2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 3 - Texas at UCLA
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Sept. 17 Texas 49 … at UCLA 20
CFN Analysis: COMING
(AP) PASADENA, Calif. -- With a new McCoy thriving in a familiar old setting, these Texas Longhorns showed they've come an awfully long way in the year since they lost to UCLA.
Case McCoy passed for 168 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start, D.J. Grant made his first three career touchdown catches, and the 23rd-ranked Longhorns avenged last season's stunning home loss to the Bruins with a 49-20 victory on Saturday.
McCoy hadn't been to the Rose Bowl since he watched his older brother, Colt, get injured during Texas' loss to Alabama in the BCS title game 20 months ago. The Longhorns have been rebuilding ever since, but they might have found their next quarterback: McCoy was a model of efficiency, going 12 for 15 without a turnover or a sack as Texas systematically shredded the Bruins for 488 total yards.
"We never think about revenge, but we do think about playing good," said McCoy, a sophomore who replaced Garrett Gilbert and led Texas past BYU last week. "I know we all had a bad taste in our mouth from last year's loss to these guys. That's not a fond memory ... and neither is the last time we were here."
Malcolm Brown rushed for 110 yards and a score, and Fozzy Whittaker ran for two more touchdowns for the Longhorns (3-0), who got solid production from two young quarterbacks. Freshman David Ash went 3 for 3 in frequent relief action.
Jaxon Shipley caught five passes and threw a TD pass for the Longhorns, whose spiral to a losing record last season began with that 34-12 loss to UCLA. Coach Mack Brown appears to have his young roster back on the road to title contention, although he cautioned against exuberance after drilling the struggling Bruins.
"I liked what I saw from both sides of the ball," said Brown, who wasn't sure which quarterback would get more playing time when the game began. "Very few people thought we would be 3-0. I thought this has been perfect for us, to win a tight one at home last week and then come out here and do really well in this game that we lost last year. That's two statements of improvement."
Richard Brehaut passed for 150 yards after Kevin Prince threw three interceptions in the first quarter for the Bruins (1-2), who are 3-8 since that win in Austin last September.
Grant missed the past two seasons with a knee injury and had one catch in the Longhorns' first two games this fall before scoring in each of the first three quarters against UCLA. The third-string tight end led Texas with six catches for 77 yards, including a 45-yard TD grab in the opening minutes.
Texas also rushed for 284 yards, answering the Bruins' overwhelming ground attack in last year's matchup.
"A year ago, we beat Texas by throwing nine passes," UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel said. "I thought we'd be able to run the ball and control the clock, but we turned it over."
Derrick Coleman rushed for two touchdowns and UCLA punter Jeff Locke made two long field goals, but the Bruins again struggled mightily on defense under new coordinator Joe Tresey, giving up 104 points in their first three games.
"We've got a new coach as defensive coordinator, and we're trying to find our footing," Neuheisel said. "I thought it would have gone better, but it has not. We have to be better. We weren't able to stop them."
A large contingent of burnt-orange-clad Longhorns fans assembled at the Rose Bowl, the site of a big chunk of the top moments in recent Texas football history. The Longhorns beat Michigan in the 2005 Rose Bowl and claimed the national title on the same field a year later, beating Southern California in one of the best games in college football history.
Brehaut had played most of UCLA's first two games after Prince incurred a concussion and a shoulder injury in the season opener, but Prince got the surprise start from Neuheisel after leading UCLA's win at Texas last season.
"It's not the way I should play and am capable of playing," said Prince, who completed three passes to each team. "It was just unforced errors on my part. ... It was a huge game. It would have been a huge win for the program if we could have gotten it."
Three plays after Carrington Byndom intercepted Prince's first pass, McCoy found Grant in a huge hole in UCLA's coverage.
Whittaker capped a 71-yard drive with an 8-yard TD run on a direct snap moments later, and Prince finished his horrific quarter with his third interception on a poorly thrown pass on the final play, earning boos from the Rose Bowl crowd.
"We feel like we're taking the right steps," said Texas cornerback Adrian Phillips, who had an interception for the second straight game. "We wanted to come out and show we're a different team than they played last year."
Brown lost his shoe during a 16-yard TD run through the heart of UCLA's defense on the ensuing drive, putting the Longhorns up 21-0.
Brehaut took over and engineered a 74-yard TD drive, but UCLA made small mistakes -- such as returning from a timeout with 12 men on the field -- and bigger blunders like Glenn Love's holding penalty that wiped out Josh Smith's kickoff return inside the Texas 20.
Between its two quarterbacks, Texas didn't throw an incompletion until 6½ minutes remained in the second quarter.
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Texas (2-0) at UCLA (1-1) Sept. 17, 3:30, ABC
Here’s The Deal … It’s never boring in Austin. The same program that raised the hackles of other Big 12 members for threatening to leave the league in 2010, and then starting its own TV network, is now dealing with a juicy quarterback controversy. Starter Garrett Gilbert was yanked early in Saturday night’s game with BYU in favor of Case McCoy and David Ash. It worked, as the ‘Horns rallied in the second half for a pivotal 17-16 victory. Now, head coach Mack Brown needs to decide between McCoy, the younger brother of Colt McCoy, and Ash, who is just a true freshman. For now, figure on there being some kind of a meld of talent as the programs continues to try and find some level of offensive consistency.
UCLA picked up its first victory of the season for head coach Rick Neuheisel, outlasting San Jose State, 27-17. It wasn’t enough to satisfy the declining number of fans still following the team. Even after evening their record, the Bruins are in full-fledged desperation mode, seeking some sliver of hope in a season that’s looking increasingly dour.
Why Texas Might Win: The offense is impotent, but the defense has played rather well. The veteran Longhorns may not be flush with a lot of household names, but they play well together as a unit. Through the first eight quarter, the team has allowed just one touchdown, while giving up little ground in pass defense. Keenan Robinson and Emmanuel Acho are active linebackers, and Kenny Vaccaro and Blake Gideon form one of the better safety tandems in the Big 12. Against UCLA’s monotone offense, which features a sporadic passing attack, the ‘Horns will load up the box without worrying about getting burned over the top.
Why UCLA Might Win: The Bruins may have one note on offense, but running backs Johnathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman have been known to belt out some sweet tunes. The latter ripped through San Jose State for 135 yard and a score on 14 carries, while the former is second in Pac-12 rushing. UCLA will be facing a Texas attack that is extremely young and inconsistent. The quarterbacks are green, lead runner Malcolm Brown is a true freshman and the line is prone to spotty play. If the Bruins can take the next step forward on defense, it’ll be another unproductive afternoon for the Horns.
What To Watch Out For: Brown is young, but the five-star recruit hasn’t looked his age through two games. He’s carried 30 times for 154 yards, running with authority and confidence. He’ll be facing a UCLA defense that’s been painfully weak against the run, allowing 361 yards and five scores in two games. heck, San Jose State averaged seven yards a carry on the Bruins in Week 2. The time is now for hyped linebackers Sean Westgate, Patrick Larimore and Jordan Zumwalt to do a much better job of filling lanes and wrapping up in space.
What Will Happen: Anything is possible with these two unpredictable programs. Heck, who saw UCLA’s 34-12 rout of Texas last fall? The Longhorns want revenge, but won’t get it. Nothing the Bruins do make sense these days, so handing UT its first defeat will be par for the course. They’ll employ Franklin and Coleman to control the tempo of the game and dominate time of possession. At least for one week, the UCLA defense will answer the bell, making Texas’ young kids look young and inexperienced.
CFN Prediction: UCLA 23 … Texas 21
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Texas -4.5 O/U: 44
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