Behind Josh Rosen, who became the first true freshman in school history to start a season opener at quarterback, the Bruins comfortably put away Virginia, 34-16.
The Cavaliers would cap an eight play 72-yard drive with another Frye field goal to draw within one but again the Bruins answered. At the 2:43 mark in the first quarter, Rosen capped a 56-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown pass to Devin Fuller.
If the first half was dominated by the Bruins’ offensive performance, the second half proved that UCLA figures to be strong on both sides of the ball this season. The quarterback was 28-of-35 passing with 351 yards and three touchdowns in his first college game before yielding to backup Jerry Neuheisel midway through the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers’ inability to finish caught up with them in the third quarter, when UCLA began getting creative.
Johns started well, completing 12 of his first 15 passes.
Freshman running back Soso Jamabo also had a nice debut, rushing for 79 on nine carries, including a run of 39 yards.
UCLA returns 18 starters from last season’s 10-3 team, including defensive dynamo Myles Jack and Pac-12 leading rusher Paul Perkins. Rosen’s third touchdown pass came when he connected with defensive tackle Kenny Clark, who was moonlighting as a tight end.
Not only did Rosen throw the ball well, but he exhibited his playmaking ability, throwing to six different players who picked up over 40 yards each. Fuller grabbed a team-high six passes for 44 yards.
Tailback Taquan Mizzell (Bayside) was a bright spot, catching 8 passes for 100 yards and running 16 times for 45.
Down 14-6 with less than two minutes left in the second quarter, UVa opted to play it very safe and kick a field goal from the two-yard line.