No. 18 UCLA toppled Washington 44-30 Saturday night at Husky Stadium. The Huskies fell to 6-4, 2-4 Pac-12 while the Bruins (8-2, 5-2) kept their hopes for a Pac-12 South Division title alive.
Where’s the rush?: Washington defensive end Hau’oli Kikaha sacked UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley on the first drive to end the Bruin’s drive. A little later, Kikaha suffered a shoulder injury and didn’t return in the first half. Without Kikaha, who leads the nation with 16.5 sacks, the Huskies had difficulty applying pressure. Hundley finished with 302 yards on 29-of-36 passing and two touchdowns, including a 57-yarder.
Happy homecoming: Their first game at Husky Stadium was a good 0uting for UCLA coach Jim Mora, the former UW player and assistant, and sophomore linebacker Myles Jack, the former Bellevue High star. Mora, who coached the Seahawks, had been frequently linked to the UW job. He turned down the Huskies before they hired Chris Petersen, tried to downplay his return this week. Jack was also subdued during pregame interviews, but he came alive late in the second quarter on a 28-yard touchdown run that included a stiff-arm and 360-spin to elude three defenders before tight-roping the sideline en route to the end zone. Jack finished with 38 yards.
Mr. Everything: Shaq Thompson did it all. He started at running back and finished with 100 yards on 16 carries. He played a few series at linebacker and had four tackles. He was also on the field for punt duties and had a tackle. Thompson wasn’t the only two-way performer. Sophomore receiver John Ross III moved over to the defensive side and played cornerback for a few series and had two tackles.
And speaking of Ross, get that man the ball: Ross, who had two touchdowns on kickoff returns negated due to penalties this season, broke free for a 100-yard TD late in the third quarter. Once he motored past UCLA kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn and reached the end zone, Ross turned around and there were no flags on the field. He finished with 207 kickoff return yards on six attempts. However, Ross wasn’t a factor offensively.