13 Sep

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UCLA Makes Most of Big Plays in 20-17 Win Over Longhorns

Tyrone Swoopes scrambles for a play versus UCLA (Photo: Don Bender).

Tyrone Swoopes scrambles for a play versus UCLA (Photo: Don Bender).

By Steve Habel/Associate Editor

ARLINGTON, Texas -- If the growth of a football team is measured in steps, no doubt remains that Texas is on the upswing after losing 20-17 to 12-ranked UCLA Saturday night in the AdvoCare Cowboys Showdown at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Doubters might say that the Longhorns had no place to go but up after losing to BYU the week before, but that’s a defeatist opinion. Texas, with sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes showing more confidence with every snap, stood toe-to-toe with the Bruins until the final minutes.

That’s when the Horns’ inexperience came to the forefront as UCLA made two huge plays on its winning drive to find a way to pull victory out of the jaws of defeat.

UCLA backup quarterback Jerry Neuheisel hit Jordan Payton on a 33-yard scoring pass with 3:00 to play to give the Bruins (3-0) the win. The TD came on the play following a 45-yard punt return by the Bruins’ Ishmael Adams and 

Steve Habel is a senior contributing writer for Horns Illustrated. He has covered Texas sports since 1989 and was this magazine’s senior editor for 24 years. You can follow him on twitter @stevehabel .