Instant Reaction: #12 UCLA Survives Texas 20-17 Despite Losing Starting QB

UCLA QB Brett Hundley went down with an unspecified left arm injury in the first quarter and the Bruins' offense never recovered. One impressive drive by Texas sophomore QB Tyrone Swoopes was all it took to give the Longhorns a 10-3 lead at the break.

Texas/UCLA First-Half Quick Hitters

UCLA wouldn't take long to tie things up, as they took advantage of their second straight possession to open a half (thanks to a huge coin toss mistake by Texas defensive tackle Tank Jackson). Redshirt sophomore QB Jerry Neuheisel led UCLA on a lighting-quick seven-play, 75-yard drive (capped by a 3-yard strike to Nate Iese) to tie the game at 10 early in the third.

Both offenses would stall out almost completely for the remainder of the third quarter, as each team's defense settled in for what promised to be a tense fourth quarter.

Minus their star quarterback who never came out of the locker room despite his return initially being listed as probable, UCLA would be forced to engage Texas in a battle of ground attacks and short passes.

Texas sophomore QB Tyrone Swoopes would get the first haymaker in that battle, answering a UCLA field goal with a beautifully-balanced 10-play, 80-yard drive capped off by an 8-yard TD pass to John Harris.

However, after a huge punt return 58-yard punt return by UCLA's William Russ, one play would be all it would take for Neuheisel to give the Bruins the lead right back on a 33-yard left-sideline rainbow to Jordan Payton.

Key Player: QB Jerry Neuheisel, UCLA - Effective game management was the name of the game for Neuheisel, as he hit on 76.6% of his passes including the winner to Payton. Only one big play, but man...was it absolutely humongous.

Honorable Mention: RB Paul Perkins, UCLA - 24 carries for 126 yards and 5 catches for 69 yards in what was a sneakily great performance for the sophomore halfback. His legs and dependable hands proved even more valuable for the Bruins as a way of easing Neuheisel in throughout the game.

Turning Point: Neuheisel-to-Payton. With one pass, Neuheisel saved the game, the Bruins' high ranking, and (potentially) a place in the College Football Playoff mix. Looking back with Hundley out, this could end up being the biggest play of the Bruins' season.

What We Learned: UCLA knows how to survive. Texas is better than people were giving them credit for. Each team fought their hearts out on this night in Arlington, and while it wasn't pretty, it was impressive on both sides.

What's Next?

UCLA returns to Pac-12 action to face the Arizona State Sundevils in Tempe, while Texas heads to Lawrence for a Big-12 clash with the Kansas Jayhawks.



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