Dante Moore led two touchdown drives, one of which came on a 62-yard connection with J. Michael Sturdivant to jump-start a pivotal fourth quarter, and UCLA beat visiting Coastal Carolina, 27-13, Saturday in Pasadena, Calif.
UCLA (1-0) started veteran Ethan Garbers at quarterback, but as Bruins coach Chip Kelly promised heading into game day, played both Garbers and the blue-chip prospect Moore.
Garbers’ first sequence leading the offense resulted in a 21-yard touchdown pass to Carsen Ryan to cap a seven-play, 78-yard drive lasting less than two minutes.
The Bruins sputtered on Garbers’ other drives, including a stalled red-zone opportunity when Garbers was intercepted by Coastal Carolina’s Clayton Isbell.
Moore came on in the second quarter to lead his first scoring drive, throwing a 14-yard touchdown pass to Carson Steele that gave the Bruins a 14-6 lead at halftime, Coastal Carolina scored on a pair of Liam Gray field goals in the first half.
The Chanticleers (0-1) chipped away at the deficit in the second half when Grayson McCall found Sam Pinckey on a 9-yard touchdown. Pinckney caught nine passes for 139 yards.
McCall went 27-for-42 for 271 yards and was intercepted twice.
Garbers, also intercepted twice, threw his second pick — again coming via Isbell — that gave Coastal Carolina possession with a chance to take the lead.
Jaylin Davies made the interception on the other end deep in UCLA to prevent a score, but after a Bruins three-and-out, the Chanticleers drove with another chance to pull ahead. Gray’s 55-yard field-goal attempt went just wide, and the game flipped on the ensuing UCLA possession.
Moore returned behind center and on the first play, found a streaking Sturdivant for a touchdown that proved to be game-sealing.
R.J. Lopez tacked on a pair of UCLA field goals, and John Humphrey intercepted McCall one play after Isbell made his third interception of the night when he picked off Moore in the end zone.
Moore finished 7-of-12 for 143 yards with the two scores and one interception. Garbers went 10-for-17 for 121 yards.
Sturdivant led the Bruins with 136 yards on five receptions.
–Field Level Media