Turnovers too much to bear as #CCU falls at UCLA 27-13 (AUDIO)

J. Michael Sturdivant led UCLA with 136 yards receiving and a TD on Saturday night (UCLA Athletics)

PASADENA, CA: A season ago, Coastal Carolina quarterback Grayson McCall threw 24 touchdown passes with only two interceptions. On a rough Saturday night at the Rose Bowl, McCall matched his interception total from 2022 while being battered and bruised by UCLA’s defense in a 27-13 loss to the Bruins. Coastal turned the football over three times, with McCall also fumbling once, as CCU was unable to take advantage of three forced turnovers by its own defense. The loss spoiled the debut of Tim Beck as Chanticleers head coach and was the first non-conference regular season setback for Coastal since 2019.

Going into the game, UCLA head coach Chip Kelly had a fierce quarterback competition on his hands. Kelly settled on a veteran, starting redshirt junior transfer Ethan Garbers. The former Washington Huskie repaid his coach’s faith by leading UCLA on a 78-yard scoring drive on the game’s first possession. Garbers’ 21-yard TD pass capped the drive and gave the Bruins a 7-0 lead just over two minutes into the game.

The score remained 7-0 entering the second quarter as both offenses found the going tough. However, CCU was able to break through with a 16-play, 75-yard march that ended in a 22-yard FG by Liam Gray to cut the Bruins’ lead to 7-3 with 11:12 remaining in the half. That’s when Kelly turned to his young hotshot.

Highly touted freshman QB Dante Moore came into the game and immediately made an impact. The Detroit, Michigan, product led his team on a quick six-play drive that ended in a 14-yard TD pass to push UCLA’s advantage to 14-3 late in the second period. Moore finished the game 7-of-12 passing for 143 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

CCU countered with another field goal by Gray as time expired to send the game to halftime with the Bruins out in front, 14-6.

The Chanticleers came out swinging in the second half and cut the lead to one with a nifty 75-yard drive in nine plays that ended with McCall’s only TD pass of the night to Greenwood’s Sam Pinckney. Pinckney led all receivers with nine catches for 139 yards and the score. Alas, that was the final time CCU would dent the scoreboard.

UCLA added a touchdown and two field goals in the fourth quarter to ease away from the visitors and pick up the win.

In the loss, Coastal’s Clayton Isbell tied a school record with three interceptions. According to CCU, Isbell matched Dontavius Johnson (2012), Josh Norman (2009), and Marrio Norman (2007) as Chanticleer players with a trio of interceptions in a single game. McCall completed 27-of-42 passes for 271 yards with 1 TD and 2 INTs. He was also sacked four times and hurried numerous other times.

UCLA finished with 417 yards of total offense while holding the Chanticleers to 345 and just 56 on the ground.

Coastal will return to Conway to host Jacksonville State next Saturday at 7pm.

Box Score

CCU HC Tim Beck — Postgame Interview with Chris Burgin

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.