UCLA vs. Arizona: Wildcats 29, Bruins 21 (final)
UCLA had three chances in the last 10 minutes 21 seconds to leave the Rose Bowl on Saturday with more than the moral victory of staying close with the 15th-ranked team in the nation.
But the Bruins will have to settle for that.
UCLA trailed by only five points and had some momentum after holding Arizona on the Wildcats' next possession followng a Bruins' touchdown on a trick play.
UCLA even looked like it was receiving an extra boost from good luck -- Christian Ramirez plucking a Taylor Embree fumble out of the air and gaining 10 extra yards with it after an Arizona punt.
But in the end, the UCLA offense just couldn't get any more going as Arizona improved to 7-1 overall, 4-1 in Pacific 10 Conference play.
UCLA fell to 3-5, 1-4.
The only points in the last 10 minutes came on a 30-yard field goal with 1:18 to play by Arizona's Alex Zendejas, his third of the game.
UCLA got the ball back one final time, and quarterback Richard Brehaut connected with freshman Randall Carroll for a couple of 11-yard completions that moved the ball near midfield. But Brehaut then fumbled away the opportunity when he was sacked by Arizona's Brooks Reed.
Both teams were without their top quarterbacks.
Brehaut, playing in place of Kevin Prince, completed 13 of 27 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.
Arizona's Matt Scott, playing in place of Nick Foles, completed 24 of 36 passes for 319 yards and one touchdown with one interception.
The big difference was Arizona's ability to run the ball. The Wildcats out-rushed the Bruins, 264 yards to 71, and averaged 5.1 yards a carry to the Bruins' 2.5.
Keola Antolin ran 23 times for 111 yards and a touchdown for Arizona. Scott ran for 71 yards in 12 carries.
Arizona 26, UCLA 21 (early fourth quarter)
UCLA uses a gadget play to get close.
Bruins running back Derrick Coleman took the handoff, then flipped the ball back to quarterback Richard Brehaut, who found Josh Smith sprinting down the field for a 49-yard touchdown pass with 14 minutes 24 seconds left in the game.
Arizona 26, UCLA 14 (midway through third quarter)
UCLA’s defense has no answer for Arizona. The Wildcats, though, found an answer for the Bruins’ quick strike with another all-too-easy drive, going 80 yards in 13 plays.
Arizona 19, UCLA 14 (early in third quarter)
UCLA comes out big to start the second half. Quarterback Richard Brehaut hits receiver Randall Carroll for a 68-yard touchdown pass.
Carroll sprinted past Wildcats cornerback Anthony Wilcox and caught the pass in stride, cruising into the end zone with 13 minutes 31 seconds left in the third quarter.
Arizona 19, UCLA 7 (halftime)
UCLA could take solace in the fact that it was technically still in the game at halftime.
After being blown out in their two previous games, the Bruins only trailed Arizona by 12 points at halftime in the Rose Bowl on Saturday.
That, though, was deceiving.
Arizona dominated the first half, outgaining UCLA, 373 yards to 104. But the Wildcats settled for Alex Zendejas field goals on two drives, while another drive ended when quarterback Matt Scott had the ball slip out of his hands and Rahim Moore recovered the fumble at UCLA 14-yard line.
The Bruins trailed at halftime against Oregon, 39-3, last week and to California, 28-0, the previous game. They managed to stay within eyesight of the Wildcats Saturday, but Scott was clearly in control.
Scott, a former Corona (Calif.) Centennial High standout playing in place of the injured Nick Foles, completed 16 of 23 passes for 228 yards and one touchdown in the half. He also gained 51 yards rushing, most of which came on scrambles.
Arizona wasted little time, driving 80 yards to start the game. The Wildcats averaged 10 yards a play, the last being a 41-yard touchdown pass from Scott to Juron Criner.
UCLA answered after a 45-yard kickoff return by Damien Thigpen. Richard Brehaut completed passes on the first two plays for 15 yards. The Bruins ran it in from there, with Derrick Coleman going the final 11 yards to tie the score.
The Bruins offense was mostly dormant the reminder of the half.
After Brehaut lobbed up a pass that was intercepted by Arizona’s Robert Golden, the Wildcats drove 85 yards in 11 plays. Scott completed three passes for 47 yards on the drive. Keola Antolin scored on a two-yard run.
Zendejas added field goals of 42 and 24 yards.
Brehaut completed only two passes after the first drive, finishing the half four of 10 for 38 yards.
Arizona 16, UCLA 7 (midway through second quarter)
Another methodical drive by Arizona, only this time a holding penalty slows the Wildcats. It leaves them with a first and 20 at the UCLA 33-yard line.
Arizona settles for a 42-yard field by Alex Zendejas to extend its lead with 8 minutes 21 seconds left in the first half.
Arizona 13, UCLA 7 (early in second quarter)
After UCLA quarterback Richard Brehaut lobbed up a pass that was intercepted by Arizona’s Robert Golden, the Wildcats drove 85 yards in 11 plays.
Quarterback Matt Scott completed three passes for47 yards. Keola Antolin scored on a two-yard run.
UCLA has lost kick returner Damien Thigpen, who has a right shoulder injury.
UCLA 7, Arizona 7 (midway through first quarter)
Aided by Damien Thigpen’s 45-yard kickoff return, UCLA matches Arizona’s first-drive touchdown.
Quarterback Richard Brehaut completed passes on the first two plays for 15 yards. The Bruins ran it in from there, with Derrick Coleman going the final 11 yards to tie the score with 7 minutes 24 seconds left in the first quarter.
Arizona 7, UCLA 0 (early in first quarter)
Arizona won the toss and methodically went down the field. Not even a holding call slowed down the Wildcats. They averaged 10 yards a play, the last being a 41-yard touchdown pass from Matt Scott to Juron Criner.
Criner came across the field without a UCLA player within 10 yards of him the entire way. He caught the ball on the 20-yard line and trotted into the end zone.
Photo: UCLA linebacker Sean Westgate tries to wrap up Arizona quarterback Matt Scott in the first quarter Saturday. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times