HOUSTON (AP) — Rice felt like it showed it could play with anyone Thursday night, even if the results might have shown a bit differently.
Johnathan Franklin rushed for 214 yards and three touchdowns as UCLA racked up 348 yards on the ground en route to a 49-24 win over the Owls on Thursday night.
Franklin just missed his career high of 216 yards rushing set in 2010 against Washington State. He became the first player in UCLA history to have two rushes of at least 72 yards in a game after scoring on touchdown runs of 74 and 78 yards in the first half.
Brett Hundley, a redshirt freshman, was 21 of 28 for 202 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 68 yards and a touchdown. Joseph Fauria caught three passes for 53 yards and a touchdown.
Rice's Taylor McHargue threw for 172 yards and two touchdowns on 17 of 28 passing and rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Sam McGuffie caught eight passes for 63 yards and a touchdown.
"There is a lot of good to take from this, and the mistakes we made offensively, especially in the second half, are mistakes that are easy to correct," McHargue said. "It was just mistakes — a couple mental busts here and there."
Rice, which hasn't beaten a Pac-12 team since 1970 when it shut out California 28-0, scored 17 straight points after falling behind 19-0 in the first quarter, but could not get over the hump.
Rice coach David Bailiff called the loss disappointing.
"We went on the field tonight expecting to win the game," Bailiff said. "Our team put a lot into winning this game. We have to eliminate the big plays defensively. . Offensively, can't have turnovers."
The big plays started from the outset for the Bruins.
Hundley took UCLA's first snap and ran 72 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown. The PAT was blocked to make it 6-0.
After Roosevelt Davis' interception of McHargue, UCLA took three plays to go 47 yards and score on an 11-yard pass from Hundley to Jerry Johnson. The PAT was blocked again to make it 12-0. Franklin took UCLA's first snap on its next drive 74 yards to extend the Bruins' lead to 19-0.
Linebacker Cameron Nwosu, who set an NCAA record with three blocked PATs in a game, said the Owls' defense has to do a better job of communicating. Bailiff agreed.