UCLA Bruins blanket Rose Bowl with ‘White Out’ effect in hopes of erasing hard luck
Jaelan Phillips provided a spoiler about seven hours before kickoff.
The UCLA freshman defensive end posted on Instagram a picture of himself wearing a white uniform top with matching pants. The caption read: “All White Like I Got The Whole Thing Bleached” with a snowflake emoji and the hashtag “BeatColorado.”
The Bruins added a surprise shortly before kickoff of Saturday night’s game against Colorado at the Rose Bowl when they emerged from the tunnel with white helmets to match, completing a look they last unveiled against USC in 2011 — a 50-0 Trojans rout.
UCLA’s latest “White Out” mostly had its intended effect. A large number of fans wore white T-shirts and those who didn’t waved white pompoms that had been distributed before the game.
The Bruins walked onto the field for warmups wearing white shorts and long-sleeve T-shirts with their usual gold helmets to find the end zones painted white with “UCLA” in blue. The same color scheme was used on the school name logo at midfield.
The first 2,500 students to arrive at the stadium received free white T-shirts. The throng of students mostly filled the north end zone and was easily the biggest of the season with classes scheduled to start this week.
Phillips had encouraged fans to contribute to the color scheme earlier in the day, tweeting another photo of himself in white with the caption “We need the Rose Bowl all white like something you ride a sled down!!”
Colorado countered with all-black uniforms and helmets. They had lost all five of their previous games while wearing that combination and had been 1-12 since midway through the 2008 season while wearing black jerseys and pants.
Phillips’ pictures of himself in uniform remained wishful thinking. He missed a second consecutive game because of a right ankle injury he sustained against Memphis on Sept. 16.
UCLA coach Jim Mora said last week that Phillips was receiving treatment multiple times per day in an effort to return and the Bruins remained hopeful that he might be able to play.
“Certainly we miss Jaelan,” defensive line coach Angus McClure said Wednesday, “and hopefully we get him back soon.”
Phillips’ 4 1/2 tackles for loss were the most on the team through four games, even though Phillips had played in slightly more than 2 1/2 games. He vowed on Twitter after last week’s loss to Stanford that he would return “with a vengeance that no one has seen before” and that the Bruins would not lose another game.
UCLA was even more shorthanded than usual at linebacker.
Lokeni Toailoa became the latest linebacker to miss a game, for reasons not immediately announced. The Bruins already had been without Breland Brandt (concussion) since their Sept. 9 game against Hawaii and DeChaun Holiday (shoulder) since spring practice.
Krys Barnes started at linebacker alongside Kenny Young and Josh Woods. Young made a tackle in the backfield on Colorado’s first possession, pulling down Michael Adkins for a two-yard loss.
Quarterback Josh Rosen, receiver Darren Andrews, defensive back Mossi Johnson and defensive end Jacob Tuioti-Mariner were game captains. Former Bruins quarterback Jay Schroeder was the honorary captain. … Scouts from the Chargers, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals were credentialed for the game. The Chargers and Browns are 0-3 and might finish the season in position to take Rosen with one of the top picks in the April draft.
Follow Ben Bolch on Twitter @latbbolch
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