UCLA defeating Boise State in the LA Bowl was not just another win but maybe the hope the fanbase needed.
The UCLA fan base was for the most part not very thrilled with how the season ended. Yes, the Bruins defeated USC but they lost three of their last four regular season games and many alums and fans wanted a coaching change at the end of the regular season. However, the LA Bowl may have changed many fans' minds as they may now have optimism and now display signs of excitement as hope may be restored in Westwood.
To top things off earlier in the day, the UCLA basketball team lost another marquee game to Ohio State on Saturday early afternoon. Then, the football team was down by double digits at the half to the Broncos. December 16th was not looking like a good day for Bruin fans but one individual would end up putting a smile on many UCLA fan's faces with a remarkable second half performance.
Statically speaking, starting quarterback Colin Schlee was 11 for 16 for 78 yards and had a touchdown completion. He also ran the ball seven times for 127 yards as well against a good Boise State defense. However, Garbers came into the game in the third quarter after Schlee had what appeared to be an injury after a long run and he completed eight for eight passes for 112 yards and threw a touchdown in the third quarter going into the final quarter of the game. He also due to his accurate passing, opened up the UCLA running game allowing TJ Harden to run for two second-half touchdowns. Also, the Bruins' defense stepped up big time in the second half and kept the Bronco's offense from scoring in the third quarter.
The Bruins defense did not have a great first half as the Broncos did not punt the ball one time prior to half time. In four possessions, Boise State had three field goals and a touchdown. In the second half, UCLA's defense really stepped up their game. The first four offensive possessions of the second half for Boise State lead to four straight punts. On their fifth offensive possession, Alex Johnson intercepted a pass by Broncos quarterback CJ Tiller that would lead to an UCLA touchdown on the following possession. It wasn't until late in the fourth quarter that Boise State would score again.
Garbers then threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to J. Michael Sturdivant to give the Bruins a 35-16 lead. After a Boise State touchdown to cut the lead to 13, Garbers ran for 20 yards on a third and sixteen to put the icing on the cake to ensure a UCLA victory. The win for UCLA was needed as the Bruin fanbase has not had much to cheer for since the USC win.
The win for UCLA gave the Bruins their 8th win of the season and winning the LA Bowl was a great way to give the seniors a lasting memory of winning their last game in a UCLA uniform.