UCLA Wallops No. 7 Texas
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Thirteen years after “Rout 66,” UCLA produced another stunner: The Bruins walloped Texas again.
Johnathan Franklin rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown, Kevin Prince ran for a score and passed another and UCLA beat the seventh-ranked Longhorns 34-12 on Saturday.
Back in 1997, the Bruins crushed Texas 66-3 in the same stadium and their first trip back to Austin since had Texas fans baffled and booing again – at least until they left early. The Bruins forced four first-half turnovers and chewed up the nation’s No. 2 rushing defense with 264 yards on the ground.
“It was a rear-end kicking,” Texas coach Mack Brown said. “This one’s embarrassing for me. As a head coach, I’m responsible for everybody in this program, from the trainers to the managers to the walk-ons, to the kids to the coaches – everybody.”
When it was over, UCLA players rushed to the corner of the stadium dominated by fans wearing Bruins blue. Many of them had come down to the front rail where Franklin and his teammates danced and exchanged high-fives amid the chants of “U-C-L-A.”
In the locker room after the biggest victory of Rick Neuheisel’s three seasons as coach of his alma mater, the Bruins players dumped a bucket of water on their coach.
“I can’t grasp it,” UCLA offensive tackle Sean Sheller said. “It’s like a little kid at Disneyland. We heard our fans all game, and sometimes even louder than Texas fans.”
After an 0-2 start, including a humiliating 35-0 home loss to Pac-10 rival Stanford, the Bruins (2-2) have put up impressive consecutive wins over Top 25 teams. The win here in 1997 started a 20-game regular season win streak.
“That was the apocalypse,” Bruins safety Tony Dye said of the Stanford loss. “The senior leadership got together, and we know there was a team in the ’90s that did the same thing. Then they ran the table and won the Pac 10, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Saturday’s win was UCLA’s first on the road against a ranked opponent since 2001.
“It’s too early in the season to pound our chest and say ‘We’re here,'” Neuheisel said. “But it will be a fun trip home.”
Texas (3-1) lost its first home game since 2007 against Kansas State and scored its fewest points at home since a 12-7 loss to Texas A&M in 2006.
Longhorns fans looking for payback for the “Rout 66″ game never got even a glimpse of revenge in this one. While the score was closer, parts of this game looked a lot like the last one with Texas turnovers, dropped passes and penalties that kept UCLA drives moving.
The Longhorns have one week to pick themselves up before next Saturday’s Big 12 showdown with No. 8 Oklahoma in Dallas.
The Texas running game continues to go nowhere and the passing game stalled against a Bruins defense that swarmed Longhorns quarterback Garrett Gilbert. UCLA sacked Gilbert for Texas’ first turnover and took away the deep routes by Longhorns receivers all afternoon.
Even when Gilbert checked down to short throws, the Bruins smothered everything for minimal gains. Gilbert finished with 264 yards on 30-of-45 passing with a first-half interception and a late touchdown to James Kirkendoll.
Texas’ problems began in the second quarter when Curtis Brown fumbled a punt inside the Texas 5 to set up UCLA’s first touchdown on a pass from Prince to Ricky Marvray. Then a fumble by D.J. Monroe set up Kai Forbath’s second field goal, a 49-yarder for a 13-3 Bruins lead.
“It should have been a lot worse then it was but the defense played their guts out,” Mack Brown said. “The defense was on the field too long probably and got beaten down in the second half.”
UCLA had 77 total yards and five first downs in the first half.
The Bruins took control in the third. UCLA drove 80 yards, 76 on the ground, to a 20-3 lead on Franklin’s 11-yard TD run. Franklin also had a 35-yard run in the drive.
Franklin summed up the drive in one word: “Epic,” he said.
After Texas kicked a field goal, the Bruins marched right back to another score. After a kickoff return to the midfield, Prince got the entire Texas defense running to his right with a fake handoff, then zipped back to his left, rambling 38 yards untouched to the end zone.
Prince pumped his fist as he crossed the goal line and the rout – once again – was on. UCLA led 27-6 to start the fourth quarter. The Bruins held the ball for 35 minutes and were pushing the Longhorns around at the line of scrimmage.
Texas never threatened to rally. Even when Gilbert drove Texas deep in UCLA territory, senior receiver John Chiles cut his route short on fourth-and-4, getting tackled after a gain of only 3 yards.
“We came out, we were totally ready for this game,” Monroe said. “It was just a shock.”
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