Arizona Wildcats Escape With 29-21 Win Over UCLA Bruins

It was not impressive, folks, but a win is a win. Arizona improves to 7-1 on the season and has a BCS bowl in their sights.

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Wildcats Defeat Bruins 29-21

Pasadena, CA (Sports Network) – Alex Zendejas connected on three critical field goals and the Arizona running game totaled 264 yards and two touchdowns, as the 15th-ranked Wildcats edged UCLA, 29-21, at the Rose Bowl.

Matt Scott completed 24-of-36 passes for a career-high 319-yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Wildcats (7-1, 4-1 Pac-10), who have now won four straight against UCLA (3-5, 1-4).

Juron Criner caught eight passes for 127 yards and a touchdown, and Scott rushed for 71 yards in the win. Keola Antolin had 23 rushes for 111 yards and a touchdown.

Richard Brehaut threw for 228 yards on 13-of-27 passing, including two touchdowns and an interception in the loss. Johnathan Franklin, the Pac-10’s second-leading rusher, was held to 44 yards without a touchdown, and the UCLA offense could only manage 299 total yards.

Trailing 19-7, the Bruins took the second-half kickoff and drove 79 yards, culminating the march with a 68-yard pass from Brehaut to Randall Carroll.

The Wildcats answered on their following possession with a one-yard touchdown run by Greg Nwoko.

UCLA got back within 26-21 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter when Brehaut connected on a 49-yard flea flicker to Josh Smith down the middle of the field.

On their next possession Scott attempted to go deep to Criner to widen the Arizona lead, but the pass was picked off by Aaron Hester in the end zone, giving the Bruins the ball back at their own 20-yard line.

The Bruins failed to make good on the opportunity, and after both teams spent the next four possession trading punts, UCLA failed on a fourth down pass deep in its own territory.

Zendejas connected on a 30-yarder, his third field goal of the game. That pushed the lead to 29-21 with 1:18 left.

UCLA had the ball back under a minute to play, but Brehaut was sacked on fourth down and fumbled deep in Bruins’ territory.

The Wildcats got on the board first when Scott, who started in the place of injured Nick Foles, connected with Criner on a 41-yard touchdown pass. The quick score capped an 8-play, 80-yard drive.

UCLA responded with an 11-yard run by Derrick Coleman.

Robert Golden intercepted a Brehaut pass that was intended for Jerry Johnson. That gave Arizona the ball at its own 15 with 4 1/2 minutes remaining.

The Wildcats used the rest of the first quarter to push the ball deep into UCLA territory, and on the first play of the second Scott connected with Criner, this time a 15-yard pass. That gave the Wildcats a 1st-and-goal at the two.

On the following play, Antolin finished off the drive with a run up the middle. Zendejas’ extra point missed to put the Wildcats up, 13-7, just 42 seconds into the quarter.

Zendejas connected on a 42-yard field with 8:21 remaining in the half to put the Wildcats up 16-7. Scott fumbled at the UCLA 14 later in the quarter, but Zendejas kicked a 24-yard field goal on the final play of the half.

UCLA leads the all-time series 19-14-2… In their last meeting it was the Wildcats getting a 27-13 victory at Arizona…Arizona’s defense has allowed the least amount of yards to an opposing team in the Pac-10…This was the second week in a row that UCLA lost to a ranked opponent. They fell to Oregon, 60-13, on October 21.

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