Hall leads BYU to 59-0 win over UCLA
PROVO, Utah (AP)—BYU’s Max Hall had to think for a minute when he was asked to remember each of his touchdown passes against UCLA.
He couldn’t quite do it, which was understandable.
Hall tied a school record with seven touchdown passes and the 18th-ranked Cougars handed UCLA its worst loss in nearly 80 years, overwhelming the Bruins 59-0 Saturday.
“It’s nice to have the recognition, but I’ve got a very good football team all around me to help me out,” said Hall, who tied the record shared by Marc Wilson and Jim McMahon before heading to the sideline midway through the third quarter.
There wasn’t much left for him to do after stunning UCLA with four touchdowns in the first 5:18 of the second quarter while leading BYU to a 42-0 halftime lead.
BYU (3-0) forced four turnovers and blocked a field goal in Rick Neuheisel’s second game coaching his alma mater. Instead of glorious 2-0 start, the Bruins (1-1) had one of their worst loss since 1929, when they were shut out by Southern California (76-0) and Stanford (57-0).
“We’ve got to get our team back. They’ve been challenged. They understand that,” Neuheisel said. “We just have to find out who is health, who can play and find out how to play 60 minutes with the guys we have left.”
It was BYU’s most lopsided victory since shutting out New Mexico 65-0 in 1988 and the timing was ideal for the Cougars, who outgained UCLA 521-239 and came up with a demonstrative victory one week after edging Washington 28-27 on a blocked extra point attempt. The Cougars felt a little maligned when much more was made of a celebration penalty on Washington after the touchdown with 2 seconds remaining than BYU coming up with a play to win it.
There was nothing to dispute this time.
“We were just tired of it. We were ready to come out and make a statement today and shut people up,” said BYU’s Jan Jorgensen, who forced one of UCLA’s turnovers with a sack in the second quarter.
Hall finished 27-for-35 for 271 yards with one interception. He had six TDs in the first half and tied the school record on a 6-yard pass to Harvey Unga with 7:43 left in the third quarter.
Unga, Dennis Pitta and Austin Collie each caught two of touchdown passes and Michael Reed had the other before Hall was pulled midway through the third quarter with BYU up 49-0.
“We just kept rolling with the momentum and it turned out to be a pretty good day for us,” Hall said. “That’s what you want in an offense—not just one person or one player gets all the touches or all the success. Four different guys caught touchdown passes. It’s very hard for defenses to defend that.”
The Bruins gained just nine rushing yards and were shut out for the first time since a 27-0 loss to rival USC in 2001.
“It’s a tough loss. We just got dominated in every aspect of the game,” Neuheisel said. “We left our defense on the field too long and couldn’t get to Hall.”
UCLA’s best scoring chance was Kai Forbath’s 27-yard field goal attempt early in the fourth quarter, which went wide to right as BYU fans reveled in the shutout. Forbath also had a 32-yard attempt in the second quarter, which BYU blocked and returned to the UCLA 48.
The Bruins and Cougars were playing for the third time in a year. The teams split two meetings last season, with BYU winning the Las Vegas Bowl by blocking a kick by Forbath in the closing seconds.
The Cougars pretty much had ended any threat of a comeback with a 35-point second quarter.
Hall hit Collie on a 2-yard slant 30 seconds into the second quarter, capping an 80-yard drive and giving BYU a 14-0 lead.
Jorgensen, who came up with the game-winning blocked kick against Washington last week, forced a fumble barely a minute later when he blindsided Craft and BYU recovered at the 37. Hall hit Collie in stride for a touchdown on first down to make it 21-0 with 12:59 left in the second quarter, then BYU got the ball right back when Scott Johnson upended Raymond Carter and the ball came free for another fumble that BYU recovered at the 30.
Hall finished that drive with a 12-yard touchdown to Reed with 10:07 left before halftime, then on the kickoff the Cougars forced and recovered another fumble. Hall hit Unga for a 15-yard touchdown after that, then found Pitta again from the 2 with 14 seconds left in the half.
Mitch Payne added a 24-yard field goal for the Cougars in the third quarter and Wayne Latu scored on a 13-yard run later in the period.