Coming off a great year in the Pac-12 and winning the Pac-12 South title proving there is a changing of the guards in Los Angeles, the Bruins were completely blown out by the RG3-less Baylor Bears at the Bridgeport Education Holiday Bowl in San Diego on Thursday night.
The Baylor Bears jumped out in front with a huge 21-0 lead in the second quarter. Quarterback Nick Florence had broken Robert Griffin III’s single season record in that quarter as well. The UCLA defense stepped up behind Eric Kendricks who hit Baylor RB Jordan Navjar for a fumble as Randal Goforth recovered near the Bears 21 yard line. Two plays later Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley who struggled earlier throw a spectacular pass to Joesph Fauria for the 22 yard touchdown. Bruins trailed 21-7 against the Bears who were far from down.
Baylor’s Glasco Martin burst up the middle for a amazing 26 yard touchdown. Baylor’s defense flexed their muscle once again neutralizing Hundley and forced UCLA to punt. Baylor quickly capitalized on their opportunity as Florence handed off the ball to Lache Seastrunk for the 43 yard run that gave them the 35-7 lead.
After a two successful fourth down conversations, the Bruins advanced the ball into field goal range. However Hundley and the Bruins were still unsuccessful getting into the endzone had to settle for a field goal on 4th and 10. With time running out, Ka’imi Fairbairn’s 30 yard attempt was good as UCLA trailed 35-10 at halftime.
The Bruins recieved the ball the begin the third quarter did nothing significantly different offensively to improve their chances of scoring. Baylor continued to pressure Hundley as once again they settle for a field goal, and still trailed 35-13.
Unable to stop Baylor’s offense, once again Glasco Martin rushed for a 1 yard touchdown, for the 42-13 lead. That was Martins third touchdown on the night, and also had 98 yards on 21 carries against the Bruins sluggish and inconsistent defense. The Bruins truly missed the defensive presence play of Tevin McDonald, who was suspended for violation of team rules.
Early in the fourth quarter the Bruins offensive saw the end zone, as Hundley throw a crisp pass to a wide open Shaq Evans for the 24 yard touchdown. UCLA trailed 42-19, with alot of football left to play.
Florence took the Bears on another scoring drive as he rushed for a 1 yard touchdown that extended their lead 49-19.
Bruins running back Jonathan Franklin was simply neutralized by the Bears defense and could not seem to find his rhythm throughout the entire game.
Hundley and the Bruins didn’t quit as time wound down connected with Logan Sweet for the 34 yard touchdown.
Baylor would hold on to their rout of the UCLA Bruins 49-26 in the Bridgeport Education Holiday Bowl.
The Baylor defense play outstanding, sacking UCLA’s Brett Hundley six times and contained Jonathan Franklin to 34 yards on 14 carries for the night.
Franklin averaged 131 yards this season, who’s biggest run in this game was a 12 yard gain and was ineffective throughout the night.
“They played well up front. When we are at our best is when we can run the football. We couldn’t find any room to the football. They played physical,” said UCLA coach Jim Mora.
Nick Florence finished with 188 yards passing, 2 TD on 10/13. Florence passes for 4,309 total yards for the season to break Griffin’s school record of 4,293 yards back in 2011.
“I’m not Robert. I’m not 6-3. I don’t run a 4.3. You saw that tonight. Man, if I could run a 4.3, it would be nice. So I just had to be me. I tried to manage this offense and play within myself. He’s a heck of player, he’s done a heck of a job for this program, put us on the map. I’m humbled and honored to hold that record. He deserves it. I never thought that would have happened this year. I just wanted to win games.”
Lache Seastrunk finished big with 138 yards on 16 carries and 1 TD.
Brett Hundley finished 26/50 with 3 TD on 329 yards passing and no interceptions. Junior wide receiver Shaq Evans also finished with 7 receptions for 82 yards and 1 TD.
“We have to finish stronger. I think it’s experience. I think the moment got too big for a lot of people because this is their first year playing and we just have to learn how to finish,” said Evans.
Mora realized and seemed to provide some positive outlook on his Bruin team for next season. “We’re on the right path. … The team that we want to be is a national champion and tonight showed us just how far we have to go, but we’re determined to get there. We’re heading in the right direction, but we’re a long ways off.”