Penalties continue to haunt UCLA and Washington capitalized on them

Bruins head coach Chip Kelly watches the closing minutes of a loss to the Washington Huskies.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Just when it seemed as if UCLA might be on the verge of wiping out a major annoyance, the flags started flying again.

And just like last week, penalties against the Bruins’ defense sustained two touchdown drives by their opponent in the first half.

UCLA went more than a quarter and a half Saturday at the Rose Bowl without committing a penalty. The momentum ended when lineman Tyler Manoa grabbed the facemask of Washington quarterback Jake Browning while trying to wrap him up for a sack.


The Bruins were penalized again later in the second quarter when linebacker Marcus Moore was called for roughing the passer after ramming into Browning’s shoulder after the quarterback had released a pass.

“You can’t give Jake Browning 15 extra yards,” UCLA coach Chip Kelly said after his team finished its 31-24 loss to the 10th-ranked Huskies with four penalties for 45 yards. “I mean, you have to make him earn everything he can do.”

Kelly said he was also disappointed that the defense couldn’t overcome putting itself in bad positions.

“That penalty didn’t give them a touchdown,” Kelly said of the roughing-the-passer call. “We still need to bear down after those situations.”

UCLA’s offense committed each of its penalties in the second half.

An ineligible-receiver penalty against guard Christaphany Murray in the third quarter wiped out a long pass from quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson to Michael Ezeike. The Bruins ended up kicking a field goal on the drive.

A pass from Thompson-Robinson to Theo Howard that would have gone for a first down later in the third quarter was nullified by a holding call against center Boss Tagaloa. The Bruins eventually scored a touchdown on that drive.

Streak ends

J.J. Molson’s field-goal streak is over. He had made nine consecutive field goals dating to last season before missing a 47-yard attempt the second quarter.

Molson redeemed himself in the third quarter when he made a 49-yard field goal. That gave the junior 34 field goals for his career, moving him into eighth place on UCLA’s all-time list. He had made all four of his field goals this season before Saturday.

Roll call

Receiver Christian Pabico returned from a leg injury that had sidelined him last week against Colorado. He did not log a catch but was targeted on a first-quarter pass that was tipped and intercepted.

Right tackle Justin Murphy did not play after suffering what looked like a knee injury late in the game against Colorado last week. Also absent was receiver Kyle Philips and linebacker Jaelan Phillips, who has been slowed by injuries this season but had not missed a game until Saturday.

Jake Burton replaced Murphy at right tackle and Odua Isibor started in place of Phillips at linebacker.

Legendary Bruins

UCLA honored the eight newest members of its Athletics Hall of Fame during a halftime ceremony. The inductees are Nikki Blue (women’s basketball), Kevin Chappell (men’s golf), Lynn “Buck” Compton (baseball-football), Larry Farmer (men’s basketball), Amanda Freed (softball), Jenny Johnson Jordan (women’s volleyball), Eric Lindroth (men’s water polo) and Stella Sampras Webster (women’s tennis).

The inductees included three Olympians and combined for 12 NCAA titles either as a player or coach.


UCLA safety Adarius Pickett finished with a career-high 16 tackles and an interception before suffering an injury late in the game.

Follow Ben Bolch on Twitter @latbbolch