UCLA at Nebraska

UCLA storms back at Nebraska for emotional victory

CBSSports.com wire reports

LINCOLN, Neb. -- UCLA's emotional week ended with the Bruins making a comeback the likes of which has rarely, if ever, has been seen at Memorial Stadium.

Brett Hundley threw three touchdown passes while No. 16 UCLA wiped out an 18-point deficit to defeat No. 23 Nebraska 41-21 and stun into silence a record crowd of 91,471 on Saturday.

The win came six days after UCLA receiver Nick Pasquale was killed when he was struck by a vehicle while he was walking in his hometown and a day before coaches and teammates travel to San Clemente, Calif., for his memorial service.

"You can't believe how tough it was on them," Bruins coach Jim Mora said. "You never want to say you won one for somebody. We didn't win one for Nick. What we tried to do today is go out and play with the type or energy, enthusiasm and passion for the game that would reflect what he meant to us."

The Bruins wore No. 36 patches on their jerseys in memory of Pasquale. The Huskers wore No. 36 decals on their helmets, and there was a moment of silence for Pasquale before the game.

The Huskers (2-1), wearing alternate black jerseys instead of their traditional home red, looked to be in total control in the first half.

Then they had a flashback to last year at the Rose Bowl, when they couldn't stop Hundley and an offense that had 653 yards in a 36-30 Bruins' win.

"The first half there was so much emotion, I'm not going to lie," Hundley said. "I just had so much emotion going into the game. There were a lot of things that added up to it. After the first half, everything slowed down and we got back to playing football and came out with the win."

According to STATS, the 18 points marked the biggest deficit overcome by a Nebraska opponent in Lincoln since at least 1996. Neither STATS nor Nebraska sports information officials had complete records on opponent comebacks available prior to 1996.

Washington rallied from 12 points down to beat the Huskers in 1991 and Colorado came back from 12 points down to win in 1990, but those games can't compare to the magnitude of Nebraska's meltdown Saturday.

The Bruins (2-0) scored 35 points in 16 minutes. The barrage started with Paul Perkins' 10-yard touchdown run to cut Nebraska's lead to 21-10 at the half.

Jordon James scored from 3 yards before Hundley threw TD passes of 28 yards to Shaquelle Evans, 12 yards to Phillip Ruhl and 3 yards to Nate Iese.

"We came in at halftime and there weren't a lot of adjustments that needed to be made," Mora said. "It was more of an adjustment in our mindset."

Mora told his players at halftime that they needed to relax and breathe.

"There were no mystical, magical X's and O's," Mora said. "It was just our players doing what they're supposed to do and really just loving what they do, and that's playing football."

Nebraska's defense, which has struggled in the biggest games in the past year, allowed 236 yards in the third quarter and 504 for the game.

"The second half was a lot like last year," Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said. "We made the tackles in the first half. I don't know how many tackles we missed in that second half but it is a lot. We missed tackle after tackle after tackle."

Nebraska came into the game hoping to get even for last year's embarrassing performance against UCLA.

Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr, who made 11 tackles and forced three fumbles, said he and his teammates also felt they had something to prove.

"A lot people said last year was a fluke," Barr said. "We were listening to that and had a chip on our shoulder coming in here. We didn't play with enough controlled emotion in the first half.

"The emotion got the best of us and we wanted to do a little bit too much on offense and defense. When that kind of settled down a little bit, we took a deep breath and came out and made a statement."

The Huskers still looked as if they had some life in them when, trailing 38-21, they moved from their 25 to the UCLA 12 early in the fourth quarter.

But Ameer Abdullah fumbled at the 6 after getting hit by Barr.

Nebraska generated more than 19 yards on just two of its last 10 possessions and had only 130 of its 326 yards after halftime.

"I felt at times I was looking at our guys on the sideline and it was like they saw a ghost," Pelini said. "Someone has to step up and make a play. We needed to get the momentum turned back the other way, and it didn't happen."

Hundley completed 16 of 25 passes for 294 yards, with one interception that set up Nebraska's first touchdown. James ran 22 times for 105 yards and a TD.

Taylor Martinez was 21 of 35 for 203 yards and three touchdowns for the Huskers, and Abdullah had 98 yards on 23 carries.

Hundley kept alive the Bruins' lone touchdown drive of the first half when he scrambled for 13 yards on a third-and-12.

"That might be the play of the game," Mora said. "I don't like to point to a single play. But right there, we needed that."

Hundley passed for 32 yards to Devin Fuller on the next play, and Perkins went 10 yards up the middle to make it an 11-point game.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.

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Scoring Summary
NEBQuincy Enunwa 11 yd pass from Taylor Martinez (Pat Smith kick)
UCLAKa'imi Fairbairn 44 yd FG
NEBQuincy Enunwa 14 yd pass from Taylor Martinez (Mauro Bondi kick)
NEBKenny Bell 22 yd pass from Taylor Martinez (Pat Smith kick)
UCLAPaul Perkins 10 yd run (Ka'imi Fairbairn kick)
UCLAJordon James 3 yd run (Ka'imi Fairbairn kick)
UCLAShaquelle Evans 28 yd pass from Brett Hundley (Ka'imi Fairbairn kick)
UCLAPhillip Ruhl 12 yd pass from Brett Hundley (Ka'imi Fairbairn kick)
UCLANate Iese 3 yd pass from Brett Hundley (Ka'imi Fairbairn kick)
UCLAKa'imi Fairbairn 24 yd FG
Team Stats
First Downs2721
Third Down Efficiency7-153-14
Fourth Down Efficiency0-12-3
Plays-Net Yards78-50477-331
Passing Yds294203
Kick Return Yds035
Punt Return Yds280
Time of Poss.29:4030:20
Individual Stats
UCLA: Jordon James 22-105, Brett Hundley 19-61, Malcolm Jones 4-24, Paul Perkins 5-22, Steven Manfro 2-10, Sean Covington 1--12
NEB: Ameer Abdullah 23-98, Terrell Newby 5-22, Imani Cross 3-19, Brodrick Nickens 1-2, Taylor Martinez 10--13
UCLA: Brett Hundley 16-24-294-1, Team 0-1-0-0
NEB: Taylor Martinez 21-35-203-0
UCLA: Devin Fuller 4-48, Shaquelle Evans 3-97, Darius Bell 2-35, Jordan Payton 2-28, Grayson Mazzone 1-39, Paul Perkins 1-20, Phillip Ruhl 1-12, Thomas Duarte 1-12, Nate Iese 1-3
NEB: Kenny Bell 6-68, Jamal Turner 5-23, Ameer Abdullah 3-50, Quincy Enunwa 3-39, Terrell Newby 1-9, Jake Long 1-8, Jordan Westerkamp 1-4, C.J. Zimmerer 1-2
UCLA4th Pac-12 South2-74-8
Nebraska2nd Big Ten West6-39-4

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