Wildcats run wild on Bruins in 47-30 victory
TUSCON — Khalil Tate followed up last week’s record-setting performance with another strong one, rushing for 230 yards and two touchdowns to lead Arizona over UCLA 47-30 Saturday night.
The sophomore quarterback, who took over for the injured Brandon Dawkins early in last Saturday’s win over Colorado, set an FBS single-game rushing record for a quarterback with 327 yards in that game. Tate got the start on Saturday, and ran for a 45-yard touchdown on the fourth play of the game.
He added a 71-yard touchdown run in the third quarter for a 40-22 Arizona lead. The Wildcats had a season-high 605 total yards.
Tate passed for 148 yards, including a 53-yard bomb to Shun Brown that set up Nick Wilson’s 1-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter.
Wilson finished with 135 rushing yards and two scores. He has 13 career 100-yard games.
Tate hit Trevor Wood for a 6-yard score with 11 seconds left in the first half, giving the Wildcats a 30-14 halftime lead.
UCLA’s Josh Rosen, the nation’s leader in passing yards and total offense entering the game, threw for 219 yards but was held without a TD pass for the first time since the 2015 season. His three interceptions hurt the Bruins, the first was picked off by Jace Whittaker in the end zone early in the second quarter and the second was returned 42 yards for a touchdown by Whittaker, also in the second.
The Wildcats sacked Rosen five times in the second half, four for freshman Kylan Wilborn.
Tate’s 26-yard run set up Josh Pollack’s second field goal of the game and gave Arizona 33-14 lead in the third quarter.
The Bruins cut the lead to 11, but Tate turned a broken play into his 71-yarder at the 3:36 mark of the third.
UCLA got as close as 10 after Bolu Olorunfunmi’s second touchdown run of the night late in the third. But the Bruins couldn’t keep the Wildcats from adding to their lead.
UCLA: The Bruins might have hurt their chances at winning the wide-open Pac-12 South with their second conference loss, and their defense — which gave up 457 yards rushing, will be challenged by Oregon’s strong ground game next Saturday at the Rose Bowl. UCLA rushed for a season-high 190 yards, but coach Jim Mora has to find answers to questions about a unit that ranks at the bottom of the Pac-12 in rushing defense.
Arizona: With Tate at the helm displaying an array of ball fakes, athleticism and speed in the open field, Rich Rodriguez’s team will just keep running the ball until a defense can limit it. And the Wildcats are right in the mix for the South Division title, though a difficult slate awaits with Cal and USC on the road sandwiching Washington State at home on Oct. 28.
UCLA: The Bruins host Oregon next Saturday.
Arizona: The Wildcats go for a third consecutive win next Saturday at Cal.