What happened and what mattered in the UCLA 31-30 win over Arizona?
UCLA 31, Arizona 30
It was a surprisingly fun shootout between the two Pac-12 South also-rans. Chip Kelly got his second straight win, as Wilton Speight filled in for an injured Dorian Thompson-Robinson and threw two touchdowns in the back-and-forth battle. Joshua Kelly added a fourth quarter 28-yard scoring run – he rancor 136 yards – to put the Bruins up for good, Arizona only managed a field goal – Josh Pollack’s third of the night – and UCLA was able to run out the clock.
It’s not like Arizona was better without Khalil Tate, but the offense managed to rally late thanks to 154 yards and a score from JJ Taylor, and 121 rushing yards from Gary Brightwell. The Wildcat O line had one of its better days. Rhett Rodriguez completed 15-of-34 passes for 231 yards and two scores with two picks, and didn’t get sacked.
This was how both offenses were supposed to work. Sort of. It might not have been perfect, but welcome to the future of the Pac-12 South. The two teams combined for almost 1,000 yards of offense with a whole lot of big plays.
Does UCLA have any hope of going bowling? It has to win four of its last five games against Utah, at Oregon, at Arizona State, USC and Stanford, so … no. However, considering a few weeks ago that it looked like 0-12 was possible, the program is taking positive steps forward.
Arizona couldn’t handle the UCLA offense, and now it has to face Oregon. With Colorado, at Washington State, and Arizona State to close, if the Wildcats can come up with two more wins, consider it a successful finishing kick.