Bruins get defensive in win against Colorado

PASADENA, Calif. (News4usonline) – The Colorado hype machine came to the Rose Bowl Stadium to play UCLA. The Bruins defeated the Buffaloes with a lot of defense, timely offensive plays, and overcoming a first half filled with turnovers.

The first half of the UCLA-Colorado football game was played to a standstill. The halftime scoreboard read: Bruins 7, Buffaloes 6. It should have been more in favor of UCLA. The Bruins committed four turnovers through the first two quarters and blew one scoring opportunity after another.

UCLA quarterback Ethan Garbers talked about the Bruins being able to overcome that mistake-filled first half. 

UCLA Bruins defensive lineman Carl Jones Jr. (4) comes for Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders (21) during a Pac-12 Conference matchup at the Rose Bowl Stadium on Oct. 28, 2023. The Bruins defeated the Buffaloes, 28-16. Photo credit: News4usonline

“Those turnovers were just mistakes and mistakes can be fixed,” Garbers said. “We came in at halftime and we said, ‘Hey, we our letting our defense down a little bit and got to pick it up.’ We came out [on] a two-play drive in the second half and scored. This offense has a bunch of resiliency. We know how to bounce back [and] when to bounce back. I’m just so proud of the guys.”

The turnovers by the Bruins didn’t discriminate. UCLA committed two interceptions and two fumbles apiece. The two fumbles by the Bruins were especially critical as they took place in the red zone. Oh yeah, let’s not forget about the point-blank field goal UCLA attempted that went awry. That did not deter the Bruins. 

UCLA got two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to surge past the Buffaloes and come away with a 28-16 homecoming win. 

“Usually you don’t win football games when you have four turnovers and in the first half,” UCLA head coach Chip Kelly said after the game during a postgame press conference. “It was 7-6 at halftime and we had a one-point lead. But that is how well our defense played tonight. And I thought our defense was outstanding. We knew what a passing attack they had and how dynamic they were, not only at quarterback but at receiver. For our guys to be able to contain Shedeur [Sanders] like that, and no one really has, that’s a credit to them.”  

UCLA came into this game with a defensive unit ranked No. 8 in the country in points allowed at 15 points per game. Up until late in the fourth quarter in what can be perceived as garbage time, the Buffaloes could only muster three field goals. 

“I feel like we were together tonight,” said UCLA defensive lineman Gary Smith III. “We were all on one accord on the defensive side of the ball, just trying to get after [Sanders]. I would also say we won our one-on-ones. The person who had the one-on-one, they won it and then we affected the quarterback.”

The Bruins held Colorado to just 25 yards rushing the football. Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders, the No. 3 passer in the nation among Division I schools, had a rough day at the office. Sanders was sacked seven times by the Bruins and was relentlessly  harassed by the UCLA defense 

The Bruins got after Sanders pretty good and forced the Colorado quarterback into having a day where he completed only 27 of 43 passes for 217 yards. 

UCLA defensive back Croix Stewart (23) puts the wood on Colorado running back Dylan Edwards (3) during a Pac-12 Conference game played at the Rose Bowl Stadium on Oct. 28, 2023. Photo credit: News4usonline

“Our whole goal was to get after [Shadeur Sanders] and get after their O-line. It was just a good unit effort to get as many hits as we possibly can on [Sanders]. That’s what we did. That was our gameplan and we stuck to it,” UCLA defensive lineman Carl Jones Jr. said. 

Colorado head coach Deion Sanders was blunt in his assessment about why the Buffaloes were not able to protect the younger Sanders. 
“Depth. Not only depth, [but] killer instinct, want, desire, will [and] athleticism,” said Sanders, better known as Coach Prime. “The hardest thing to acquire is linemen. So, when you get a good one, you hardly see linemen jump to a different school. I think we have some guys that it’s going to be a good little seasoning, but overall we just don’t have the fight or the passion to do what we want to do.” 

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