UCLA Sports

UCLA’s Paul Perkins jumps ahead in Pac-12 rushing yards

Paul Perkins
UCLA running back Paul Perkins leaps over a downed USC defender during the second half of the Bruins’ 38-20 win over the Trojans on Saturday at the Rose Bowl.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Paul Perkins isn’t one to get caught up in personal accomplishments.

He’s the running back who always is crediting his offensive line for whatever good happens.

And a lot good happened for the Bruins on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl. For Perkins too.

The sophomore from Queen Creek, Ariz., became — temporarily at least — the king of Pac-12 Conference running backs.


Perkins trailed USC’s Javorius “Buck” Allen by 12 yards before Saturday’s game, but he took over the conference rushing lead as the Bruins were overwhelming the Trojans, 38-20.

Perkins ran for 93 yards and a touchdown in 24 carries, and Allen was held to 60 yards and a touchdown in 14 carries.

Perkins now has 1,265 yards rushing in 214 carries this season, with one regular-season game to go against Stanford.

Allen has 1,244 yards in 231 carries, with a game to go against Notre Dame.


Perkins moved into eighth place on UCLA’s single-season rushing chart, and is only 17 yards back of Skip Hicks (1997) and 18 yards back of Theotis Brown, who is sixth on the list.


Head coaches like to say they don’t read newspapers or stories about their programs online.

Jim Mora obviously does.

After quarterback Brett Hundley tore up USC for 326 yards and three touchdowns passing, UCLA’s coach took a jab at an NFL scout who was quoted in a story in The Times last week saying Hundley needed to improve his accuracy.

“The guy is a 73% passer,” Mora said, then, of the scout he added, “You should work on your evaluations.”

Against the Trojans, Hundley completed 22 of 31 passes. He has now completed 242 of 336 passes this season, which is 72%.

Hundley became UCLA’s career total offense leader with 11,353 yards in his career. Cade McNown had the record of 11,285.


Robinson honored

UCLA officials announced during the game they will retire the No. 42 in all their sports teams in honor of Jackie Robinson. The Rose Bowl will also build a No. 42 monument.

Robinson did not wear No. 42 at UCLA, but a school official said it was chosen because of its historical significance.

Robinson wore No. 42 when he broke the major league color line with the Dodgers in 1947.

Robinson played four sports for UCLA — football, basketball, baseball and track and field.

He wore No. 28 as a football player and No. 18 as a basketball player.

Saving kick

UCLA punter Matt Mengel punted six times for a 33-yard average.


Statistically, those are below average numbers, even though he did put two punts inside the USC 20-yard line.

But Mengel’s biggest kick might have been his shortest.

Mengel made a potentially huge mistake in the first quarter, dropping the ball that had been snapped to him. However, he didn’t panic, scooping it up and running to his right to get off a kick just as he was about to be tackled around the goal line.

Instead of first-and-goal, Mengel’s 13-yard effort pushed USC back to the 30.

The Trojans drove to the five, but were turned back there when Eric Kendricks and Owamagbe Odighizuwa stopped the Trojans’ Allen for no gain on a fourth-and-two play.

Quick hit

UCLA’s Ka’imi Fairbairn made his 28th consecutive field goal from 35 yards or closer with a 32-yard kick in the second quarter.

Go beyond the scoreboard

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