Franklin, Hundley lead Bruins past Wildcats
NOV 03, 2012 11:10p ET
The Bruins (7-2, 4-2 Pac 12), now winners of their last three, convincingly steam rolled Arizona, 59-10 on Homecoming to take over as the top team in the Pac 12 South. It was the first time since the 2005 Sun Bowl that the Bruins scored 50 or more points in a game and the final score looked more like an early-season cupcake game than a top-25 BCS contest.
"They felt challenged," UCLA head coach Jim Mora said of his team. "It was a good win, we played well in all phases of the game. We knew this was an outstanding offense coming in here tonight. They have put up huge numbers and they came in here with a lot of acclaim."
As the game unfolded and UCLA so obviously dominated the field, other storylines quickly emerged.
Johnathan Franklin inked his name in the UCLA record book as the program's career rushing leader with 3,873 yards. The redshirt senior tailback passed Gaston Green's mark of 3,731 in an eventful fashion, doing so on a 37-yard rushing touchdown.
"I was so emotional," Franklin said. "Praise God for allowing me to do it and breaking (the record) on that run."
Franklin used that strong closing burst that has become a signature of his to break loose and into the end zone for the first score of the game. The UCLA sidelines appropriately erupted and Franklin, who finished with 162 rushing yards and two touchdowns, was soon lost in a sea of navy uniforms. From that moment on, the Bruins became a different team.
It took only 55 seconds for the defense to force Arizona to punt the ball away. Franklin and Hundley then combined to go 34 yards down the field, ending in a Hundley touchdown. Arizona quickly went three-and-out again and the Bruins scored again – this time on a 17-yard pass to Jordon Payton with 3:13 left in the first quarter.
The Bruins refused to give up the football. When they were finally forced to early in the second quarter, Arizona's Richard Morrison fumbled it on the Wildcats' 37 and David Allen was quick to recover. Hundley led the Bruins into the end zone on their next three positions to end the half.
"When we get the ball, I plan on scoring. That's the bottom line," Hundley said. "I tell the offense before the game that we're not punting. I don't ever plan on punting anytime during the game."
Punter Jeff Locke saw more action on his 11 kickoffs than he did punting (three). UCLA scored nearly every possession with four other players, including sparsely-used running back Melvin Emesibe, who scored the final points of the game on a one-yard rush. The touchdown by Emesibe, a career first for the team favorite, overjoyed Franklin so much that he sprinted from the sidelines to the end zone to join in the celebration – and got flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for doing so.
"My favorite moment was, here's this guy sitting to my left (Franklin), who has already broken the UCLA all-time rushing record, and when Melvin scored he couldn't get into the end zone faster," Mora said. "It cost us 15 yards but that shows how selfless he is."
The execution by the Bruins in all three facets could not have been more on point.
"I don't think I've ever had a 10," said offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. "But the kids did an extremely nice job. They made plays when they needed to make plays."
The numbers were gaudy: UCLA netted 611 yards of total offense while the Wildcats managed just 257 – a number that almost seemed unattainable after the first half when Arizona totaled just 22. Hundley threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns, at one point completing a stretch of 16 straight, just one shy of the school record of 17 set by former head coach Rick Nueheisel in 1983.
"Brett really got us out of some bad plays," Mazzone said. "He fixed some of my bad calls which is what good quarterbacks do."
Arizona (5-4, 2-4 Pac 12) quarterback Matt Scott was knocked out of the game for a second week in a row. The concussion that may or may not have sidelined him last week in the win against the Trojans may possibly have played a role in his exit Saturday night, as he fell to the turf and was visibly shaken. In an even scarier moment, linebacker Hank Hobson was carted off the field after going down on what looked to be a routine play.
However, both of these injuries came late in the game with the Bruins already leading by a wide margin. It was a disheartening loss, to say the least, that head coach Rich Rodriguez will not soon forget.
"I'm embarrassed by how we played and it starts with me as a head coach," Rodriguez said. "Even in our other losses, I at least thought we were competitive and did some good things.
"Tonight, we didn't do anything well at all."
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