UCLA holds off San Jose State, 27-17
Hey, it was a win.
San Jose State, a week after getting thrashed by Stanford, didn't give UCLA much of a breather Saturday at the Rose Bowl. But in the end, the Bruins had too much Derrick Coleman for the Spartans.
Coleman ran for 135 yards and a touchdown in 14 carries as UCLA defeated San Jose State, 27-17.
Johnathan Franklin added 80 yards and a touchdown in 17 carries as the Bruins (1-1) rushed for 268 yards.
But San Jose State also moved the ball on the ground, accounting for 202 yards rushing.
However, the Spartans (0-2) committed two turnovers and were penalized nine times for 125 yards.
UCLA quarterback Richard Brehaut played the entire game, completing 10 of 20 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown.
Dasmen Stewart, an Oxnard High product, got the start at quarterback for San Jose State. He completed 15 of 31 passes for 112 yards and ran for 42 yards in 10 carries.
UCLA 27, San Jose State 17 (3:25 left in the fourth quarter)
Finally, a little breathing room for UCLA.
Derrick Coleman has given the Bruins a cushion with a 24-yard scoring run.
Coleman has 132 yards in 13 carries. Franklin has 72 yards in 14 carries. The Bruins have run for 259 yards.
UCLA 20, San Jose State 17 (7:31 left in fourth quarter)
UCLA would probably settle for winning ugly at this point.
And that appears to be the best outcome possible.
But kicker Kip Smith continues to put a positive spin on an otherwise dreadful evening, kicking his second field goal to give the Bruins a three-point lead.
A pass interference penalty on defensive back Brandon Driver had given the Bruins a first and goal at the eight-yard line. But two short runs and an incompletion later, it was up to Smith to convert a 20-yarder that put his team ahead.
UCLA cornerback Sheldon Price set up the score when he intercepted a pass by San Jose State quarterback Dasmen Stewart, who returned to the game after sitting out a few series with cramps.
UCLA 17, San Jose State 17 (13:18 left in fourth quarter)
It's devolving into a battle of turnovers.
After UCLA linebacker Sean Westgate intercepted a Blake Jurich pass to thwart a San Jose State drive, Spartans defensive back Peyton Thompson forced Bruins receiver Taylor Embree to fumble. Tiuke Tuipulotu recovered the ball for the Spartans, who took over inside their own 20-yard line.
Now to see if anyone can hold onto the ball (and secure a victory).
San Jose State 17, UCLA 17 (4:30 left in third quarter)
San Jose State could be leaving the Rose Bowl with a lot more than a $425,000 payday.
The Spartans tied the score when Brandon Rutley burst up the middle for a 65-yard touchdown run on third and one.
On UCLA's ensuing possession, Johnathan Franklin fumbled on third and one, and San Jose State's Tiuke Tuipulotu recovered at the Bruins' 34-yard line.
UCLA 17, San Jose State 10 (6:10 left in third quarter)
Shaky in UCLA's season-opening loss to Houston, Kip Smith is the hero of the moment for the Bruins.
Smith converted a 38-yard field goal to give UCLA a seven-point cushion over San Jose State.
Running back Derrick Coleman ripped off a 42-yard run to move the ball deep into the Spartans' territory before the Bruins' drive stalled, with quarterback Richard Brehaut's third-down pass falling incomplete.
San Jose State quarterback Dasmen Stewart is experiencing cramps and remained sidelined as the Spartans took over at their own 26-yard line.
UCLA 14, San Jose State 10 (9:12 left in third quarter)
It's getting to be uh-oh time for UCLA.
San Jose State is more than hanging around. The Spartans had a first down inside the Bruins' 10-yard line and might have scored a touchdown had quarterback Dasmen Stewart not sustained an undisclosed injury.
Backup Blake Jurich entered the game and threw an incomplete pass on third and goal from the eight-yard line, leading to a 25-yard field goal that pulled San Jose State to within four points.
UCLA takes over at the 20 after failing to move the ball on its first drive of the second half.
UCLA 14, San Jose State 7 (halftime)
If UCLA plays a sloppy first half at the Rose Bowl and almost no one is there to see it, does it count?
Unfortunately for Bruins fans, yes.
UCLA is clinging to a seven-point lead over an opponent that has not defeated a team from a Bowl Championship Series conference in nine seasons. And San Jose State might have tied the score had the clock not run out on its final drive of the first half.
The Spartans seem to be gaining confidence the longer they hang around, led by former Oxnard High quarterback Dasmen Stewart, who has completed 12 of 19 passes for 93 yards.
UCLA's Richard Brehaut has been fairly consistent, completing eight of 14 passes for 121 yards. But the Bruins have hardly delivered a knockout blow.
UCLA will get the ball to start the third quarter.
UCLA 14, San Jose State 7 (5:22 left in second quarter)
Order has been restored at the Rose Bowl.
UCLA covered 75 yards in only six plays to retake the lead, with quarterback Richard Brehaut engineering the three biggest gains. First, there was a 43-yard pass to Nelson Rosario. Then, an 18-yard pass to Taylor Embree.
Finally, Brehaut found tight end Joseph Fauria wide open in the corner of the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown that gave the Bruins a 14-7 advantage.
San Jose State 7, UCLA 7 (10:40 left in second quarter)
Maybe this won't be a cakewalk after all.
San Jose State showed some moxie on its best drive of the game, coverting three of four third downs and one fourth down before David Freeman spun into the end zone on a one-yard touchdown run to tie the score.
Spartans quarterback Dasmen Stewart, starting in place of Matt Faulkner, who fumbled four times during a 57-3 loss to Stanford last week, has looked more and more comfortable as the game unfolds. He has completed eight of 13 passes for 71 yards, including an 11-yard completion to Freeman on fourth and three.
Receiver Noel Grigsby, the pride of Crenshaw High, also made an 18-yard grab on a third-and-seven play.
UCLA 7, San Jose State 0 (3:39 left in first quarter)
The Bruins scored first, with a little help from their friends in dark blue.
San Jose State committed pass interference and an illegal helmet contact penalties, helping UCLA march 69 yards in nine plays. Bruins tailback Johnathan Franklin's second effort helped him punch the ball into the end zone on a one-yard scoring run.
The pass interference call on defensive back Peyton Thompson seemed questionable, as Bruins quarterback Richard Brehaut's pass appeared uncatchable. But there was no doubt that San Jose State linebacker Vince Buhagiar deserved to be penalized when he thrust his helmet into Brehaut, forcing the quarterback's helmet to pop off.
UCLA 0, San Jose State 0 (10:00 left in first quarter)
One drive for UCLA, one for San Jose State.
Nothing much doing on either.
At least the Bruins got a first down, on an 11-yard pass from Richard Brehaut to Nelson Rosario. On an ensuing third down, Brehaut ran for two yards when he needed four to move the chains.
Jeff Locke's punt went into the end zone, and the Spartans will take over at their own 20-yard line.
As game time nears, the Rose Bowl stands are looking spartan.
And it has nothing to do with the mascot of UCLA's opponent in the Bruins' home opener.
The Rose Bowl is less than a quarter full as the Bruins prepare to face San Jose State. UCLA is getting no help from the Spartans, whose cheering "section" is so small it probably couldn't fill the visiting stands at a high school venue.
This could be the smallest opening crowd at the Rose Bowl in some time. Like, ever.
As expected, Richard Brehaut has been announced as the Bruins' starting quarterback. Kevin Prince, nursing a sprained right shoulder, is expected to be used only in an emergency situation.
About 2 1/2 hours before game time, the scoreboard read UCLA 33, San Jose State 6. A bored scoreboard operator's prediction? We'll see if it holds up.
On the bright side for UCLA, should the Bruins become the first team from a Bowl Championship Series conference to lose to San Jose State since Illinois in 2002, there won't be many to see it in person.
Photo: UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin tries to break free from two San Jose State defenders during the game Saturday at the Rose Bowl. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times