WR Thomas Duarte led the Bruins in receiving yards against the Tigers Saturday. (Instagram)
The No. 11 Bruins were taken to the limit for the second straight week as they continue their non-conference play. UCLA escaped their home opener against Memphis by winning 42-35.
Memphis safety Fritz Etienne took an interception to the end zone to tie the game with just over 13 minutes to play.
“We got a score there, we got an interception, and the game was on,” said Tigers head coach Justin Fuente. “Credit for UCLA to responding to that and going down to score. We just couldn’t get it down there again.”
After the pick-six, Bruin QB Brett Hundley led his offense 75 yards to a go-ahead touchdown pass to Thomas Duarte with 10:52 left. Hundley ended the game with 396 yards in the air for three touchdowns, a much-improved performance from last week.
“I think everything went pretty well today,” Hundley said. “You can see when we put together a solid and complete game, we can be a special team.”
After the go-ahead touchdown, the Bruins defense came out and stuffed the Tigers for three straight drives.
“They are so good up front on defense that it makes life so hard for you,” said Fuente. “They are just so athletic and big. It makes life rough.”
On the receiving end, Duarte led the Bruins in yards with 110 on just four receptions, along with two touchdowns; he was the biggest threat down the field.
UCLA’s next game is in Texas as they take on the 1-1 Longhorns. The Longhorns were blown out by BYU yesterday, 41-7.