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UCLA capitalizes on opportunities a bit too late

UCLA capitalizes on opportunities a bit too late
UCLA running back Paul Perkins (24) gets past Oregon defensive back Derrick Malone Jr. on a 15-yard run to the five-yard line in the second half. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

UCLA followed a plan that has beaten Oregon before. The Bruins held on to the ball.

They failed in one area: touchdowns.

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FOR THE RECORD:

UCLA football: An article in the Oct. 12 Sports section reported that Brett Hundley had passed Gary Beban to become the leading career rusher among UCLA quarterbacks. John Sciarra is UCLA's career rushing leader among quarterbacks. —

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Sure, UCLA rolled up three late touchdowns to make a 42-30 loss to the Ducks look respectable. But they were unable to cash in on opportunities early in the game at the Rose Bowl.

The Bruins dominated time of possession, the Stanford model in beating the Ducks the last two seasons. UCLA had the ball for 37 minutes 33 seconds to Oregon's 22:27.

"We put together some good drives and had the ball for 37 minutes," offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said. "When you do that do that, you have to finish the drive."

UCLA had one touchdown through three quarters. On one first-half drive, the Bruins held the ball for 7:38. All they had to show for it was a 20-yard field goal by Ka'imi Fairbairn.

Oregon scored on three consecutive possessions that spanned 6:54.

"We can't settle for threes," Mazzone said.

Personal choice

Brett Hundley put off the NFL draft in January to return to UCLA. He brought back a handful of goals, which now appear harder to attain.

"It gives you different perspective on things," Hundley said. But, he added, "I am obviously glad I came back."

Hundley's 89 yards rushing made him the all-time top rushing quarterback at UCLA with 1,314 yards. Gary Beban had 1,271.

Protection racket

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UCLA improved its pass protection considerably. Hundley, who was sacked 10 times by Utah the previous week, was sacked twice by the Ducks. He did have to scramble seven times and two went for negative yards but were called runs instead of sacks.

UCLA replaced tackle Malcolm Bunche with Conor McDermott in the second half. Bunche did not appear to be injured on the sideline late in the game.

Hundley completed 26 of 37 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns. He had one pass intercepted, which led to a second-half touchdown.

Sparring partner

UCLA defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes was called for a personal foul in the second quarter when he threw a punch at an Oregon player at the bottom of a pile.

Said Coach Jim Mora: "It's not something we condone."

Mora said he spoke to Vanderdoes on the sidelines and that any further punishment would not be announced.

Pac-12 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott said the play would be reviewed by conference officials.

UCLA officials would not allow Vanderdoes to speak to the media.

On the run

Running back Paul Perkins had his best game for UCLA, finishing with 190 yards. Still, he wasn't celebrating.

"Whenever we lose, regardless of personal accomplishment, it hurts," Perkins said. "I had a good game, but we still have to get a win."

Oregon's Royce Freeman had fewer yards, but a happier day. He gained 121 yards and scored on runs of four and two yards.

Student achievement

UCLA sold 13,500 student tickets for Saturday's game, the most since the university began charging students in 1984.

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