UCLA linebackers Anthony Barr and Myles Jack took turns getting tackled at Arizona. The difference was Jack was moonlighting on offense, while Barr was getting mauled by the Wildcats offensive line.
At least that is the explanation Bruins head coach Jim Mora offered for Barr getting held out of the tackles column for the first time since the 6-foot-4, 248-pounder moved over to defense before the 2012 season.
"Saturday night, he was tackled about six times," Mora told the Daily News . "He probably would have had about six sacks if they hadn't tackled him. I know he might not have had a tackle, but he got tackled.
"It was a shame, what they got away with. It was a shame."
Arizona was called for holding just twice in the 31-26 UCLA win.
Barr, who sits atop the Hot 100 list of top seniors compiled by NFL Media analyst Gil Brandt, was far more diplomatic.
"I put that on my shoulders. Should never go an entire 60 minutes, or however long we were out there on the field, without making a tackle. It starts with me. I've got to be better," Barr said.
Barr's production has declined in recent weeks, as UCLA has used him more as a defensive end with his hand on the ground. Barr has not had a tackle for loss in his last two games, breaking a streak of 21 games with a negative stop.
Still, Barr leads UCLA with 13 tackles for loss and six sacks. Those totals rank third and fifth in the Pac-12, respectively.
Barr should be able to reverse those trends over the final three weeks of the regular season against the run-heavy offenses of Washington, Arizona State and USC, starting this Friday facing off against Huskies running back Bishop Sankey.
More importantly, Barr can lift UCLA to its third-consecutive Pac-12 championship game by winning out.
Barr's draft stock is already secure as a lock top-10 selection next May, but he can secure his legacy in Westwood, Calif. by taking UCLA to its first conference championship and Rose Bowl since the 1998 season.