The BYU football team lost to UCLA 24-23 despite holding the lead for most of the game.
This game was a defensive showcase. BYU ended the half with three interceptions; two of those coming from linebacker Harvey Langi and the other from safety Kai Nacua. But BYU’s stout defense was not enough against UCLA’s rushing attack.
UCLA finished with 296 rushing yards and 219 of those coming from running back Paul Perkins.
Tanner Mangum’s final throw of the game sealed the loss for the Cougars. The Cougars were on the fourth down with seven yards to go when Mangum threw the ball that UCLA then intercepted. BYU was able to drive the ball down to the UCLA 42-yard line until the interception. Mangum threw a Hail Mary in both of the previous two games this season. It almost seemed that would happen again Saturday night, but it didn’t happen.
Mangum still had some luck left over as he beat out UCLA freshman quarterback Josh Rosen in this freshman quarterback showcase. This was the first time ever that two freshman quarterbacks met in this high-ranked match up. Mangum finished the game with 244 passing yards and a 64 percent completion rate. He looked more like a sophomore or junior quarterback in this game, especially on this big of a stage.
During the second half, the UCLA offense exploited the Cougar defense with their run game. The run play was the dominant play call in the second half for the UCLA Bruins. They seemed to be running all over the Cougar defense, but UCLA wasn’t the only one having a good night running the ball. BYU running back Adam Hine had a monster game rushing for 149 yards.
Regardless of UCLA’s great night rushing, Rosen finished the game with only 106 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception. The BYU defense worked hard all night to put pressure on the quarterback. That hard work took a toll on the defense as they started to look worn out by the fourth quarter.
BYU came out strong and scored on their first drive of the game taking an early 7-0 lead. They even recovered an onside kick which caught the UCLA special teams off guard. But BYU only other score in the first half was a field goal. The Cougars went into halftime with a 10-3 lead.
BYU then led 20-10 with 13:41 left in the fourth quarter, but a comeback was brewing for the Bruins. UCLA quickly scored with a 1:25 touchdown drive after BYU’s field goal. All the momentum seemed to shift in UCLA’s favor after that touchdown. UCLA later scored another touchdown on an 80-yard drive to take their first lead. That last touchdown held the final points scored of the game.