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UCLA shuts down Arizona

The SportsXchange

PASADENA -- No. 25 UCLA braced itself for a dogfight with the high-powered, yard-churning, pass-happy No. 24 Arizona Wildcats.

They ended up calling off the dogs early.

Not Johnathan Franklin, though. UCLA head coach Jim Mora left him in to bask in all his glory.

On a night when Franklin took center stage as he broke UCLA's career rushing yardage mark, the Bruins bombarded the stunned Wildcats early and cruised to a 66-10 win in front of a delirious homecoming crowd on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.

In a matchup of two high-scoring offenses, the Bruins turned out the lights on Arizona, piling up 611 yards, 38 first downs and 7-of-14 third downs. UCLA scored touchdowns on six of its seven first-half possessions and added 17 second-half points before slowing things up. The Wildcats, meanwhile, totaled just 255 yards and committed three turnovers.

"They felt challenged," Mora said of the UCLA defense. "We knew this was an outstanding offense coming in here tonight. They put up huge numbers. They've come in with a lot of acclaim. We struggled a little bit on defense last week, allowed more points than we'd like to. But we practiced fast, we were focused, we were intense."

Mora let Franklin enjoy the fruits of his record-setting day, after Franklin broke Gaston Green's UCLA career rushing mark on the game's first series. Franklin had 162 yards on 24 carries and played into the fourth quarter, as did redshirt freshman quarterback Brett Hundley, who completed 22 of 27 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns.

"My goal wasn't to break the record, but to contribute to the team," the humble Franklin said. "That's all that matters. That's all that is going to matter."

It was quite the different scene from last season, when Arizona disposed of UCLA, 48-12, in Tucson. In that game, UCLA's walk into the locker room at halftime against Arizona was like the Green Mile.

Flash forward a year, flip the venue, and the Bruins might've well skipped their way off the field.

A year after trailing the Wildcats 42-7 going into the halftime break -- and worse, after instigating a violent mid-field brawl just before halftime -- the Bruins went into the half on Saturday up 42-3 over Arizona.

UCLA put on a show in the first half in front of a packed Rose Bowl crowd, piling up 371 yards -- to the Wildcats' 74 -- and 22 first downs to Arizona's seven. The Bruins converted 6-of-8 third downs through two quarters, while the normally prolific Wildcats offense went 0-for-6, maintaining a near-eight minute time-of-possession advantage.

"We all have to look ourselves in the mirror tonight, and tomorrow we have to come out with new hunger and desire to play better than that," said Arizona center Kyle Quinn, who called the loss "embarrassing." "We have to represent our school, our town, our coaching staff and each other better than we did tonight."

Franklin opened the onslaught, breaking the Bruins' career rushing mark with a 37-yard touchdown run less than three minutes into the game, and he added a second touchdown late in the second quarter while eclipsing the 100-yard mark. Franklin had 113 yards on 16 carries as UCLA piled on 176 first-half rushing yards.

Hundley may have been even more efficient before the half, completing 17-of-20 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns, while running in a score, as well.

The win puts the Bruins in the Pac-12 South driver's seat after USC's loss to Oregon, while the Wildcats failed to build on the momentum of defeating the Trojans last weekend.

"We shouldn't let this game define who we are," Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said. "Even in our losses, I thought we were competitive with some things. Today, we didn't do anything well at all."

NOTES: UCLA eclipsed the 40-point mark in a half for the first time since 2005. ... Arizona entered the game with the country's No. 4 passing offense and No. 4 total offense.
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