PASADENA (AP) — Jalen Starks had two touchdowns runs, Randall Goforth returned an interception 40 yards for another score with 2:14 left, and UCLA held off Oregon State 38-24 on Saturday night.
Starks scored twice from inside the 4-yard line, and Bolu Olorunfunmi had 65 yards rushing and a 4-yard scoring run for the Bruins (4-6, 2-5 Pac-12), who snapped a four-game losing streak.
“It’s good to get a win,” UCLA coach Jim Mora said. “They have been hard to come by this year.”
Linebacker DeChaun Holiday blocked a punt and Jordan Lasley recovered the ball and ran 23 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. Mike Fafaul was 25-of-47 passing for 281 yards.
Artavis Pierce had 73 yards rushing and two touchdowns for Oregon State (2-6, 1-6 Pac 12). The Beavers are 1-15 in conference games under second-year coach Gary Andersen.
Oregon State was opportunistic, keeping the game in doubt until the final two minutes when Goforth picked off Marcus McMaryion and scored. McMaryion was 22 of 33 for 232 yards.
“I just wish he had put the ball away until he got into the end zone,” UCLA defensive coordinator Tom Bradley said. “I’m a fan of that.”
Manase Hungalu recovered two fumbles, including one he returned 40 yards for a touchdown, pulling the Beavers to 24-21 in the third quarter. Hungalu also had an interception, returning it 37 yards out of the end zone to stall a Bruin drive early in the fourth quarter.
“We come out every week and we expect to win, nothing less,” Hungalu said. “I think we just need to realize that it takes every quarter and every single play. We can’t take a play off or take a break on one of the plays.”
UCLA gained 30 yards off penalties on the ensuing possession. Safety Jalen Moore was ejected for targeting and linebacker Kyle Haley grabbed receiver Theo Howard’s face mask, setting up Starks’ second TD run that made it 31-21.
UCLA rediscovered some semblance of a run game in the first half, but not before Soso Jamabo fumbled on the Bruins’ second play from scrimmage. Pierce scored on a 1-yard run two plays later and Oregon State led 7-0.
Fafaul threw a 48-yard pass to Lasley that helped set up Olorunfunmi’s TD to make it 7-7. Starks and Lasley scored to give UCLA a 21-7 lead. Pierce scored on another short touchdown run midway through the second quarter to pull Oregon State to 21-14.
UCLA rushed for 35 yards in the first half and finished with 163 yards on the ground, its highest total since gaining 125 yards rushing against Arizona on Oct. 1.
Oregon State: The Beavers are taking steps forward. The defense and special teams were mostly solid, but the offense was sluggish without running back Ryan Nall, who is out with a foot injury. Still, this rebuilding project might be ahead of schedule. Oregon State has played four conference games decided by one score this season.
UCLA: The Bruins have a path to a bowl game, but it’s slim. UCLA must upset a white-hot Southern California team that just shut down Washington in Seattle, and knock off California in Berkeley to get to six wins. If UCLA remains utterly one-dimensional on offense, attempting 48 passes to 29 runs, those hopes will be extinguished next week.
Oregon State hosts Arizona on Saturday.
UCLA hosts crosstown rival USC on Saturday.
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