PASADENA, Calif. — Matt Scott collapsed in a heap, and his white facemask pressed into the Rose Bowl turf. He stayed there for exactly 100 seconds, a slash of white in the baby blue end zone, as Arizona’s already slim chances of a slipped away.
UCLA blitzed 24th-ranked Arizona 66-10 Saturday night in Pasadena, snatching away whatever momentum the Wildcats built with back-to-back Pac-12 wins over Washington and USC.
The specifics, for once, were secondary.
Scott’s injury, and those to guard Chris Putton and linebacker Hank Hobson, provided sobering perspective for a team that’s battled injuries all season.
The UA was trailing 45-10 with 6 minutes 17 seconds remaining in the third quarter when Scott was hit as he attempted a pass out of UCLA’s end zone. Scott’s head appeared to glance off a UCLA player’s body on the way to the ground. Team trainers treated Scott on the field and, after administering a few tests on the sideline, escorted Arizona’s quarterback to the visitor’s locker room. Backup B.J. Denker finished the game.
Putton was taken to the locker room at the end of the third quarter.
Hobson’s injury was potentially more severe: The linebacker went down while chasing a play and Arizona trailing by 42 points and 12:55 remaining the fourth quarter. Hobson was strapped to a stretcher and taken off the field and to a local hospital.
It was a night to forget for Arizona, which trailed from the first drive on in front of 81,673 in Pasadena. The stats were galling:
• UCLA outgained the Wildcats 610 yards to 257. The Bruins led 7-0 2:33 into the game, 21-0 at the end of the first quarter and 42-3 at halftime.
• Bruins tailback Johnathan Franklin rushed for 24 times for 162 yards and two scores. With a 37-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, the senior became UCLA’s all-time leading rusher.
• Arizona punted a season-high seven times, four of the kicks coming in the first half. All of Dugandzic’s first-half boots led to UCLA touchdowns.
• Scott finished with a season-low 124 passing yards and four rushing yards. He failed to throw a touchdown pass just the second time in nine games.
• The Wildcats’ 83 first-half yards were their fewest in two years. Arizona’s first score came in the second quarter, when John Bonano hit a 28-yard field goal. Ka’Deem Carey scored the team’s lone touchdown with a 2-yard dive in the third quarter.
• Arizona played three quarterbacks — Scott, Denker and converted wide receiver Richard Morrison — while the Bruins dusted off backups Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut once starter Brett Hundley was pulled. The Chandler native was brilliant, completing 23 of 28 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns.
The Wildcats (5-4 overall, 2-4 Pac-12) will finish their season with games against Colorado, Utah and Arizona State; they must win at least one game to become bowl-eligible, and two to secure a spot in a bowl game. It’s unclear who, exactly, will be cleared in time to play next week. Scott suffered a similar injury against USC a week ago, but he and Rodriguez said after the game that he did not suffer a concussion. Scott said he had been nauseous for most of the game, and categorized himself as someone who frequently gets sick.
By the time Saturday’s game ended, the Wildcats all knew the feeling. The embarrassment, the concern and the uncertainty was enough to make anyone nauseous.