All of the hype you’ve ever heard about UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen was justified on Sunday night.
Rosen’s Bruins were nearly run out of the building against Texas A&M in the first half. UCLA trailed 38-10 at halftime and were thoroughly outplayed in all facets of the game. That deficit grew to 44-10 with 4:08 left in the third quarter.
And then something remarkable happened.
Rosen led his Bruins all the way back — yes, all the way back — to a ridiculous, dramatic 45-44 victory at the Rose Bowl.
And to top off all of the ridiculous, Rosen threw the winning touchdown by channeling his inner Dan Marino with a fake spike.
The Bruins had first and goal from the 10-yard line with 48 seconds to go and no timeouts, so Rosen would just spike the ball to allow his team to catch its collective breath, right? Nope.
Rosen faked the spike, looked left and lobbed a perfect pass to the back left corner of the end zone to Jordan Lasley, who corralled it for the game-tying score. Kicker J.J. Molson then capped off the miraculous comeback by drilling the extra point.
A&M, with true freshman Kellen Mond in at quarterback for the injured Nick Starkel, took over with under 40 seconds to play and went nowhere. The Bruins defense that gave up an embarrassing 286 rushing yards in the first half held strong, sealing the victory for the Bruins.
For a team that had a horrendous 4-8 record — much of it without Rosen due to a shoulder injury — in 2016 that left coach Jim Mora firmly on the hot seat (calls for Mora’s job were all over Twitter during the first three quarters), the comeback was a triumphant way to begin the 2017 campaign.
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