UCLA went into Saturday’s matchup with a chance to prove they will be a team to be reckoned with in the Pac-12.
The defense showed up but the offense forgot its invitation to the party as the Bruins suffered their first defeat of the year, 14-7 against Utah.
The opening play of the game for the Bruins’ offense would foreshadow how the rest of the game would look.
Freshman quarterback Dante Moore dropped back for his first attempt of the game and telegraphed a pass to the left. A Utah defender jumped in front of the pass and took it to the house 21 yards for a touchdown.
Utah’s defense dominated the rest of the way. The Bruins didn’t score their first points until Moore found Josiah Norwood for a 17-yard touchdown with 3:39 to play in the fourth.
Moore who performed really well his first three games of his collegiate career, struggled throughout his first true test.
“That is a great defense. It was a great atmosphere. Everything was going in their favor. They had so many ways to stop our offense,” said Moore.
Moore finished the game 15 of 35 for 234 yards with his opening interception and a crucial red zone fumble in the third quarter.
“I can put this loss on me for sure,” said Moore. “I know me being so young, not many people would say that, but I’ll put this loss on me for sure and we’ve just got to bounce back from it.”
The passing game had major issues but so did the running game. The team was only able to muster up 9 yards with 32 carries.
After TJ Harden and Carson Steele dominated the week prior. They couldn’t get much going in Salt Lake City.
“The total offense was an issue, so we need to get that straightened out at every level,” said Kelly after his offense’s very mediocre performance. “I don’t think it just falls on one person. We’ve got to do a better job as a coaching staff, put those guys in a position to make plays.”
The defense did its part at a high level only allowing a single score from the Utah offense.
UCLA’s defense carried over its play from the first three games to shutdown a talented Utah offense. The defense only allowed 219 total yards in the tough loss.
The Bruins now have a chance to regroup offensively with a bye week and then matchup with another ranked Pac-12 foe, Washington State at the Rose Bowl Stadium on October 7th.