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September 19, 2010
UCLA rides Jet Ski to victory
Game Ticker | box score
PASADENA, Calif.(AP) Johnathan Franklin rushed for 158 yards and three touchdowns, and UCLA rolled to a 31-13 victory Saturday night over No. 23 Houston, which lost star quarterback Case Keenum to an injury for the second straight week.
Kevin Prince passed for 99 yards and rushed for a score as the Bruins (1-2) ricocheted back from a humiliating 35-0 loss to Stanford last week with a stunningly one-sided win over the powerful Cougars (2-1), whose chances for a Conference USA title could be slim without Keenum, the fifth-leading passer in NCAA history.
For the second straight week, Keenum was hurt while trying to make a tackle after an interception. After UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers picked off his throw near the goal line in the second quarter, Keenum was left facedown on the Rose Bowl turf after failing to stop Ayers' 77-yard return.
Houston didn't immediately announce the nature of Keenum's injury, but he appeared to be favoring his right knee before going to the locker room on a golf cart.
Keenum passed for more than 5,000 yards and led the NCAA in total offense in each of the past two seasons, but the senior incurred a concussion last week while trying to make a tackle after an interception by UTEP's Travaun Nixon. The Cougars didn't confirm he would play against UCLA until he took the field with the offense.
UCLA already was up 21-3 on the Cougars at the time of Keenum's injury, rolling toward a victory that will stop much of the complaining about coach Rick Neuheisel's third season at his alma mater. With last week's embarrassment from Stanford and next week's trip to No. 6 Texas, the Bruins faced the distinct possibility of a winless September.
The Cougars had the nation's highest-scoring offense last season and again through two games this year after scoring 122 points, but they didn't score a touchdown at the Rose Bowl until James Cleveland's diving 10-yard catch with 11:39 to play. After rushing for 308 yards last week, Houston managed just 108 against UCLA's defensive front, which gave up 524 yards on the ground in its first two games.
Cotton Turner, Keenum's backup, played briefly in the second half before following Keenum to the locker room with an undisclosed injury.
The injuries led Houston coach Kevin Sumlin to burn the redshirt of touted freshman quarterback Terrance Broadway, who led Houston's 13-play, 74-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter capped by a sharp throw to Cleveland. Broadway led another late scoring drive, finishing 5 of 8 for 84 yards.
Prince again wasn't exceptionally sharp, going 9 for 17 with another interception, but UCLA's Pistol offense was much more effective than in its first two games. The Bruins' ground game was productive early, while interceptions and kick returns set up UCLA for several short scoring drives.
Houston marched 79 yards for a short field goal on its second possession, but the Cougars didn't score again until they were down by 28 points. Keenum was 10 of 18 for 83 yards, but also threw two interceptions deep in UCLA territory.
UCLA safety Rahim Moore, who led the nation in interceptions last season, got his first of this year on a tipped pass deep in Bruins territory before returning it 42 yards early in the second quarter.
UCLA freshman tailback Malcolm Jones fumbled twice, earning a tongue-lashing from Neuheisel.