A ma­jor step for Bru­ins

Los Angeles Times - - Ucla Game Re­port - chris.foster@la­times.com twit­ter.com/cfos­ter­la­times

Rick Neuheisel said.

Cor­ner­back Aaron Hester was al­ready there, say­ing, “This gives us a boost we can ride through [Pa­cific 10] con­fer­ence play.”

Heady stuff for a team that lost its first two games. But the Bru­ins earned it. They man­han­dled the No. 1 rush­ing de­fense in the na­tion, gain­ing 264 yards, and then danced their way to the locker room, paus­ing to whoop it up with the 4,000 or so UCLA fans who came to town toting blind faith.

“The first two weeks, we didn’t ex­ist,” safety Tony Dye said. “This is our team right now. If we keep rolling like this, we’re go­ing to win the [Pac-10].”

The Bru­ins (2-2) are now two for Texas, hav­ing beaten Hous­ton a week ear­lier. The Longhorns (3-1), mean­while, were handed their worst home loss since . . . that’s right . . . UCLA last came to town.

“This one is em­bar­rass­ing for me,” Brown said. “As head coach, I’m re­spon­si­ble for ev­ery­body in this pro­gram. . . . This was not fair to Texas fans. It was not fair to the play­ers.”

Fair wasn’t in the Bru­ins’ game plan. Run­ning the ball was, and by the time they were done, the Eyes of Texas were cring­ing.

Texas had given up an av­er­age of 44 yards rush­ing per game be­fore the Bru­ins took the field. When they skipped off at the end, Johnathan Franklin, alone, had 118 yards rush­ing, as the Bru­ins’ “pis­tol” of­fense blew holes in the Texas de­fense.

“This game started for us on Tues­day,” run­ning back Franklin said. “Tues­day, we al­ready knew we could move them.”

The Bru­ins lived off the Longhorns’ gen­eros­ity in the first half. Texas had four turnovers that led to 10 UCLA points. At half­time, UCLA had 77 to­tal yards and a13-3 lead.

“I told them at half­time that hope wasn’t how we’re go­ing to win this game,” Neuheisel said. “We weren’t go­ing to hope for the clock to run out. We weren’t go­ing to hope that they keep mak­ing mis­takes. I said, ‘Go out and fight and en­joy the fight.’ ”

Franklin’s tackle-shed­ding 11-yard run ended an 80yard drive that gave UCLA a 20-3 lead to start the third quar­ter. When quar­ter­back Kevin Prince scored on a 38yard run later in the quar­ter, Longhorns were be­ing “pis­tol”-whipped.

“Texas was good up front, but we jived to­gether,” cen­ter Ryan Tay­lor said.

Pretty soon, Texas wasn’t even good up front.

“We’d stick our blocks on them and they’d start com­plain­ing, ‘Hey man, get off me al­ready,’ ” tackle Sean Sheller said.

Sup­port­ing Franklin was Der­rick Cole­man, who had 94-yard rush­ing day, in­clud­ing a 29-yard touch­down run in the fourth quar­ter.

The Bru­ins’ run­ning game was so strong that Prince passed only eight times, com­plet­ing five for 27 yards.

“If you’d have told me I would have that go­ing into the game, I’d have been scared,” Prince said. “Ev­ery­one was talk­ing about Texas’ run de­fense and our line took it per­son­ally.”

The de­fense did the rest. The Bru­ins gang-tack­led and pressed the Longhorns into mis­takes.

“This started in the off­sea­son; we prob­a­bly out­worked Texas,” safety Rahim Moore said. “We went at it in train­ing. We’ve been wait­ing for this week.”

COM­ING THROUGH:

Ronald Martinez

Der­rick Cole­man ac­counted for 94 of UCLA’s 264 yards rush­ing. In­cluded in his 16 car­ries was a 29-yard touch­down in the fourth quar­ter.

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