UCLA secured bowl eligibility with game-winning field goal over Cal

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — J.J. Molson hit a 37-yard field goal with four seconds left after backup quarterback Devon Modster led a clutch scoring drive, and UCLA secured bowl eligibility under interim coach Jedd Fisch with a 30-27 victory over California on Friday night.

Modster passed for 191 yards after replacing Josh Rosen at halftime, and he moved the Bruins (6-6, 4-5 Pac-12) into scoring position before Molson drilled the eventual winner.

Jordan Lasley set career highs with 12 receptions for 227 yards and a touchdown as UCLA finished strong for Fisch, who took over last Sunday after Jim Mora was fired late in his sixth season in Westwood.

Cal tied it with 2:22 to play when Jordan Veasy caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Ross Bowers, who passed for 242 yards. Patrick Laird rushed for 178 yards to surpass 1,000 yards on the season, but the Golden Bears (5-7, 2-7) fell short of bowl eligibility in coach Justin Wilcox’s first season, losing seven of their final nine games.

Fisch, the first-year coordinator of the Bruins’ much-improved offense, led UCLA to its fourth win over Cal in the last five meetings between the UC rivals.

The Bruins also went 6-0 at the Rose Bowl this season in their first unbeaten home campaign since 2005.

Rosen, an elite NFL prospect possibly playing his final home game before declaring for the draft, was sacked three times in the first half. He landed roughly on his right shoulder and neck while getting thrown down by Alex Funches late in the first half, and the Bruins apparently decided not to risk his health further.

Rosen passed for 202 yards and hit Lasley and Theo Howard for scores in his 30th career start before watching the second half from the sideline in a track suit. He fell 24 yards short of surpassing Brett Hundley’s school-record 3,740 yards passing in 2012.

UCLA took a 17-9 lead into halftime, making three consecutive scoring drives with plenty of good-looking throws by Rosen.

Cal drove into good field position all night at the Rose Bowl, but repeatedly failed to get into the end zone against UCLA’s porous defense. The Bears also lost starting safety Ashtyn Davis, who was ejected late in the first half for targeting.

Bowers rushed for a score early in the second half to finish a game-tying drive highlighted by Laird’s sprinting hurdle of a UCLA tackler.

Molson’s second field goal put the Bruins up 27-17 with 12:10 to play, but the Bears scored on their next two drives.
After Veasy’s tying score, UCLA took over at its 25 with 2:22 left. Lasley made a key 18-yard catch-and-run on third down to get the Bruins in position to win it.

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