UCLA's alarm clock apparently didn't go off until late in the first half, but when it finally did, star quarterback Brett Hundley and outside linebacker Anthony Barr carried the Bruins to an emotional 41-21 win at Nebraska on Saturday.
Whether it was the 9 a.m. Pacific kickoff or the lingering emotions from the death of walk-on wide receiver Nick Pasquale, UCLA was sluggish early and it was exemplified by uncharacteristic mistakes from its two headliners. Hundley stared down his receiver and threw a pass that was easily intercepted to set up the Cornhuskers' first touchdown, while Barr was a non-factor as Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez carved up the UCLA defense early in the game.
But Hundley threw three touchdown passes in the second half and finished 16-of-24 passing for 294 yards, adding 61 rushing yards, and Barr forced three fumbles.
Nebraska made a point to work away from Barr, who was often deployed in coverage against spread sets. Once unleashed, however, Barr abused left tackle Jeremiah Sirles and dominated the line of scrimmage, reinforcing his status as the top senior defender in college football.
Hundley never delivered any ridiculous highlight-reel plays, but the redshirt sophomore managed the offense efficiently and utilized nine different pass-catchers.
Together, Barr and Hundley showed why they are among the best in the nation at their respective positions and why UCLA has undergone a remarkable turnaround with them leading the way.