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UCLA’s Defense and Running Game Sparked Win Against Arizona
By Khari Jones, Jr., Contributing Writer
Published November 29, 2020

Running back Demetric Felton (10) rushed for a career high 206 yards against Arizona.(Photo by Jevone Moore)

The UCLA Bruins trounced Arizona 27-10. The Bruins are at their best when they are up at halftime. UCLA’s running game and defense have done it for them again. They rushed over 200 yards for the third straight game. Running back Demetric Felton rushed for a career-high 206 yards against Arizona. The last Bruin running back to rush for at least 200 yards was Joshua Kelley, who had 289 yards against USC in 2018. 

Head coach Chip Kelly was excited about Felton’s performance. He stated since Felton moved to running back, he has done an outstanding job. “I was really happy for Felt. He’s worked extremely hard since he moved to running back and has really turned himself into a quality back. He’s got great vision.” Kelly credits the receivers blocking and the tight ends. He also states that it was a team effort.

Chip Kelly praises defense for win..(Photo by Jevone Moore)

UCLA did not have any turnovers this game, and they played great defense like they’ve been doing all season long. The only score given up in the fourth quarter by the Bruin was a field against Colorado. Kelly stated he challenged the defense, and they came up with two turnovers. “Stephan Blaylock came up with a pick there and then [Elijah Gates] Gatesy to seal it. You have a pretty good shot at winning when you’re plus-two in the game. It starts with us being clean on the offensive side of the ball first. Our guys did a really good job, and I thought that was a key part of this game.” Kelly notes it was great to see a spark from their secondary defense, and the coaches are extremely pleased with them.

Kelly says the defensive improvement goes to the defensive coordinator Jerry Azzinaro. “It’s a combination of Azzinaro, Jason Kaufusi, Johnny Nansen, Don Pellum, and Brian [Norwood] all together. One thing UCLA coaches discussed in the offseason was to get their best athletes on the field. “We thought we had some really good athletes at all three levels. And that’s what we are trying to do. Jerry runs our defense. Jerry calls our defense.” He emphasizes what everyone got to see during the game is a product of how they’ve been playing in training sessions.

UCLA came together after Saturday’s win. (Photo by Jevone Moore)

UCLA defensive back Obi Eboh says their defense is selfless, and he can play better because of his teammates. “Everybody’s working together as a cohesive unit to accomplish one goal, and I think that’s what we did tonight.” He gives credit to the coaches for developing a sound game plan and the rest of the defense for executing. These are the things they work on practice in everyday states, Eboh. “We’re always practicing creating turnovers, whether it’s interceptions, strips, recovering fumbles, whatever we can do. We’re doing those things fundamentally so that when we get into the game, it kind of becomes second-nature, and I think we’ve done a good job of that, obviously tonight with two interceptions and the fourth-down stops and all those kinds of things.”

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UCLA will play at Arizona State next Saturday.

UCLA won the turnover battle 2-0 against Arizona.(Photo by Jevone Moore)

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Categories: Football | Sports
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