UCLA FB Rewind: Second-Half Shutouts Lead to Pair of Wins
Oct. 4, 1980 --- UCLA at Ohio State
Defense was the name of the game in Columbus, Ohio as UCLA blanked No. 2-ranked Ohio State 17-0 in a battle of unbeaten teams played before a crowd of over 88,000 in the Ohio Stadium.
Sophomore defensive tackle Irv Eatman dominated the Buckeyes with four quarterback sacks and nine total tackles. The Bruin defense limited OSU All-America quarterback Art Schlichter to just 59 net yards on 25 plays. Ohio State averaged only 3.5 yards per play on the day and finished over 200 yards under their total offense average for the season.
Offensively, sophomore quarterback Tom Ramsey completed 8 of 11 passing attempts for 92 yards, including a 23-yard scoring toss to Jojo Townsell. Freeman McNeil rushed for 118 yards on 31 carries and scored on a 1-yard run. It marked McNeil's third straight 100-yard game of the season and the 11th in his last 13 outings.
The Bruins enjoyed a 3-0 edge at the half thanks to a 27-yard field goal from Norm Johnson. UCLA set the tone for the contest by possessing the ball for 11:17 of the game's opening 15 minutes behind the dominating play of its offensive line -- center Dan Dufour, guards Larry Lee and John Tautolo and tackles Gregg Christiansen and Luis Sharpe. A red zone interception by Tom Sullivan put an end to the lone OSU scoring threat.
Touchdowns from Townsell and McNeil came in the third quarter as UCLA opened up a 17-point advantage. On the Townsell scoring drive, UCLA went 56 yards on nine plays, converting on a key fourth down-and-one at the OSU 36-yard line along the way. McNeil found the end zone to cap off an 11-play, 65-yard journey and effectively put the game out of reach.
Linebacker Avon Riley topped UCLA with 12 tackles. Safety Kenny Easley was right behind with 10 stops.
Oct. 4, 2003 --- Washington at UCLA
UCLA spotted Washington a 13-point lead and then roared back for a big win at the Rose Bowl over the No. 18-ranked Huskies in the 2003 Pac-10 opener. Washington scored on each of its first three possessions before the UCLA defense stiffened. Over the final 30 minutes of the contest, the Bruins outpointed Washington 39-0.
With 9:12 remaining in the first half, UCLA closed to within 13-7 on running back Tyler Ebell's 7-yard run. The Huskies answered with a 37-yard field goal on the final play of the first half to take a 16-7 advantage into the locker room.
The game began to turn in the first seconds of the second half of action. On Washington's initial snap, at its own 7-yard line, Dave Ball sacked UW quarterback Cody Pickett in the end zone forcing a fumble which was recovered by Rodney Leisle for a Bruin touchdown.
With 4:19 to play in the third quarter, the Bruin offense found its stride as Manuel White finished off a 91-yard drive with a 1-yard run for a touchdown. Quarterback Drew Olson then hit White on a pass for a two-point conversion and a 22-16 lead.
A Leisle interception at the Bruin 12-yard line haulted a Husky drive and led to a Justin Medlock field goal early in the fourth quarter. Eight seconds later, safety Jarrad Page stepped in front of the intended receiver and returned the interception 24 yards to push the UCLA margin to 32-16 with 12:05 remaining. Olson and Maurice Jones-Drew added short scoring runs to wrap up a 39-point run by the Bruins to secure a 46-16 win.
The UCLA defense limited the Huskies to just 77 yards on the ground for the game. In the second half, the Bruins held UW to 87 net yards on 30 snaps while recording four sacks and forcing four turnovers. Linebacker Brandon Chillar topped the Bruin defense with 12 total tackles. Dave Ball finished with 3.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss among his six tackles.