Comeback Falls Short

Linebacker Bryan Kehl sacks former roommate Ben Olson. The defense held Olson to just 126 yards passing. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

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PASADENA -- Despite racking up 435 yards of total offense, including 391 yards passing, BYU (1-1) saw its 11-game winning streak come to an end on Saturday, as No. 13 UCLA (2-0) beat the Cougars 27-17 in front of 72,986 fans at the Rose Bowl.

"I give a lot of credit to UCLA," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "When the critical plays needed to be made, they made them. We fought back and rallied, but, quite frankly, we didn't play well enough in all three phases of the game to win in this setting against this strong of a team.

"I like our heart. I like our willingness and our fight, but our execution in making the critical plays and doing what we're supposed to do wasn't good enought to win today."

For the first time since trailing 14-35 to Cal in the third quarter of the 2005 Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl, the Cougars found themselves down by at least 20 points Saturday against the Bruins, only to come back and pull within three with 6:04 left in the third quarter.

"I knew this (BYU) team was a very good football team," UCLA head coach Karl Dorrell said. "You don't win 11 games in a row and not have the attitude and poise that it takes to come back in victories. My hat is off to Bronco and his team. They played hard."

Despite holding UCLA to just 236 total yards, the Cougars fell short in their bid to upset the Bruins on their home field. BYU sophomore quarterback Max Hall threw 30-of-53 attempts for 391 yards and two touchdowns, while a stifling defense held UCLA junior Ben Olson to just 126 passing yards.

"I knew their (BYU) defense was really good," Dorrell said. "They had a really good linebacker corps, with solid secondary play. We knew their front added a lot of difficulty, given their 3-4 structure. Offensively, I was not suprised. Their quarterback (Max Hall) played well. He played with a lot of poise and completed a lot of passes."

The Bruins rushed for 110 yards on 37 carries while limiting the Cougars' running game to just 44 yards on 25 rushes.

"We wanted to stop their run and stop them from getting that dimension," Dorrell added. "We wanted to put it in the quarterback's hands, and he got hot. You can tell the momentum changed a little bit, and we dug our heels in and came away with a hard-fought win."

A total of 11 penalties were called against BYU compared to the Bruins' four. The most crucial penalty came late in the fourth quarter when the Cougars were called for pass interference on a play that should have been blown dead because the 25-second play clock had expired.

The pass interference penalty gave UCLA a first-and-10 from the BYU 27-yard line. A few plays later Chris Markey put the game out of reach with a three-yard touchdown run with 1:12 left in the game.

UCLA struck first with a 37-yard field goal with 3:39 left in the first quarter. The score capped an eight-play, 60-yard drive and marked the first time BYU hasn?t scored first in a game since the 2006 season-opener against Arizona?a streak of 12 games.

Later in the first quarter, a pass interference call on UCLA's Trey Brown gave the Cougars a first down on the Bruin's 49-yard line. Two plays later, Brown picked off a Hall pass intended for Bryce Mahuika and ran it back 56 yards to give UCLA a 10-0 lead.

Bruins' junior running back Kahlil Bell extended the UCLA lead to 17-0 in the second quarter with a four-yard rushing touchdown. The drive featured runs of 26 and 17 yards from Bell.

A controversial fumble by BYU tight end Vic So'oto led to a 40-yard field goal and a 20-0 UCLA lead. So'oto was credited with the fumble after a 19-yard reception, although replays indicated his knee was down before he lost the ball. The play was reviewed but not overturned. On the night there were a total of four plays reviewed by replay officials. None were overturned.

The Cougars would get on the board just before halftime to avoid the first-half shutout. Facing a third-and-13, Hall hit Matt Allen for a 16-yard strike and the Cougars' first third down conversion of the game. Later in the drive, and with just five seconds on the game clock, kicker Mitch Payne chipped in a 27-yarder to make it 20-3 at the break.

On BYU's first play of the second half, Harvey Unga took a pass from Hall and ran it up the sideline for a gain of 18-yards. That play was followed by a 23-yard reception up the middle by Andrew George. Two plays later Hall hooked up with George once more for a 28-yard completion that fell one yard short of the end zone. Hall found Austin Collie in the end zone to cut the gap down to 20-10.

It was the Cougars' defense that came up big on UCLA's ensuing drive when Kayle Buchanan intercepted an Olsen pass. It took only two plays for Hall to connect with Collie again on a lob at the corner of the end zone to put BYU within three points at 20-17.

However, that would be as close as the Cougars would get, as Markey sealed the game for the Bruins with a three-yard touchdown run that gave the game its final score of 27-17.

"Defensively, we played very similar to what we did in the first half. Offensively, we just became more precise. Just some execution flaws got in the way of our momentum. I think you saw some bits and pieces of what this team will become."

The Cougars next travel to Tulsa, Okla., to take on Tulsa next Saturday, Sept. 15. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. (CDT). The game can be seen nationally on CSTV.

Box Score (Final)

BYU vs #13 UCLA (Sep 08, 2007 at Pasadena, CA)

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score

----------------- -- -- -- -- -----

BYU................. 0 3 14 0 - 17 Record: (1-1)

UCLA................ 10 10 0 7 - 27 Record: (2-0)

Scoring Summary:

1st 03:39 UCLA - Forbath,Kai 37 yd field goal, 8-60 2:54, BYU 0 - UCLA 3

01:58 UCLA - Brown,Trey 56 yd interception return (Forbath,Kai kick), , BYU 0 - UCLA 10

2nd 11:01 UCLA - Bell,Kahlil 4 yd run (Forbath,Kai kick), 4-47 1:41, BYU 0 - UCLA 17

03:28 UCLA - Forbath,Kai 40 yd field goal, 6-19 2:57, BYU 0 - UCLA 20

00:05 BYU - PAYNE, Mitch 27 yd field goal, 11-0 3:23, BYU 3 - UCLA 20

3rd 08:19 BYU - COLLIE, Austin 5 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 8-80 4:10, BYU 10 - UCLA 20

06:04 BYU - COLLIE, Austin 16 yd pass from HALL, Max (PAYNE, Mitch kick), 2-40 0:28, BYU 17 - UCLA 20

4th 01:12 UCLA - Markey,Chris 3 yd run (Forbath,Kai kick), 12-45 3:40, BYU 17 - UCLA 27

BYU UCLA

FIRST DOWNS................... 23 15

RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 25-44 37-110

PASSING YDS (NET)............. 391 126

Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 53-30-1 28-13-1

TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 78-435 65-236

Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 1-21

Punt Returns-Yards............ 2-2 5-54

Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 6-136 4-92

Interception Returns-Yards.... 1-12 1-56

Punts (Number-Avg)............ 8-42.8 8-44.0

Fumbles-Lost.................. 5-2 1-0

Penalties-Yards............... 11-84 4-30

Possession Time............... 31:49 28:11

Third-Down Conversions........ 6 of 16 2 of 12

Fourth-Down Conversions....... 0 of 1 0 of 0

Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 3-4 3-3

Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 2-18 4-21

RUSHING: BYU-UNGA, Harvey 5-28; VAKAPUNA, Fui 9-23; TONGA, Manase 5-11; HALL,

Max 6-minus 18. UCLA-Bell,Kahlil 16-79; Markey,Chris 16-50; Breazell,Brand 1-7;

Team 1-minus 2; Olson,Ben 3-minus 24.

PASSING: BYU-HALL, Max 30-52-1-391; TEAM 0-1-0-0. UCLA-Olson,Ben 13-28-1-126.

RECEIVING: BYU-COLLIE, Austin 7-79; PITTA, Dennis 5-66; ALLEN, Matt 4-52; TONGA,

Manase 4-42; GEORGE, Andrew 3-62; UNGA, Harvey 3-43; REED, Michael 3-28; SO'OTO,

Vic 1-19. UCLA-Everett,Marcus 5-66; Breazell,Brand 4-35; Ketchum,Gavin 2-13;

Cowan,Joe 1-8; Theriot,Trevor 1-4.

INTERCEPTIONS: BYU-BUCHANAN, Kayle 1-12. UCLA-Brown,Trey 1-56.

FUMBLES: BYU-HALL, Max 2-1; SO'OTO, Vic 1-1; MAHUIKA, Bryce 1-0; COLLIE, Austin

1-0. UCLA-Olson,Ben 1-0.

Stadium: The Rose Bowl Attendance: 72986

Kickoff time: 3:39pm End of Game: 7:04pm Total elapsed time: 3:25

Officials: Referee: Brian O'Cain; Umpire: Al Granado; Linesman: Jim Wharrie;

Line judge: Michael Feldman; Back judge: Jeff Sadrous; Field judge: M.Mothershed;

Side judge: Brad Glenn; Scorer: Rich Perelman;

Temperature: 78,44%h Wind: 5mi, SE Weather: Light Haze

BYU vs #13 UCLA (Sep 08, 2007 at Pasadena, CA)

SACKS (UA-A): BYU-DENNEY, Brett 1-0; KEHL, Bryan 1-0. UCLA-Davis,Bruce 2-0;

Brown,Kevin 1-0; Blake,Tom 1-0.

TACKLES (UA-A): BYU-KEHL, Bryan 9-2; POPPINGA, Kelly 6-2; GOOCH, Quinn 5-2;

HODGKISS, Corby 4-0; BUCHANAN, Kayle 3-1; DOMAN, Shaun 2-2; JORGENSEN, Jan 2-2;

NIXON, David 2-2; MANUMALEUNA,Eth 3-0; CRIDDLE, Ben 2-1; MUEHLMANN, Chri 2-0;

SANTIAGO, CJ 1-0; BOLDEN, Chris 1-0; BAUMAN, Matt 1-0; HALL, Max 1-0; FOWLER,

Kellen 1-0; SULLIVAN, Sean 1-0; TEAM 1-0; DENNEY, Brett 1-0. UCLA-Keyes,Dennis

8-2; Davis,Bruce 6-1; Taylor,Christia 6-0; Brown,Trey 4-1; Horton,Chris 2-3;

Carter,Reggie 4-0; Norris,Michael 3-1; Verner,Al 3-1; Whittington,Aa 3-0;

Bosworth,Kyle 3-0; Brown,Kevin 2-1; Meadows,Chris 2-0; Bosworth,Korey 2-0;

Harwell,Brigha 0-2; Slater,Matt 1-0; Ward,Jess 1-0; Blake,Tom 1-0; Ware,Aaron

0-1; Moline,Chase 0-1.

Tags: Results