No. 22 UCLA rips Cougars 66-10

James Beltran

Sports Editor

LOS ANGELES - The No. 22-ranked UCLA Bruins (3-2) may feel a slight inclination to play more teams from Texas after drumming the Longhorns and the Cougars with a combined score of 132-13 this season.

Entering the game as 25-point underdogs, the Houston Cougars (1-4) were attempting to pull off an upset.

After the game, however, they probably wished they had missed the flight to Los Angeles and moved on to the next opponent.

The onslaught Saturday at the Rose Bowl came so quickly, the Cougars didn't know what hit them.

Just two minutes into the game, the Bruins had built a 14-0 lead as late-arriving fans looked dumbfounded at the scoreboard.

A three-play, 71-yard touchdown drive by the Bruins, coupled with a Jason McKinley sack and fumble on the UH 17 yard line, led to Houston's initial descent which cratered to 66-10 at the hands of UCLA.

It was another scoring exhibition as the Cougars' secondary was scolded by the Bruins for 349 passing yards. This time, however, the Houston offense was not able to overcome the shortcomings of the an ineffective UH defense like it did in Minnesota.

"They out-executed us," said UH strong safety Stedmon Forman. "We didn't execute or make our adjustments. There were too many mental busts."

Houston's only meaningful score came in the first quarter when Sebastian Villarreal connected on a 44-yard field goal to tighten the score 14-3.

With the blitzkrieg attack of the Bruins, though, even an impressive showing from the Cougar offense could not have prevented the rout. UCLA finished with 448 total offensive yards and nine touchdowns on its way to its third victory of the season.

"We knew they were a very talented offensive football team," said UH coach Kim Helton. "They obviously displayed they could outrun, outjump and outmuscle us."

The Cougars were hounded by a Bruins defense that forced six turnovers, paving the way for several of UCLA's scoring drives.

Helton said the mistakes on offense took away the Cougars' chances of being competitive. "If you give the ball to the other team on your own five yard line, they're going to score," he said. "If we would have played error-free football and played the best we could have played, then maybe we could have made a game of it. But we didn't do that."

After falling behind 45-3 at halftime, backup quarterback Tyson Helton entered the game in an attempt to rejuvenate the stagnant Cougar offense. He fared no better than McKinley, however, as the stingy Bruins defense would not surrender a touchdown until the final minutes of the fourth quarter.

T. Helton went 8-for-21 for 78 yards, while McKinley compiled 58 yards on 5-for-20 passing. McKinley was sacked three times and threw three interceptions.

After the loss, McKinley admitted he was not satisfied with his performance. "I played a bad game," he said. "We had a lot of turnovers. Our defense can't stop them when we give the other team the ball that close to the goal line. We have a couple things to work on before conference starts."

The Cougars have a bi-week before facing Cincinnati at Robertson Stadium Oct. 18.

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