UCLA receiver Jordan Payton walked into the interview room clutching a football. A very special football.
Payton snagged it on a sideline pattern in the fourth quarter. It gave him 194 career receptions at UCLA, one more than Craig Bragg, the Bruins’ all-time leader.
“That’s quite an accomplishment for him, especially with some of the guys who have come through [UCLA],” Bruins Coach Jim Mora said.
Payton, though, was as happy that the record-setting catch was on a third-and-10 play. He picked up 12 yards, extending a drive. He also had a 37-yard catch in the first quarter, where he outfought Utah safety Marcus Williams for the ball.
“Winning the game was what I wanted,” Payton said.
But the record was nice too.
“It’s great to go down in history,” Payton said. “Great for my family. Great for my teammates. I can come back here and have a record.
Quarterback Josh Rosen went without an interception against Utah to set a UCLA record. He has thrown 218 consecutive passes without an interception, breaking Drew Olson’s record of 199 set in 2005.
Rosen nearly had the streak ended a few times Saturday. Utah defensive back Brian Allen dropped a ball thrown right at him in the third quarter.
It was a so-so afternoon for Rosen, who completed 15 of 30 passes. But he made key throws, including a 33-yard pass to Thomas Duarte to start the game. Rosen closed that drive with a 28-yard touchdown toss to Duarte.
Grinding it out
UCLA running back Paul Perkins finished with 98 yards in 28 carries, including a two-yard touchdown run. It was gritty work.
UCLA running back Paul Perkins (24) celebrates with lineman Caleb Benenoch after scoring against Utah on a two-yard run in the second half.(Kim Raff / Associated Press)
UCLA running back Paul Perkins finds room to run against Utah in the second half.(Kim Raff / Associated Press)
Utah receiver Harrison Handley is brought down by UCLA defensive back Nate Meadors in the second half.(George Frey / Getty Images)
UCLA linebacker Deon Hollins celebrates after teammate Jayon Brown (not pictured) recovered a fumble by Utah quarterback Travis Wilson in the second half.(George Frey / Getty Images)
UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen (3) reacts to the defense recovering a fumble by Utah late in the fourth quarter.(Kim Raff / Associated Press)
UCLA linebacker Jayon Brown brings down Utah running back Joe Williams in the second half.(George Frey / Getty Images)
UCLA linebacker Aaron Wallace tries to get a hand on Utah wide receiver Bubba Poole in the second half.(Kim Raff / Associated Press)
The NFL has found homes for former receivers who made the move to tight end - Jordan Reed in Washington, and Richard Rodgers in Green Bay are two examples. Thomas Duarte may be the next one. Duarte is athletic and can line up in-line, in the slot or out wide to create matchup problems. Even as a seventh-rounder, he could push Jordan Cameron for the starting job.(George Frey / Getty Images)
UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen looks to pass while under pressure from Utah defensive tackle Viliseni Fauonuku in the first half.(Kim Raff / Associated Press)
UCLA defensive back Tahaan Goodman tries to chase down Utah running back Joe Williams during the first half.(Kim Raff / Associated Press)
UCLA wide receiver Thomas Duarte celebrates after scoring on a pass play against Utah during the opening drive Saturday.(Kim Raff / Associated Press)
Utah quarterback Travis Wilson tries to evade a tackle attempt from UCLA linebacker Kene Orjioke in the first half.(Kim Raff / Associated Press)
UCLA running back Paul Perkins tries to avoid the diving tackle attempt by Utah defensive end Jason Fanaika in the first half.(Kim Raff / Associated Press)
Utah running back Joe Williams receives a hand off from quarterback Travis Wilson (7) in the first half.(Kim Raff / Associated Press)
UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen prepares to hand off to running back Paul Perkins in the first half.(Kim Raff / Associated Press)
“I was hyped for this game,” Perkins said. “Going against a great defense is always fun.”
Perkins said he appreciated the work of his offensive line.
“That was definitely a heavyweight match up front,” Perkins said. “Their defensive line is spectacular. I’m proud of the way our guys played up front.”
The Bruins had to patch together the offensive line during the game.
Guard Alex Redmond left with an undisclosed injury in the first half. So tackle Caleb Benenoch moved in at guard, with Kolton Miller coming off the bench at tackle.
Tackle Conor McDermott suffered what appeared to be a severe right knee injury in the third quarter. Benenoch moved back to tackle and Fred Ulu-Perry was brought in at guard.
Flag free (mostly)
UCLA was penalized six times for 59 yards, its second fewest yards this season. The Bruins did not have a false-start penalty after having 13 in the last two games.
Fairbairn had two extra points and a field goal, giving him 101 points. He is the first UCLA player to score 100 points in three consecutive seasons.
Fairbairn’s 33-yard field goal was the 41st consecutive kick he has made from 35 yards or closer.