The Huskers fought hard for four quarters but came up short losing at UCLA 36-30 to fall to 1-1 on the year. UCLA improved to 2-0 under first-year head coach Jim Mora, as the Bruins won their home opener at the Rose Bowl. It was the kind of game you pull your hair out, scream at the TV kind of game…one that Bo Pelini doesn’t care to see.
“We didn’t play well in any phase of the game. We were inconsistent. Our fundamentals were lousy. I give UCLA credit. We didn’t execute well. We didn’t tackle well. We didn’t do anything well on the defensive side of the ball,” Pelini said. “Obviously, I’m disappointed with how we played defensively. I’m embarrassed how we played defensively. There were a lot of times we had them in our grasp. It killed us.
Nebraska did gain 439 yards of total offense, including 260 rushing yards led by sophomore I-back Ameer Abdullah’s 119 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Junior quarterback Taylor Martinez added 108 yards and a score on 11 carries, while contributing 179 yards passing (17-31-1) to finish with 291 yards of total offense. Martinez was 4 for 14 after halftime. The Corona, CA., native dreamed of playing for the Bruins, but they only recruited him as a safety and never offered him a scholarship.
Martinez’s game was highlighted by a career-long 92-yard touchdown run in the second quarter that put Nebraska ahead 14-7.
However, the NU defense didn’t have many answers for the UCLA offense. Bruin quarterback Brett Hundley and running back Johnathan Franklin were equally as impressive. Hundley completed 21-of-33 passes for 305 passing yards and four touchdowns. He added 53 yards on 12 rushes to account for 358 yards of total offense.
Franklin rushed 26 times for 216 yards – the sixth-highest total ever by an opposing back against the Huskers – to help the Bruins gain 653 yards of total offense.
Courtesy, NU Athletics