU linebacker Fred Warner took the ball out of the tight end’s hands. After a replay review, Rosen’s fourth interception of the season was confirmed.

The turnover, which was the first of the game, gave the Cougars great field position at the UCLA 34-yard line. The game is still scoreless with five minutes left in the first quarter.


Slow start for Josh Rosen leads to slow start for UCLA

UCLA generally goes as quarterback Josh Rosen does, which meant stumbling out of the games against BYU on Saturday night.

The Bruins went three and out on their first drive, and picked up one first down before punting the ball back to the Cougars on their second. Rosen, touted as one of the country’s top quarterbacks, hasn’t been able to find a rhythm in the early going.

UCLA’s first run of the game was a handoff to Nate Starks, who didn’t play in the first two weeks of the season due to undisclosed reasons. Starks picked up a short first down before the drive stalled.


UCLA goes three and out on first drive of the game

After the UCLA defense forced a turnover on downs on BYU’s first possession, the Bruins offense was back on the sideline after three plays.

Josh Rosen threw on all three downs, throwing two deep incompletions and hitting tight end Austin Roberts on an underneath route for a five-yard gain.

Rosen was flushed out of the pocket by an aggressive blitz on third down, and was forced to throw an erratic pass while on the run.


UCLA defers and forces a turnover on downs on BYU’s first drive

UCLA won the opening coin toss and elected to kick, and immediately pushed BYU to third and long.

But then Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill completed a 39-yard pass to Jamaal Williams to march into Bruins territory. Three plays later, UCLA safety Adarius Pickett broke up a pass intended for Mitchell Juergens, BYU’s leading receiver.

Juergens was shaken up on the play and slowly walked off the field on his own power. On the next play — fourth down and eight —Hill overthrew a wide-open Aleva Hifo to turn the ball over to Josh Rosen and UCLA.


Soso Jamabo is not suited up; Nate Starks looks ready to make season debut

Soso Jamabo, who leads UCLA with 181 rushing yards and three touchdowns through two games, is not suited up for the Bruins’ matchup at BYU.

Jamabo rushed for three first-half touchdowns in UCLA’s win over Nevada-Las Vegas last week. Junior Nate Starks, who has not played in the Bruins’ first two games due to undisclosed reasons, is warming up in full uniform.

Starks could fill the void left by Jamabo, alongside Bolu Olorunfunmi and freshmen Brandon Stephens and Jalen Starks.


Key UCLA players seem ready to go against BYU

A handful of key UCLA players warmed up in full uniform ahead of the Bruins’ 7:15 clash with BYU.

Those players included...

-Defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes, who missed the second half of UCLA’s win over UNLV last week with a mild left knee injury.

-Defensive end Takkarist McKinley, who has been slowed by a groin injury.

-Defensive end Deon Hollins, who is coming back from a concussion.

-Safety Jaleed Wadood, who watched the UNLV game in street clothes due to injury.

-Running back Nate Starks, who hasn’t played in UCLA’s first two games due to undisclosed reasons.

Bolch also noted that fullback Ainuu Taua sat on the bench during warmups and was not in uniform. Cameron Griffin, who has missed time due to injury, is warming up.


UCLA looks for improved play from its receivers against BYU

No receiver has emerged as Josh Rosen’s favored target through UCLA’s first two games, and that is partly due to inconsistent hands across the board.

But Bruins wide receivers coach Eric Yarber has a solution for his group: Be a nerd. To Yarber, a nerdy receiver deliberately looks each pass into his hands before turning upfield.

“If you do it in practice,” UCLA receiver Eldridge Massington said this week, “it will become a habit in the game.”

BYU’s secondary will be thin to start on Saturday night — safety Kai Nacua and cornerback Austin McChesney are suspended for the first half after ejections for targeting last week, and cornerback Troy Warner is expected to be sidelined with a leg injury — providing an opportunity for the Bruins receivers to find a rhythm.

So who will emerge as a reliable target for Rosen?

Will it be Darren Andrews? Kenneth Walker III? Mossi Johnson after his touchdown catch last week?

If you were to ask Yarber, he’d probably tell you the nerdiest of the lot will stand out.


UCLA fined and ordered to submit compliance plan in response to assistant coach’s violations

UCLA offensive line coach Adrian Klemm, right, stands with Coach Jim Mora at practice on April 1, 2014.
UCLA offensive line coach Adrian Klemm, right, stands with Coach Jim Mora at practice on April 1, 2014.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

While I certainly did not intentionally violate NCAA rules, the fact of the matter is that I did violate NCAA rules and I accept full responsibility.

The NCAA on Friday levied a $5,000 institutional fine and a two-year show-cause order for UCLA offensive line coach Adrian Klemm after accepting the school’s previous self-imposed sanctions related to ethical conduct violations committed by Klemm.

In response to the new penalties, UCLA has submitted a plan for compliance to the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions detailing how it will educate Klemm and monitor his athletically related activities during the period of the show-cause order.

According to the NCAA, Klemm, who is also the Bruins’ recruiting coordinator, admitted to paying $2,400 for housing and private training sessions for two recruits at a private workout facility. UCLA also provided one recruit with a second official visit in violation of NCAA rules and made impermissible contact with recruits at their high school and a restaurant.

“While I certainly did not intentionally violate NCAA rules, the fact of the matter is that I did violate NCAA rules and I accept full responsibility,” Klemm said in a statement. “I need to be aware of every rule, and I will be moving forward. I’m thankful that this process has concluded and my focus remains squarely on our student-athletes and helping them achieve their goals.”

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Beware of nerds: UCLA receivers hope to turn Geek Squad against BYU

UCLA receivers coach Eric Yarber hopes there will be plenty more celebrations this season.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

You have to be nerdy to catch the football. It’s gritty, it’s grimy, it’s want-to, it’s the nerd.

— Eric Yarber, UCLA receivers coach

Eric Yarber, UCLA’s receivers coach, likes the studious types. His preference is reflected in the catchphrase he’s devised to help his pupils.

“You have to be nerdy to catch the football,” Yarber said. “It’s gritty, it’s grimy, it’s want-to, it’s the nerd.”

Being a nerd, according to Yarber, entails watching a pass until it’s securely tucked against the body instead of trying to look cool by taking one’s eye off the ball and turning upfield to run.

The Bruins haven’t exactly geeked out in their first two games.

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