The UCLA Football Defense Is The Epitome of Perseverance


The #10 UCLA Football team edged out the #19 BYU Cougars 24-23 to take the battle of ranked teams in what was a test of perseverance for the Bruins.

For 4 quarters, both the UCLA Bruins and BYU Cougars battled. It caused heart-ache, grief, disparity and ultimately joy as the Bruins managed to find a way to win the game. The UCLA Football team was struggling offensively, but managed to bruise into the lead as Nate Starks scored late in the fourth quarter to give the Bruins their first lead of the game which would be enough for the win.

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Up until that point, it was the Bruin defense that had held their ground and tried to limit gunslinger Tanner Mangum and the BYU offense. They were successful for the most part, seeing as they held the Cougars to only 2 touchdowns for all the yards they racked up.

UCLA Bruins
UCLA Bruins /

UCLA Bruins

It was an impressive veteran-led effort that showed that even though the Bruins were down, they are never out.

On 14 drives, the Bruins were able to stop BYU 9 times. The Cougars put up 405 yards on the Bruins, 244 which were through the air.

Mangum had connected on 30 of 47 passes with surgical-like precision. The Cougar freshman was effective as he had managed to get the ball out to seven different receivers as they dominated the air.

The Cougars did not have a complicated game plan either. Essentially it was short run, short pass, long pass (for the first down), repeat. BYU was so disciplined with their drives, that even though UCLA would eventually get stops, it wore the Bruins down, especially in the second half.

But as much as the Bruins gave up, they also took away from the Cougars.

Things did not start well for UCLA as they were short a man early when LB Kenny Young was ejected for targeting. Isaako Savaiinaea had replaced him and did a fantastic job at the inside linebacker spot as he led the Bruins with 10 tackles and even added a sack.

Sep 19, 2015; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins defensive back Jaleel Wadood (2) tackles Brigham Young Cougars defensive back Grant Jones (37) after a 6 yard gain in the first quarter of the game against the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Deon HollinsJacob Tuioti-Mariner and Aaron Wallace added to the sack party as UCLA recorded 4 for the game (more than what they got in their first two games). Though BYU was managing to get yards, it came at a cost as the Bruins had excellent pressure on Mangum all night. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it did not, but the Bruins did not quit.

This is a testament to the type of pre aggressiveness the Bruins brought in this game. They bent, but did not break. We saw that on the final BYU drive of the game.

The Cougars looked like they were setting up for a third straight Hail Mary as they managed to get three first downs in the first four plays. Yet once they crossed midfield, BYU was stopped on third down which forced a last effort on 4th down. The situation could not be avoided, but it did not turn out like the two previous weeks for the Cougars as Mangum was picked off by Myles Jack to end that drive and BYU’s hopes for a third miraculous victory,

Perseverance is the word for the UCLA Football defense. They did not quit. They wanted this game more and now they are 3-0 heading into their Pac-12 opener next week at Arizona.

Go Bruins!

Next: UCLA Football Turns To Paul Perkins In Win

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