UCLA has earned the Pac Ten Conference some respect. With Oklahoma State going down at the hands of the Houston Cougars 45-35 at home the Big 12 should no longer be thought of as the second best conference in the country. The Pac Ten should start to shed the label of a pass happy conference that plays no defense. Before the season started UCLA might have been thought of as the fourth or fifth best team in the Pac Ten. The Bruins went to Neyland Stadium one of the toughest stadiums in the country to play and defeated the Volunteers 19-15.
With less than three minutes left in the game the Vols had a 4th and 2 inside the three and the Bruin defense stuffed them. On the next series QB Kevin Prince was sacked for a safety leaving the game in the hands of the Bruin defense and UCLA came up big stopping Tennessee on 4th down. UCLA held the Vols to 4/16 on third down conversions. The Volunteers passed for a total of 93 yards and that probably played a big role in Lane Kiffin’s decision to run the ball on 4th and 2. Tennessee QB Jonathan Crompton threw three interceptions. Bruin DT Brian Price made his home on the Vol’s side of the line of scrimmage. S Rahim Moore finished the game with two interceptions. The way UCLA played defense resulted in them having an enjoyable plane ride back to Los Angeles.
The Bruin offense deserves some credit also. Coach Rick Neuheisel would have liked the offense to punch the ball in for a few more TD’s instead of relying on Kai Forbath to make field goals. QB Kevin Prince was 11/23 with no turnovers. Freshman RB Johnathan Franklin finished with 17 carries for 78 yards. The Bruins must enjoy this victory for a few days then quickly turn their attention to a very solid Kansas State team that will be visiting the Rose Bowl on September 19th.