Coming into the 2015 season, UCLA football’s hopes rode squarely on the shoulders of true freshman quarterback Josh Rosen, and after a debut performance of 28-of-35 passing with three touchdowns and zero interceptions— Rosen was subsequently hyped as the savior.
Since that time, the freshman has continued to dazzle audiences with a cunning displays of precise passing and a full understanding of head coach Jim Mora Jr.’s offense. Entering Thursday’s matchup with California, Rosen had amassed 12 touchdowns, though he has thrown seven interceptions.
The Bruins entered the matchup with a 4-2 record, but are now 5-2 after a 40-24 win over quarterback Jared Goff and the Golden Bears.
Although Goff added a passing touchdown (his third of the night) within three minutes of the finish, the Cal-UCLA matchup mostly stood out as an aerial display from Rosen.
He completed 34-of-47 passes for 399 yards and three touchdowns.
Towards the end of the first quarter, Rosen engineered a 13-play, 70-yard touchdown drive to reclaim the lead for UCLA by a 10-3 margin. He sealed the longstanding drive with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Duarte.
— Pac-12 Networks (@Pac12Networks) October 23, 2015
With a bevy of field goals working in the Bruins’ favor, UCLA entered halftime with a 26-10 lead over the No. 20 ranked Bears. UCLA collected the ensuing kickoff after halftime and traveled the length of the field for a resounding touchdown, marking a 33-10 UCLA lead.
While Soso Jamabo carried the ball for several key runs during the Bruins’ opening possession of the second half, Rosen once again showed his worth during the 8-play, 80-yard scoring drive. On that drive, wide receiver Devin Fuller collected his second touchdown reception of the night.
At the game’s closing, Fuller totaled seven receptions for 100-yards and two touchdowns in what was a coming out party for Rosen.
During the second half of play, Mora and the UCLA staff resorted to a heavy dose of running with some pass plays sprinkled in. This conservative approach allowed for the Bruins to rush for a total of 174 yards and one touchdown over 42 total carries.
On the passing end, Rosen had what would normally be a career night for an older athlete, totaling 399 passing yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions in the victory.