UCLA’s Kevin Prince tossed a touchdown pass to Shaq Evans with 3:26 remaining to bring the Bruins back from an eight-point deficit and seal the 28-25 victory against WSU.
The Cougars were forced to kick field goals three separate times in the first half inside the UCLA 10-yard line. Head Coach Paul Wulff said WSU needed to score touchdowns in those situations.
“We had one dropped pass and we just kind of sputtered,” Wulff said in a WSU press release. “We missed on some opportunities, but I was still happy to get points out of those situations. Obviously looking back we needed a few touchdowns.”
The Cougars established their running game from the get-go. On three of their first four drives, WSU had more than 10 plays but could only settle for field goals.
Redshirt freshman Rickey Galvin led the Cougs in rushing with 88 yards on 16 carries. Wulff commented about the Cougars’ gameplan following the game.
“We wanted to control the clock, and we did a lot of what we wanted to do because we didn’t want to put our defense in a situation where UCLA could wear us down,” Wulff said in a WSU press release. “I thought our players played a good football game, but at the end of the day, they made a few more plays late than we did.”
Nonetheless, the Cougars had the 9-7 advantage heading into halftime. Kevin Prince came in after starter Richard Brehaut broke his leg in the second quarter.
After receiving the kickoff to begin the second half, UCLA marched the ball 61 yards on a six-play drive and took a five-point lead following a Derrick Coleman one-yard touchdown run.
WSU answered on the following drive with redshirt senior quarterback Marshall Lobbestael executing a 41-yard drive ending in an eight-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Jared Karstetter.
The Cougars extended their lead to 22-14 in the fourth quarter after Lobbestael legnthened the play by stepping into the pocket and finding Galvin out of the backfield for a 21-yard touchdown pass.
UCLA blocked the extra point and answered almost immediately. Prince led a four-play, 63-yard drive down the field in a little more than a minute and a half.
The Bruins finished the drive with a touchdown as Prince found receiver Josh Smith in the back of the endzone for a nine-yard touchdown. UCLA’s two-point conversion attempt failed following the score.
Wulff said he was impressed with Prince’s play.
“You have to give him a lot of credit,” Wulff said. “He came off the bench and made some really key throws. He ran the ball pretty well.”
The Cougars settled for a 47-yard field goal from kicker Andrew Furney on their next drive to give them the 25-20 lead.
Furney set a single-game career high with four field goals in the game.
UCLA stepped back on to the field with 5:49 remaining in the game and drove the ball 71 yards, including a spectacular one-handed 58-yard catch by senior Nelson Rosario that put UCLA inside the WSU 10-yard line.
With 3:26 left on the clock, Prince hit Shaquelle Evans on a short slant into the endzone that gave UCLA the lead. After the Bruins converted the two-point conversion, WSU trailed 28-25.
Lobbestael led the Cougars back onto the field, but could not find the same success he had against Colorado. He ultimately threw an interception to Andrew Abbott near midfield with 2:01 remaining.
Wulff said the receiver was trying to make room for Lobbestael to fit the ball in.
“I think the receiver was trying to wiggle him and make room to get open and (Lobbestael) threw it,” Wulff said in a WSU press release. “It’s just one of those things. He got ghosted.”