Washington State Football: UCLA Bruins Block Desperate Rally to Beat the Washington State Cougars 44-36


Nov. 10, 2012; Pullman, WA, USA; UCLA Bruins tide end Darius Bell (3) spins away from Washington State Cougars cornerback Damante Horton (6) during the first half at Martin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-US PRESSWIRE

The 17th ranked UCLA Bruins had the ball for exactly 38 seconds in the first quarter, as Washington State went up and down the field behind Jeff Tuel and a fiery offense to the tune of 167 yards to 22 for UCLA. But when the quarter was over, the score was 7-7.  Wazzu’s first 2 possessions reached the 23 and the 1, but drops, sacks and a mindless personal foul penalty (all 3 have plagued the Cougs all season) were the reason they had to attempt 2 field goals. However, in an unbelievable twist of events, UCLA bowled over blockers on each and blocked both, returning the first for a score with Sheldon Price running it back.

After the next Cougar possession saw their punt blocked inside the 20, Jonathan Franklin would fumble it right back and Washington State would respond with a great drive for a touchdown. However Jeff Tuel would be knocked out of the game with a collarbone injury as he was landed on awkwardly by a defender after he was down. Still the Cougs were tied at 7 behind a Connor Halliday to Dominique Williams 6 yard score. Williams was just getting going as he would have 7 catches for 108 and 2 scores on the day.

The second quarter saw UCLA blow the game wide open, as Brett Hundley would throw 3 touchdowns on straight possessions with Franklin, Joseph Fauria and Devin Fuller the recipients. WSU self imploded with 2 fumbles, one on a kickoff return and the other by Halliday that was returned for a Bruin touchdown and also allowing a safety on a sack. With 4 seconds left the second punt (4th kick if you’re keeping score) got blocked just inside the Cougar 30 but UCLA failed to convert and the score was 37-7 at halftime.

But the Cougar offense would again catch fire in the 3rd and 4th quarters, as Cougars started running the ball for the first time this season. In the 3rd Halliday threw tds to Brett Bartolone and Marcus Mason and in the 4th to Kristoff and Dominique Williams. The Cougar defense held the Bruins to just one touchdown in the second half, and the final touchdown to Williams came with only 1:31 left in the game. The onside kick went long on the hard, cold turf and got recovered by UCLA to close out the game.