Rice couldn't contain the UCLA offense early on the game, allowing a touchdown on the very first play from scrimmage, helping the Bruins to a 35-24 lead over the Owls at halftime. That was only the beginning of a wild first half of play in Texas.
Redshirt freshman Brett Hundley ran for 72 yards and a touchdown in his first ever play from scrimmage with UCLA, giving the Bruins a quick 7-0 lead and putting pressure on the Rice offense from the very start. That pressure didn't work in the Owls' favor, with QB Taylor McHargue throwing a quick interception. Hundley continued his fast start with two straight completions for yet another touchdown.
The pressure continued to mount on Rice's defense as the game progressed, but Rice was able to respond over and over to big UCLA drives. With 3:40 remaining in the game the Bruins had another long scoring play as Johnathan Franklin charged a long way to the end zone -- Franklin has put up 169 yards on only 8 rushes so far with two touchdowns.
The final minutes of the first half provided as many twists and turns as the rest of the game had put together.
Rice scored on a late possession as McHargue tossed one to Sam McGuffie, leaving it up to Rice's defense to keep the game close going into halftime. Cameron Nwuso intercepted a pass by Hundley and it looked like the half might end with Rice in striking distance, but a fumble recovery by Damien Holmes led to a UCLA touchdown. The PAT ended up being blocked -- the third blocked PAT of the half! -- but the Rice returner couldn't quite get to the end zone, ending the half with a 35-24 scoreline in favor of UCLA.
For more on Bruins football, visit UCLA blog Bruins Nation, plus Pac-12 blog Pacific Takes and SB Nation Los Angeles. Also visit SB Nation Houston's coverage of Rice for news on the Owls.