Wildcats run wild on Bruins in 47-30 win
TUSCON (AP) — Khalil Tate proved he wasn't a one-game wonder, giving the Arizona Wildcats another Saturday of big plays and another win.
Tate followed up last week's record-setting performance with another strong one, rushing for 230 yards and two touchdowns to lead Arizona over UCLA 47-30.
The sophomore quarterback, who took over for the injured Brandon Dawkins early in last Saturday's win over Colorado, set an FBS single-game rushing record for a quarterback with 327 yards in that game. Tate got the start on Saturday, and ran for a 45-yard touchdown on the fourth play of the game.
"Being more knowledgeable and the offensive line blocking the way they do, the receivers staying patient, it helps a lot," Tate said of his comfort level with the offense.
He added a 71-yard touchdown run in the third quarter for a 40-22 Arizona lead. The Wildcats had a season-high 605 total yards.
Tate passed for 148 yards, including a 53-yard bomb to Shun Brown that set up Nick Wilson's one-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter.
Wilson finished with 135 rushing yards and two scores. He has 13 career 100-yard games.
Tate hit Trevor Wood for a six-yard score with 11 seconds left in the first half, giving the Wildcats a 30-14 halftime lead.
"We did just enough with the turnovers (forcing four by UCLA) to give the offense a chance," Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez said. "Just really proud of the way he (Tate) has kind of taken charge. When we needed a big play ... he was delivering."
UCLA's Josh Rosen, the nation's leader in passing yards and total offense entering the game, threw for 219 yards but was held without a TD pass for the first time since the 2015 season. His three interceptions hurt the Bruins, the first was picked off by Jace Whittaker in the end zone early in the second quarter and the second was returned 42 yards for a touchdown by Whittaker, also in the second.
The Wildcats sacked Rosen five times in the second half, four for freshman Kylan Wilborn.
"I just didn't play well at all," Rosen said.
Tate's 26-yard run set up Josh Pollack's second field goal of the game and gave Arizona 33-14 lead in the third quarter.
The Bruins cut the lead to 11, but Tate turned a broken play into his 71-yarder at the 3:36 mark of the third.
"That young man is dynamic," UCLA coach Jim Mora said. "He changes the game because you have to defend him on every play. ... We put all our energy into stopping him, and we didn't get it done."
UCLA got as close as 10 after Bolu Olorunfunmi's second touchdown run of the night late in the third. But the Bruins couldn't keep the Wildcats from adding to their lead.
DOWN BY A SHIN
Arizona freshman J.J. Taylor had what what was originally called a 72-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter, when he rolled off of UCLA tackler Matt Dickerson's tackle attempt, bounced up and kept running while the Bruins' defenders slowed, thinking Taylor was down.
The play was reviewed and Taylor's shin was ruled to have touched the ground, negating the score and cutting the gain to a yard.
Olorunfunmi had 13 yards rushing at halftime, then finished with a career high 102 yards on 10 carries with two third-quarter touchdowns. He replaced Jalen Starks, who left the game in the second quarter with a leg injury, and Soso Jamabo, who lost an early fumble. Starks and Jamabo each scored a touchdown.
"It's definitely something to build off of," Olorunfunmi said, "but at the end of the day if you don't win the game, it doesn't really matter."
BEATING THE BRUINS
Rodriguez, after Arizona had lost the previous five meetings with UCLA until Saturday: "It wasn't a monkey, it was a gorilla."
UCLA: The Bruins might have hurt their chances at winning the wide-open Pac-12 South with their second conference loss, and their defense - which gave up 457 yards rushing, will be challenged by Oregon's strong ground game next Saturday at the Rose Bowl. UCLA rushed for a season-high 190 yards, but coach Jim Mora has to find answers to questions about a unit that ranks at the bottom of the Pac-12 in rushing defense.
Arizona: With Tate at the helm displaying an array of ball fakes, athleticism and speed in the open field, Rich Rodriguez's team will just keep running the ball until a defense can limit it. And the Wildcats are right in the mix for the South Division title, though a difficult slate awaits with Cal and USC on the road sandwiching Washington State at home on Oct. 28.
UCLA: The Bruins host Oregon next Saturday.
Arizona: The Wildcats go for a third consecutive win next Saturday at Cal.