NCAA Football 2010: UCLA Bruins @ Tennessee

Bumped to the front for being such an awesomely comprehensive writeup.  Great pictures included, and I'll not spoil the ending.  -hooper

76 degrees, no wind, and clear skies were the forecast for the 4:00 kickoff in Knoxville, Tennessee. UCLA won the toss, and elected to receive.

The opening kick was downed 3 yards deep in the endzone and UCLA would start at their own 20 yard line. One the first drive Knox went off the right side of the line for a gain of three, stopped by Lamarcus Thompson on a nice tackle. On second and seven, Kevin Craft (who was still the QB here -- sorry Bruins fans, but I couldn't change it!) went deep towards #4 Austin, but threw into double coverage by Anderson and Berry. He was lucky it wasn't picked off! On third down Craft hit Johnson on a quick slant for a pickup of 8 and a first down, tackled by #31 Johnson. The next play UCLA tried going up the middle with Knox but it was stuffed for no gain by big ole Dan Williams. However, next play Craft again found Johnson on a quick slant for a gain of 28 yards down to the Tennessee 41. Craft then scrambled for 5 yards, tackled by #31 Johnson again. A toss play to Knox then gained a big 21 yards off the right side, and suddenly UCLA was down to the Tennessee 15 yard line, and moving very, very well. Craft then scrambled again for a gain of 11 yards down to the UT 4 yard line, setting up UCLA with a first down and goal. Knox gained 3 on a counter play next, and next play he dived in for a score. PAT was good and UCLA lead 7-0 with 2:51 left in the first.


Dean rushes in for a 2 yard score in the first quarter.

UCLA's kick went 5 yards into the end zone, and Nu'Keese returned it up to the 26 yard line for the Vols. Coming out with 2 TEs and Hardesty in the backfield, Crompton tossed the ball to the left for a nice 4 yard pickup on first down. Brown came in next play in the I formation, but could only pick up a yard, bringing up 3rd down and 5. The Vols came out in the 3WR I-formation, with Hardesty and Brown lined up in the backfield, and Crompton threw a nice ball against a Cover-2 to Brandon Warren over the middle for a gain of 11 yards up to the Tennsee 42 yard line. Hardesty carried up the middle for a gain of two, and the very next play Brown took a toss along the right side for a gain of 15 to the UCLA 40 yard line. Hardesty then came back in and carried right up the gut for 14 more, breaking two tackles along the way to get the ball down to the UCLA 26. Staying in the I formation Crompton would drop back to pass on first down. Cooper whiffed on a block of the UCLA left end, forcing Jonathon to throw the ball quickly, completing it to Hardesty for a gain of 5. The Vols then lined up under shotgun, with two RBs and Hardesty took an off-tackle handoff 21 yards into the endzone! The PAT was right down the middle and the game was tied up, 7-7 with 45 seconds left in the first.


Hardesty strikes from 21 yards out to tie up the game.

Lincoln's kick was taken at the goal line and returned up to the 25 yard line, Teague got in on the tackle. UCLA tossed left on the first play, and Janzen Jackson made a great open-field tackle to keep it to a gain of 2 -- a Tennessee blitz had left a lot of running room if he could have gotten by the free Safety, but no-sir-e. A completion to Justin gained 6 yards, and that brought up a big 3rd down and 2 for the Bruins. UCLA lined up in a Strong-I formation at the 33 yard line, and would run play-action. #15 Moya had Lamarcus Thompson beat on an out route, but the pass went right through his hands and into the hands of #36 Anderson, who intercepted the ball at UCLA's 48 yard line with room to run. At the 42 yard line Anderson did his best Eric Berry impersonation, spinning right around UCLA's Omodu and he would then go untouched into the checkerboards while Smokey worshipped the ground he walked on. TOUCHDOWN TENNESSEE, and that marked the end of the first quarter of action. 14-7 Vols!


Anderson takes the missed catch back 42 yards to give Tennessee the lead.


The ensuing kickoff was taken 4 yards deep in the endzone, and after hesitating the UCLA player decided to bring it up, and made it to the 18 yard line. The Bruins would come out running after the interception, and a power run to the left side gained 10 yards, Jackson again forced to make the tackle to bring up a 2nd down and short. Knox then went up the middle and was absolutely belted by Nick Reviez, but he did convert the first down up to the UCLA 29. On first down Craft had plenty of time to throw against a 4-man rush, and he thought he had something way down the middle of the field, splitting the cover two, but Rico McCoy wasn't going to be fooled and made an amazing leaping interception on the pass intended for Presley at the 45 (Jackson and Berry also had angles) and he would return the pick to the 42 yard line of Tennessee!

Brown took the next play, a stretch to the right side of the field, for 22 yards, breaking an arm tackle by #3 White at the line of scrimmage. A playaction bootleg by Crompton would gain 16 yards over the middle to Brandon Warren, setting up a first down and goal for Tennessee at the 4 yard line. The Vols tried to run a playaction dive play up the middle, but UCLA wasn't fooled and Crompton was hammered all the way back at the 13 yard line. So, pass play didn't work, now Hardesty would come in to take a toss to the left side from the I formation. The play looked stuffed at first, but Hardesty did a magnificent job of waiting for a seam to open up and then exploded through it, giving a bit of a stutter-step to throw off the UCLA safety who had the best shot at him, and then dragged defenders into the end zone for his second score of the night. The extra point was good and just like that it was 21-7 Volunteers with 3:29 left in the second.


Hardesty finds a seam and cuts upfield for a 13 yard score.

The kick again went into the endzone, and was again taken out of it, and it might not have been the best idea as the ball was only advanced to the 18 yard line. UCLA would come out with a bit of a Wildcat look, handing the ball off to #30 Dean for a sweep play that gained 5 yards, forced out of bounds by Reviez. The Bruins would then try a screen pass, but Reviez sniffed it out wonderfully, forcing Craft to keep his hands on the ball and take a sack from Dan Williams back at the 15 yard line, bringing up a 3rd and 13 for Craft. The Vols would drop back into a cover-2, and Craft's pass went off his receiver's fingertips (who was a good 7 yards in front of the first down line) and UCLA would have to punt. Richardson took the punt from the Tennessee's 37 and showed why he would be special: he spun away from the first two defenders, juked out another one and picked up 19 yards on the return to the UCLA 44 uard line.

Crompton would drop back to throw and another mental lapse by the O-line caused him to be sacked, fumbling the football in the process but UT did recover, though back at the UT 49 yard line for a loss of 7. Hardesty would get 5 of those yards back up the middle next play, but Tennessee would still face a 3rd down and 12. Crompton came out with 4 wide receivers, and UCLA brought the pressure but Crompton saw it coming and found Teague wide open over the middle, who made it down to the UCLA 31 yard line to move the sticks! David Oku would see his first action on the next play, and it didn't take him long to to make an impact! He took a toss to the left side and absolutely embarassed the UCLA end #55 Bosworth, leaping over an attempt at a tackle and the blockers did the rest, springing Oku for a touchdown strike. 28-7 Vols 1:26 left in the second quarter!


Oku leaps over a defender en route to a 31 yard score.

The kickoff was taken up to the 24 yard line, and UCLA would come out in shotgun with 4 wide receivers. Craft got the ball out quickly, to #83 Rosario who gained 9 before being blasted by EB. UCLA would use a timeout. Johnson would then catch an in route from Craft and break a few tackles, finally being tackled by Thompson at the UT 48, a gain of 18 yards. They would not use a timeout, and the next play was a draw to Knox that got met by Chris Brown in the inside for no gain. They would come out in the wildcat again, the back keeping it this time and running for a gain of 8, bringing up 3rd down and 2 with 45 seconds left at the UT 40 yard line. Great coverage forced Craft to throw the ball away, but UCLA would go for it on 4th and 2, and a handoff to Knox would gain 5 for an easy conversion. UCLA would then go to the hurry-up offense, but Craft would run out of the shotgun for just a gain of 3. Tennessee kept up great coverage on the next play, and Walker got around the Tackle to drop Craft for a loss back at the 40 yard line, bringing up a 3rd & 15 with 21 seconds left in the half. UCLA kept up the hurry-up, but Walker again got around the outside and nailed Craft before he could get rid of the ball, sacking him. UCLA would decide to try a last-effort heave  from the UT 47 with 5 seconds left, and the pass was tipped away in the endzone.

First Half Statistics of Note:
Total Offense: UCLA 125 : Tennessee 160
Rushing Yards: UCLA 56(18 carries) : Tennessee 114 (12 carries)
Turnovers: UCLA 2 : Tennessee 0
Play of the Half: David Oku's 31 yard TD run, which really was amazing when he leapt over an on-coming tackler. It was only even somewhat tarnished when the WR didn't get a block on the Safety, meaning only that Oku didn't go in walking.

Tennessee would take the kickoff from the 10 yard line, and despite a few moves by Oku he could only get it up to the 30 yard line, where Crompton and Co. would trot out protecting a 21 point lead. Oku earned the first play of this drive, and he again exploded around the outside, this time outrunning a LB to the edge before turning upfield and nearly reaching midfield, being tackled at the UT 49 yard line. He carried the next play, but was tackled for a loss of one, bringing up 2nd down and 11. Crompton dropped back to pass and he had Stoker open for a moment, but he didn't deliver the ball with enough zip and that gave time for #3 White to step in front of the pass and give UCLA the ball back at the UCLA 48.

Craft would try to throw the ball next possession, but Rogan managed to knock the ball out of Johnson's hands as he touched it. Next Craft would try to find the TE Moya on a slide route, but the Bruin met Thompson right as the ball got there, sending Moya one way and the ball the other for another incompletion. So a 3rd down and 10 came up next, and pressure from Walker forced Craft to loft the ball up, up, up .. into a crowd of 4 Tennesse players and only 1 reciever, and Mr. Eric Berry showed off his hands out-jumping for it and coming down with the pick, but he was immediately tackled, so no record yet, though he did gain 3 yards up to the Tennessee 34.

Tennessee came out with Hardesty in the backfield and Richardson and Hancock lined up wide left. Crompton saw man-coverage and checked off to a crossing route, finding Richardson over the middle for a gain of 16. Hardesty would take the next handoff from the 1-back slot formation, and the big Tennessee O-line beat up the UCLA front 7, giving Hardesty a hole. He slipped the tackle of #55 Bosworth, who has gotten posterized twice now, and would have wide-open field for a 50 yard Touchdown run! 35-7 Volunteers with 3:36 left in the 3rd!


Hardesty picks his way through the defense before heading 50 yards to the endzone.

Lathiers would return the Kickoff 34 yards, giving UCLA the ball back. Craft would drop back out of the ace formation, but the coverage was great and he tried running the ball, Reviez coming up to hold him to a gain of just 1 yard. Craft would again try to scamble out of a similiar formation, and it finally caught up to him: Walker came in and hit him from behind, forcing the ball out and you'll never guess who picked it up: big old Dan Williams at the UCLA 37 and he huffed and puffed, with a convoy of Orange around him, into the end zone! Touchdown Tennessee, and it was now 42-7 Vols with 2:53 left in the third quarter!



Dan Williams returns a fumble for a score in the 3rd quarter against UCLA.


The next kickoff was returned up to the 24 yard line of UCLA. The Bruins came out in the I formation but stuck to the passing game, trying to go deep to Moya in double coverage and they were lucky that it fell down incomplete. Next play the UCLA offensive line continued to shine, allowing Williams to fight through a double team to hit Craft just as he released the football. The ball way floated in the air and this time Captain Crunch was more than happy to pick it off, in space. He started at the Tennessee 47, made it up to the UCLA 40 where he slipped a pair of tackles, and almost looked like he was going to break it before he was tripped up at the UCLA 36 yard line!


Eric Berry splits two defenders in an interception return.

Hardesty got the handoff on the next play, running for a gain of 3 out of the 1-back formation. Brown would take the next handoff to the left out of the I-formation, and he quickly bounced the ball to the outside for a gain of 10 to the UCLA 22. Crompton dropped back next play, and the Bruin Defense forgot about covering up Brown as he came out of the backfield. He was able to take the swing pass to the UCLA 9. Brown went right up the middle for a gain of 6, but was stuffed for a loss of 1 next play, bringing up 3rd and goal from the 4. The Vols came out in a shotgun, and Crompton found Warren for what looked to be a TD but he was ruled down inside the 1. So what would Kiffin do? He decided to give Daniel Lincoln a shot at his first field goal, from the left hash, and he nailed it for 3. 45-7 Tennessee with 46 seconds left in the 3rd quarter.

The ensuing kickoff was downed for a touchback, Craft was still in and he found his FB in the flat after play action. #45 Umodu managed to run for a gain of 14 yards, at the end trying to lower his shoulder to plow over a Tennessee player. Bad move, it was Eric Berry. Needless to say, Umodu ended up on his back, staring up as some stars circled in his vision, EB standing nearby, probably laughing to himself. Still, it was a first down for UCLA up to the 34. The next pass to the TE was dropped, though in his defense it was very low. Next Coach Chow dialed up a screen pass out of the shotgun, but a blitz from UT blew up that play and Craft was sacked by Dan Williams, who was having one HECK of a game. That would bring up a 3rd down and 15. The ensuing pass was then batted down by -- you'll never guess it -- Dan Williams, forcing a punt. Richardson was unable to do much with the return, and UT would take over from their own 32.

A 3 yard gain out of the shotgun by Hardesty led the way to the 4th quarter, Tennessee leading 45-7. Brown would line up in the FB spot out of the weak-I next, and the handoff went to him and he found a hole, taking the ball up to the Tennessee 46. Brown took the next handoff from the Strong-I, gaining 9 to the UCLA 45 yard line. Hardesty came out for the short-yardage play, Tennessee coming out with a 2 TE power I set, and UCLA responded by putting 10 men in the box. The Bruins did get great penetration by #51 Carter .. but Hardesty shrugged off the tackle a'la-Cal style, and the rest of the field was wide open and Hardesty was gone, 45 yards for his 4th touchdown of the game, giving the vols a 52-7 lead with 4:21 left in the game.


Hardesty breaks a tackle behind the line before racing off 45 yards for a score.

Liconln's next kick was very short, taken from the 22 yard line and returned up to the 39. The first down play was a handoff up the middle, and dan Williams and Montario Hughes joined in to stuff it for no gain. Knox then went up the middle for a gain of 3, bringing up a 3rd down and 7. The Vols rushed 4 again, this time the front 6 (5 + a RB) managing to do their job, but the coverage was fantastic downfield. For this play, it wouldn't matter. Craft went deep to his TE Moya, who came up with an amazing catch between Jackson and the trailing Berry, holding onto the ball despite a whackin' delivered by #14, all the way down at the 12 yard line. The FB would gain 8 yards off the next pass, bringing up 2nd and 2 from the UT 4 yard line. UCLA would try a toss sweep to the left next, but the problem was Berry was on the left. Result? Loss of 3. "So, that didn't work, let's try the right side" UCLA must have said, but Eric Berry has super-hearing and expected it. Result? Loss of 3, and a 4th down. Both tackles were made by Berry, though Reviez got in on the second one too. Still, with not much to lose, the game already over, UCLA decided to go for it on 4th and 8 from the 10 yard line. They would come out with 4 wide, and Craft's pass went to the chain gang, incomplete.

Brown would take the next handoff for a gain of 1 as UT would put in their reserves, Stephens replacing Crompton and the starting O-Line allowed to take a seat. Oku got his next handoff, gaining 4 to bring up a 3rd down and 5. Stephens then found the FB Johnson slipping out of the backfield over the middle, completing the pass up to the UT 22 to move the sticks. Oku's next run went nowhere, but he would make up for it on the next handoff, coming out in a 2 TE power I set behind Stephens and taking the handoff, finding a hude hole along the right side. He made a great read, then, cutting back to the middle of the field and then turned on the jets, breaking a tackle from the Safety white and then racing downfield, slipping a tackle from Ware at the UCLA 12 before walking into the endzone for a 78 touchdown scamper. TOUCHDOWN Vols, 59-7 Men in Orange with 1:20 left in the game.


David Oku cuts back towards the middle before racing off for a 78 yard touchdown in the 4th.

The kickoff was returned to the 23 yard line, and the UT defenses reserves were put in. Latheirs stuffed Knox for a gain of just 1 up the middle. On second down Craft found Embree for a gain of 27 into UT territory, but that wouldn't last as Knox took a handoff wide right next play, and he tried dancing but Mr. 91 Sykes was there to finish the jig for a big loss of 15 to the UCLA 47. Embree would make another big catch, slicing through the zone for a gain of 15 to bring up 3rd down and short. Embree _again_ caught a pass downfield, this one going down to the UT 23. A heavy blitz met Craft's next throw, forcing him to lob a pass off his back foot towards his TE, who had a step on Prentis Wagner, but he made a great play leaping up to bat the ball away. A toss next play looked like it would go for a lot of yards, but Sykes continued introducing himself to Knox, tripping him up for a gain of just 2, which would be last play of the game.

Final Score Tennessee 59, UCLA 7.
Play of the Game: Anderson's Pick-6 to give the Vols a 14-7 lead in the first quarter.

Stat Summary: Crompton did what was required of him: managing the game to the tune of 7-8 passing for 79 yards, for no touchdowns and just the one interception. The rushing game was ridiculous. Montario Hardesty won player of the game honors, with 10 carries for 161 yards and 4 touchdowns. Brown added 74 yards on 9 carries for 74 yards, and Oku exploded twice for 2 scores, finishing with 6 carries for 132 yards, including the 78 yarder.

Defensively, Eric Berry led the Vols with 6 tackles, 2 for a loss, and 2 INTs for 22 yards. Chris Walker and Dan Williams added 2 sacks appiece, Walker forcing a fumble by Craft that Williams picked up and ran back for a score. Anderson had the one interception for 48 yards and a score, and Rico McCoy also picked off a pass for a 13 yard return.

For UCLA, Kevin Craft went just 11-26, for 195 yards (most of those in the 4th quarter and on the first drive) for 0 TDs and 4 INTs, also fumbling the ball once. Milton Knox ran 17 times for 47 yards, just a 2.7 ypc average, and Aundre Dean ran twice for 6 yards and UCLA's only touchdown. Taylor Embree had 3 receptions for 57 yards, and Dominique Johnson had 3 catches for 54. Defensively for the Bruins, Aaron Ware had 8 tackles, one fior a loss, and Lester White had 5 tackles and one interception for 4 yards. Brian Price and Aaron Hester both added sacks for the Bruins.

Final Stats: Field:  UCLA / Tennessee
Score: 7 / 59
First Downs: 11 / 12
Total Offense: 242 / 438
Rushing Yards (Attemptes): 47(28) / 352(27)
Passing Yards (Completions/Attempts): 195(11/26) / 86(8/9)
3rd Down Conversions: 3-10 (30%) / 3-4(75%)
Turnovers (Fumbles/INTs): 5(1/4) / 1(0/1)
TOP: 10:13 / 9:47

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