Tennessee
UCLA
24 - 27 Final - 2OT
  for this game

Craft conjures up second-half magic as UCLA stuns Tennessee

Sep 2, 2008 - 6:01 AM PASADENA, California (Ticker) -- As a former quarterback, Rick Neuheisel could relate to Kevin Craft's bad first half. He decided to stick with the third-stringer and it paid off handsomely.

Craft shook off a terrible first-half performance and Kai Forbath kicked a 42-yard field goal to help UCLA stun No. 18 Tennessee, 27-24, in overtime on Monday in the season opener for both teams.

Craft, who threw four interceptions in the first half, completed 18-of-25 passes for 193 yards and a TD in the second half. The junior college transfer, who was forced to start due to injuries to Patrick Cowan (torn ACL) and Ben Olson (broken foot), could not have gotten off to a worse start.

The last of Craft's four interceptions was returned 61 yards by Nevin McKenzie, which gave Tennessee a 14-7 lead heading into halftime.

"I told him that I threw four interceptions when I started out, too," said Neuheisel, a former UCLA star and MVP of the 1984 Rose Bowl.

"And Terry Donahue waited until the third game to pull me. So I was going to be patient. He stayed in the present. The kids rallied around him and believed in him. You could see him grow in the second half."

Craft then rewarded his new coach in a huge way, finishing 25-of-43 for 259 yards to help Neuheisel win his debut at his alma mater. Coincidentally, Neuheisel became the first UCLA coach to win his first game since Donahue in 1976. Thanks in large part to his resilient young quarterback.

Craft hit Ryan Moya for a three-yard score with 27 seconds remaining in the regulation to give the Bruins a 24-21 lead. However, Daniel Lincoln tied the game with five seconds left by nailing a 47-yard field goal.

In overtime, Forbath made good on his attempt to give UCLA a 27-24 lead. Lincoln then missed wide left on his 34-yard attempt, giving the Bruins (1-0) the win.

Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer deflected blame from his kicker.

"It did not come down to one kick," he said. "You can't put this on Daniel Lincoln."

Instead, he praised Craft.

"The kid is a coach's son," Fulmer said. "A very talented young man. He throws the ball extremely well. He threw four picks in the first half, but it didn't seem to faze him. I don't think it was rocket science. He just executed very well in the second half."

Montario Hardesty ran for 66 yards and a pair of scores for the Volunteers (0-1). Hardesty's second TD run - a 20-yard jaunt - put the Volunteers up, 21-17, with 1:54 left. However, Craft responded by engineering a nine-play, 71-yard drive that was capped by his TD toss to Moya.

"Football for a quarterback is a rhythm thing," Neuheisel said. "When the ball feels good in your hands, you can do anything. He stayed with it."

Craft helped write a storybook ending to Neuheisel's first game as coach at his former stomping grounds. He returned to UCLA this season after former teammate Karl Dorrell was fired following last season's 6-7 campaign.

"I am unbelievably grateful to a lot of people for the opportunity to be here," said Neuheisel, who was fired as head coach of Washington in 2003 for violating NCAA rules by participating in NCAA Tournament office pools.

"A lot of people had to stick their necks out for me to get this chance - mainly (athletic director) Dan Guerrero and Chancellor (Gene) Block. I'm grateful to the players for buying into the culture."

Jonathan Crompton completed 19-of-41 passes for 189 yards and an interception for Tennessee, which lost its second straight season opener.

"We made enough mistakes tonight to lose three, four or five football games," Fulmer said.






  • 262
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    Tennessee(18) 24, UCLA 27  Final - 2OTSep 2 5:26 PM
  • mark one theory is that RUWTbot knows i'm on vacation and is acting out cause he misses me. more likely though is just slow messages. until i can afford to send real "big kid" text messages, every once in a while a few will come through really slow...

    Tennessee(18) 24, UCLA 27  Final - 2OTSep 2 7:20 AM
  • alacy52 I have Alltel and I got 2 separate messages (one for high, one for severe) right when I should have, so I'm not sure why yours were slow.

    Tennessee(18) 24, UCLA 27  Final - 2OTSep 2 12:32 AM
  • DialH Just got mine, have a different cell service. Blame RUWTbot. Probably a little down today.

    Tennessee(18) 24, UCLA 27  Final - 2OTSep 2 12:05 AM
  • senorpepr NOW I get my text message. :sigh: I'll blame Sprint.

    Tennessee(18) 24, UCLA 27  Final - 2OTSep 2 12:02 AM
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    Tennessee(18) 24, UCLA 27  Final - 2OTSep 1 11:57 PM
  • alamowx Wow...

    Tennessee(18) 24, UCLA 27  OTSep 1 11:55 PM
  • senorpepr Ouch...

    Tennessee(18) 24, UCLA 27  OTSep 1 11:55 PM


  • NCAAF FINAL IN OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -- -----
    TENNESSEE (18) 0 14 0 10 0 24
    UCLA 7 0 3 14 3 27 FINAL IN OT
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: UCLA - TD, SEAN WESTGATE 17 YD RETURN OF
    BLOCKED PUNT (KAI FORBATH
    KICK), 13:45. UCLA 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: TENNESSEE - TD, MONTARIO HARDESTY 11 YD RUN
    (DANIEL LINCOL

    Sep 1 11:55 PM



  • FG UCLA KAI FORBATH 42 YD





    Tennessee(18) 24, UCLA 27  OTSep 1 11:52 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG UCLA
    KAI FORBATH 42 YD
    TENNESSEE (18) 24
    UCLA 27 IN 1ST OT POSSESSION

    Tennessee(18) 24, UCLA 27  OTSep 1 11:52 PM
  • alamowx I got mine at 10:40.

    Tennessee(18) 24, UCLA 24  OTSep 1 11:50 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 30 roots (Close Finish, Overtime, Upset)

    Tennessee(18) 24, UCLA 24  OTSep 1 11:50 PM
  • senorpepr Argh, RUWTbot... where's my text message?! Props to SuketoKetchi for the instant message...

    Tennessee(18) 24, UCLA 24  End of Reg.Sep 1 11:47 PM



  • FG TENNESSEE DANIEL LINCOLN 47 YD





    Tennessee(18) 24, UCLA 24  End of Reg.Sep 1 11:45 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG TENNESSEE
    DANIEL LINCOLN 47 YD
    TENNESSEE (18) 24
    UCLA 24 0:00 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Tennessee(18) 24, UCLA 24  End of Reg.Sep 1 11:45 PM
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    Tennessee(18) 21, UCLA 24  4th - 0:27Sep 1 11:41 PM



  • TD UCLA RYAN MOYA 3 YD PASS FROM KEVIN CRAFT (KAI FORBATH KICK)







    Tennessee(18) 21, UCLA 24  4th - 0:27Sep 1 11:39 PM



  • TD UCLA RYAN MOYA 3 YD PASS FROM KEVIN CRAFT (KAI FORBATH KICK)







    Tennessee(18) 21, UCLA 24  4th - 0:27Sep 1 11:39 PM



  • TD UCLA RYAN MOYA 3 YD PASS FROM KEVIN CRAFT (KAI FORBATH KICK)







    Tennessee(18) 21, UCLA 24  4th - 0:27Sep 1 11:39 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD UCLA
    RYAN MOYA 3 YD PASS FROM KEVIN CRAFT
    (KAI FORBATH KICK)
    TENNESSEE (18) 21
    UCLA 24 0:27 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Tennessee(18) 21, UCLA 24  4th - 0:27Sep 1 11:39 PM
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    Tennessee(18) 21, UCLA 24  4th - 0:27Sep 1 11:39 PM
  • alacy52 Come one, Vols. I hate Rick Neuheisel.

    Tennessee(18) 21, UCLA 17  4th - 0:44Sep 1 11:35 PM
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    Tennessee(18) 21, UCLA 17  4th - 0:44Sep 1 11:34 PM
  • alamowx Definitely a good show -- go Vols!

    Tennessee(18) 21, UCLA 17  4th - 1:54Sep 1 11:28 PM



  • TD TENNESSEE MONTARIO HARDESTY 20 YD RUN (DANIEL LINCOLN KICK)






    Tennessee(18) 21, UCLA 17  4th - 1:54Sep 1 11:27 PM



  • TD TENNESSEE MONTARIO HARDESTY 20 YD RUN (DANIEL LINCOLN KICK)






    Tennessee(18) 21, UCLA 17  4th - 1:54Sep 1 11:27 PM
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    Tennessee(18) 14, UCLA 17  4th - 2:13Sep 1 11:27 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD TENNESSEE
    MONTARIO HARDESTY 20 YD RUN
    (DANIEL LINCOLN KICK)
    TENNESSEE (18) 21
    UCLA 17 1:54 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Tennessee(18) 21, UCLA 17  4th - 1:54Sep 1 11:27 PM
  • 126
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    Tennessee(18) 21, UCLA 17  4th - 1:54Sep 1 11:27 PM
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    Tennessee(18) 14, UCLA 17  4th - 2:13Sep 1 11:26 PM
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    Tennessee(18) 14, UCLA 17  4th - 4:00Sep 1 11:22 PM
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    Tennessee(18) 14, UCLA 17  4th - 5:27Sep 1 11:18 PM



  • TD UCLA RAYMOND CARTER 3 YD RUN (KAI FORBATH KICK)






    Tennessee(18) 14, UCLA 17  4th - 6:51Sep 1 11:10 PM



  • TD UCLA RAYMOND CARTER 3 YD RUN (KAI FORBATH KICK)






    Tennessee(18) 14, UCLA 17  4th - 6:51Sep 1 11:10 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD UCLA
    RAYMOND CARTER 3 YD RUN
    (KAI FORBATH KICK)
    TENNESSEE (18) 14
    UCLA 17 6:51 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Tennessee(18) 14, UCLA 17  4th - 6:51Sep 1 11:10 PM
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    Tennessee(18) 14, UCLA 17  4th - 6:51Sep 1 11:10 PM
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    Tennessee(18) 14, UCLA 10  4th - 8:39Sep 1 11:06 PM


  • NCAAF END, 3RD QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TENNESSEE (18) 0 14 0 14
    UCLA 7 0 3 10 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: UCLA - TD, SEAN WESTGATE 17 YD RETURN OF
    BLOCKED PUNT (KAI FORBATH
    KICK), 13:45. UCLA 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: TENNESSEE - TD, MONTARIO HARDESTY 11 YD RUN
    (DANIEL LINCOLN KICK), 3:02.
    TENNESSE

    Sep 1 10:44 PM



  • FG UCLA KAI FORBATH 41 YD





    Tennessee(18) 14, UCLA 10  3rd - 1:15Sep 1 10:37 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG UCLA
    KAI FORBATH 41 YD
    TENNESSEE (18) 14
    UCLA 10 1:15 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Tennessee(18) 14, UCLA 10  3rd - 1:15Sep 1 10:37 PM


  • NCAAF HALFTIME
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TENNESSEE (18) 0 14 14
    UCLA 7 0 7 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: UCLA - TD, SEAN WESTGATE 17 YD RETURN OF
    BLOCKED PUNT (KAI FORBATH
    KICK), 13:45. UCLA 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: TENNESSEE - TD, MONTARIO HARDESTY 11 YD RUN
    (DANIEL LINCOLN KICK), 3:02.
    TENNESSEE 7-7
    TE

    Sep 1 9:45 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD TENNESSEE
    NEVIN MCKENZIE 61 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN
    (DANIEL LINCOLN KICK)
    TENNESSEE (18) 14
    UCLA 7 0:23 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Tennessee(18) 14, UCLA 7  2nd - 0:23Sep 1 9:44 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD TENNESSEE
    MONTARIO HARDESTY 11 YD RUN
    (DANIEL LINCOLN KICK)
    TENNESSEE (18) 7
    UCLA 7 11:58 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Tennessee(18) 7, UCLA 7  2nd - 11:58Sep 1 9:05 PM


  • NCAAF END, 1ST QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TENNESSEE (18) 0 0
    UCLA 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: UCLA - TD, SEAN WESTGATE 17 YD RETURN OF
    BLOCKED PUNT (KAI FORBATH
    KICK), 13:45. UCLA 7-0

    Sep 1 8:56 PM



  • TD UCLA SEAN WESTGATE 17 YD RETURN OF BLOCKED PUNT (KAI FORBATH KICK)






    Tennessee(18) 0, UCLA 7  1st - 1:15Sep 1 8:53 PM



  • TD UCLA SEAN WESTGATE 17 YD RETURN OF BLOCKED PUNT (KAI FORBATH KICK)






    Tennessee(18) 0, UCLA 7  1st - 1:15Sep 1 8:53 PM



  • TD UCLA SEAN WESTGATE 13 YD RETURN OF BLOCKED PUNT (KAI FORBATH KICK)






    Tennessee(18) 0, UCLA 0  1st - 2:11Sep 1 8:53 PM



  • TD UCLA SEAN WESTGATE 13 YD RETURN OF BLOCKED PUNT (KAI FORBATH KICK)






    Tennessee(18) 0, UCLA 0  1st - 2:11Sep 1 8:53 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD UCLA
    SEAN WESTGATE 13 YD RETURN OF BLOCKED PUNT
    (KAI FORBATH KICK)
    TENNESSEE (18) 0
    UCLA 7 1:15 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Tennessee(18) 0, UCLA 7  1st - 1:15Sep 1 8:53 PM
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    Tennessee(18) 0, UCLA 0  1st - 2:11Sep 1 8:51 PM
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    Tennessee(18) 0, UCLA 0  1st - 4:38Sep 1 8:37 PM
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    Tennessee(18) vs. UCLASep 1 8:11 AM