LOS ANGELES (AP) Josh Rosen threw for 266 yards and two touchdowns and UCLA defeated Oregon 31-14 on Saturday.
Bolu Olorunfunmi had a spectacular 22-yard touchdown run in the third quarter where he tried to hurdle safety Mattrell McGraw at the goal line and ended up standing on the defender’s shoulders before vaulting into the end zone.
Soso Jamabo also ran for a touchdown and walk-on wide receiver Christian Pabico had four receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown. The Bruins (4-3, 2-2 Pac-12) improved to 4-0 at the Rose Bowl.
”It’s a resilient group,” UCLA head coach Jim Mora said. ”We fought through a lot.”
Braxton Burmeister threw for 74 yards with one interception and ran for two touchdowns for the Ducks (4-4, 1-4), who have lost three straight games since starting quarterback Justin Herbert broke his collarbone against California.
Royce Freeman rushed for 160 yards, passing LaMichael James for the most career yards rushing by an Oregon player. Freeman also passed Oregon State’s Ken Simonton for third place among Pac-12 career rushing leaders and became the 22nd player in FBS history with 5,000 career yards rushing.
UCLA reclaimed a two-score advantage in the third quarter on a 42-yard field goal by JJ Molson and Olorunfunmi’s touchdown run that immediately went viral on social media.
Rosen found Darren Andrews for a 1-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to cap off UCLA’s first win over Oregon since 2007 and end a six-game losing streak in the series.
UCLA jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Defensive lineman Jacob Tuioti-Mariner recovered a fumble for UCLA’s sixth takeaway of the season and second in Pac-12 play, setting up a 4-yard touchdown run by Jamabo.
”It had been a long time since we had a takeaway or even really consistent pressure on the quarterback,” Mora said.
Rosen threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Pabico on UCLA’s next possession. Rosen was a combined 7-of-7 passing for 77 yards on the two scoring drives.
But Oregon responded with two touchdown runs by Burmeister to head into the locker room tied. UCLA assisted Oregon with key penalties to extend drives, including a defensive holding call against Jaleel Wadood to move the chains on third-and-13. That led to a 7-yard touchdown run by Burmeister.
Burmeister also had a 4-yard touchdown run late in the first half to make it 14-all.
”You understand that it’s going to get better,” Oregon head coach Willie Taggart said. ”I believe in these guys. We got to be mentally tough, mentally stronger because we don’t have all our weapons.”
Oregon: The Ducks need Herbert healthy as soon as possible. Given the limitations of the freshman Burmeister, Oregon was rendered one-dimensional for the third consecutive game and attempted 62 runs to 15 passes. Unless Herbert returns shortly, Oregon will struggle to become bowl eligible in its first season under head coach Willie Taggart.
UCLA: Jim Mora lives to fight another day. A loss to short-handed Oregon would have been disastrous for UCLA, putting its chances of even reaching a bowl game in serious jeopardy and raising more questions about the viability of the head coach’s tenure. Now, UCLA has an outside chance to win the Pac-12 South, but will have to play its best game of the season to have a chance of upsetting No. 12 Washington next week.
Oregon: The Beavers host Utah next Saturday.
UCLA: The Bruins visit the Huskies next Saturday.
More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-Top25Let's