Perkins, Rosen lead No. 13 UCLA to 37-3 rout of UNLV
LAS VEGAS (AP) UCLA coach Jim Mora insisted his Bruins were much more than quarterback Josh Rosen, even though the freshman sensation stole some national headlines in his college debut.
Running back Paul Perkins proved Mora was right.
Perkins ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns, Rosen threw for another score and No. 13 UCLA rolled to a 37-3 victory over UNLV on Saturday night.
Rosen completed 22 of 42 passes for 223 yards as the Bruins (2-0) piled up 526 yards in all, the second consecutive week UNLV's defense allowed more than 500.
Never one to mince words, however, Mora remained critical of his offensive unit.
''We were just off a tad,'' the fourth-year coach said. ''I think that's to be expected when you're breaking in a new quarterback. The impressive thing about our offense and Josh, in particular, is that in no time - even when it wasn't going exactly right and he was missing throws by just a little bit - at any time did he show a lack of poise. Not one bit.''
After the first two games of his college career, Rosen is 50 of 77 for 574 yards and four touchdowns. His performance against Virginia last week earned him the Walter Camp National Player of the Week award on offense.
''He was incredibly patient, cognizant of what was going on, never flustered, just like he always is and that's a good sign,'' Mora said. ''It ain't going to be as pretty every week as it was last week. So, it's just a great learning experience for him, and for us.''
UCLA has won 13 of its last 14 non-conference games - 10 straight since losing to Baylor in the 2012 Holiday Bowl.
The Bruins have won all 11 regular-season non-conference games under Mora, with an average margin of 21.4 points.
UNLV (0-2) lost starting quarterback Blake Decker to an injury at the end of the first quarter. Decker was 2-of-6 passing for 52 yards.
After the game, coach Tony Sanchez confirmed Decker sustained a hamstring injury that will be evaluated this week. With depth already a concern for the Rebels, losing Decker was a major blow.
His replacement, Kurt Palandech, struggled badly and finished 4 of 15 for 4 yards with one interception. Palandech, who played sparingly in the team's first game, hurried his passes and appeared frenetic under UCLA's pressure.
''It is a big moment, and sometimes you try to do too much,'' Sanchez said. ''Like at the end of the (first) half you kind of saw, he tried to do too much.''
With a little more than three minutes left in the half, Palandech fired an errant pass into the arms of UCLA linebacker Kenny Young, who raced 23 yards for a touchdown that extended the lead to 17-0.
UCLA's size on the both sides of the ball posed problems for the Rebels, as the Bruins pushed UNLV's linemen around and controlled the line of scrimmage. Mora was able to rotate players regularly on defense, keeping their legs fresh, while he had no problem exchanging his offensive skill position players whenever he wanted.
''Anytime you don't come away with a win, it's a frustrating deal,'' Sanchez said. ''We were really inconsistent on offense against a real good defense. They were more physical at the point of attack than we were. We'll continue to grow. I liked at the end of the game we were still battling.''
The Bruins got the ball to start the second half and needed 10 plays to drive 65 yards in 2:52. Perkins rumbled 7 yards for a touchdown as UCLA moved ahead 24-0.
Two possessions later, Perkins put an exclamation point on his performance when he raced 56 yards to ice the game for the Bruins, who took a 31-0 lead with 6 minutes left in the third quarter.
The Rebels managed just 237 yards and 11 first downs.
Next week the Bruins host Brigham Young (2-0), which opened its season with a pair of improbable, last-minute victories, including Saturday's come-from-behind 35-24 win over Boise State.
UNLV, which has allowed an average of 535.5 yards after its first two games of the season, travels to Ann Arbor to face Michigan.