PASADENA, Calif. – Despite leading for much of the game, No. 19 BYU fell 24-23 to No. 19 UCLA on the road at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
"Our team fought really hard," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "Ultimately our team played really hard and really well. We needed one more play. I was proud of them."
The Cougars (2-1) led for all but the final 3:21 of the game as the Bruins (3-0) found the end zone twice in the final quarter of the game.
Pacing the offense for BYU was senior running back Adam Hiné who carried the ball 23 times for a career-best 149 yards and one touchdown. Quarterback Tanner Mangum went 30 of 47 for 244 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Wide receiver Mitch Mathews led the team with 84 yards on nine catches and one score.
Junior linebacker Harvey Langi led the defensive effort for BYU with two interceptions, one pass breakup and eight tackles, including seven solo stops. His two picks were the first of his career. He also carried the ball two times for eight yards. Junior defensive back Kai Nacua contributed with one interception, two pass breakups and four tackles.
BYU extended its lead to 20-10 with 13:21 left in the game on Trevor Samson’s second field goal, but the UCLA offense answered with a quick 65-yard drive that ended with a touchdown pass from Josh Rosen to Jordan Payton, cutting the margin to 20-17 with 12:16 on the clock.
Mangum then led the Cougars down the field, burning 6:37 off the clock with a 16-play, 61-yard scoring drive that culminated in Samson’s third field goal of the game. He converted a 32-yarder to put BYU up 23-17 with 5:39 left in the game.
The Bruins took the lead late in the game after an 80-yard drive when Nate Starks found the end zone on a 3-yard run, putting the Bruins up 24-23.
After the kickoff, Mangum led the Cougars 43 yards from their own 15-yard line to the UCLA 42. Facing a fourth-and-seven situation with under one minute to go, Mangum was picked off at the 17-yard line, stopping BYU’s hopes of a go-ahead score.
To begin the game, the BYU defense held UCLA to a three-and-out on the opening possession. The Cougars then strung together an 11-play scoring drive, going 71 yards for the first points of the game.
Langi converted a third-and-one for five yards from the UCLA 12-yard line prior to Adam Hine’s second rushing touchdown of the year to put the Cougars on the board first with 10:54 left in the first.
On the ensuing kickoff, punter Jonny Linehan executed an onside kick which Michael Davis recovered down the right sideline at the UCLA 44. After the BYU offense was stalled, Linehan then pinned the Bruins deep in their territory on the 8-yard line after the punt.
UCLA countered behind running back Paul Perkins, changing field position on a 44-yard rush down to the BYU 25-yard line.
Three plays later, Langi intercepted Bruin quarterback Josh Rosen at the 5-yard line, stopping the threatening UCLA offense with 4:34 left in the first quarter.
UCLA began the second quarter in the midst of a 57-yard scoring drive, following a second 44-yard gain by Perkins. The Cougars held the Bruins to a 35-yard field goal for the 7-3 lead at the 13:38 mark in the half.
On the second play of the next Bruin drive, Langi came up with his second interception of the half, returning it to the UCLA 36-yard line with 11:12 left in the half.
With 9:18 left in the quarter, the Cougars capitalized on the turnover with Samson’s 40-yard field goal, putting BYU back up by seven, 10-3.
Two possessions later, the Bruins countered with a drive inside the 20-yard line that was cut short. Kai Nacua picked off a pass in the end zone, ending the offensive threat before the half with a 10-3 BYU advantage.
After BYU’s first drive of the second half stalled, UCLA returned a punt 56 yards to the 17-yard line with 11:22 on the clock.
The Bruins then scored five plays later, knotting the game at 10-10 at the 9:27 mark.
BYU responded on the following possession to take a 17-10 lead with 6:26 left in the third, assembling a 75-yard scoring drive aided in part by Hine’s 28-yard run and capped by Mangum’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Mathews.
The Cougars play on the road again next week as they face Michigan at 12 p.m. EDT in Ann Arbor. The game will be broadcast on ABC or ESPN and will also be available on the Cougar IMG Sports Network along with KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM.