UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen threw five touchdown passes today in the Rose Bowl to lead the Bruins to an easy 56-23 victory over Hawaii. The talented signal-caller completed 22 of 25 passes for 329 yards. Three of his scoring strikes were to wideout Darren Andrews.
UCLA is now 2-0 for the season. The Warriors dropped to 2-1, snapping a five-game winning streak dating back to last year. They will have next week off. UCLA travels to Memphis in search of its third victory of the year.
Despite the lopsided loss, the Warriors moved the football, but just didn’t turn it into enough points. They finished with 515 yards.
FOURTH QUARTER UCLA 56, HAWAII 23
UCLA scored another touchdown early in the fourth quarter to put away the game. Rosen hit Caleb Wilson from 2 yards out as JJ Molson converted his eighth extra point to make it 56-14 with 11:40 left in the game. The Bruins went 89 yards on 11 plays in a dominating performance.
The Warriors, as they did for most of the afternoon, moved the ball against a UCLA defense that lost several starters to injuries along the way. Diocemy Saint Juste broke off a 66-yard run to set up a first-and-goal, but quarterback Dru Brown was sacked at the UH 19, putting a dent in that drive. UH went for it on fourth down with about 10 minutes left, but failed to score when a pass to Timoteo Kaiakaua was broken up.
A targeting call on UCLA defensive back Josh Woods on the play gave UH the first-down reprieve at the Bruins 9. The Warriors didn’t score, but did manage a safety on the ensuing offensive series when Kaimana Padello tackled backup Bruins quarterback Devon Modster in the end zone to make it 56-16 with 7:38 left in the game.
Hawaii went to backups on the ensuing drive and quickly moved into scoring position on a 58-yard run by No. 2 quarterback Cole McDonald to set up a first-and-goal. Two plays later, McDonald took it in from 8 yards out to complete the 75-yard drive in only four plays. Alex Trifonovitch made the PAT to cut the UCLA lead to 56-23 with 5:44 left.
Brown left the game hitting 23 of 38 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw a pick-six.
Saint Juste rushed 27 times for 154 yards and one touchdown catch of 4 yards.
THIRD QUARTER UCLA 49, HAWAII 14
UCLA got the ball first to start the second half and went right to work against a UH defense that yielded 271 yards in the opening 30 minutes. After Rosen completed his first two passes for 27 yards, he was sacked for a 10-yard loss that eventually set up a third-and-15.
The Bruins converted all four of their third downs in the first half and did so again to set up a 34-yard touchdown pass from Rosen to Darren Andrews on the first-down play. Molson hit his sixth PAT to extend UCLA’s advantage to 42-7 with 13:03 left in the period. It was Andrews’ third scoring grab of the afternoon.
Hawaii came right back with a nice scoring drive of its own, going 79 yards on 13 plays, the last one a 2-yard touchdown strike from UH quarterback Dru Brown to wideout John Ursua. Earlier in the drive, an apparent 29-yard touchdown throw from Brown to Dylan Collie was overturned on review. Trifonovitch added the PAT to make it 42-14 with 7:01 left in the quarter.
UCLA returned the ensuing kickoff out to the Hawaii 41, giving the Bruins excellent field position. Five plays later, they scored again, this time on a 1-yard run by Bo Olorunfunmi as Molson hit the PAT to give UCLA a comfortable 49-14 cushion with 4:49 left in the quarter.
SECOND QUARTER UCLA 35, HAWAII 7
For the third consecutive series to open the game, the Hawaii offense put together a drive that went deep into Bruins territory as Brown completed nine of his first 10 passes against a UCLA defense that isn’t particularly good.
Starting at its own 25, Hawaii moved quickly down the field to an eventual first-and-goal from just inside the 10. From there, Saint Juste picked up 5 yards on first down with a run up the middle of the UCLA defense. After calling a timeout, the UH offense faked it to Saint Juste as he ran into the flat and caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Brown. Trifonovitch hit the PAT to cut UCLA’s lead to 14-7 with 11:52 left in the half. The 75-yard drive took 11 plays.
Not a problem for this UCLA offense that can score points and in a hurry. Rosen converted a big third-down pass play to get the Bruins back in the red zone at the UH 17. Two plays later, they had a first-and-goal from the 4. And three snaps after that, UCLA was back in the end zone for an eighth straight possession on a 1-yard sweep by Demetri Felton. Molson made the PAT to extend UCLA’s advantage to 21-7 with 7 minutes left in the period.
Hawaii started its fourth drive of the game at its own 27 still believing it could move the ball against UCLA. Hawaii appeared to have a first down at midfield, but was called for a pick play that killed the drive. Hawaii tried a fake punt on a fourth-and-22, but came up 2 yards shy, giving the Bruins the ball at the UH 48 with 3:46 left in the half.
UCLA tried a trick pass play of its own that went for 40 yards to set up a first-and-goal from the 8. The Bruins lost a yard on the next two snaps, setting up a third-and-goal from the 9. No problem for Rosen as he threw his third touchdown pass of the game, this one a 9-yarder Andrews, his second score of the afternoon, as Molson made the PAT to give UCLA a 28-7 advantage with 2:41 left in the half.
UCLA blew open the game on the next offensive play for Hawaii, picking off a Brown pass and returning it 30 yards for a touchdown. Cornerback Darnay Holmes took it back untouched as Molson hit the PAT to make it 35-7 with 2:34 left in the quarter.
Hawaii put one last drive together before the end of the half, settling up a fourth-and-10 at the Bruins 24. But like on several drives in the first half where UH moved the ball, no points were produced, and that can’t happen in a game like this.
Dylan Collie had two crucial drops, including the fourth-down pass that would have gone for a first had he pulled it in.
FIRST QUARTER UCLA 14, HAWAII 0
Hawaii had a good opening drive that eventually stalled deep in UCLA territory. The Warriors were forced to punt and back UCLA deep in its own territory at the 1. The UCLA offense took over from there and needed only seven plays to go 99 yards for the opening score of the game. The last play was a 25-yard touchdown pass from Rosen to Andrews for the score. Molson added the PAT to make it 7-0 with 6:43 left in the opening period.
Again, Hawaii drove the ball down the field against UCLA on the ensuing series and once again the drive broke down deep in UCLA territory, forcing a 49-yard field-goal attempt by Ryan Meskell that sailed wide left with about three minutes left in the quarter.
UCLA took over after the miss and right down the field the Bruins went against an overmatched UH defense. Rosen ended the 7-play, 62-yard drive with a 26-yard pass to Theo Howard as Molson added the PAT to make it 14-0 with 1:16 left in the opening quarter. It was the seventh consecutive series the Bruins managed a touchdown.
Riding a five-game winning streak dating back to last year, the University of Hawaii football team will be hard-pressed to stretch it to six against UCLA today at the Rose Bowl.
The Bruins are coming off a stunning come-from-behind victory over Texas A&M, while the Rainbow Warriors have already beaten Massachusetts and Western Carolina in two good nonconference victories.
To make it three in a row to start the season, Hawaii’s defense will have to play out of its mind and the offense will as well. UCLA will have to play a little flat, which is possible coming off the dramatic victory in its opener last Saturday.
For more Hawaii football, visit the Warrior Beat blog.