SAN DIEGO — Quarterback Dante Moore and the UCLA offense produced four of their five touchdown drives in the first half to overcome a slow start and beat San Diego State 35-10 at Snapdragon Stadium Saturday night.
Moore completed 17 of 27 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns in the first three quarters.
Moore’s 24-yard completion to receiver Logan Loya in the end zone with 1:20 left in the second quarter helped the Bruins take a 28-10 lead into the locker room at halftime and eventually put the game out of reach for the Aztecs.
Josiah Norwood broke the game open with a catch that resulted in an 81-yard touchdown on the first play of a drive in the first quarter.
One of Moore’s few mishaps of the game came in the third quarter when he was hit from behind while looking downfield to throw the ball. San Diego State recovered and the ball was placed at the 1-yard line after an official’s review reserved a call that took a touchdown off the board for the Aztecs. The UCLA defense then stopped the Aztecs on their goal-line possession.
Schlee started the fourth quarter in place of Moore. Kelly mentioned that the Kent State transfer was expected to play after not playing in the season opener against Coastal Carolina. Kelly indicated for a second straight week that three quarterbacks were expected to play, but Ethan Garbers didn’t get any time.
UCLA running backs TJ Harden and Carson Steele complimented each other in the run game with each scoring a first-half touchdown.
Harden broke free with a run up the middle for a 59-yard touchdown without being touched by a defender to give UCLA a 21-7 lead with 10:21 left in the second quarter. Steele scored on a 13-yard run as the Bruins faced a 4th-and-1 situation.
Receiver J. Michael Sturdivant had two targets for 23 yards for the Bruins but was limited as the Aztecs made an effort to eliminate the vertical threat early.
San Diego State defensive back Dez Malone was called for two pass interference penalties while in coverage against Sturdivant during the same drive.
Oluwafemi Oladejo led the team with 10 tackles, including eight in the first half. Oladejo made his UCLA debut last week but didn’t record a tackle.
San Diego State quarterback Jalen Mayden did have some opportunities in the passing game, targeting cornerback Devin Kirkwood. Mayden completed a pass for a 21-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 with 2:33 left in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Joshua Nicholson broke free of Kirkwood but was unable to secure the catch in the end zone. The Aztecs settled for a field goal.
The Bruins will host North Carolina Central at the Rose Bowl on Sept. 16.
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