PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Backup Matt Scott had another big game, passing for a career-high 319 yards, and No. 15 Arizona held off UCLA 29-21 on Saturday to remain in contention for its first Pac-10 championship.
Scott was 24 of 36 with one interception and one touchdown. The junior also carried 12 times for 71 yards.
Scott threw for 233 yards and ran for another 65 in a 44-14 victory over Washington last weekend filling in for Nick Foles, who sprained his right knee two weeks ago. Foles might be healthy enough to return next Saturday when the Wildcats play at No. 13 Stanford.
Keola Antolin rushed for 111 yards on 23 carries for the Wildcats (7-1, 4-1 Pac-10), off to their best start since winning seven of their first eight games en route to a 12-1 finish in 1998.
Richard Brehaut passed for a career-best 228 yards and two touchdowns for the Bruins (3-5, 1-4), who lost their third straight game but performed much better than in their last two, when they were outscored 95-20 at California and Oregon.
UCLA entered ranked 117th among the 120 FBS schools in yards passing with an average of just 104.6 per game.
The Wildcats rolled up a season-high 583 yards and 32 first downs and held the Bruins to 299 yards and 15 first downs, but didn’t put the game away until the final minute.
UCLA played without starting quarterback Kevin Prince, who underwent season-ending knee surgery Oct. 23, and standout linebacker Patrick Larimore, sidelined with an injured left shoulder. The Bruins were also without wide receiver Ricky Marvray and offensive tackle Sean Sheller, a pair of starters serving one-game suspensions for violating team rules.
Completely outplayed in the first half, UCLA trimmed Arizona’s lead to 19-14 on the fourth play of the third quarter on a 68-yard completion from Brehaut to Randall Carroll — the Bruins’ longest touchdown pass since 2007.
But the Wildcats responded with an 80-yard drive capped by Greg Nwoko’s 1-yard run.
Neither team threatened again until Brehaut’s 49-yard pass to Josh Smith on a flea flicker with 14:24 remaining capped an 86-yard drive and moved UCLA within five points. There wasn’t a defender within 10 yards of Smith when he made the reception and trotted into the end zone as the Rose Bowl crowd of 53,408 roared its approval.
UCLA reached the Arizona 34 with 9 1/2 minutes to play, but Smith lost 9 yards on a flanker reverse and the Bruins were forced to punt. The Bruins got the ball with 3:14 remaining at their 20 after a punt, but turned the ball over on downs, putting the Wildcats in position for Alex Zendejas’ 30-yard field goal with 1:18 left.
The Bruins reached their 46 before Brehaut fumbled while being sacked and Slone Tuihalamaka recovered.
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