Bruins rally falls short this time
MEMPHIS 48, NO. 25 UCLA 45
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.