UCLA Football vs. Memphis Halftime Report – Bruins in tight battle with Tigers


The UCLA Football team had a roller coaster half in which they were bad on a few plays, but really good on others, but they Memphis was able to figure them out early.

The UCLA Football team started slow and was stopped on their first possession after 12 consecutive drives with a touchdown. Memphis answered on their first play with an 80-yard run which spoke volumes about the run defense at that point. Memphis got into the end zone two plays later to start the scoring, 7-0.

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On their third possession, UCLA finally got into the end zone. After several failed runs, UCLA finally got some ground momentum when Brandon Stephens opened the drive with a long sprint. Jalen Starks added a 7-yard score to get the Bruins on the board, game tied at 7. Unfortunately a few plays later, Nate Starks carted off with an injury.

UCLA then had a drive to end the 1st quarter that was marred in slight controversy. On a 3rd and long call, Rosen was called for intentional grounding, though it appears from the video that there was a receiver in the area. Still, on the same play, Head Coach Jim Mora challenged the play claiming there were 12 players on the field. He was correct.

UCLA had some momentum but the result of the Memphis penalty and the end of the quarter slowed them down and the Bruins had to settle for a field goal from JJ Molson. UCLA up 10-7.

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UCLA got it going on their next drive as we saw two different and very important looks. Fullback Jalen Starks caught a long pass which set up a 2-yard touchdown to Jordan Wilson. On the next drive, Memphis woke up and tacked out a few yards until they ran for a touchdown run on a misdirection. After a missed extra point, Memphis was down by four, 17-13.

UCLA has an opportunity to strike back, but two bad decisions by Rosen forced UCLA to punt and that did not end well as Memphis went 96 yards for the score. The Tigers went up 20-17.

Things took an unfortunate turn on a kickoff as Mossi Johnson threw a block (legal) that floored JJ Russell. He needed to be taken off on a stretcher, which halted the game.

UCLA really tried to get their run going all half-long and it paid off right before halftime. The Bolu Olorunfunmi led charge ended with a Josh Rosen rushing touchdown.

Memphis was not done though. The passing game of Memphis tried to crack the UCLA defense and did an okay job, but they really turned it up a notch to end the half. After a diving grab from Anthony Miller, Riley Ferguson reconnected with him for the touchdown, Memphis 27-24.