Bru­ins rally falls short this time

MEM­PHIS 48, NO. 25 UCLA 45

The Denver Post - - KICKOFF - By Clay Bai­ley

MEM­PHIS, TENN.» Ri­ley Fer­gu­son threw for 398 yards and six touch­downs, Ja­cobi Fran­cis broke up a fourth-down pass in the clos­ing sec­onds and Mem­phis held off No. 25 UCLA 48-45 on Satur­day.

Fran­cis’ breakup with 56 sec­onds left pre­vented an­other fourth-quar­ter come­back by Bru­ins quar­ter­back Josh Rosen. He was 34-of-56 for 463 yards and four touch­downs.

“That was a grind against a Pac12 op­po­nent, and one ranked top 25 in the coun­try,” Mem­phis coach Mike Norvell said.

Un­like in the Bru­ins’ opener when Rosen led a fourth-quar­ter come­back in a 45-44 vic­tory over Texas A&M, the Mem­phis de­fense stiff­ened on UCLA’S fi­nal pos­ses­sion.

For all of the hype about Rosen, con­sid­ered one of the top quar­ter­backs in the coun­try, Fer­gu­son matched his coun­ter­part, com­plet­ing 23-of-38 passes for Mem­phis (2-0). His con­nec­tions with wide re­ceiver An­thony Miller meant the dif­fer­ence. Miller caught nine passes for 185 yards and two touch­downs.

“I was re­ally proud of the of­fense. I thought An­thony and Ri­ley did a phe­nom­e­nal job,” Norvell said. “Ev­ery­body, re­ally.”

UCLA (2-1) took a 45-41 lead on Rosen’s 22-yard pass to Austin Roberts with 11:51 left.

But Mem­phis an­swered with a four-play, 81-yard drive, the fi­nal 3 yards com­ing on Fer­gu­son’s pass to Phil May­hue with 9:56 left.

From there, it was up to the Tigers’ de­fense — and Fran­cis’ knock-away set off a cel­e­bra­tion. The Tigers have beaten one ranked op­po­nent in each of the last three sea­sons.

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